keeping white fresh and clean

dont you hate it every summer, you go to get your lovely white dresses out and there are all these yellow marks over them?  apparently, even if your clothes look clean and there are no apparent stains, you should still wash them before you put them back, especially clothes that you dont wear that often. its the body fluids, grease etc, even from your fingertips that remains on the fabric.    I have so many antique clothes, that they actually disintegrate with too much washing, so i  dont wash everything each time.  anyhow, i have discovered that if you soak them in Ecover bleach- i have only done this with white things, then the yellow stain miraculously disappears!    i am not guaranteeing it for everything, but the few times that i have tried it, its worked for me.  Apparently baking soda acts the same, so I may give that a try next.

incidentally, my beautiful victorian blouse that i wear rips everytime, so i now sew vintage lace ribbons into the holes to patch up and it seems to not only cover the hole, but adds to the quirkiness of the blouse.   i used to just hang them in my bedroom as decoration, but have decided that its silly not to wear them.   i tend to buy my vintage ribbons from the cloth house, they have a lovely selection as well as interesting fabrics.

Teowa is a violin teacher and actress and is one of my constant muses;  the vintage dress I bought from a shop in spain, apparently it was the owners grandmothers dress….  sadly the shop isn’t there any more.  I really miss photographing people at the moment, its going to be one of the first things I am going to do when the rules allow…….

teowa balthus2__MG_009292_1 teowa balthus2__MG_007171

2 thoughts on “keeping white fresh and clean

  1. Hello Christina,
    For many years I sold vintage clothes and specialised in Victorian and Edwardian clothes, linens and lace. I usually bought linen and antique cotton clothes cheaply because they were so badly stained, some were black, no one else wanted them, but I loved bringing them back to life, sparkling white. Now, hold your breath, you will be shocked, but the easiest and less damaging way to clean them is to soak them in cool water, just warm enough to dissolve; Ariel bio powder. It must be powder, the original Ariel, and use plenty. Leave to soak, preferably overnight. Never use hot water to soak, it just cooks in the dirt and stains. Never use bleach, the cotton eventually goes a dirty bluey grey colour. Once soaked, I used to have an old fashioned boiler for my cottons and linens, after lots of rinsing the dirt out in cool water you can them wash the garments in hand hot water with Ariel again. Just make sure you rinse well, that’s the secret, lots of rinsing. I have vintage lace clothes, very delicate, that I have washed like this for 30years and they are as good as new. It also works on cream or white silk but old silk usually falls apart after a while however carefully you treat it, cotton, linen and lace will last for ages however old. This works particularly well for cotton lace curtains. Needless to say, never put them in a washing machine!!

    Happy wash day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. amazing Valerie – one of my favourite Edwardian blouses almost tears as you are hand washing it! I would have thought Ariel too strong, but shall give it a try! thank you for your tips. have a lovely day Valerie x


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