A Drop or Two of Bluing?

by Jonathan Spurlock
(Holts Summit, MO)

How many of you remember bluing? Way back in the early to mid ‘60’s, Mom and Grandma would never finish a load of wash (laundry, if you prefer!) without adding some bluing to the whites. Now, I never understood why they did this but one of the two explained it kind of like this: “It makes the whites look whiter.” Sure enough, chlorine bleach does add a yellowish tinge to the cotton in my T-shirts—among other things—but the bluing, even though it’s literally a deep blue color, made the whites look whiter.


For many years, I never used bluing, nor did I think about it very much. Besides, in some of the places where I lived, it didn’t seem to be available. Okay, I didn’t look all that hard for it but it would have been nice to have!

But would you believe, just this year, 2019 as I write this, I found a bottle of bluing! It was a small bottle, but it has enough liquid to last me a long, long time. You see, the maker recommended only a drop or two of bluing to a half-gallon or so of water. I put a couple of drops in the wash water—we don’t have too many white clothes—and, they’re looking better!

The trouble is, that bottle may last me for years to come. I mean, suppose it was an 8-ounce bottle, and I only use a couple of drops a week, that bluing may still be good forever!

There is a Scriptural parallel for this. David prayed for forgiveness in Psalm 51:7, “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” Isaiah once observed that “all our righteousnesses are as filty rags (Isa. 64:6),” but he also quoted God as saying “Come now and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool (Isa. 1:18)”. Years later, the Apostle John would write, “. . . the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” It’s true, so true, we can be forgiven, and it’s all because of Jesus and the blood He shed for us. Even better, He makes us clean!

And not a single drop of bluing was required.

Hey, does anybody need some bluing?

Scripture quotations taken from the King James Version of the Bible (KJV)

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