Bluing whitens … (still on the ‘we heart blue’ thing)

April 7, 2009 § 4 Comments


(photo taken on kitchen counter, only steps from the laundry room)

I found bluing  not because we wanted to build a magic salt rock garden (which it says on the bottle that you can do) nor to drop some into the swimming pool to blue it up. (More advice on the bottle.)

No, bluing counteracts yellowing oddly enough. I went to the store in earnest to get it and found it tucked away on a top shelf.  I wanted our shirts to look truly white. The socks, too. The towels.  But mostly it’s about the white shirts with me.

It’s not really a matter of dancing to the hype of brighter whiter whites. It’s more because I actually enjoy doing laundry. Now, that would not be true if I had to take it down to the stream and pound it on the rocks, nope, that wouldn’t work out so well for me. Besides, we have no convenient stream, except when we have a hard rain and the yard morphs into a stream along the back border.  And I have an aversion to working with cold water and freezing my knuckles. I prefer a Caribbean temperature. 

I like the art involved in doing laundry.  Separating whites and colors, lights and heavies. Choosing the water temperature. Deciding on the load size. Considering a second rinse.  Pre-spot removal. A little extra something on the cuffs and collars. Gentleness overall for hose and sweaters. Bluing is part of that art. Careful, though. Without a premix, should you dare to add the drops directly to the wash water, be sure there’s nothing already tossed in there, like your favorite pale  tablecloths or  white bedspread. Yes, I speak from experience!

Book selections …

I Hate to Housekeep Book by Peg Bracken.  Some of you will say, ‘huh?’  Others will have seen it on the coffee table or in their Gran’s sitting room while growing up. Actually, in an era that touted Good Housekeeping and Julia Fairchild in the kitchen, with aprons, along with June Cleaver-and-pearls and Donna Reed, all of them cooking and vacuuming relentlessly, Bracken took a leap with her first book of humor, I Hate to Cook Book and said out loud what she did NOT want to do. 

She pre-dated Irma Bombeck and several of the others of the ha-ha-housekeeping ilk and did a damn good job. So, though I’ve never actually sat down  to read the book cover to cover, I read it in bits and pages. If you can find it,  it will make you laugh, if not for the humor then for what is now could be called its nostalgia. 


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§ 4 Responses to Bluing whitens … (still on the ‘we heart blue’ thing)

  • Snarl says:

    Using blue to make white is an odd concept, indeed. My whites are whiter when I’m home, though.

  • laylou says:

    I love doing laundry. It’s my favorite household chore.

    I lost my bluing liquid in my last move and since it’s not allowed at laundromats I haven’t purchased more. Can’t wait until I have my own place!

  • I love ironing! I find it almost meditative. Ironing was my household chore as a kid. And that was when men wore French cuff shirts – which my dad did every day. Mom would dissolve chunks of Niagra, dip the shirts, dry them, sprinkle them down, roll them up and put them in a laundry basket covered with a towel. On hot days, they went in the fridge. Oh, the days!

  • oh says:

    Snarl – it’s because I don’t dump all things into one or two loads. It’s due greatly to the fact that I don’t have to do your wash according to how many quarters I have in my pocket!

    Ah, Laylou – You were brought up well!

    Linda – Niagara in chunks?! I didn’t know. I do however have a current spray bottle, but it’s now a kind of squishy plastic rather than the spray cans of yore.

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