Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Potato Doughnuts

Is there anything in the world better than a fresh, warm doughnut? Okay, so maybe they are not so good for us, but every once in a while you definitely need one. Have you ever tried making your own? Mom would make them with canned biscuits and sprinkle them with sugar. Sometimes though, she would make them with leftover mashed potatoes. Yes, you heard me right, potatoes. She even had a special doughnut cutter. Of course, the holes were the best part! If you've never had a potato doughnut, try this vintage recipe sometime.
Potato Doughnuts
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed potatoes
1/2 cup sweet milk
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tablespoon shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
Beat mashed potatoes, add melted shortening, beaten eggs, and milk. Sift dry ingredients together and add to the liquid. Dough should be soft yet firm enough to roll. Separate dough into 2 parts and roll each out to thickness of 3/4 inch. Cut with doughnut cutter and cook in deep fat (365-f) fry to golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper. Dust with powdered sugar or sugar and cinnamon mixture.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Spring in the Hollow

It was 80 degrees one day and snowing the next, but I think Spring is actually coming! Here are some of my first Spring flowers. Of course, the Buttercups have been blooming for a while now. I have some near the edge of the woods that usually start coming up by the end of January, but they bloomed the last week of February this year. Do you ever notice how often you see Buttercups (daffodils) in odd locations? You know someone planted them for a reason. Usually it's a sure way to spot where a house 'used' to be located. If you ever drive thru Land Between the Lakes, it's easy to spot where houses used to be before the government came in and moved people out of their homes. Just look for the flowers. It's a little sad, but also a little bit of history. Someone lived there and loved the land long enough to plant flowers that reach out to our generation today.
Here's a picture of the tree in my friend Susan's yard. Since she's a few hours south of me, it looks like Spring is already there!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Old Plates

Along with generations of recipes, I have generations of china that have been handed down to me. I'm fortunate to have some really beautiful complete sets, but I also have a lot of random pieces. I could easily part with some of the pieces, but the ones I'm showing you here are among my favorites. They are no longer practical to be used, but have an old-fashioned appeal to me. Growing up, the only place plates were 'displayed' were either on a kitchen or dining room wall. These days, you can display them anywhere. I decided to group some of them together on my bedroom wall. And, yes, I do have pink walls. Pink must have been my Grandmother's favorite color since this was once her bedroom. I don't have a decorating 'flair' and my favorite color pretty much changes on a daily basis so I kept MaMa's pink walls.

You can't really tell from this picture, but the dinner plate in the top left corner has a lot of chips and cracks. It doesn't match the rest of the plates, but does have flowers trimming the edge. I found it cleaning out one of the kitchen cabinets. MaMa kept it for a reason and it must have been special to her. It dates back to the 1920's or 1930's, so this plate moved with her from Tennessee to Michigan to Illinois and all the places in between before coming back home. It may not be the prettiest plate in the collection, but it was well-loved and well-used. Maybe it was part of a wedding gift. Maybe it carried a cake from a neighbor all those years ago. I'll never know for sure. I do know, without a doubt, it was filled with love.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Oven Temps for Vintage Recipes

Many vintage cookbooks refer to oven temperatures as 'bake in a slow or moderate oven'. If you guess wrong on that temperature, it can really ruin your dish. Here's a handy list of temperatures you can use for your vintage recipes.

Oven Temps

Very Slow is 250-275 degrees
Slow is 300-325 degrees
Moderate is 350-375 degrees
Hot is 400-425 degrees
Very Hot is 450-475 degrees
Extremely Hot is 500-525 degrees

Here's a vintage recipe from one of my older cookbooks. You'll notice the measurements are not exact!

Pork Chop and Potato Casserole

5 or 6 thick pork chops
5 or 6 red potatoes
cracker crumbs, crushed fine
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper

Peel potatoes and slice them thick. Place slices in casserole in layers, putting a little butter on top of the potatoes and sprinkling with salt and pepper as you go. Roll the chops in the egg first and then in cracker crumbs. Place chops on top of potatoes. Pour milk in casserole as high as the potatoes. Place in moderate (375 degrees) oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until pork chops are browned on top. Reduce heat and bake until potatoes are done.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Coffee Filters

My friend, Susan, sent me an e-mail with some great uses for coffee filters.

Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave. Coffee filters make excellent covers.

Clean windows and mirrors. Coffee filters are lint-free so they'll leave windows sparkling.

Protect China - Separate your good dishes by putting a coffee filter between each dish.

Filter broken cork from wine. If you break the cork when opening a wine bottle, filter the wine through a coffee filter.

Protect a cast-iron skillet. Place a coffee filter in the skillet to absorb moisture and prevent rust.

Apply shoe polish. Ball up a lint-free coffee filter.

Recycle frying oil. After frying, strain oil through a sieve lined with a coffee filter.

Weigh chopped foods. Place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on a kitchen scale.

Hold tacos - Coffee filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods.

Stop the soil from leaking out of a plant pot. Line a plant pot with a coffee filter to prevent the soil from going through the drainage holes.

Take a few with you to the movies. They make quick bowls to share a big bag of popcorn!

Prevent a Popsicle from dripping. Poke one or two holes as needed in a coffee filter.

Do you think we used expensive strips to wax eyebrows? Use strips of coffee filters.

Put a few in a plate and put your fried bacon, French fries, chicken fingers, etc on them. Soaks out all the grease.

Keep in the bathroom. They make great "razor nick fixers."

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Vintage Household Tips - Part II

There were a few more tips included in Fowler's Household Helps that I thought I'd share with you. These are hints for the rest of the house.


To Prevent Oil from Soiling Goods—To prevent a sewing machine that has been oiled from soiling the material, try the following method: Tie a small piece of ribbon, or cotton string, around the needlebar near the point where it grips the needle.

When Scissors Get Blunt, sharpen them by opening and drawing backward and forward on a piece of glass. This will sharpen the bluntest of scissors.

To Tighten a Loose Sewing-Machine Belt, put a few drops of castor-oil on it; run the machine a few minutes and the belt will tighten.

To Remove Sewing-Machine Oil Spots:

(a) Wet the spots with spirits of turpentine and wash out with cold water and toilet soap, or,

(b) Rub the spot with chalk as soon as noticed. Leave for a short time, then brush, and the spot will disappear.

To Pair Stockings—For stockings with white heels or tops, mark with indelible ink. For all-black stockings, use colored threads, making a cross-stitch on one pair, two cross-stitches on another, etc.

To Prevent Cutting of Stockings—If the covering of the button on side elastics comes off, wind with a fine rubber band.

A Sewing Suggestion—A small, inexpensive flashlight should be kept in the sewing machine drawer. It will not only save many precious minutes, but will relieve eye strain when threading a machine needle on a dark day or at night.


To Clean Bed Springs—To clean the dust and dirt from bed springs, set them out in the yard on a sunny day and turn the hose on them freely. The sun and wind will afterward dry them in a few minutes.

If Your Alarm Clock Rings Too Loudly, slip an elastic band around the bell to diminish the noise. The wider the band that is used, the greater will be the suppression.

Protection Against Spilled Water in Sick Bed—If water is accidentally spilled in bed when attending someone who is ill, it can be quickly dried by slipping a hot-water bag filled with very hot water between the bed covers over the wet spot and leaving it there for a few minutes.

To Clean and Polish Brass Beds—Brass bedsteads can be cleaned by rubbing them with a cloth which has been slightly moistened with sweet oil; then polished with a soft, dry duster, and lastly with a chamois leather. If this is done occasionally, it will keep them in good condition for years. But it is a better plan to use the lacquer, given below, after cleaning.

