Friday, October 19, 2012

SO Glad these are Obsolete...

I'll let you in on a little secret -

I LOVE doing laundry.  I do!  It's a "chore" I don't mind doing at all.  I have it down to a science, and because it's just Brian and me, it's a snap.  Three loads a week, always done on Sunday (because we're normally home that day) and it's done by 4 p.m.  My wonderful husby even helps with the folding.  :)

I think one of the reasons I love it so much is because I'm extremely grateful for the time we live in.  When I think back to the actual CHORE that laundry used to be, how can I be anything but happy that I have a washer and dryer, and that I don't have to use these:

So, what are these things?  To be perfectly honest, I didn't know either - I had to look them up!  I just bought them because I loved the packaging.  And for my art work.   :)

Let's start with the Satina, which claims to make ironing easier (I know what makes it easier - buying clothes that don't need to be ironed!  Amirite?).  What really intrigued me was the line on the box that says, "For use with cooked starch".  WHAT. THE. WHAT.  Yep, you had to take starch, break off a section of the Satina bar (I don't have the bar, just the box), add boiling water, and mix until it's a thick paste.  I honestly don't know what you're supposed to do after this - do any of you, my dear readers?

I grew up in a household with very little ironing.  I remember my mom ironing my dad's shirts - sometimes.  I think "permanent press" ruled the day, but there must've been some occasions (weddings? Funerals?) where my mom deemed it necessary to use the iron.  When she did, she only used Niagara spray starch, so this "cooked starch" nonsense must predate me by 10-15 years.  Let me tell you - if THIS is what it took to get ironing done, Brian and I would go around looking disheveled.

This next obsolete item (thank goodness!) is bluing.  You can still get bluing in the store, but it's now almost exclusively in liquid form.  The object of bluing is to get your whites looking whiter, and the color blue is used since it's a complementary color of yellow (the dingy color your whites have become).  These blocks you see here are actually British - Reckitt's has been around in one form or another since the 1840s.  As you can see from the directions on the right, you're supposed to wrap this stuff in cloth and stir while squeezing the Blue in the rinse water, and then dip your whites separately until all have been "blued".

Once again - if this is what it took to get your whites whiter, then Brian and I would be walking around in very dingy clothes.  Or we'd just take them to the cleaners every week.  :)

I actually bought the bluing at Silver Crow Creations (still available!) because I wanted to see what it would do to paper.  I had sort of forgotten about the stuff but now that it's right in front of me, I may have to do some experimenting today.  :)

I will leave you with this thought - the next time you need to find something to put in your gratitude journal, think about how totally easy laundry is compared to what our grandmothers and ancestors had to go through.  You should never complain about doing laundry AGAIN.  :)


  1. I babysat for a family when I was 13 (60 now) & the Mom of the family ironed everything - including her husband's underwear & sheets - no mangaler-
    I & my Mom iron our own clothes no underwear - my younger by 11 years sister for years only wore cotton black & white colours & never ironed (a wrinkly mess)
    but think of washboards & hand pumps!!! or walking to creeks for water- you sent me on a merry memory journey - ;)

    1. Wow, Kathleen - UNDERWEAR? I'm going to assume he wore boxers? I mean, who would iron tighty-whities? :D

      I think that if there were pressure to iron - i.e., if I would be a wrinkly mess otherwise - I would do it. I'm just SO glad that I only have to haul the iron out a couple of times a year (for clothes - I iron my handmade paper all the time, but that's art, and it's fun!). :D

  2. Laundry is a breeze, but I still iron. I do it when I have some TV programme recorded that I want to watch. Otherwise, if I sit down to watch TV, I simply go to sleep.

    1. That's a great idea, Jo - multi-tasking! I hear you about the TV thing - we have to watch early or by 9 p.m. I'm out. :D

  3. Thank you for explaining bluing! I've been wondering about that!

    1. You're welcome, Kristi! Now go find some and make art with it! :D