I’ve got a secret. A dirty little housekeeping secret…
Those scrumptious vintage tea towels folded so beautifully into that little basket are not the only ones I own…
Sneak a look in the drawer next to the oven and please try not to recoil in horror. Yes, that is a tatty old pile of cut up t-shirts! Oh my goodness, yes, that is a teatowel with a hole in and yes, to
my eternal shame those dishclothes have seen better days!
It’s time to get this house in order!
Go through every drawer in your kitchen and laundry room and pull out every item of kitchen linen you own: tea towels, dish clothes, floor clothes, dusters, sponges, etc etc…
Immediately, (without stopping to think about it!), chuck out anything shabby or remotely worn. Don’t be precious- You don’t need more than fourteen teatowels, seven dishcloths, three or four
dusters, two floorclothes and a small collection of "emergency" cloths for particuarly dirty jobs…
Then run a bowl full of boiling water, and pour in some mild soap flakes and gently handwash your kitchen linens. Start with your special tea towels, and then work your way through your other
towels, hand towels , then dish clothes, floor clothes and dusters..
Allow stubbornly stained linens to soak, (or boil them the way your Grandmother would have in a great big pot on the stove) but if a stain can’t be removed, chuck it! (Unless it holds particular sentimental value, and really, who feels that sentimental about a dish cloth??)
Once everything is washed, allow to air dry, (preferably in the sun!) then set to work with the iron. I know it isn’t normal to iron your dishclothes, but humour me, this is a once in lifetime chance
to make even the most mundane little objects in your life, lovely.
Add scrumptious perfumed ironing water to your iron…
Recipe for Lavender water:
3 cups of distilled water
3 ounces vodka
15-30 drops essential oil of lavender
Sterilize a glass container by placing it in boiling water for 3 minutes. Allow it to cool.
Pour the distilled water and vodka in to the glass, then add the lavender oil and stir.
Then press everything perfectly, fold into piles according to tasks and put away into a drawer, or basket lined with oilcloth, and get ready to keep a beautiful house…
More Puttery Treats…
1. Patch worn teatowels with scrumptious darned floral patches.
2. Monogram your bestest glass linen cloths
3. Sew yourself a rag bag and hang it in your laundry room.
4. Simmer fabric conditioner in a saucepan as you sort through your kitchen linens…
5. Embroider your teatowels with the days of the week.
(An abbrieviated version of this post was included in my Vintage HouseKeepers Circle in March 2005 )