Wooden bedsteads should be wiped every three months with a cloth moistened with turpentine to keep them clean.

To Keep Brass from Tarnishing—To keep brass beds and other forms of brass work from tarnishing, and also to avoid frequent polishing, the brass should be lacquered with gum shellac dissolved in alcohol. Apply the lacquer with a small paint brush. Ten cents worth will lacquer a bedstead.

Clear, hard-drying varnish is also good for this purpose.


New Way to Fasten Lace Curtains—The best way to secure lace or net curtains in place over the poles is to fasten with the very fine wire hairpins, known as “invisible” hairpins. These are so sharp that they can be pushed through the curtains without injury to the fabric, and are so fine that they are more invisible than pins. They have the added advantage of never slipping out of place like small-headed pins, or becoming entangled in the lace like safety-pins. Put them perpendicularly (up and down) in the curtain with the rounded head at the top.

Filling for Sofa Cushions—Cut a roll of cotton in small squares and put it in a pan in the oven and heat it for half an hour. Do not let the cotton scorch. Every square will swell to twice its original size and will be as light and fluffy as feathers for stuffing sofa cushions.

To Brighten Carpets—Wipe them with warm water to which has been added a few drops of ammonia.

To Clean Picture Glass—Clean the glass over pictures with a cloth wrung from hot water and dipped in alcohol. Polish them immediately, until they are dry and glossy, with a chamois or tissue paper.

Polish for Leather Upholstered Furniture—Turpentine and beeswax mixed to the consistency of thin cream makes a fine polish for leather upholstered furniture.

To Fasten Small Pieces on Furniture—For fixing on small pieces of wood chipped off furniture, use the white of an egg.

Onion Water for Gilt Frames—Flies may be kept from damaging gilt frames by going over the frames with a soft brush dipped in a pint of water in which three or four onions have been boiled. This is also good for cleaning the frames.

To Remove Fly Specks from Gilding—Old ale is a good thing with which to wash any gilding, as it acts at once on the fly dirt. Apply with a soft rag.

To Clean Gilded Picture Frames, use a weak solution of ammonia and water. Go over the gilt gently with a moist cloth, and after a few moments, when the dirt has had time to soften, repeat the operation. Do not rub hard, and dry by dabbing gently with a soft cloth.


For Clogged Lavatory Basins—Mix a handful of soda with a handful of common salt and force it down the pipe; then rinse the pipe thoroughly with boiling water.

To Clean Bath Tub and Wash Bowl—Some housekeepers like to use kerosene in the bath tub to take off the soapsuds and stain that will gather, but the odor is sometimes objectionable. To clean the bath tub and the wash bowl in a jiffy use a half lemon rind turned wrong side out.

To Clean Mirrors—A little camphor rubbed on a mirror after the dust has been wiped off will brighten it wonderfully.

To Clean and Purify a Sponge—Rub a fresh lemon thoroughly into a soured sponge and then rinse several times. The sponge can be made as sweet as a new one.


To Clean Dirty Clothesline—Wrap it around the washboard and scrub it with a brush and soap suds.

Brick for Iron Stand—If a brick is used for an iron stand, the iron will hold its heat much longer than when an ordinary stand is used.

Lemon for Whitening Clothes—Put a slice of lemon, with rind on, in your boiler of clothes and it will remove stains and make your clothes white without injuring them.

To Prevent Starch from Sticking to the Iron—Borax and oily substances added to starch will increase the gloss on the article to be ironed and will also prevent the starch from sticking to the iron.

To Make Water Softer for Washing—Use four ounces of alcohol and one-half ounce of ammonia. If used for toilet purposes add to this one dram of oil of lavender.

A couple of teaspoonfuls of glycerine to a small tubful of water will soften the lather in which flannel pieces are to be washed.

To Protect Hand from a Gasoline Iron—When using a gasoline iron, a little steam always rises from the iron and burns the hand. Before putting on your glove, rub the side of the hand well with vaseline and this burning can be avoided.

To Prevent Woolen Blankets from Shrinking—After washing woolen blankets put them on curtain stretchers to dry and prevent shrinking.

To Make Linen Glossy—When a gloss is desired for linen goods, add a teaspoonful of salt to the starch when making.

Quick Method of Sprinkling Clothes—Turn the nozzle of the garden hose to a fine spray and sprinkle the clothes while they are on the line. All plain pieces can then be rolled up and laid in the basket as they are taken down. Starched pieces may need a little further hand sprinkling.

When Laundering Sash Curtains, never starch the hem; the rod can then be run through it without danger of tearing.

To Clean Wringer Rollers—Kerosene is excellent for cleaning the rubber rollers of a clothes wringer. After it has been applied rinse the rollers off with warm water.

When Ironing Calicoes—Dark calicoes should always be ironed on the wrong side of the goods with irons that are not too hot.

To Make White Curtains Ecru or Cream Color—First soak curtains over night in cold water to remove all dust. In the morning wash in usual way and rinse thoroughly to remove all soap. Then put them in boiler with a tan stocking and remove when the desired color is obtained.

To Stretch Curtains Without a Curtain Frame—Fold the lace curtain double lengthwise; then pin it on a tightly stretched line with many clothes-pins and slip a clean pole inside the folded curtain. This stretches the curtain satisfactorily and saves considerable time and money when a curtain stretcher is not available.

Right Way to Hang Skirts—In laundering skirts made of pique, cotton or woolen pin them to the line by the waistband so they will hang straight down. If pinned this way they shrink evenly all around instead of sagging, as they do when pinned at the hem.

Bleaching a Scorched Spot—If you scorch a piece of white goods while ironing, immediately rub the spot with a cloth dipped in diluted peroxide, then run the iron over it and the cloth will be as white as before.

To Iron Over Buttons, Etc.—When ironing over blouses or frocks with large buttons or hooks and eyes on, use several thicknesses of blanket or Turkish towels to iron them on. Turn the garment button-side down, and press on the wrong side. The buttons will sink into the soft padding and leave a smooth surface for the iron to run over.

Vinegar is also considered good for dark colors, using one-fourth cup of vinegar to one quart of water.

To Get Rid of Ants—To rid the house of ants, smear the cracks and corners of the infested rooms with balsam of peru.


A Cheap Floor Wax—A satisfactory and economical floor wax which is excellent for use on hardwood floors: To one-half cake of melted paraffin add one teacupful of turpentine. Apply to the clean dry floor with a cloth; then polish with a woolen cloth or weighted brush. It gives an excellent polish and keeps the floor nice and light.

To Loosen Screws and Nails which have become rusted into wood:

(1) Drop a little paraffin on them, and after a short time they can easily be removed, or,

(2) Hold a red hot iron to the head of the screw for a short time and use the screwdriver while the screw is still hot.

To Put Hooks in Hardwood—When putting hooks in hardwood, use a clothes-pin to turn them, or slip the handle of a knife or any small steel article through the hook and turn until it is secure in the wood. This will save your fingers from aching.

Insoles from Old Felt Hats—Cut out pieces from old felt hats big enough to fit the inside of your shoes. This makes a fine insole, and is a great help to keep the feet warm.

Novelty Candle-Holders—Rosy-cheeked apples, polished and hollowed out to receive the end of a candle, make charming candle-sticks at a children’s party. Especially where a color scheme of red and white is carried out, nothing prettier or more suitable could be designed.

Lime for Damp and Musty Cellars—A few lumps of unslaked lime in the cellar will keep the air pure and sweet and also absorb the dampness.

Handy Ice Pick—If an ice pick is not available or is misplaced for the time being, an ordinary hat pin gradually forced into ice produces a crack and separates the ice without a sound. Needles and even common pins are used in hospitals to crack ice for patients.

