When I was a child, I was quite besotted with Beatrix Potter's Mrs Tiggy Winkle. She was so neat, clean and bustly. Her superior laundry skills ensured that all clothes were clean, mended, stain free and ironed. Something in the words in the book conjured up to me that smell of clean laundry, and the singe-y cotton smell that comes from a hot iron.

When I was 4 years old, I was given a child-sized ironing board, wooden iron and mini rotary clothes line for my Christmas present. Believe it or not, I was beside myself with joy. I would spend hours pegging out my dolls clothes and busily ironing them. 

Frankly, I wouldn't have practised quite so hard if I'd realised how much washing I'd be doing in my more advanced years.

Mrs Tiggy Winkle and I have much in common (hopefully though, I won't be quite so short, stout and wrinkly as she in later life), in that I do find much satisfaction in successful stain removal.  After the excitement on the silver cleaning post, I thought I'd share on the blog this easy stain removal method. I've told so many (amazed) mothers at school that had never known this, that it's obviously not common knowledge (although I'm betting that Deanne knows this one as well). This is the easiest way that you will ever remove red wine stains, tomato sauce based stains such as bolognase, strawberries and any other acid based fruit stain. Here is what to do:

1. Wash your clothes/ tablecloth as normal. Do not bother to treat the stain in any way. A cold wash is fine.

2. Hang your clothes on a clothes line, out on an airer, or even lay flat on an outdoor table if you don't have a line. Most importantly, put the areas with the stain in the sun. You need UV light directly on the stain for it to be removed, so don't try this on a cloudy day.

3. Leave it to dry. When you come back, the stain will be gone. If it's still there, just rewet the area under the tap and leave it again in the UV light to dry.

4. That's it. Easy. Your stain will be gone.

Here's the proof: 


my 2 year old's singlet with bolognase stain

2 hours later, all gone
Mr AV was amazed that I was able to get a large quantity of red wine out of his suit jacket the other day. All from the sun.

One thing that I am planning for our house renovation is a proper laundry. I have never had one. In Melbourne I had the ubiquitous laundry-in-the-cupboard scenario which is so common in the inner city at the three places we lived in. Prior to that, London gave me the laundry-in-the-kitchen. Currently I have a temporary laundry in the old (hideous) bathroom at the back of the house. It was jerry-rigged up by the builders for me, but is definitely no proper laundry. Images such as the following have provided me with a little inspiration:

Source: giannettiarchitects.com



Source: desiretoinspire.net








I'm thinking that as I spend so much time in the laundry, I might use a wallpaper to liven the space up a bit. It's also going to double up as a "mud room". This term was probably never known in Australia prior to Pinterest, but I've been madly pinning mud rooms as inspiration. It will be a place for school blazers, bags and muddy football shoes to be removed into individual cubbies. Very organised. 

I'm also liking the hanging Laundry Maids (not to be confused with an actual maid, which I'd also like very much), such as seen in the image above. Devol in the UK do a nice modern version, but I fear the shipping will be prohibitive. These ones are available in Australia, and I'll likely put in two to cope with the amount of laundry I do, and save on the dryer costs in Winter. As we will have such high ceilings, I should be able to dry king sized sheets on them without a problem.

To say that I'm itching for the renovation to start is an understatement. I can't wait to have the space from the new extension, as well as the storage and ease of use the new kitchen and laundry will provide. And with that, I'm going to leave you all to go and hang some washing out. Again. 

16 comments:

  1. I've just hung out my first load for today...in the shade! I'll be hanging the second in the sun....although it might be difficult as it's somewhat cloudy down here. Those laundries are lovely and I love your idea of a boot room with cubbies....my children stash all of their hats/blazers/shoes/sporting & dancing kit/musical instruments/school bags, in other words an awful lot of accoutrement under the stairs.....which translates as on the floor, under the stairs and they just close the door so I can't see. Rx

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    1. 37 here today - absolutely boiling! My children currently just dump their stuff right inside the front door, in the middle of the hall. Very convenient, as you can imagine. At least yours are hiding the mess for you! xx

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  2. The power of the sun is a marvellous tool for removing stains, doesn't seem to work on cricket pants though!

