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Sir Walter Scott back in stock

Washing Handkerchiefs?

Hey so I'm considering upgrading my snuff accessory set, and I'm wondering about buying a handkerchief. The only problem is, I'm worried it will get all soaked in brown on my first blow and then be utterly useless. How easy is it to wash handkerchiefs after you use them? Are they really useful, or more of just a decorative accessory?


  • Hi, D.S. I've only a brief experience thus far, but I find my handkerchiefs to be indispensable. Most of the ones I have my wife got for me before I took up snuff. So, they are white. They most definitely show their use. A darker color would be preferable. I would think a dark brown would be advisable. Mostly, I use mine to remove the excess dusting after using snuff. It only takes a light brush across the nose. It keeps you from looking...unkempt. A good handkerchief will be much easier on your skin that tissue. Bottom line, and for what it's worth, I would recommend a good handkerchief or 6 because mine have proven extremely useful.
  • I carry 2 handkerchiefs in my back pockets at all times. That said, I use paper tissues for the vast majority of my nose blowing. But every once in a while, it sure is a godsend to have something in your pocket to wipe away the brown catastrophe that just sneezed out. Especially when you're out of arm's reach of those tissues. I consider my hankies an insurance policy.

    And yes, even the white ones mostly wash clean, but I like my brown ones better. :)
  • Thanks for the replies. I guess I'm just worried about the whole idea of washing the handkerchiefs. I mean I blow my nose once, get it all soaked in brown, and then it has to go into the washing machine? Not very useful then. Do people have success just washing out their handkerchiefs in the sink after using them?
  • i find i get multiple uses out of one, so its not a case of washing after a single blow. if its a heavy amount of mucus im expecting, ill use a sink. as for washing them- i handwash mostly, it lets me scrub them properly. i sometimes run them through the main wash in the machine, but dont think id risk it with a very brown one :P
  • I wash mine in the machine in my denim load, with the hope that the denim will beat the heck out of them and soften them up. I'd say it works.
  • For my snuff taking I get the big blue paisley ones at Target/WalMart, they cost under a dollar and have a lot of blowing and wiping surface area. Snuff expulsion dries pretty quickly and does not seem to show much against the navy blue on subsequent uses and laundering removes the snuff stain completely. I start every day with a fresh hanky.
  • @DivinusSalviarum yes, they are absolutely indispensable! But you will need several, not one. I think I have about 20. One of the large Bavarian ones will last me a day and then some. The smaller ones are good for a day, and then the really small ones which are actually standard hanky size (about 14 inches square) last me about a half day.

    To wash, I toss one or two in the bottom of the shower right before I get in to wash myself. At the end of my shower they are pretty much clean. I let them hang in there to dry. The next day when they are dry they are tossed in the regular laundry. This way you don't get snuffy snotty yuck in your clothes or your washing machine. They always come clean and ready to use again. Over time the white ones do start to get stained and turn yellow-brown, so I prefer to buy darker ones, but I still use all the white ones I acquired in my pre-snuffing days.
  • I just toss them in the laundry, with a quick spray of prewash
  • We use the larger 'snuff hankies' and bandanas which you can get various places online (cotton bandanas are about £1 on eBay), which are about 20" square; one will last all day generally, or about half a day if I'm enjoying a lot of menthols. LadySnuff and I have about 30 between us, and we plan to get a few more. We save them in a bucket, and then put them together in a main wash with old towels or similar; as long as we don't overload the machine, they all come out lovely and clean. It does take a few washes for new bandanas to soften up, but they are fab, I don't use normal hankies at all now. The colours and patterns you can get are good for not making it obvious you have been taking snoot-fulls of snuff all morning! :D
  • To wash, I toss one or two in the bottom of the shower right before I get in to wash myself. At the end of my shower they are pretty much clean. I let them hang in there to dry. The next day when they are dry they are tossed in the regular laundry. This way you don't get snuffy snotty yuck in your clothes or your washing machine. They always come clean and ready to use again.
    Loving this pre-wash idea @Xander, I'm going to try it out! :D
  • Mario84Mario84 Member
    edited February 2014 PM
    I never had a strategy plan to follow when I started doing this. But this became my routine.
    Firstly, I have about 12 colored hankies and 12 whites (because the store ran out of colored, but colored are best if you can get them all colored (they camouflage)).

    The whites I use when I'm home alone and there is no one around to gross out. I use the heck out of them. They become spotted like a cows hide before I flip a side over (folded in three and then again in three) and use it till it all looks like a cows hide and then I throw them in the laundry. I stuff the one Im currently using in between the couch cushions so they are within reach but hidden incase someone comes for a visit.

    The colored ones I use in public or around my fiance or what have you.
    I wash the whites (with other white clothes) at 90 degrees (Celsius). It turns out it works. It might even work at 60 or 40, but I don't know, I just did it at 90 one day, all my whites survived and looked clean, so that's what I continue to do. They look super white and clean every time. I can barely believe it what with all the brown tobacco staining them. But yeah, it works.

    The colored ones I wash at 60 with the rest of my clothes. They look super clean as well.

    Optimally, when i move in with my wife, I would have a laundry bag of its own for my hankies, and wash them on their own. And probably have twice as many hankies as I have now. Its just for my peace of mind. I don't want my wife to have to rummage through (or even have to see) that brown snotty mess and I optimally don't want them to be washed with her clothes.