Help in Freezing Cream Quickly—If the freezer is packed half an hour before the mixture is put in the can the freezing will be speedier. Allow three times the quantity of ice that there is of salt. Mix before using, or put in the freezer in layers.

Cutting Off Old Bottles and Their Uses—A bottle may be cut off by wrapping a cord saturated in kerosene oil around it several times at the point you wish to cut it, then setting fire to the cord, and just when it has finished burning plunge the bottle into cold water and tap the end you wish to break off. Odd shaped or prettily colored bottles make nice vases. The top of a large bottle with a small neck makes a good funnel. Large round bottles make good jelly glasses.

Many other uses will no doubt suggest themselves to your mind.

More Serviceable Umbrella Jars—Place a large carriage sponge in the bottom of the umbrella jar to prevent umbrellas from striking the bottom of the jar and breaking it. The sponge will also absorb the water from a dripping umbrella.

Squeaking Hammock—If your hammock has an annoying squeak where the rope or chain is joined on the hook, slip the finger from an old glove over the hook before putting on the rope or chain.

To Lubricate a Clock—If your clock stops on account of being gummed with dust, place a small piece of cotton saturated with kerosene in the clock, and leave it there several hours. The fumes from the kerosene will loosen the dirt, and the clock will run again as well as ever.

A Grape-Basket for the Clothespins, with a wire hook fastened to the handle, will save much time when hanging out clothes; it can be pushed along the line and will always be handy for use.

For Worn Carpet Sweeper Pulleys—To keep the wood pulleys on carpet sweeper brushes from slipping after they have worn smooth, wrap once or twice with adhesive tape. This will also keep the pulleys from wearing unevenly with the grain of the wood.

To Protect Clothing Spread on the Grass for Bleaching—When linen pieces or small articles of clothing are placed upon the grass to whiten, much trouble may be prevented by spreading a strip of cheesecloth over them and fastening it down with wooden pegs or hairpins. This does not prevent bleaching, but keeps off worms and bugs, and prevents the articles from being blown away by the wind.

To Soften Paint Brushes that have been used for varnishing and not been cleaned, soak them in turpentine.

To soften brushes that have dried paint in them soak in hot vinegar or in turpentine or gasoline.

Vinegar for Dried Mucilage—When mucilage has dried at the bottom of the bottle, pour a spoonful or two of vinegar in it, and let it stand awhile. The mucilage will be as good as ever.

To Remove Paper Labels, wet the face of the label with water and hold it near a flame or stove.

To Separate Postage Stamps—When postage stamps stick together do not soak them. Instead, lay a thin paper over them, and run a hot iron over the paper. They will come apart easily and the mucilage on the back of the stamps can be used as though it was new.

Soap Application When Eyeglasses Steam—To prevent annoyance caused by a deposit of moisture upon eyeglasses, when going from a cold into a warm atmosphere, moisten the tips of the fingers and rub them over a cake of soap. Then rub them over the lens, and polish as usual. One application every day or two is all that is necessary.

For the Invalid’s Room—A few drops of oil of lavender in boiling water is excellent for the invalid’s room.

For Perspiration Odor—The unpleasant odor of perspiration often causes much annoyance. Instead of using perfumery, wash the body with warm water to which has been added two tablespoonfuls of compound spirits of ammonia. This will leave the skin sweet, clean, and fresh.

For a Sprain—Salt and vinegar, bound on a sprain, will relieve the pain in a very little while.

To Prevent a Blister on the Heel—If shoes slip and cause blisters on the heels, rub paraffin on the stocking. In a short time the slipping will stop.

For Insomnia—A heaping bowl of bread and milk, seasoned with salt, and eaten just before retiring, is recommended as a sure cure for the worst case of insomnia.

Sulphur to Rid House of Rats—Sulphur will successfully rid the house of rats if sprinkled in bureau drawers, closets, and around holes where they are liable to come in. The farmer, also, will find that his corn will not be troubled if he sprinkles it about the barn.

To Get Rid of Mice—Mice do not like the smell of peppermint, and a little oil of peppermint placed about their haunts will soon force them to look for other quarters.

Lumps of camphor placed about their haunts is another effective method of keeping mice away.

To Take Mildew Out of Leather—Mildew on leather may be removed with pure vaseline. Rub a little of this into the leather until quite absorbed, and then polish carefully with a clean chamois leather.

To Induce a Canary to Take a Bath, sprinkle a few seeds on the water. This added attraction will make the bath become a habit with the little pet.

A Cure for Leaky Pens—Empty the fountain pen and clean it thoroughly; fill with ink and apply some soap to the threads of the screw.

If Your Fingers Become Stained with Ink, wet the head of a match and rub it on the spots. Then rinse the fingers with soap and water and the ink will quickly disappear.

A Handy Pen or Brush Holder for Your Desk—A sheet of corrugated paper is a handy thing to have on your writing desk to hold wet pens or brushes. The paper will absorb the liquid and the corrugations will hold the pens or brushes in convenient position.

A Novel Match Scratcher—To avoid matches being scratched on the wall-paper almost as much as on the match-scratch, try the idea of removing the glass from a small oval or square picture frame and framing a piece of sandpaper just as one would a picture. Put a small screw-eye on top of the frame, thus allowing it to hang perfectly flat against the wall. The frame prevents the match from being carried over the edges of the sandpaper onto the wall.

Emergency White Glove Repair—If your white glove rips or tears accidentally just as you are putting it on to go out, and there is no time to mend same, put a small strip of white adhesive plaster over the spot and it will never be noticed.

To Keep Rugs from Slipping—Cut a three-cornered piece of rubber sheeting to fit each corner and sew it firmly in place. Another way is to take a piece of heavy, rough sheathing paper a bit smaller than the rug and lay the rug on that.

For Sagging Chair Seats—When cane-seated chairs sag they can be tightened by washing the bottom of the cane in hot water and soap; then rinse in clean water and dry out-of-doors.

Two Uses for Velveteen—Old velveteen, fastened over a firm broom, is excellent for wiping down walls.

To polish furniture, use a piece of velveteen instead of chamois leather. The former is much cheaper than the chamois and serves just as well.

Saltpeter for Icy Steps—Ice on marble or stone steps can be thawed by sprinkling several handfuls of saltpeter on it.

An Easy Fly Exterminator—To drive out flies put twenty drops of oil of lavender in a saucer and dilute it slightly with hot water. The sweet, heavy odor of the lavender is very disagreeable to the flies, and the house will soon be rid of them.

To Avoid Mistakes with Poison—When poison is kept in the house, push two stout, sharp-pointed pins through the corks crosswise. The pricking points remind even the most careless person of danger.

To Pick Up Broken Glass—Even the smallest pieces of broken glass can be easily picked up by using a bit of wet absorbent cotton, which can afterward be destroyed by burning.

For Leaky Vases or Other Ornamental Bric-a-Brac—If a valuable flower vase leaks, take some melted paraffin, such as is used over jelly-jars, and pour it into the vase and let it harden over the spot where the leak occurs. It will not leak again.

Polish for Floors—Rub polished floors with a mixture of one-third raw linseed oil and two-thirds paraffin. Afterward polish with a dry cloth.

To Prevent a Rocking Chair from Creeping across the room while rocking in it, glue strips of velvet on bottom of chair rockers, and the annoyance will cease.

To Mark Place for Picture-Nail—When just the right position has been found to hang the picture, moisten your finger and press it against the place where the nail should go. This does away with the awkward reaching for hammer and nail while holding the picture against the wall.

