How to Make Ironing Water

There's nothing better than crisp, freshly ironed clothes and bed linens.  One trick that can make the practice of ironing even more pleasant and add even more freshness to your laundry is to use ironing water while you iron.  Once the secret practice at Europe's finest hotels, now you can bring this indulgence to your home as well.

Store bought ironing water can be expensive.  The most popular brands, The Laundress and Meyer's Clean Day from Caldrea, are available at select bath-and-body and specialty hardware stores and can cost up to $40 dollars per bottle, well over $1 per ounce!  But you can get the same benefit for a fraction of the cost by making your own ironing water at home.  It's not hard to do and only requires a few household ingredients.

The first thing that you need to know is that although some store-bought ironing water can be poured into the reservoir of your iron and steamed onto your clothes, home-made ironing water is for spraying on your laundry while you iron.  To avoid clogging your iron and the messy cleaning that it can lead to, it's always best to avoid pouring anything but distilled water into your iron, no matter what the manufacturer recommends.

Recipes for home-made ironing water are often closely-guarded family secrets, passed down from grandmother to granddaughter.  Now you can start a family tradition of your own with this easy recipe.  Experiment with different scents to make it your own.  You'll need 90-proof vodka, purified water, and a scented oil of your preference such as lavender, orange or lemon.

  • Step 1:  Sterilize a 16 oz. bottle by boiling it for ten minutes.
  • Step 2:  In the sterilized bottle, mix 12 oz. of purified water with 3 oz. of 90-proof vodka.  Add 10-15 drops of the scented oil.
  • Step 3:  Shake well and let stand for 24 hours.
  • Step 4:  Pour into a spray bottle and you're ready to go!  Spray it directly onto your laundry while you iron.
  • Step 5:  Store it in the refrigerator for future use.

And when your houseguests ask how you got your sheets smelling so fresh, just smile and say "an old family secret."

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