Scientific American 4, 14.4.1849
To Restore Stained Linen.
Rub the stains on each side with wet brown soap. Mix some starch to a thick paste with cold water, and spread it over the soaped places. Then expose the linen to the sun and air: and if the stains have not disappeared in three or four days, rub off the mixture, and repeat the process with fresh soap and starch. Afterwards dry it, wet it with cold water, and put it in the wash.
To Restore Scorched Linen.
If linen has been scorched in ironin, and the mark did not go entirely through so as to damage the texture, it may be removed by the following process: - take two onions, peel them, slice them, and extract the juice by squeezing or pounding. Then cut up hald an ounce of white soap, and two ounces of fuller's earth, mix with them the onion-juice, and half a pint of vinegar. Boil this composition well: then spread it, when cool, over the scorched part of the linen, and let dry on. Afterwards wash out the linen.
To Whiten Linen.
Cut up a pound of fine white soap into a gallon of milk, and hang it over the fire in a wash kettle. When the soap has entirely melted, put in the linen, and boil it half an hour. Then take it out; have ready a lather of soap and warm water; wash the linen in it, and then rinse it through two cold waters, with a very little blue in the last.
[The above receipts we copy from an exchange; they have appeared in a number of papers - taken out of McKenzie's Receipts - and are at least 50 years behind the lighthouse. 1st. The best way to take iron stains out of linen is to dip the stained parts in a solution of oxalic acid for about 10 minutes and then wash out in warm and finish in clear cold water. Twenty minutes will complete the operation. All other stains except grease, (which can be removed by simple washing) must be bleached. This is done by steeping the linen after it is washed in a clear solution of the chlorate of lime or potash, for a few hours, taking care that none of the linen is above the liquor, then take out the linen and wash it, then put it through some clear water slightly soured with sulphric acid, when it should be afterwards washed well and run lastly through a tub of clear cold water with a little blue in it, then rung out and dried. These stuffs and this process, have shortened the old way of bleaching green goods, from 4 months, to 1 day, in fact to a few hours. 2d. Scorched linen and onions and vinegar, &c.. Well that is enough to make any good housewife shed tears, and especially when they would find out that the vinegar had destroyed all the virtue of the soap, by destroying the equilibrium of union between the potash and tallow, of which soap is composed. Scorched inen is a burned piece and the best remedy if only singed, is to wash in white soap, then rinse and treat with a little oxalic acid as mentioned above.
3d- To whiten linen there is no use od the milk - the boiling of the linen is a common practice to whiten, every person knows that. The grand thing about whitening linen, is to use clean water, plenty of good soap and take out all the grease, and be sure to wash all the soap out of it. If this is not done the linen will be full of yellow streaks. In some places of our country the water used for washing may contain some iron, and cause new linen soon to lose its color. The best remedy for this would be to sprinkle a little of the flour of lime in the water for rinsing, and let it settle and use the clear. The lime will precipitate all the iron in the water.
We have made these remarks on the above, believing that they will be of use. The highest aim of science should be to enter every household, and where is there a more beautiful department of science than that of Domestic Chemistry, and it is a department that has been and is too much overlooked. We want some Mrs. Somerville to take up this subject and present to the women of the workd a book to let them know the why and wherefore of domestic phenomenom - the science of the cottage, the kitchen, the hall.