An Unbreakable Bead Chain—A violin string makes an excellent chain for stringing beads. It will stand a great amount of wear and tear and will practically last forever.

When Packing Flowers for Transportation—When flowers are to be sent some distance it is a good plan to place the ends of the stems in a raw potato. They will keep as fresh as if in water.

(1) To Keep Flowers Fresh—To keep flowers fresh put a small piece of sugar in the water.

(2) To Keep Flowers Fresh, place a pinch of bicarbonate of soda in the water before putting them into a vase.

(3) Cut flowers with woody stems will last much longer in water if the stalks are scraped for about three inches up.

When Taking Down Pictures in House-Cleaning Time a stick with a deep notch in the end, to lift picture-cords from hooks, is a great convenience.

To Tighten Your Eyeglasses—If the tiny screws in your eyeglasses need tightening, you will find that a small steel pen answers as well as a screwdriver.

To Mend Celluloid—Moisten the broken edges with glacial acetic acid and hold them together until the acid dries.

To Clean White Enameled Furniture—First remove all dirty marks with a flannel cloth dipped in wood alcohol. Then wash at once with tepid water to which has been added a little fine oatmeal. Never use soap or soda.

Felt for Dining-Chair Legs—Thin strips of felt glued to the bottom of dining-chair legs will deaden

New Uses for Macaroni—A stick of macaroni will serve in place of a glass tube for a patient who cannot sit up in bed to drink, or will sometimes induce a child to drink its milk when otherwise it would not.

To Drive Nails in Plaster without cracking the plaster, put the nail in hot water for a few minutes and it can then be driven in securely without damage to the wall.

Plaster of Paris for Mending Walls—When painting walls and the plaster is in need of mending, fix it with plaster of paris mixed with some of the paint you intend using to paint it with. This will prevent the mended spot from showing. To fix a white wall, mix plaster of paris with turpentine and oil.

To Remove Smoke Marks from the Ceiling, frequently due to a smoky lamp, mix a thick paste of starch and water, and with a clean flannel cloth spread it over the entire mark. Allow it to stay on until thoroughly dry, then brush off with a soft brush, and the discoloration will disappear like magic.

To Clean a Raincoat—Use either of the two following methods:

(1) Use soap and water and not gasoline, as gasoline will injure the rubber. Lay out on a flat surface and scrub lightly with soap and water; then rinse with clear water. Do not wring. Put on a coat-hanger and hang out to dry.

(2) Pour some vinegar into a dish and dip a soft rag or sponge into it; then place the mackintosh on the table and rub the soiled parts lightly.

To Remove Soot from Carpet—Do not attempt to sweep the carpet until it has been covered with dry salt. Then sweep it and no smear will be left.

To Brighten a Carpet—First sweep the carpet clean. Then dip a soft, clean mop into a pail containing one-half gallon of water and one-half teacupful of ammonia; wring it well and rub it over the carpet; it will be as bright and fluffy as when new.

To Destroy Moths in Carpets, wring a thick towel out of water, spread it on the carpet, and iron over it with a very hot iron. The heat and steam will go through the carpet, thus destroying the grubs.

To Keep Moths Out of Pianos—Try rubbing turpentine occasionally over the woodwork on the inside of the piano, and you will never be troubled with moths getting into the piano, even when it is not used for a long time.

To Clean Gilt Frames, dip a soft cloth in the white of egg and gently rub off the soiled spots.

To Remove Ink Stains from an Oak Table, lay spirits of wine on the marks; let it remain for some time, then rub well and clean off.

To Clean Leather Furniture, add a little vinegar to warm water (not hot) and brush the leather over with it. Restore the polish by rubbing with two tablespoonfuls of turpentine mixed with the whites of two eggs.

To Clean Bronze, make the article very hot by placing it in boiling water; then rub it well with a piece of flannel cloth dipped in soapsuds, and dry with a chamois leather.

To Clean Zinc—Take a thick slice of lemon and rub it over the stained spots. Let it remain for an hour, then wash the zinc metal with soap and water and it will become clean and bright.

To Clean Brass—To keep the polish on brass, after polishing in the usual way, coat with clear varnish. The following is a good polish:

To clean tarnished brass use equal parts of vinegar and salt. Rub with this mixture thoroughly, letting it dry on; then wash off in warm, soapy water and polish with a soft cloth.

Alcohol for Cleaning White Kid Articles—Pure alcohol is better than gasoline for cleaning white kid gloves or other white kid articles, as it dries quickly without the unpleasant odor that gasoline leaves. Five cents’ worth of alcohol cleans a pair of gloves beautifully.

To Clean White Kid Shoes—Make a lather of pure white soap and milk for cleaning white kid shoes. Brush as much dirt as possible off the shoes before scrubbing with the lather.

If New Boots or Shoes Will Not Polish, rub them over with half a lemon and leave until thoroughly dry. Repeat this once or twice if necessary.

New Tag for Shoe Lace—If a tag comes off a boot or shoe lace, press a little melted black sealing wax round the end of the lace and shape it to form a tag. It will serve almost as well as the original.

To Renovate a Shabby Serge Skirt, sponge it over with hot vinegar until the stains and grease marks disappear; then thoroughly press on the wrong side with a fairly hot iron.

To Remove Shine from Woolen Goods—Wet a piece of crinoline and lay it over the shiny surface of the goods. Cover with a dry cloth and press with a hot iron. Pull the crinoline away quickly, as you would a plaster, and this will raise the nap of the goods.

To Remove Shine from Black Cloth, rub it well with a piece of flannel dipped in spirits of turpentine and dry in the open air.

To Clean a Black Dress—Take a dozen ivy leaves and steep them in boiling water. Let it stand until cold; then rub well over the stained parts. This solution will remove all stains and make the cloth look fresh.

To Clean Men’s Clothing—Take a soft cloth, dip it in alcohol, and press it lightly over a cake of pure soap; then apply it briskly to the article to be cleaned. After sponging the garment carefully, press it.

In cases of obstinate grease spots, rub well with a lather made from pure white soap and luke-warm water; then sponge off with alcohol and proceed as above.

Wall Paper Remover—To remove wall paper in about one-half the usual time, take one heaping tablespoonful of saltpetre to a gallon of hot water, and apply it to the paper freely with a brush. A whitewash brush is best for the purpose, as it covers a broader space than other brushes. Keep the water hot, and after a few applications the paper can be easily pulled from the wall.

To Clean Wallpaper, make a paste of three cupfuls of flour, three tablespoonfuls of ammonia and one and one-half cupfuls of water. Roll it into balls and rub it over the paper. It will make it as clean as when new.

Tobacco for Plant Insects—One tablespoonful of smoking tobacco soaked in a quart of water for twelve hours or more makes a solution that will destroy insects and promote the growth of the plant. It must be poured on the soil about every two months.

When a Wax Candle is Too Large for the holder the end should be held in hot water until it is soft. It can then be pressed into shape to fit the hole and there will be no waste of wax, as when slices are shaved off the end of a candle.

Salt Water to Clean Matting—A cloth dampened in salt water is the best thing for cleaning matting.

To Lay New Matting—Cut each width six inches longer than necessary. Then unravel the ends and tie the cords together. When the matting is taken up to be cleaned it cannot unravel and there will be no waste.

To Clean White Furniture or Woodwork—Use clean turpentine and a soft cloth to clean white enameled woodwork or furniture. It will remove all spots without removing any of the gloss, as soap is liable to do.

To Remove Spots from Varnished Wood—Spots made by water on varnished tables or other furniture may be removed by rubbing them with a cloth wet with camphor.

To Clean Greasy Woodwork—Paint or woodwork that has become greasy can be cleaned with a cloth dipped in turpentine. Then wipe with a cloth dipped in water to which a little kerosene has been added.

