remove stains from antique linen with denture tablets

denture

I was recently gifted the gorgeous Irish linen tablecloth that my great-great grandmother hand stitched. It’s flawless — no stains, no tears, no fraying in any bit of the meticulous handiwork. Though honored with the heirloom, I was hesitant to accept it, especially after my mom’s conditions for possession: I had to use it. I was dizzy envisioning the inevitable accidental splash of a latte or merlot, until my mom shared her secret for removing stains out of delicate vintage linens: denture tablets. Simply dissolve 5-10 tablets (depending on the size of the item) in a warm bath and soak your delicate fabrics until they are white and stain free. Rinse gently, air dry, and press, and it should be as good as new! It should be noted that this only works on white fabrics, please don’t try this with colors! I’m proud to report I’m enjoying the tablecloth and won’t let any fear of stains keep it hidden away anymore! — Megan B.

From our partners

before and after: a new tv stand!

before2

My husband and I have this rule: no more IKEA furniture. We are adults now; and are tired of bickering while wrestling a gigantic flat-pack MDF monster and attempting to decipher the modern hieroglyphic instructions. We’ve had enough of it already. I’ll admit, though, to always having a soft spot for the Expedit series — the design is just so smart and simple. When we finally stepped into the 21st century and upgraded to a flat-screen TV, we quickly realized the old IKEA bookshelf we were using was not right for our living room. We needed more storage space, something that would brighten up our room and wouldn’t break the bank. I scoured Craigslist and looked at some of my favorite local vintage shops, but just couldn’t find the right piece for our large space & tiny budget. That is, until my husband surprised me with a radical, and perfect solution…
Click to see what we ended up with, after the jump! (more…)

From our partners

when a neatness trick backfires…

stove

I had a moment of clarity yesterday that struck me as sort of funny. For the past few years I’ve been covering the drip pans underneath my stove burners with aluminum foil so, when liquid boils over or drips from a spoon, it lands on the foil and the burnt mess easy to clean up. What I discovered, though, is that because I know in my head I can just recycle the foil later, I’m less likely to thoroughly clean up the drips after they happen. I just wait until the foil is sufficiently dirty, take it off and put new foil on. Uh, that’s just laziness! It’s not like my burner pans are not doing the job… I just don’t want to clean them! It’s time to stop that nonsense and do a better job picking up after myself. Funny that in my effort to reduce cleaning effort, I just got lazy! Do you have neatness tips that have backfired on you too? — Rebecca F.

Photo credit: Rebecca Firlik

From our partners

post off: do you reap the benefits of a clean bedroom?

makethebed

Here’s the story: You’re working on a huge project at work and have been traveling more than usual. Those side projects are moving along as scheduled but your nights and weekends are suddenly mystifyingly busy and by the end of the week you open the fridge and the lay of the land is tipping the scales strongly in favor of condiments. Sound familiar? Well, this is my story right now, and in the ebb and flow of a busy period it’s easy to feel like your life, and by default, your home, is a mess. That feeling is amplified in my tiny bedroom, where life’s residuals seem to pile up even faster. And every time I have a week that has me crawling over a pile of stuff just to get into bed, I think of the many articles I’ve seen touting the benefits of going to sleep, and thus waking up, in a clean bedroom. An article over at Apartment Therapy served the latest reminder, and I have to ask: Do you make a point of going to bed in a clean room? Do you make making your bed a ritual? Sound off! – Sarah C.

In this photo: A gorgeous bedscape from the old but invaluable Apartment Therapy post 8 Tricks to Make Making The Bed a Habit.

From our partners

post off: is a timeless kitchen possible?

martha 90s

Given the cost of a kitchen remodel — even if it’s a modest one — the idea of creating something timeless appeals to me. The picture above is circa 1990 and is Martha Stewart’s former kitchen. Switch out the hardware, and it seems like 20 years on, it still works. Well, at least if you’re not going the sleek and modern route. Soapstone or marble countertops. Painted cabinets. Glass doors. Big farm sinks. To me, they seem like they have achieved a certain timeless quality without sacrificing style. The question that’s plaguing me is will they age well through another 20 years? Or will they smack of 2005-2015 kitchen design? — Sarah L.

From our partners