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'Reckitt's Bag Blue' laundry bags by Reckitt and Colman (Australia) Ltd

These are two examples of Reckitt's Bag Blue laundry blue bags made in Australia by Reckitt and Colman (Australia) Ltd in about the 1930s and 1940s. The blueing process was used to whiten material made yellow from soap and age. After washing, a 'blue bag' was dipped in a clean tub of cold water. Each piece of clothing was turned inside out and plunged into the water, then rinsed. 'Blue bags' were also handy as a remedy for bee stings.


Object No.


Object Statement

Laundry bags (2), 'Reckitt's Bag Blue', paper / powder contents, by Reckitt and Colman (Australia) Ltd, Australia, c. 1930-1949

Physical Description

Two cylindrical blocks of laundry blue, wrapped in a cream paper with red stripes. Text across the paper wrapping reads 'Reckitt's Bag Blue / Remove label wrap block in flannel / and stir in the last rinse'.

The laundry blue was stirred into the final rinse when washing cloths to whiten the clothing.




Credit Line

Purchased 1982

Acquisition Date

6 September 1982

Cite this Object


'Reckitt's Bag Blue' laundry bags by Reckitt and Colman (Australia) Ltd 2022, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 27 March 2023, <>


{{cite web |url= |title='Reckitt's Bag Blue' laundry bags by Reckitt and Colman (Australia) Ltd |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=27 March 2023 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}


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