Two Reckitts laundry blue bags

Made by Reckitt and Colman Australia Ltd in Australia, Oceania, c 1930s-1940s.

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.


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.


made by Reckitt and Colman (Australia) ltd.
Reckitt and Colman Australia Ltd c 1930s-1940s


Purchased 1982
7 September, 1982

Cite this Object

Two Reckitts laundry blue bags 2017, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 18 October 2017, <>
{{cite web |url= |title=Two Reckitts laundry blue bags |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=18 October 2017 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
This object is currently on display in Store 5 at the Museums Discovery Centre.
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