To Clean Soiled Marble—Pound two parts of common washing soda, one part each of pumice stone and finely powdered chalk, mix together, sift them through cheesecloth, and make into a paste with water. Apply thickly and let it dry on; then wash well with soap and water and rub well with a soft cloth. Never use acids on marble as they destroy the gloss.

To Clean Oil Spots from Marble, first wash the stone thoroughly; then place a sheet of blotting paper over the spots and set a hot iron on it; this will draw the oil out and the blotting paper will absorb it.

Handy Fruit Picker for Farmers and Suburbanites—Take a large tomato can or other tin can and cut a V-shaped hole in one side at the top, about 1½ inches wide and 2½ inches deep. On the opposite side of the V-shaped hole, nail the can to a long pole. This device is useful for picking apples and many varieties of fruit from upper branches where it is almost impossible to reach them by ladder. It also prevents damage to the fruit by falling.


All spots and stains can be removed much more easily before washing. Fruit stains are probably the most common and they will usually disappear if the stained portion is held taut over a basin and hot water poured over and through it.

Butter or Salt for Stains—To remove fruit, tea or coffee stains from cotton or linen goods, rub butter on the stains and then wash with hot water and soap. Remove wine stains by sprinkling salt on them and then pouring boiling water through them.

To Remove Indelible Ink—Use equal parts of turpentine and ammonia to remove indelible ink when all other methods fail. Saturate the garment well, and let it soak; then rinse it thoroughly in warm water.

To Remove Grease Stains from White Woolens, use cream of tartar and water or alcohol.

To Remove Perspiration Stains—The stains caused by perspiration can be removed from garments by the application of a mixture consisting of three parts of alcohol, three parts of ether and one of ammonia.

Salt to Remove Perspiration Stains—To remove perspiration stains from clothing, soak the garments in strong salt water before laundering them.

To Remove the Stain of Mud from clothing, rub well with a raw potato.

To Remove Fruit Stains from Linen the following suggestions are given:

(1) Fruit Stains on Linen should be smeared with glycerine and left for about an hour; then wash the stains in warm soapy water. Repeat the process if necessary.

(2) To Remove Fruit Stains from Linen—Before sending table linen and white garments to the laundry all fruit stains should be well dampened with alcohol. All traces of discoloration from the fruit will have vanished when returned from the laundry.

(3) To Remove Fruit Stains from the Tablecloth, apply powdered starch while fresh.

Starch for Removing Blood-Stains—To remove blood-stains from material which can not be washed, cover the stain with lump starch that has been dampened to about the consistency of very thick paste. As the starch dries, the stain will go.

To Remove Mildew—The four following methods are given for removing mildew:

(1) Buttermilk for Mildew—Articles that have become mildewed should be boiled in buttermilk. Rinse well in warm water after boiling and hang in the sun. The same process will effectively bleach materials that have grown yellow from lack of use.

(2) Salt for Mildew—Mildew can be taken out by rubbing the stains well with a fresh tomato and covering with salt; afterward place garment in sun.

(3) To Take Out Mildew, mix equal parts of powdered borax and starch with half as much salt; moisten the whole with lemon juice, spread the mixture on the mildewed spot and place the garment in the sun on the grass. Renew the mixture every morning until the stain disappears.

(4) Alcohol for Mildew—Mildew may generally be removed by dipping articles into alcohol.

To Remove Wax Stains—To remove wax or tallow stains, lay a piece of brown paper over them and apply a hot flatiron. After one or two applications the paper will absorb all of the wax or tallow from the cloth, leaving no trace behind.

To Remove Tar Spots, put a little lard on the spots and let them stand for a few hours, then wash with soap and water.

To Remove Iodine Stains, immediately immerse the stained article in a gallon of water to which has been added about two teaspoonfuls of plain household ammonia.

To Remove Blueberry Stains—Blueberry stains may be removed by washing at once with cold water and white soap.

To Remove Grease Spots—To remove automobile grease, or any dark, heavy grease, from washable fabric, apply a small piece of butter and rub it in well; then wash with soap and rinse.

To Remove Tea and Coffee Stains from any white goods, soak the spots with glycerine and let them stand for several hours untouched. Afterward wash with soap and water.

To Remove Grease Spots from Tablecloths, coats, trousers, etc., sandwich the article between two pieces of blotting paper and rest a hot iron over the damaged part for a few minutes.

To Remove Rust Stains, the three following suggestions are given:

(1) Tomato Juice for Iron Rust—Tomato juice will remove iron rust and fruit stains from wash goods.

(2) Rhubarb Juice for Rust Stains—The worst rust stains can be removed without injury to the fabric by the application of boiling rhubarb juice.

(3) To Remove Rust Stains—Spread the rust-stained part over a bowl of boiling water and rub it with salt wet with lemon juice; then place it in the sun. Repeat this process until the stain is light yellow; then wash the cloth in weak ammonia water and afterward in clear water.

To Remove Ink Stains—The following various methods are recommended for removing ink stains:

Chinese Plan for Removing Ink Stains from Clothing—Wash the article with boiled rice; rub the rice on the stain as you would soap, and wash with clear water. If first application is not effective, repeat the process.

This has been found to work like magic, even with stains not discovered until entirely dry.

A Sure Cure for Ink Stains—To remove ink stains from wash materials pour a tablespoonful of kerosene on them and rub well; then rinse in kerosene and the spots will immediately disappear. This should be done before being washed.

To Remove Ink Stains—To remove ink stains without damage to the fabric, place the stained portion over a saucer and cover the stain with powdered borax; then pour peroxide of hydrogen over the borax. Do not pour water over the borax. The stain will disappear almost immediately.

Ink Stains Can be Removed without injury to the most delicately-colored material. Mix some mustard to a thick paste and spread it over the stain. After twenty-four hours sponge thoroughly with cold water; no trace of the ink will remain.

To Remove Ink from Linen After it Has Dried In—Wash out as much of the ink as possible in a pan of milk. Then put the article to soak in another pan of milk, letting it stand until the milk turns to clabber. Then wash out and not a trace of ink will remain.

Ink on Carpet—If ink is spilled on the carpet, wash it out at once with sweet milk and sprinkle it with white cornmeal. Let it remain over night. The next morning sweep it up and the colors will remain bright.

To Remove Ink from a Carpet, soak up as much of it as possible with blotting paper. Then saturate the spot with plenty of milk, and after some time, having removed the milk with blotting paper, rub the carpet with a clean cloth.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Vintage Houshold Tips - Part I

Take a look at these vintage tips from Fowler's Household Helps in 1916. Please note my disclaimer that these 'hints' are for entertainment purposes only. Some of these hints sound like they were invented for today's 'green' kitchen. Isn't it funny how we take major steps forward, but always seem to come back to the old ways?


Use Sand Soap to Sharpen the Food Chopper—If the knives of your food chopper become black and dull, run a piece of sand soap, or scouring brick, through the chopper as you would a potato. It will brighten and sharpen the knives and they will cut like new. Use pulverized sand soap or the scouring brick with which you scour.

Kerosene for Water Bugs—A small quantity of kerosene poured down the drain pipe occasionally will stop annoyance from this pest.

To Prevent a Glass from Breaking when pouring hot water in it, first put a spoon in the glass. This method can also be used when pouring hot soup or any hot liquid in any fragile receptacle.

When Butter is Too Hard to spread easily, turn a heated bowl upside down over the butter dish for a few minutes. This will thoroughly soften the butter without melting it.

