15 May 2011

A lady always has a hanky


One of the "you might also like" links on today's Tip of the Day email was to the post "Who left the tissue in their pocket?"

Oh my goodness do I get upset when a tissue goes through the wash. They make such a mess. I know they have their place, and when the whole family has a head cold they are a blessing.  But for day-to-day use in our home they are banned.

Instead we use old fashioned hankies.  When I was very little my great-grandma would tell me "a lady always has a hanky" and make sure I had one tucked up my sleeve. I've never forgotten and to this day always have a hanky on me.

We all have our own hankies and I can tell you that there is no mess if one gets left in a pocket and goes through the wash, there's just a damp lump in the pocket and that is easily dealt with.

Hannah and I each have a large stash of hankies. I keep two or three in my handbag and always have one tucked up a sleeve or in a pocket. They are so useful, not just for noses, but to wipe hands and faces, to mop up spills, to dust the dash of the car (usually when I'm waiting with nothing else to do) and any number of other little jobs that need a cloth.

I wash our hankies by hand - they are small and it only takes a few minutes to swish, rinse and wring. Before washing though they are soaked in a small bucket, just for this purpose, with a few drops of lavender or tea tree oil in the water.  The oil not only smells nice, but acts as a disinfectant too.   When it comes time to wash them, I empty the bucket and fill it with hot water and a teaspoon of washing powder. Then I use my spurtle to swish and swash them around before rinsing them in clean water and wringing them out by hand.

To dry them I just lay them out flat and then peg them over a rung on the clotheshorse. They dry in no time and because they've been hand washed and dried inside they are so soft.

When I iron them (ladies you must always iron your hankies) I spritz them with vanilla ironing spray (yes, even the boys' get done with this spray) and then put them away in our hankie bags. The vanilla scent is lovely, a little luxury that costs almost nothing and makes me feel good whenever I use a hanky.  Just because we live the Cheapskates way doesn't mean we can't enjoy the finer things of life. Actually that is exactly why we live the Cheapskates way, so we can enjoy the things that are important to us and have the little luxuries we love and that make us smile.

If you're still using tissues, think about buying yourself some pretty hankies. You only need to buy them once, tissues are an ongoing expense. Hankies won't make a mess of your wash and you don't need to try and dispose of them in a sanitary manner. Hankies don't fall apart on you either like tissues do either.

And something else to think about: when you use a hanky you aren't blowing your nose on a tree, as you are when you use a tissue!

Vanilla Ironing Spray

In a clean glass jar put 2 cups of cooled, boiled water. Add 2 tablespoons of witch hazel (available from the chemist) and 5 vanilla beans. Let this mixture sit for a week. Strain the water into a spray bottle and use as you would any ironing spray, it's not just for hankies.

You can start your next lot by adding the vanilla beans to the glass jar and topping up with cool, boiled water and witch hazel.

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