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 Old Household Hints and Tips - 1800's

Old Household Hints and Tips - 1800's
Transcribed and Contributed by Veneta McKinney for the Lamar Co., AL Old News

The Vernon Clipper
March 5 1880


A mixture of chloride of lime and sweetened water of sweeten water will poison cockroaches and water bugs.

Cold plates at this time of year are execrable. All of the dishes on which cooked food is served should be thoroughly warmed.

Color does not determine the quality of flour. The best flour is that which absorbs the greatest amount of water.

Don’t forget the birds when you eat celery. Save the tender ends and greens, and if you dine at night place these in water to give the songsters for their morning refreshment.

Onions and potatoes that have a green tinge should be immersed in warm water one hour before cooking, that they may be easily digested.

The popular maxim that “dirt is healthy,” has probably arisen from the fact that playing in the open air is very beneficial to the health of children, who thus get dirt on their person and clothes.

The importance of cleanliness in person and dress can never be fully realized by those ignorant of the construction of the skin, and of the influence its treatment has on the health of the body.

When seasoning remember that salt should always be cooked in food. Pepper may be added when done, to suit the taste. Black pepper is not healthful, but drying to the blood. It is distasteful to many, and is considered vulgar by the majority of persons. Cayenne pepper, used moderately, is wholesome.

A writer in the Live Stock Journal says: “I have kept dogs all my life, but no fleas. Take common tobacco stems, such as you can get at any cigar factory, and put it in the dogs bed and you will have no fleas. In the winter I make beds of equal quantities of hay and tobacco stems, in the summer all stems.

The following measures will be found useful by housekeeper. Wheat flour, on quart weighs 1 lb.; Indian meal, one quart weighs 1 lb. 2 oz.; butter, (when soft), one pint weighs 1 lb.: white sugar, (powdered), one quart weighs 1 lbs. 1 oz.; brown sugar, (beat), one quart weighs 1 lb. 2 oz.; ten hen eggs weigh 1 lbs.

The Vernon Clipper
February 6 1880

TO WHITEN IVORY – Boil in lime water.

TO CLEAN ZINC – Rub on fresh lard with a cloth and wipe dry.

A MIXTURE OF oil and ink is good to clean kid boots with; the first softens and the latter blackens them.

TO GIVE STOVES A GOOD POLISH – Rub them with a piece of Brussels carpet after blackening them.

PAINT splashes upon window glass can be easily removed by a strong solution of soda.

The water used in mixing bread must be tepid. If it is too hot the loaves will be full of holes.

Two ounces of permanganate of potash thrown into a cistern will render the foulest water sweet and pure.

A Flannel cloth dipped in warm soap suds, then into whiting, and applied to paint, will instantly remove all grease.

TO MAKE A CLOTHES LINE PLIABLE – Boil it an hour or two before using it. Let it dry in a warm room and do not allow it to “kink”

NEW linen may be embroidered more easily by rubbing it over with fine white soap. It prevents the threads from cracking.

TO REMOVE GREASE FROM WALL PAPER – Lay several folds of blotting paper on the spot, and hold a hot iron near it until the grease is absorbed.

TO TAKE INK SPOTS OUT OF LINEN – Dip the ink spot in pure melted tallow, then wash out the tallow and the ink will come out with it. This is said to be unfailing.

TO CLEAN BRASS – Immerse or wash it several times in sour milk or whey. This will brighten it without scouring. It may then be scoured with a woolen cloth dipped in ashes.

TO CRYSTALIZE GRASSSES – One pound best alum, powdered; half gallon of soft water; boil until dissolved. Dip the grass in the solution, and allow it to remain six or seven hours. Remove and dry in the sun. This is a reliable recipe.

OIL CLOTH can be kept like new if washed once a month in skim milk and water, equal quantities of each. Rub them once in three months with linseed oil. Put on very little, rub it in well, and polish with an old silk cloth, and they will keep for years.

“A penny saved is a penny got,” is an axiom as true as it is old. And there is many a neglected opportunity in almost every household by which pennies that are otherwise allowed to go to waste might be saved to the family. Take the one item of rags. How few housewives think of saving the little scraps of calico, of linen, and the old, worn-out clothes, and selling them to the paper manufacturer? Thousands upon thousands of dollars are thus wasted every year that ought to go into the family coffers. If housewives and their children and helpmates would carefully save all the rags through the year, and lay aside the receipts from the sales, they would be astonished when the holidays came around, at the size of the fund accumulated from this source. The recent rapid advance in the price of rags renders it doubly important that the matter should be attended to. Rags are now selling in the Chicago market at 3 ½ cents a pound, and before spring will probably go a good deal higher. If the “gude wife” don’t feel like bothering her head and hands with the matter, then let her encourage the children in the work. It will pay to save the rags. Don’t neglect it.

The Vernon Clipper
January 9 1880

TO REMOVE MILDEW FROM LINEN – Rub it over with soap; then scrape fine chalk or whitening, and rub on. Lay it in the sun, wet it from time to time. If not removed, repeat the process. Lemon juice and salt is also good.

TO REMOVE MILDEWS – Pour a quart of boiling water on two ounces of chloride of lime. Then add three quarts of cold water, and soak the linen in it twelve hours.

White of eggs mixed up with little quicklime (or chalk burned in the fire and powdered to dust) will make a capital cement.

The Vernon Clipper
December 12 1879

The editor of the Germantown Telegraph, one of the most experienced horticulturists in the country, says it is best to provide cuttings for spring planting in the fall, and bury them until they are wanted to set out. Currant and gooseberry cuttings are stuck in the ground six inches apart, first removing only the buds which would be covered by the earth. Quinces also are well nurtured from cuttings, in all cases using the past year’s growth.

TO SET THE COLOR IN STOCKINGS – When washed for the first time, use a little ox-gall (it can be procured at the druggist’s); use it in the first water only. Also have one teaspoonful of powdered borax to every pail of hot water. Use very little soap. After the first use of ox-gall borax will answer every purpose. Do not let the stockings remain long in any water; hand in the shad to dry.

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