To Open Fruit Jars—Strips of emery board, about one inch wide and eight inches or so long, will be found useful to loosen obstinate fruit jar tops. Just place the strip around the edge of the top, and give it a twist.

To Keep Refrigerator Sweet—A lump of charcoal should be placed in the refrigerator to keep it sweet. When putting your best tea or coffee urn away, drop a small piece of charcoal in it and prop the lid open with a toothpick.

Currycomb for Scaling Fish—A currycomb is better than a knife for scaling fish, as it protects the hands.

Corn popper for Toasting Bread—The corn popper can be used for toasting odds and ends of stale bread which would otherwise be wasted.

To Prevent Stains Under the Nails—Dip the ends of the fingers in melted tallow before beginning a task which is likely to stain them.

To Remove Stains from the Hands, rub them with a piece of lemon.

Starch to Prevent Chapped Hands—Use starch which is ground fine to prevent chapped hands. Every time the hands are washed and rinsed thoroughly, wipe them off, and, while they are yet damp, rub a pinch of starch over their entire surface. Chapping is then not likely to occur.

Wisp Brush for Greasy Pans and Kettles—A small wisp brush is better for cleaning greasy pans and kettles than the string mop you use for the dishes. You can buy them two for five cents. A little soap powder sprinkled on them makes a fine suds for the tinware and cooking utensils.

Best Way to Strain Soup—When straining soup set a coarse strainer inside of a fine one and pour the liquid through both; you will thus avoid clogging the fine one with pieces of meat and broken bones.

How to Crack Pecan Nuts—Almost all housewives know how very hard it is to crack pecan nuts and get the meats out whole. Pour boiling water over the nuts and let them stand tightly covered for five or six hours. The nut meats may then be extracted easily without a trace of the bitter lining of the nut. Use a nut cracker and crack lightly all around the nuts. The work is quickly done and is not at all like the tedious process of picking out the meats from the dry nuts. The meats nearly always come out whole.

Lemon Squeezer for Making Beef Juice—When one has to make beef juice in small quantities which does not warrant buying an expensive meat-press, use instead a ten-cent lemon squeezer. This can be sterilized by boiling and kept absolutely clean. One can press out several ounces in a very few minutes.

Quick Way to Peel Carrots—Use a coarse grater to peel carrots. A few passes over the grater will rid the carrots of their skins quicker than any other method.

Proper Way to Slice Bacon—To slice bacon properly, always place it rind down, and do not attempt to cut through the rind until you have the desired number of slices. Then slip the knife under them and cut them free of the rind, keeping as close to it as possible.

When Cream is on the Turn—When the sweetness of the cream is doubtful and there is no more on hand and it must be used, a pinch of soda will keep it from curdling, even in hot coffee.

To Prevent Musty Teapot—When putting away a silver teapot, or one that is not in everyday use, place a little stick across the top underneath the cover. This will allow fresh air to get in and prevent mustiness.

Lemon or Orange Peel for Tea Caddy—Thoroughly dry the peel from an orange or a lemon, and place it in the tea caddy. This will greatly improve the flavor of the tea.

Heat Lemons Before Squeezing—In using lemons, heat them thoroughly before squeezing and you will obtain nearly double the quantity of juice that you would if they had not been heated.

To Keep Teakettle from Rusting—A clean oyster shell placed in the teakettle will keep out rust.

To Clean Gas Stove Burners—Pick the holes open with a large pin and apply a vacuum cleaner to take out the particles of dirt.

Flour for Burning Kerosene—Wheaten flour is the best extinguisher to throw over a fire caused by the spilling and ignition of kerosene. This should be a matter of common knowledge, since flour is always within convenient reach.

Use for Old Newspapers—Old newspapers clean stoves beautifully, as well as being useful for polishing kitchen windows.

To Take Rust from Flat-Irons, tie some yellow beeswax or paraffine in a cloth, and when the iron is warm, but not hot enough to use, rub with the wax and then rub it through sand or salt.

A Good Stove Polisher—A piece of burlap is a very good polisher for the kitchen stove or range when it is hot. It does not burn readily, and for that reason is better than flannel or cotton cloth or paper.

Wire Rack for Use Under Pies—When taking pies from the oven, do not put them on the flat surface of the table to cool unless a high wire rack is put under them. The rack helps to keep the crust crisp and they will not be soggy.

Marble Slab or Plate Glass for Mixing Board—For mixing cake and pastry an old marble slab or a piece of plate glass is better than a wooden board.

To Prevent Cakes from Burning—Sprinkle the bottom of the oven with fine, dry salt to prevent cakes, pies, and other pastry from burning on the bottom.

Wooden Bowl When Washing Silver—When washing silver, use a wooden tub or bowl if possible. There will be less danger of the silver getting scratched or otherwise damaged.

Tissue Paper for Greasy Dishes—Very greasy dishes should be wiped with soft tissue paper before being washed.

To Skin Tomatoes Easily—Tomatoes nearly always have to be skinned before being used. To do this easily, place them in a basin and pour boiling water over them. Let stand a minute, and then drain.

Another method is to rub the tomatoes all over with the back of a knife to loosen the skins before peeling. This is said to be better than scalding.

To Peel Sweet Potatoes Easily—Before putting sweet potatoes in the oven, grease the skins and they can then be peeled easily and without any waste of the potato.

To Prevent Roasted Meat from Drying Out—To prevent roasted meat, which is to be served cold, from drying out and losing its flavor, wrap it in cheesecloth while it is still hot.

When Food is Too Salty—When you have put too much salt into cooking food, stretch a clean cloth tightly over the kettle and sprinkle a table-spoonful of flour over the cloth. Then allow the contents of the kettle to steam and in a few moments the flour will absorb the surplus salt.

To Remove Fish Odor from Hands—A few drops of ammonia in the water in which you wash your hands will remove all fishy odor from the hands after preparing fish for cooking.

To Remove Onion Smell from Pans—The disagreeable smell of onions which clings to pots and pans so stubbornly can be quickly removed by washing and drying the pans, then scouring them with common salt, and placing them on the stove until the salt is brown. Shake often, then wash the pans as usual.

To Prevent Onions from Making the Eyes Water—Scalding water poured over onions will keep the eyes from watering.

Hint When Baking Bread—When baking bread or rolls, put a saucepan full of boiling water into the oven. The steam rising from it will keep the crust smooth and tender.

To Make Meat Tender—A tablespoonful of vinegar added to tough meat while it is boiling or roasting will make it more tender.

To Keep the Lid on a Boiling Pot—A teaspoonful of butter dropped into the water in which you are boiling dry beans, or other starchy vegetables, will stop the annoyance of having the lid of the pot jump off, as it will otherwise do. The butter acts the same as oil on troubled waters and keeps it calm and manageable.

To Take Fish Taste from Forks and Spoons—To remove the taste and smell of fish from forks and spoons, rub them with a small piece of butter before washing. All taste and smell will thus be entirely removed.

How to Judge Mushrooms—Sprinkle a little salt on the gills of mushrooms to judge their fitness to eat. If the gills turn black the mushrooms are fit for food; if they turn yellow, the mushrooms are poisonous.

Orange Peel for Cake Flavoring—Do not throw away orange peel, but dry in the oven. Grate the yellow part and use for flavoring cakes. It will give a delicious orange taste.

How to Prevent Fish from Breaking Up When Frying—When frying fish, if the pieces are put in the hot fat with the skin side uppermost, and allowed to brown well before turning, there will be no possibility of the fish breaking up.

To Remove Cake from Tin—When taking a cake from the oven, place the cake tin on a damp cloth for a moment and the cake will turn out of the tin quite easily.

