Stain removal isn’t my normal response to a cloth with some discoloration – ignoring the stain is. Spending precious time trying to remove a discoloration isn’t time well spent, as far as I’m concerned. However, when conditions are just right – a cloudless sky, a blazing sun, and 103 degree temperature, I deem the day perfect for bleaching old stains from pretty cloths. Today was that day.

Laundering the vintage coverings on the delicate cycle took a while, plus I put each load through an extra rinse, but no spin. Lugging the sopping linens up the steps, through the kitchen and out the backdoor was a drippy trek. Spreading the cloths onto the grass, the yard took on the look of an enormous quilt.

Spurned to cover ever blade, I washed a stash of men’s dress shirts – you know the ones, with the soiled collar so visible it’s not wearable, but not nearly a rag either.

As I

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