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    1. I knew you'd know this one! I've had problems with anything that is pure polyester - it dries too quickly, so I'm guessing cricket pants will be the same (we're not at that stage yet...) xx

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  3. 2 observations here:
    * I made very sure I included in the marriage vows (on both occasions) 'And she won't iron....ever.' It has worked a treat. Could you request a similiar addendum to yours?
    * The last of the 5 cherubs left home 6 years ago & I swear, the amount of laundry I do on a Sat. arvo has not dimished one iota. How can this be so?
    Millie xx

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    1. Love your marriage vows Millie - I don't iron my husbands things, he takes his shirts out to the dry cleaners. He learnt early on that either he did it, or it didn't get done. I am very, very low maintenance on the ironing. It's the washing that is the constant....and you've killed any hope I had if yours hasn't diminished after the last of your 5 left home and you have the same amount!! xx

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  4. Hi Heidi, great blog have been reading for a couple of weeks and thank you for the laundry and silver cleaning tips. On other glamourous laundry-related matters did you know that paint marks (paint kids use at kindergarten etc not house paint) can be removed from clothing by using good old dishwashing detergent in hot water prior to 'properly' washing with laundry powder? I'm no longer reluctant to send my children to kinder/parties in their nicer clothes after ruining many in the past. Not guaranteeing it works on all paint types but has worked everytime I've tried; miraculous I say! Fiona in Melbourne

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    1. I didn't know that Fiona - what a great tip, and yes, truly miraculous! The paint from kinder/ school always seems to be the indelible ink type, so I'm looking forward to trying that one next time. xx

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  5. Hi Heidi, I have just discovered your blog and I just wanted to say keep up the great work. Your postings are so interesting. Good luck with the renovations. We too are going through this process so I can empathise. Keep thinking of the end result - this will help you get through! Jane

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    1. Hi Jane, thank you so much for your encouraging words. I think everyone gets to a point where they are completely fed up in a half renovated house, but I'm trying to focus on what it will all be like this time next year (I hope!). xx

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  6. Hi Heidi... I adore the laundry... really... I even really like ironing!!! Something I find enormously helpful is to put some sort of heating in there... underfloor is probably going to prove to be very expensive to run... Or a really good radiator. This helps dry the laundry during the cold wet spells... The doggies like this as well! I am fascinated by the UV tip! Cant wait to try this out!. Thanks! Jennyxx

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    1. Jenny - you adore laundry??? Please feel free to drop by my house any time! We are going to have in slab hydronic heating in the extension. We have it in the front of the house (with radiators) and it's fantastic. It should dry the laundry in no time. In the past (with clients), I've done the little electric wall radiators as you suggested in airing cupboards and they worked really well too. xx

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  7. So luxurious to have a well-thought laundry. We have just renovated ours, after the washing machine was "temporarily" hooked up on the back porch for a whole year. Sigh. And I still get so excited now at the thought of this "inside laundry". Ha! The simple things in life which make one happy, quite ridiculous really! xx

    ps - have been designing mud rooms into my rural house designs for the last 20 years - so very practical on farms.

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  8. Our laundry will be the side part of the veranda for 6 months next year, so I expect I'll be thinking fondly of my current temporary arrangement by then! Mud rooms are practical in a country house. I'm hopeful there won't be too much actual mud in ours (once the builders clear out and we manage to regrow a garden)! xx

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  9. Am slowly 'catching-up' on some of your older posts! These images are divine! I've always included a drying rail in my laudries but these are spectacular aesthetic wise! Thanks for sharing, have copied these to add to my 'wish-list' file! x KL

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    1. I don't think I'd mind doing laundry if mine looked like one of these! xx

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Architect & Interior Designer. Mother of three. A sometimes Cook, Baker, Reader, Gardener, Fashion Lover, Renovator, Writer of random things in South Australia email me on anadelaidevilla@bigpond.com
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