Lemon Juice for Boiling Rice—A few drops of lemon juice added to boiling rice will help to keep the grains separate and will make them white.

Onion for Boston Baked Beans—Bake a small onion with your Boston baked beans to prevent indigestion and add to their fine flavor.

Hint for Baking Gems—When filling gem pans with batter leave one pan without batter and fill with water. This will prevent the gems from burning on top.

Sandpaper for Cleaning Pots—Always keep a piece of fine sandpaper by the sink with which to clean pots.

To Prevent Cake from Sticking to Tins after baking, first grease the tins and then dust them with flour. Lightly beat out the loose flour, leaving only that which sticks to the grease. This does away with the old-fashioned method of lining the pans with greased paper.

To Peel Apples Easily—Pour boiling water over the cooking apples and they will be much easier to peel. This will be found a considerable saving of time when busy.

When Bread is Too Brown—When bread is baked in too hot an oven and the outside crust gets too brown, do not attempt to cut it off, but as soon as the bread gets cold rub it over with a coarse tin grater and remove all the dark-brown crust.

Mustard for Removing Odors from the Hands—Ground mustard is excellent for cleaning the hands after handling onions and other things with disagreeable odors.

Economy in Use of Candles—A candle which has burned too low to remain in the candlestick can be used to the very end if removed from the stick and placed on a penny or other small, flat piece of metal.

To Get Rid of Spiders—A good way to rid the house of spiders is to take pieces of cotton wool, saturate them with oil of pennyroyal and place them in their haunts.

To Rid the Kitchen of Flies—Take a cup of vinegar and place it on the stove where it will simmer enough to make an odor.

To Clear Beetles Out of Cupboards and larders, sprinkle a little benzine over the boards. This method will kill the eggs as well as the insects.

To Drive Cockroaches Away—Powdered gum camphor will drive cockroaches away if sprinkled about their haunts.

To Remove Egg Stains from Silver—Egg stains can be removed from silver by rubbing it with table salt on a wet rag.

To Polish Faucets—Nothing is better for scouring a faucet than the half of a lemon after the juice has been squeezed out. After scouring, wash it and it will shine like new. An orange peel will also give good results.

For Scorched Vegetables or Other Food—When vegetables or other foods become scorched, remove the kettle at once from the stove and put it into a pan of cold water. In a quarter of an hour the suggestion of scorch will be nearly if not entirely gone.

When Cake is Scorched—If a cake is scorched on the top or bottom, grate over it lightly with a nutmeg-grater instead of scraping it with a knife. This leaves a smooth surface for frosting.

To Make Muffins and Gems Lighter—Muffins and gems will be lighter if, after greasing your pans you place them in the oven a few moments and let them get hot before putting in the batter.

To Make Pie Crust Flaky—To make pie crust flaky, try adding half a spoonful of vinegar to the cold water when mixing.

To Make Apple Pie Tender—If you are in doubt whether the apples in your open-top pies are cooking tender, just invert another pie pan over the pie and the steam will serve to cook the apples thoroughly.

To Make Fowl Tender—After a turkey or chicken is cleaned, the inside and outside should be rubbed thoroughly with a lemon before the dressing is put in. It will make the meat white, juicy and tender.

To Prevent Meat from Scorching—When roasting meat, and there is danger that it will become too brown, place a dish of water in the oven. The steam arising from it will prevent scorching and the meat will cook better. A piece of greased paper placed over the meat is also considered good.

To Keep Eggs from Popping When Cooking—Mix a tablespoonful of flour in the hot grease in which eggs are to be cooked, and break the eggs into this. You will also find that the flour gives the eggs a better flavor.

To Remove Egg Shells When Cooking—If a piece of shell gets into the egg when breaking eggs into a bowl, just touch it with a half shell and it can easily be removed.

To Keep Yolks of Eggs Fresh—Yolks of eggs which are not wanted for immediate use can be kept good for several days by dropping them into cold water and keeping in a cool place—the cooler the better.

To Prevent Boiling Eggs from Cracking—The four following suggestions are given in regard to boiling eggs. Use the one best suited to the purpose:

When Boiling Eggs, wet the shells thoroughly in cold water and they will not crack.

To Prevent Eggs from Bursting While Boiling, prick one end of each of the eggs with a needle before placing them in the water. This makes an outlet for the air and keeps the shells from cracking.

If Eggs Which You Are About to Boil Are Cracked, add a little vinegar to the water and they can then be boiled as satisfactorily as undamaged ones.

A Spoonful of Salt should be added to the water in which slightly cracked eggs are boiled. The salt will prevent the white of the egg from coming out.

Worn-Out Broom for Floor Polisher—When a long-handled broom becomes worn out, instead of throwing it away, tie a piece of felt or flannel cloth around the head and make a good floor polisher. It will make work much easier and also keep linoleum in good condition. Footmarks can be rubbed off at any time without stooping.

To Clean a Slender Flower Vase fasten a piece of an old sponge onto a stick and push it down into the vase; this will also be found useful for cleaning decanters and water bottles.

To Keep Bread Fresh—Wash a potato, wipe it dry and put it in your breadpan. It will keep the bread fresh for several days.

To Freshen Old Lemons—Lemons that have become old and dry can be made fresh and juicy again by putting them in a pan of hot water and keeping the water at an even temperature for about two hours.

A More Effective Dishcloth for Cleaning—In knitting dishcloths it is a good plan to put in several rows of hard-twisted cord. This hard part of the cloth will clean many surfaces on which it is not advisable to use scouring soap or metal.

To Clean Linoleum, use skimmed milk instead of water. It will keep it glossy, and will not rot it as water does.

A Good Remedy for Burns—Cover a soft cloth with a thick layer of scraped raw potato (Irish) and apply it to the burned part. The potato should be renewed as often as necessary to keep it moist.

For Burns and Light Scalds—At once coat the burned or scalded spot with mucilage and the smarting will cease almost instantly. If the burn is quite deep, keep it covered with a paste made of cold water and flour; do not allow the paste to get dry until the smarting stops.

Brush for Removing Silk from Corn—When preparing corn on the ear for the table, or for canning purposes, use a small hand brush to remove the silk. It will do the job more thoroughly and quicker than it can be done with the fingers.

To Remove Grease Spots from the Kitchen Floor—Apply alcohol to the spots and you will be surprised to find how easily they can be removed. The small amount of alcohol necessary to be used need not soil the hands.

To Open a Jar of Fruit or Vegetables Which Has Stuck Fast—Place the jar in a deep saucepan half full of cold water; bring it to a boil and let it boil for a few moments. The jar can then be opened easily.

To Identify Dishes Which Have Been Loaned—When taking dishes or silver to a picnic or other public gathering, place a small piece of surgeon’s plaster on the bottom of each dish and on the under side of the handles of spoons and forks. On this plaster mark your initials (in indelible ink if possible). The plaster will not come off during ordinary washing, but can later be removed by putting it in a warm place until the adhesive gum melts.

Tablet or Slate for Kitchen Memoranda—Keep in the kitchen a tablet with a pencil tied to it, or a ten-cent slate and pencil hung upon the wall. The day’s work is easier and smoother if you plan each morning the special tasks of the day and jot them down, checking them off as accomplished. Planning the day’s meals in advance results in better balanced menus. Writing down all groceries and household supplies as needed will save time when you go to the store or the order boy calls.

To Fasten Food Chopper Securely—Before fastening the food chopper to the table, put a piece of sandpaper, large enough to go under both clamps, rough side up, on the table; then screw the chopper clamps up tight and you will not be bothered with them working loose.

To Remove Insects from Vegetables which are being washed, put a pinch of borax in the water. It will bring any live insect to the surface at once.

