I thought you, if anybody, would know an old folk formula for making herbal ironing water. I am an old hold-out for ironing my sheets and would love to instill a fresh, totally natural, scent. Ideas? –Sally, MA
You are right, I know about many thousands of folk formulas, but the answer to this comes courtesy of a lovely review book I have, The Clothesline, by Irene Rawlings et al. Here is what they recommend in this gem of a book:
The simple addition of homemade lavender water to your laundry sprinkler or spray bottle allows this wonderfully fresh scent to fill the air every time you sprinkle or spritz.
Making Lavender Ironing Water
3 oz. 90-proof vodka
12 drops pure lavender essential oil
12 oz. purified water
Sterilize a 16 oz. bottle by boiling for 10 minutes or running through the pot-scrubber cycle in your dishwasher. Pour the vodka into sterilized bottle, add lavender essential oil. Swirl vigorously to mix and let stand for at least 24 hours. Add the purified water. Pour into a spray bottle and enjoy the lavender’s refreshing scent while you iron. Store in the refrigerator. Keeps for six weeks, after which it gradually loses its scent.
Caution: Do not use this in a steam iron.
Adapted from The Clothesline, by Irene Rawlings and Andrea Vansteenhouse (Smith Gibbs Publisher, 2002).