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Instant Pot: a new use

I like wearing scarves. Not the wintery knitted ones, but the chiffony or cottony decorative ones. I have many in several colours and patterns. Colin might say I have too many.

One of the scarves is a plain purple one; another is creamy white with turquoise stripes. I put a load of washing in the machine, including the latter scarf. Against my better judgement, I threw the purple one in as well. I should have listened to my better judgement: the lighter scarf came out covered in pale purple splodges. Ruined. Nothing I did made the splodges even a shade lighter. I was not happy, especially as the scarf was still quite new — new enough to be able to buy an identical replacement. I learnt to use colour catchers in all my washes after that.

More recently, I bought a pale green scarf, which I promptly lost, so I bought an identical replacement. The original one turned up after that, of course. I washed loads of scarves the other day. I didn’t put the purple one above in, but I did put another pink and purple one in, against my better judgement; I hoped the two colour catchers in the machine would be enough to prevent colour runs. The two green ones came out covered in pale purple splodges. The new creamy white and turquoise came out covered in pale purple splodges. All three scarves ruined.

Instant Pot electric pressure cookerI was in the kitchen, when I noticed the Instant Pot sitting on the side, minding its own business. An idea crept into my mind. What if I put the scarves in the Pot? Would the high temperature and pressure dissolve the stray dye? I decided that as they were ruined anyway, I had nothing to lose.

I put the two green scarves in and nearly put the creamy white and turquoise one in. But I listened to my better judgement and kept that one out. I looked at the settings on the Pot, and selected Porridge, but at low pressure instead of high. The timer was set to twenty minutes, but I stopped it early, and released the pressure quickly. I opened the lid with some trepidation. The scarves were still green. Lifting one scarf up carefully — it was steaming hot — I investigated it for pale purple splodges. I saw none. None! Same with the other one. I had removed the stray dye by the magic of the Instant Pot. The fabric hadn’t dissolved or disintegrated, and all was well. I hung them up on the line outside, again checking for splodges. Still none.

I went back to the Pot and put the creamy white and turquoise one in. Then it occurred to me to put the original one of those in as well, seeing as I hadn’t chucked it out. One shortened Porridge setting later, I had two creamy white and turquoise scarves with no pale purple splodges. I did have a Pot full of turquoise water, which made me feel very glad I’d not mixed the scarf colours in the Pot.

So, if you have an item of clothing that has colour runs on it, put it in the pressure cooker on low pressure for about 10 – 15 minutes. Sorted.

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