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For the Home Talk

Laundry "bluing".... I couldn't find it in my grocery store.

Started 1339184472.483 in For the Home Talk | Last reply 1340113666.5 by dgluvr

This weekend I'm doing curtain overhaul. I'm taking down my dingy white sheers and washing them. I used to use laundry bluing to make them nice and white, but I couldn't find it today. I bought another product called "White Brite." Has anyone used this product?

How do YOU make your curtains white?

~SEA~

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JESSA1339184680.9732367 PostsRegistered 12/18/2010

I am 64 years old and I remember my grandmother using Bull Dog Bluing but I can say I haven't seen it at the store where I shop.

jasbel1339185031.1532423 PostsRegistered 10/21/2008

I have never used it but if you want this Laundry Bluing, they have it at Amazon and Vermont Country Store.

VirgoGirl1339185215.623161 PostsRegistered 4/21/2007

WOW you're bringing me back a few years with this one. I remember my mom using a bluing product on all our whites.

Sabatini21339187259.333021 PostsRegistered 11/13/2010

I haven't seen bluing in years,...but I'll bet you can buy it on Amazon! They seem to have everything.

Did anyone else grow crystals on coal when they were kids? I think you put some coal on a pie-plate, and added bluing, salt, food coloring, & something else which I forget. It was really neat!

(This was before video games.) {#emotions_dlg.laugh}

Chicagoan1339189118.032681 PostsRegistered 6/11/2008CHICAGOLAND

I haven't bought in a longtime, but I use to buy at the grocery store in the detergent aisle.

Rit Laundry treatment...White Wash

Rit White-Wash reliably whitens solid white fabrics, including hospital uniforms and non-bleachables such as lingerie.
Last edited on 6/8/2012

Last edited on 6/8/2012

Robin ....

Midlife is the time we begin “to listen with our ♥ heart.”

SweetPea81339213639.467528 PostsRegistered 7/11/2007
On 6/8/2012 Sabatini2 said:

I haven't seen bluing in years,...but I'll bet you can buy it on Amazon! They seem to have everything.

Did anyone else grow crystals on coal when they were kids? I think you put some coal on a pie-plate, and added bluing, salt, food coloring, & something else which I forget. It was really neat!

(This was before video games.) {#emotions_dlg.laugh}

I do remember making these crystals Sabatini2! I just found this on the internet. How fun!{#emotions_dlg.thumbup}

<h1 class="Heading1">How to Make Crystals From Coal</h1>
Written by AnnaBeth Hawkins Davidson

How to Make Crystals From Coal

Photo: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

The process of growing crystal flowers using coal as a base originates in early American society. According to The American Coal Foundation, "the making of coal flowers is a historic craft that was practiced by coal mining families in the late 1800s and early 1900s. When mining families had little money to buy decorations or purchase toys, they used common household products and coal to make beautiful crystal flowers." The coal provides a porous material from which the crystals grow. This project provides as interesting results today as it did 200 years ago.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy
<h2>Instructions</h2>
<center id="DartAd_9170711"><iframe src="/DiscussionDetail/tabid/73/catid/16/postid/5884913/action/quote/threadid/297235/TypeID/1/Anchor/createReply/" frameborder="no" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" width="160" height="0"></iframe></center>
<h3>Things you need</h3>
  • Hammer
  • Shallow glass bowl
  • Charcoal briquettes (or brick pieces or small porous stones)
  • Mixing Bowl
  • 6 parts Mrs. Stewart's Liquid Bluing
  • 6 parts water
  • 8 parts salt
  • 1 part ammonia
  • Food coloring (optional)
  1. Break up the charcoal briquettes into roughly 1-inch chunks. Use a hammer, but don't pulverize the charcoal.

  2. Arrange the briquettes in the glass bowl in an even layer.

  3. <!-- atyp-directas-inline-300 -->
  1. Combine the Bluing, water, salt and ammonia in the mixing bowl, and mix them well. Some salt will remain in the bottom of the bowl.

  2. Pour the combined mix over the coal pieces, including the extra salt.

  3. Add food coloring on top of the mixture as desired. Any spots that are not colored will grow white crystals.

  4. Sprinkle 2 tbsp. extra salt over the entire charcoal crystal bed. Wait two days.

  5. Combine 2 tbsp. each of the Bluing, ammonia and water, and pour the mixture over the pan of charcoal. Do this again on day three. The crystals begin growing within a few hours of the creation of the project and will fully form in two to three days up to a couple weeks.

