“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat. In our mad rush for progress and modern improvements let's be sure we take along with us all the old-fashioned things worth while.” Laura Ingalls Wilder

Monday, June 29, 2009


I've written before about the no-no using bleach with our septic system. There comes a time when even oxy-type stain remover has trouble keeping up with my heavily used white kitchen towels. In grandma's day, they would take a big kettle and steep some tea leaves. I've gone an easier route and have used regular black tea bags. First, take a large pot and fill with water 2/3's full. Add about six or eight tea bags ... the more you add , the darker the tea will stain your fabric. When the water has boiled with the tea for a spell, turn off the heat and remove the bags. Add several dry all cotton towels (that have been washed with mild soap) and stir them around in the tea. After a while check the color ... you can keep the towels in for as long as overnight. Just be sure to stir several times for an even color. When you're ready ... wring out the cooled fabric and rinse in a sink of cool water with a bit of white vinegar 1/2 to 1 cup is good. Rinse again until the water is clear then dry on the line. I have plans to do a little embroidery work to give my 'tea' towels a true vintage flair

5 comments:

Kathryn said...

My wedding dress was off white. I wanted to do all things as simply as possible, & all the women wore simple ballet shoes (that cost less than $10 for the pair). I added lace to mine with a little pocket in the lace so i could add my silver sixpence there. I tea stained my slippers to match the dress. :)

Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to seeing your embroidery.

Star said...

You don't like snowy white teatowels? Well, that's different! I suppose they look just as lovely in a vintage cream?
Blessings, Star

Letters From Midlife said...

I commented already at your other blog but I'm so happy to have found you through Lidj's blog. I also have four kids close to the ages of yours. Stop by and visit and I'll be back as well.

Letters From Midlife said...

I couldn't get the email to work at your profile but I wanted to invite you to become a pen friend via snail mail since we both enjoy real letter writing. If you're interested, you can email me through my profile.

Felisol said...

Dear Mrs. Mac,
I love coming here reading your woman of all trade advices.
I like plenitude.
A friend of my mother's is making old fashioned dolls from scratch.
She used tea to give the laces the right "antique" look.
I gave up white a log. long time ago.
Most of our towels are in a shade of blue, since we have dark blue and white tiles in our bathrooms.
Beautiful old fashioned flower bouquet.
I'll certainly try your advice to pack steel wool soap in aluminum.
I'll even share it with my mom, she hate throwing away barely used steel wool.
From Felisol