It’s a sad day when a favourite white shirt or blouse just can’t be seen in public anymore — yellow stains, a dreary cast, and seemingly permanent ring around the collar. But all is not lost. Perk up the garment (and yourself) by working a paste of vinegar and baking soda directly onto stained and soiled areas, then hang the garment outside in the sun for a couple of hours. If the collar remains soiled, pour a capful of 3 per cent hydrogen peroxide along the ring. Now wash in hot water as you normally would and make room in the closet for your old friend.
Dry Fluffy Items
When drying a feather-filled item — whether a pillow, duvet, or parka — toss a sneaker into the dryer, too (the less smelly, the better). The soft-soled shoe will make a bit of a racket, but it will fluff up the item nicely as it bounces around.
Speed-dry a Wet Blanket
Make a soggy blanket fresh from the washing machine look warm and welcoming again in no time. First, put two large towels in the dryer and let them heat for 20 minutes. Now throw in the blanket and let the towels soak up the moisture. Take the blanket out when it’s still damp and drape it over the backs of two chairs (ideally, lawn chairs out in the sun) or two parallel clotheslines to air-dry.
Soften Your New Jeans
Nothing’s more comfortable than a pair of jeans, but it can take a little time before the stiffness wears off. Hasten the process by throwing a new pair of jeans into the washing machine with ½ cup salt. They’ll feel softer the first time you pull them on.
To deep clean your wool felt hat, fill a teakettle with water, place it on the stove, and bring it to a boil. Carefully hold the hat above the steam, rotating it as necessary. Brush with a dry toothbrush, and let dry.