<!-- atyp-directas-336 -->
<h4>Tips and warnings</h4>
  • Mrs. Stewart's Liquid Bluing can be hard to find in stores. Check drug stores, and online outlets.
  • Circulating air helps the crystal growing process. The drier the growing space, the better the crystals will grow.
  • Keep your garden growing by continuing to add a mixture of ammonia, Bluing, salt and water.
  • Position pipe cleaners in and around the coal, and the crystals will grow up the pipe cleaner, building tree-shaped formations.
  • Add toothpicks, twigs, paper, cloth or string to the charcoal base to create different shapes for the crystals to grow onto.
  • Any porous material can be used to grow the crystals. Try brick, cork or sponges, in addition to the coal or charcoal.
  • Bluing can be harmful to skin, eyes and if ingested; use with caution.
  • Ammonia is irritating to the eyes, nose and throat. Persons with lung issues should also be wary of inhaling ammonia; it is classified as an inhaled irritant.

May God grant you always...
A sunbeam to warm you,
A moonbeam to charm you,
A sheltering angel, so nothing can harm you.

Sabatini21339244483.273021 PostsRegistered 11/13/2010

SweetPea, TY so much!

"the making of coal flowers is a historic craft that was practiced by coal mining families in the late 1800s and early 1900s. When mining families had little money to buy decorations or purchase toys, they used common household products and coal to make beautiful crystal flowers."

How resourceful, & creative folks were back then. Hmmm, maybe I'll try this w/ my grandkids!

Thanks again, Sweetpea. Much appreciated.

happy hous­ewife1339260264.54732031 PostsRegistered 1/4/2007

I no longer have any curtains but I get my whites white by using oxiclean and washing them in very hot water if they are any manmade fabric - if they are cotton I simply bleach.

Last edited on 6/9/2012

Last edited on 6/9/2012

When faced with senseless drama, spiteful criticism or misguided opinions walking away is the best way to defend yourself.To respond with anger is an endorsement of their attitude. -Dodinsky

Anniecamp1339697919.3433798 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

Oxyclean does work well for whites as well as other things. I also use powdered dishwasher detergent for whites, and other things that need cleaned really well.

coco141339700281.4431111 PostsRegistered 6/19/2010

I remembered my mother using this, so I purchased it to use when laundering my white blouses - I found it in a real old time drug store, covered with dust, and used it - just have to be careful when using though, to be sure you don't put too much into the machine - my mother used it to soak items in, in the kitchen sink - I would love to find a more updated version -

Sabatini21339712431.833021 PostsRegistered 11/13/2010

In case you're still interested, Amazon does carry it!

Mrs. Stewart's Bluing

lynnie611339713903.493357 PostsRegistered 11/28/2007PA

I often soak whites in dishwasher powder overnight before laundering. It makes whites brighter and it's something we already have at home.

SweetPea81339735062.683528 PostsRegistered 7/11/2007
On 6/9/2012 Sabatini2 said:

SweetPea, TY so much!

"the making of coal flowers is a historic craft that was practiced by coal mining families in the late 1800s and early 1900s. When mining families had little money to buy decorations or purchase toys, they used common household products and coal to make beautiful crystal flowers."

How resourceful, & creative folks were back then. Hmmm, maybe I'll try this w/ my grandkids!

Thanks again, Sweetpea. Much appreciated.


Sabatini2, you are welcome! Thanks for the history too. I plan on trying this with my grand kids as well. I think they will enjoy it. I know I will! {#emotions_dlg.thumbup}

May God grant you always...
A sunbeam to warm you,
A moonbeam to charm you,
A sheltering angel, so nothing can harm you.

smhr1340112275.1133822 PostsRegistered 1/16/2012laid back and mellow town USA

I used the Rit Laundry Treatment on an ivory cable sweater of mine. I had mistakenly left a dark pair of slacks in the washer ( previous wash ) and ran the ivory sweater on hand washable cycle. The sweater came out dark and dingy from the black slacks. I rewashed the sweater with the Rit treatment and all of the dark came out, and restored my ivory sweater to original state. That stuff is a miracle worker. I think it is called Rit Laundry Treatment Whitener & Brightener.

Last edited on 6/19/2012

Last edited on 6/19/2012

seehorse1340113289.4632098 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

LaFrance is another brand.

dgluvr1340113666.55257 PostsRegistered 5/12/2008
On 6/8/2012 Sabatini2 said:

I haven't seen bluing in years,...but I'll bet you can buy it on Amazon! They seem to have everything.

Did anyone else grow crystals on coal when they were kids? I think you put some coal on a pie-plate, and added bluing, salt, food coloring, & something else which I forget. It was really neat!

(This was before video games.) {#emotions_dlg.laugh}

I remember doing that! I think you have all the ingredients correct- )non -iodized salt though---But try and find some real coal ( charcoal doesn't work) nowadays! We didn't chop the coal up- we just poured the stuff on a chunk---I just did a search and one says they used ammonia but I don't think we did ( fumes!!!) We used to call them MOON gardens-- I forgot about bluing- I've been trying to get some sheer lace curtains white for a while now- ( our water is so hard we have to chip it out of the faucet! LOL!)--can't find anything to do the trick and was ready to give up- now off to the Amazon site for me! I've tried everyone of those other products to no avail.

Last edited on 6/19/2012

Last edited on 6/19/2012

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