I’m not easily attached to material things but I confess to being very attached to my Kenmore Elite Washer and Dryer of all things. But let me explain why.
I have for years endured shared public laundry facilities in which the machines were old, dingy and overpriced. Not to mention all the weird washing liquid people used which would often discolour my clothes or leave me with a rash from all the chemicals. For mostly everything but towels and bedding, I hand washed so that I could keep better care of my clothes and use organic detergent without wondering what would be mixed in.
But the Kenmore machines changed me from a hand washer to a lazy washer as they made even my delicates beautiful and my whites? Very white. Thanks to it’s own hot water tank, it sanitized and whitened clothing using hot water and not bleach. It turned some yellowing old lace into new without one snare and a white dress I thought was forgone into a brand new spring staple. That’s why, despite being in a flat that doesn’t have hookups, I still have these units in storage.
But until I can use them again, I’ve been wondering how to get whites white in an easy, organic way. Leave it to Martha to have the answer in her February 2008 Martha Stewart Living Magazine “How To” issue.
So armed with my new favourite product – the organic Earth Friendly Products Oxo-Brite, a large pot, a big plastic tub and wooden spoon, I began the process of getting some dingy whites, white. And in an hour (the same amount of time the Kenmore took) the results were perfect, making the pining for my washer and dryer a little easier to bare.
Here’s a reprint of Martha Stewart’s “How to Brighten Dingy Whites”:
2. When the water comes to a rolling biol turn off the heat. Let the pots stand for 5 minutes.
3. Put a plastic wash or dish tub in the sink. Carefully pour hot water into it.
4. Add 8 ounces of powdered oxygen bleach ( I used Earth Friendly Products Oxo-Brite). Never substitute chlorine bleach. Also, never add oxygen bleach or whites to pots on the stove; doing so can cause a dangerous boil over. The mixture may bubble and foam. Sir with a wooden spoon reserved for this use to ensure that the oxygen bleach has dissolved completely.
5. Add whites to the tub. Don’t overfill.
6. Let whites soak, periodically agitating them with the wooden spoon, until the water has cooled enough that you can handle the clothing. This may take an hour or more.
7. Drain the bu and rinse each item well in plain water.
8. Launder as usual.