Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Spring Cleaning The Natural Way

Spring Cleaning Special
Today was  beautiful and sunny so I made the most of it and pulled out my antique Marcella quilts and lace doilies and washed them in the tub. I love to wash antique linens as gently as possible to increase their lifespan. Some soakers on the market can be particularly harsh on these precious pieces. I prefer soap and water.

Washing Linens and Delicates
Soap flakes
lemon juice
warm water
essential oil of lavender

Dissolve soap flakes in small amount of warm water. I mix mine up in an old bottle. Once dissolved I add to wash tub full of warm water and place linens in.
Gently handwash your desired article in the soapy water.
If the article is not heavily soiled or just needed a freshen up I often get 2 articles washed in the same water.
Then let water out and rinse in more warm water. I like to add a few drops of essential oil of lavender to my rinse water. It gives a fresh, sweet fragrance and also repels pesky silverfish.
I then gently wring out by hand or for my bigger quilts, I spin on a gentle cycle in my washing machine.  Then hang in the sunshine and let nature take care of the rest. The sun's rays will bleach away stains and leave that beautiful sun kissed feel to your linen.

Mildew Stains on White Linens
Over Winter, mould can creep in to the cleanest of linen cupboards.
I have had some success in the past squeezing fresh lemon juice onto the affected area of the linen. I leave for a few minutes in the sun and then add more lemon juice and gently rub salt onto the mouldy area.
Leave in a sunny position and gently rinse a couple of hours later.
I would only use this method however on white cotton linens.

When my first baby came along I used cloth nappies (diapers).
I used to use soap flakes to wash  and sunshine to dry and very rarely did I ever have a stain to contend with.

"Completely Spotless" by Shannon Lush and Jennifer Flemming  is my bible.

I I keep it handy in my kitchen so it is always close at hand. It is full of lots of wonderful home hints with ingredients that are usually found in your kitchen cupboard.
Bicarb soda, white vinegar, borax, salt....the list goes on.
No need to clutter your cleaning cupboard with expensive cleaning products. Our forefathers used common ingredients to clean for centuries before modern day products came along.

I have a bit of a fetish for vintage and antique pegs.  They are beautifully time worn and last forever. Not one single trace of plastic or metal hinges. Simple design and they don't need to be replaced constantly.  They can be found quite cheaply in antique stores.

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