    At home I use toilet paper or tissues for my hardest nose cleaning blows, just to preserve the hankies a bit longer. I dont bring tissue paper with me outside. So hankies get used up quicker when Im out and about.
  • I use cheap colored bandanas available at most Walmarts. They cost about a buck and after a couple washes they come up nice and soft. So far even the lighter colored ones don't seem to be getting any stains,but I do tend to do most of my serious blowing into some tissues or toilet paper so it can just be thrown out. I use the bandans mostly for dusting and the inevitable nose drip that comes from time to time.When one is ready for the washer anyway or Im in a situation where nothing else is readily available I have no problems with using it for a good blow.
  • I use worn out flannel shirts--- soft and absorbent and doesn't cut up the nose like t shirts do... I usually just rinse them in sink and dry daily. Takes about 10 minutes and I always keep three on me at all times.
  • I have a few bandanas in rotation but my favorite are these vintage table napkins a friend found and gave to me. They're super soft and I go through about 2 every day. I've just been tossing them in the wash after knocking the dried up snuff off and running them with the regular laundry.
  • I have about 10 colored hankies, but i would like to have some ten more. I use one and when it's full, I let it "cool down" before wash. Then when i throw them to laundry, I first scratch all the dry brown tobacco out of the hanky. It is more like shaking and twisting a little than actually scratching. Then i wash them in whatever temperature I am washing at the moment. It doesn't really matter is it 40 or 60 or even handwash 30.

    I found the hankies much better than white tissues, which tend to turn disgusting right away and gather all around the house, pockets, car, etc. because I am too lazy to bring them to rubbish bin right after the use.
  • Although sometimes a white handkerchief is nice if you want your snuff discharge to smile back at you:
  • So that's what I will be expecting. hmmmm. I thinking about changing jobs (To become a bin man), but right now I work at a wood mill, and my snot already looks like that. hah.
  • @Xander close up it looks like a cow skull ,Who knew you could create art with your nose? =))
    My knowledge is worthless if not shared and applied . "Joseph McKenna"  
  • YES must have the hankies, I have maybe 20. I always dust my nose off after indulging in a pinch. As with people already posted above I learned the dusting the hard way, people giving me strange looks, then seeing one has a brown tash. When I am out for dinner or having a drink with friends the dark hankerchief is ESSENTIAL, so one does not need to explain why the white tissue is now brown, and see people recoiled in horror. However when I can be discreet I just use disposable tissues and then bin them, having said that I could probably make one of my large snuff one's last the whole day, and indeed have done....When I was courting my now wife I always used coloured hankies to blow my nose, for obvious reasons...........Wilson's used to sell them by the box but I don't know who stocks them.....
  • @Hoopei I seen some bernard handkerchiefs on mr. snuff
  • I love those Bernard hankies, they're nice and big and have pretty patterns.
  • Speaking of Bernard hankies, I see that the blue Bernard hankie has a cool B symbol on it in the middle. Does anyone know if the black hankie has the same symbol on it?
  • I don't see one with a "b" but I see one with a Bavarian crest and in the Bavarian blue & white (weissblau) pattern. I have that one, and I always make sure to take it to Oktoberfest!
  • I don't see one with a "b" but I see one with a Bavarian crest and in the Bavarian blue & white (weissblau) pattern. I have that one, and I always make sure to take it to Oktoberfest!
    Oh yeah sorry, I didn't mean B, I meant the fancy crest. Do you know if the black Bernard handkerchief has the same pattern? (The Mr. Snuff picture only shows the corner which shows a black-and-white checker like the blue-and-white checker on the blue, but it doesn't show the middle of the hankie.)

  • XanderXander Member
    edited February 2014 PM
    Yeah, I have that one too. Its actually dark blue not black. Its got the Bavarian checker pattern but not the crest.
  • I just got the 3 dozen bandannas I ordered online, a dozen each in brown, dark red, and navy. Ran me about $50 shipped. I haven't used them enough to pass judgment, but I wash them by themselves, with the washer set to "Soak" and "Extra Rinse", and that seems to work. The bandannas I got are so thin as to be semitransparent, but they air dry in an hour or two after I hang them on every knob in my apartment. :-)

    Also, I am not frugal in using the bandannas, switching to new ones frequently.

    A few years back I bought 25 lbs of white cotton rags online, and use them for everything except toilet paper and bath towels, washing a load of them a week. The rags were cheap enough to throw out occasionally, and now any old or ripped clothes get turned into more rags. Looking to switch to bandannas only for my nose now, as the snuff really stains those rags.
  • JustinJustin Moderator
    I also use bandannas and large spotted handkerchiefs. I have about two dozen of them, and the used ones go in a bag until I'm starting to run out, then into the washing machine by themselves. Cotton cycle at 60 degrees Centigrade works fine - just remember to unfold them before you put them in the machine.
    "Reality," sa molesworth 2, "is so unspeakably sordid it make me shudder."
  • I don't see the need to wash hankierchifs separately from the rest of my wash. I get far more disgusting stuff on my clothes in an average day's scrabble around town. I'd probably feel different if it was someone else's snot, but it's not, it's mine.
  • Several years ago I was in one of those big craft stores with my wife (Hobby Lobby, Michael's, JoAnn's, etc) and they sold bandanas in every color of the rainbow. I grabbed all of the brown ones they had. Perfect. They are starting to get a little worn and thin now, so I'm on the hunt again. Seeing what color the water immediately turned when I washed them convinced me to always hand wash them and hang them up to dry.
  • @Java I bought my bandannas/handkerchiefs here ( ). I think 3 dozen of the 22" square ones ran me ~$50 shipped after a coupon code I found with Google. May not be much cheaper than some retail stores, but it worked and was worth avoiding another errand. Handkerchiefs are decent but not great quality, with some strings starting to come loose after only 1 or 2 washings despite stitched edges, and are so thin as to be slightly transparent, but I suspect that most handkerchiefs/bandannas sold in the world come out of only a only or two factories in China anyway...

    Next time I will probably try to order some smaller handkerchiefs. The 22" square ones are a bit big for pocket use when balled up.
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