Thursday, February 22, 2018

Thrifting For Sheets

First of all -- Thanks, Marilyn, for your email about me hearing from IKEA. You could be right -- but it is most likely gonna be a Cease and Desist letter...

Now -- on to one of my favorite year-round pastimes...LAUNDRY.
To be more specific -- the laundering of SHEETS. There are many levels of joy in this for me...

First of all, finding beautiful cotton (or, hold your breath -- LINEN) sheets at an estate sale or thrift store, with a $2-$3 price tag is, on many days, reason enough, y'know?


Primarily because I know what I'm looking for -- I did write the book, people!!

So -- how can you know if that thrift store sheet is a beautiful quality sheet?

1. They MUST be 100% cotton (look for the required content label)
2. Good sheets are HEAVY...
3. Good sheets have beautiful finishing details.

What details am I talking about? Heavy gauge elastic on the fitted sheet, deep hems on the top sheet. Really expensive sheets will be hemmed on all four sides (as opposed to selvedge edges on the two long sides)

When I bring my thrift-store-treasure home, I immediately put them in my washing machine to soak overnight...
Actually, I have a whole sheet-washing-routine that goes kinda like this:
  1. An overnight soak in plain warm water...
  2. A second overnight soak with hot water and Oxy-Clean.
  3. A complete wash cycle with my usual detergent and hot water.
  4. A final, fourth full cycle, but with no soap -- just plain warm/cold water.
Are we having fun yet?? Really -- it's about to get exciting...!!

I never, N.E.V.E.R....never put my beautiful cotton sheets in the dryer.  The whole point is to hang them outside, on the line, so I get that wonderful, therapeutic, blissful aroma...ahh......

For whatever reason -- THIS is a moment I take great pleasure in.
This particular sheet (linen) had a dingy tone because it had been folded, in a Hope Chest, for probably 50 years. After all the laundering -- I hung it this way so the cotton would get FULL SUNSHINE...Mother Nature's Whitener!! It is a stunning sheet that went right into the rotation...
Of course, it's a lot more trouble to hang my sheets outside in the middle of winter...ugh...
But, since I have A LOT OF BEAUTIFUL SHEETS -- I let them pile up until we get a nice day. Then, if we get a sunny day, I'll wash three or four sets. Even on a cold day, with full sun, I can get them "mostly" dry (its okay if I have to bring them into the house and finish them off on the clothelines in the basement -- they still smell GREAT).
But, at least once or twice a year, I have to shovel a path under the clotheslines (because the snow is so thick, the sheets will drag on the snow.)
That's okay...its a small price to pay for those line-dried bed sheets.
But, always, by this time -- February...the winter has been long and cold and the snow is ugly and gray and hard...and I long for the change of season....



  1. There is nothing I love more then hanging my sheets on the line and the scent from doing so by still my heart.

  2. I hear you, Jackie!! For me, the fragrance of line-dried sheets is a gift I give my family...

  3. With me being allergic to EVERY grass that grows in WA and to Alder trees, and Jim being allergic to several trees, hanging laundry to dry just can't happen at Casa Mendoza. I remember my Grandma doing it. Her clotheslines(4) were on the patio just outside the kitchen door and had a roof over them. Morning and mid-day sun hit them perfectly.