Kitchen Linen Inventory.

By alison July 19, 2007 8 Comments 2 Min Read

Sheets

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  )

Other Things To Do At BrocanteHome

8 Comments

  1. Lisa says:

    Allison, these posts just make my day. Who knew about the vodka? This doesn't mean less martini's for me, does it?

  2. jen says:

    I tell ya, this is why I need this site. Am I going to go home and go through my towels (they're all pretty new) or iron them? Sorry but no. But I am going to take the basket that sits out and holds all the plain workhorse cloths that I didn't have room for in the drawer and the drawer with my pretty towels and switch them. I mean, as Brini would say, now why didn't i think of that?
    P.S. In referece to the pressed flower puttery treat o' the day- mine always get moldy. How do you press them in a book with out such nasty side affects?

  3. Alison says:

    Jen, try microwaving the flower in between two sheets of kitchen towel for a few seconds at a time before you press it between the pages of a book…

  4. Pamela says:

    My mom tells me that it takes cotton a couple days of being soaked in water for the fibers to fully "open" and release stains. She adds non-chlorine bleach, and she has many crisp, clean, vintage linens to her credit.

  5. Melody says:

    I will be trying the lavender water soon. 🙂 Thanks for the recipe.

  6. sandy walters says:

    here in Florida we have a nasty problem with "Florida rust" which is a brownish stain that forms on linens when you store them. Tablecloths, napkins, runners, everything, you put them away and when you take them out they have horrible brown stains that CANNOT be removed. Can anybody help me?

  7. Mereoni Moce says:

    I work for a cruise company and my biggest problem is heavy stains caused during cruising. Normally the it takes 6-7 days cruising and we don't have a proper laundry on the ship for laundering these heavy stains normally our linen are white. Pls can you give me an insight on how to tackle these problems.
    Thank You.
    Mereoni

  8. Mereoni Moce says:

    I work for a cruise company and my biggest problem is heavy stains caused during cruising. Normally the it takes 6-7 days cruising and we don’t have a proper laundry on the ship for laundering these heavy stains normally our linen are white. Pls can you give me an insight on how to tackle these problems.
    Thank You.
    Mereoni

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *