ingredients assembled? go!

The last ingredient you need is your common sense… and everything you may have gleaned about doing laundry from your experience. The rules always apply: wash like items together. whites with whites, colors with colors, darks with darks, delicates with delicates, heavy items with heavy items… see the pattern?

Start with whites, the least scary, most reliable category. I fill my tub with the hottest water I can get and sometimes add teakettles of boiling water, too. You can use your bathtub, your sink, a bucket or whatever you have on hand. I add the product called “Restoration,” mix it so it dissolves and start adding my items. I usually do not even unfold things; I want them to stay as flat as possible, without air pockets, so that the water permeates all the layers/fibers equally. I swish everything around like a washing machine agitator, only gentler. If the items are not submerged well, the detergent won’t penetrate the fibers equally and you end up with an uneven, mottled appearance.

Here is my favorite part. Go away and let it soak for a few hours.
(or overnight, although the oxygenated reaction ends after about six hours.) It is my favorite task because I know the stuff is working and I can go off and do something else. freedom, sort of… as I will swish it around when I go in to check it periodically.

The water immediately bubbles like a witch’s cauldron. And, depending on how dirty the linens are, begins to turn dark. When I launder antique items that have been stored badly and reek, the water can turn as dark as strong black coffee.


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