To Clean Rust and Stains from Tin—Tins that have become rusty or stained may be cleaned by rubbing well with the cut surface of a raw potato which has been dipped in a fine cleaning powder.

To Polish Glass—After washing glass, polish with dry salt.

Lemon Juice for Cut Glass—Lemon juice is fine for polishing cut-glass tumblers. These pretties are so delicate there is always danger of breaking the stems. Fill a pan half full of cold water, place a cloth in the bottom and then add the juice of an entire lemon. Just dipping a tumbler about in this cleans and polishes it and it only needs drying with soft linen.

Many Uses of Ammonia—As a time saver it is unequalled when washing woodwork and windows. It is fine for cleaning carpets on the floor. They should be swept well and the broom washed; then brush again with water. They will look much brighter, and if there is a lurking moth in the carpet this treatment will destroy it. Ammonia will set color, remove stains and grease, and soften fabrics.

A light soap suds with a few drops of ammonia added will give a sparkle to ordinary pressed glass and china impossible to secure without it.

Hints for Oil Lamps and Chimneys—The five following paragraphs contain some good suggestions for the use of oil lamps:

Put a Small Lump of Camphor Gum in the body of an oil lamp and it will greatly improve the light and make the flame clearer and brighter. A few drops of vinegar occasionally is said to give the same results.

To Prevent Lamp Chimney from Cracking—A common hairpin placed astride the top edge of a lamp chimney will keep it from cracking from the heat, and will greatly prolong its life.

Gas and Lamp Chimneys, earthenware and baking dishes can be toughened before using by putting them into cold water which is heated gradually until it boils and then cooled slowly.

When Washing Your Lamp Chimneys, lift them out of the water and set them on the hot stove; they will not break. Let them steam; then wipe on a clean cloth and they will be as clear as crystal.

Take Your Lamp Wicks When New and soak them thoroughly in good apple vinegar and you will be delighted with the result. Do not wring them out, but hang them near a stove or lay out on a plate until dry. This treatment will double the lighting power of your lamps or lanterns. With wicks prepared in this way, only one cleaning each week is necessary, as the wicks will not smoke and the chimney and globe will not blacken around the top.

To Mend Broken China, Etc.—The four following methods of mending china, etc., are all considered good:

To Mend Broken China—Mix well a teaspoonful of alum and a tablespoonful of water and place it in a hot oven until quite transparent. Wash the broken pieces in hot water, dry them, and while still warm coat the broken edges thickly; then press together very quickly, for it sticks instantly.

To Mend Broken Crockery—White lead is one of the few cements that will resist both heat and water. Apply it thinly to the edges of the broken pieces, press them tightly together and set aside to dry.

A Cheap Cement for Broken China is lime mixed with the white of an egg. Take only sufficient white of an egg to mend one article at a time, and mix thoroughly with a small quantity of lime.

To Mend China successfully melt a small quantity of pulverized alum in an old spoon over the fire. Before it hardens rub the alum over the pieces to be united, press them together and set aside to dry. After drying they will not come apart, even when washed with hot water.

Embroidery Hoops and Cheesecloth for Cooling Dishes—When putting puddings or other dishes out of doors to cool, use a cover made of embroidery hoops of proper size with cheesecloth put in as a piece of embroidery is. The contents will be safe from dust and at the same time the air can circulate freely. The hoops will keep the cloth from getting into the contents and also weigh just enough to keep it from blowing off.

To Clean Mica in Stove Doors—To clean the mica in stove doors, rub it with a soft cloth dipped in equal parts of vinegar and cold water.

To Clean Tarnished Silver, use a piece of raw potato dipped in baking soda.

For Tarnished Silverware—If the silverware has become badly tarnished, put it in an aluminum dish, cover it with water, and boil it up for a short time. It will come out bright and clean.

To Clean White Knife Handles—To clean and whiten ivory-handled knives which have become yellow with age, rub with fine emery paper or sandpaper.

To Prevent Rust in Tinware—If new tinware is rubbed over with fresh lard and thoroughly heated in the oven before being used, it will never rust afterward, no matter how much it is put in water.

To Remove Rust from Tinware—To remove rust from tinware, rub the rusted part well with a green tomato cut in half. Let this remain on the tin for a few minutes; then wash the article and the rust will have vanished.

Kerosene for Tinware Stains, Etc.—Kerosene removes stains from tinware, porcelain tubs and varnished furniture. Rub with a woolen cloth saturated with it; the odor quickly evaporates.

To Preserve Enamel Pans—If new enamel pans are placed in a pan of water and allowed to come to a boil and then cooled, they will be found to last much longer without burning or cracking.

To Prevent Dust When Sweeping—Wet the broom before starting to sweep; it makes it more pliable and less hard on the carpet’s pile and also prevents dust from arising.

To Clean Paint or Rust from Linoleum—When linoleum becomes spotted with paint or rust it may be cleaned by rubbing with steel shavings or emery paper.

Linseed Oil for Kitchen Floor—Boiled linseed oil applied to the kitchen floor will give a finish that is easily cleaned. It may also be painted over the draining board of the sink; this will do away with hard scrubbing. It should be renewed twice a year.

Window Cleaning Hints—The six following paragraphs will be found useful when cleaning windows:

After Polishing Windows, moisten a clean rag with a very little glycerine and rub it over the pane. Windows polished in this way do not “steam” and will stay clean much longer.

A Cold-Weather Cleaner for Windows—Dampen a cheesecloth with kerosene and you can clean your windows quickly in cold weather when water can not be applied to the glass without freezing.

Window Cleaning Help—Before starting to clean windows carefully brush all dust off the frames. Add a few drops of kerosene to the water used for cleaning and it will give the glass a much brighter and more crystal-like appearance.

To Clean Windows—First wash the glass with water to which a little ammonia has been added and then polish with a chamois which has been dipped in water and wrung as dry as possible.

Cloths for Cleaning Windows Without Use of Water can be made with a semi-liquid paste of benzine and calcined magnesia. The cloth, which should be coarse linen or something free from lint, is dipped into this mixture and hung in the air until the spirits have evaporated and it is free from odor. This cloth may be used again and again and is a great convenience. When soiled, wash it and redip.

To Remove Paint from Window Panes—Paint can be removed from window panes by applying a strong solution of soda.

To Clean a Glass Bottle, cut a lemon in small pieces and drop them into the bottle; half fill with water, and shake well.

Old Stocking Tops for Dusters or Dustless Mop—Old stocking tops make good dusters when sewed together. They also make good polishing cloths for oiling and rubbing down floors and furniture.

Several old stocking tops cut into strips and dipped in paraffine oil make a fine dustless mop for hardwood floors.

Cheap Stain for Wood Floors—Ten cents’ worth of permanganate of potash will stain a wood floor. When dry polish it with some beeswax and turpentine. It will look as though it had been that color for years. Put the permanganate of potash in an old tin and pour about one quart of boiling water over it; then, with a brush, paint over the floor, after it has cooled. When thoroughly dry, polish. The floor will look like oak.

Cheap Polish for Varnished Floors or Linoleum—Take equal parts of kerosene, linseed oil and turpentine to make an inexpensive polish for oiled or varnished floors. An application of this polish to the kitchen linoleum with soft cloth or mop will keep it like new.

Varnish for Linoleum—To make linoleum last much longer and have a better appearance, give it a good coat of varnish every few months.

To Make Wallpaper Waterproof—To varnish the paper back of the sink, or other places, so it may be wiped with a damp cloth, coat with a mixture made with one ounce of gum arabic, three ounces of glue, and a bar of soap, dissolved in a quart of water. This amount will coat quite a wide surface.