Keep sheets white
Is there a way to make white sheets white again? My husband and I got some white sheets after we received a duvet and duvet cover for free (air miles reward item). I’ve been washing the sheets in hot water and bleach, followed by a cold water and Tide wash. The bleach smell bothers my husband, so that’s why I wash them twice. The fitted sheet is not really white anymore. You can see where we’ve been laying on it, and there’s a tinge to the sheet. I wonder if there’s anything out there to make them completely white again besides fabric dyes? — Tisha, Canada
You can try pretreating the tinged sections with Dawn dish liquid. Rinse, add 1 cup of lemon-scented ammonia to your washing machine, and launder as usual. Hang it outside in the sun. If it’s still not white, try Mrs. Stewart’s bluing (www.mrsstewart.com), and rewash and hang outside in the sun. Be sure to follow the directions on the bottle (specifically the mixing of the bluing and water beforehand). It might be too late for your sheets, but in the future when you get new sheets, you’ll need to wash your sheets frequently (not that you’re not, but increase the frequency) and follow the above suggestions. I know you said you didn’t want to use fabric dyes, but in case any readers would like to try it, RIT does have a whitewash dye available that works well on whites.
Help. I’m making crab cakes for the first time for dinner and have tried but can’t for the life of me think of an inexpensive side dish, let alone any side dish. Do you know of a good inexpensive side dish that goes with fried crab cakes, please? — Syn D., forums
DEAR SYN D.:
I would serve a chowder or tomato soup beforehand and then cole slaw or broccoli slaw, cucumber salad or tomato salad, homemade fries or roasted potato wedges, and hush puppies or cornbread with the crab cakes. Baked potatoes or rice pilaf and roasted asparagus or corn on the cob would be good with them, too.
Soap help needed. Quite a while back, my husband picked up a 40-pound bucket of powdered laundry soap. I do the majority of our wash in cold water. We also have well water. I want to use this soap up, but it doesn’t dissolve in cold water. I tried boiling water, mixing the soap in and putting it in an empty liquid soap bottle. However, I later got clumps of it on my darker laundry. Any ideas how to use this up? — Mick, Wisconsin
If you want to dissolve it outside of your washer, you’ll need to use very little powdered soap (if using an empty laundry soap bottle) or a much larger container of hot water so it dissolves fully and doesn’t clump on your clothes. Consider the recommended amount of powdered laundry soap for an entire washing machine full of water when trying to dissolve it outside of a washing machine. If you use too much powdered soap in your machine, it will cake up on your clothes, too. Why not do a warm water fill/wash to dissolve the soap and a cold-water rinse? Add the powdered soap to the washer as it’s filling, so it has a chance to dissolve and then add your clothes. I’ll also add that I’m using the word soap instead of detergent because you did. Soap = natural and detergent = mostly synthetic. Detergent works best in hard water. And soap leaves residue buildup.
photo by David Salafia