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Summer sun great for laundry tip

linensSince it has been so terribly hot and sunny recently, Aunty has been laying out linens, hankies, furoshikis (squares that are used to tie up parcels and gifts), unlined tote bags, and whatever other natural fiber item that are stained or discolored on the front lawn and having the intense sun bleach the stains away. It works like magic.

Mrs. Orpha Herrick was a favorite college professor. Not only did she teach a great course, she also was a class act in every way. I learned her trick and have used it often with great success.

To remove the yellow spots and discolorations from linens and cottons (natural fibers), spread the item on the grass in the sun, and water the fabric evenly. As the sun starts to dry the items, wet again.

spots on linen, sometimes called “rust spots”

brown spots on nice linen doily

brown spots on nice linen doily

Do this several times during the day until the stains disappear, and your linens and cottons look whiter than they ever did!

Ta daaaahh! Sun bleached beautiful clean linens!

If it is windy, use clean rocks or weights to hold down corners. Remove from the grass before the sun goes down and lay out again the next morning if the stains need more time to disappear. Handle only when dry. Keep your dogs off unless you want dog paw prints as a pattern – Aunty learned this the hard way. Paw print are not removable with this method.

Crocheted doilies and cloths are great candidates for this method since they do not wash well. However, the dyes that are used in the natural looking crochet threads do tend to also bleach out, so a brownish ecru piece will lose its brown-ness and become almost white.

About The Author

Aunty is a new senior citizen and loving this phase of her life. Less responsibilities, less fear of being weird, able to do more of the things that I want to do! Older, yes, slower, yes, but life is even more wonderful in my golden years and I look forward to even goldener ones.

Number of Entries : 380

Comments (4)

  • Musings

    What fun! I did a post about this a while ago too when I saw this hint somewhere. It really does work! I tried it on a doily and by golly! It did the job. Now I’m sorry I threw away fabrics before that had those rust colored spots.

    • Aunty

      The sun is so wonderful, though I get rust colored spots on my face, arms, legs, etc. from it. I think I am destined to look like my maternal grandmother – brown spots all over her face.

  • N

    Dear Aunty: I use to have expensive Irish linens that turned yellow and what I did by accident was to leave it out on my clothesline (after washing) for about a week and they turned of course white. But I didn’t do anything, just left it out on the line. Afterwards I did that for yellowed white cloth napkins and same thing. I never had to wet it or do anything then just leave it out on the line for a week. Now it may have turned white sooner, but I went downstairs to my line once a week when I did laundry so I didn’t check on it regularly. So anyone can do the lazy woman’s way out. -N

    • Aunty

      Aloha N,

      The sun is a great bleacher, that is for sure. I have also heard that you don’t have to have a lawn to spread it out and wet but I like to use my front area and the grass loves to be watered.

      My friend said her mother used to thrown their sheets and linens over their hedge to dry and that she had the whitest brightest linens.

      My problem with hanging things on the line for a long time is that I only have sun for a few hours because of where my clothesline is situated. Also, the dang birds sometimes decide to park and poop.

      I love lazy woman’s ways. Mahalo for visiting!


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