HOUSEHOLD CLEANING HINTS
CLEANING ALUMINIUM UTENSILS
For regular cleaning, hot water and a neutral soap are
advised. Very fine steel wool, which can be bought in packets,
or some simple cleansing powder free from soda, is useful for
removing any discoloration. A weak solution of vinegar boiled
in the saucepan will also remove tarnish.
Use a good-sized enamelling brush for cleaning and note how
quickly and effectively it cleans out crevices and corners.
Even a large-sized mattress may be turned without undue
exertion if strong handles, made of leather, or strips of
bed-ticking, are sewn on about half a foot from the end of
each corner. This plan saves strain and broken finger-nails.
When a water-bottle becomes discoloured put into it one
tablespoonful of coarse salt and two tablespoonfuls of
vinegar. Shake well for a few minutes, then fill up with warm
water and stand for an hour or two. Pour out the contents and
rinse with clean water. This treatment will, as a rule, leave
the glass quite clean and bright, but it may be necessary to
repeat the process.
Cruet bottles used for vinegar sometimes become brown in
appearance. To remove this stain, caused by the acid of
vinegar, fill the bottles with a strong solution of washing
soda and allow to stand for about half an hour. Rinse
thoroughly in warm water and dry.
BLACK FLOATING BOWLS
After shallow black bowls have been in use a short time,
particularly in hard-water districts, a white chalky deposit
appears on their inner surface. This may be removed by
moistening a cloth with lemon juice and rubbing it briskly
over the marks, then rinse and dry the bowl. Its appearance
may be still further improved by polishing with any furniture
cream or wax polish.
WHEN CLEANING BRASS
First clean the metal in the ordinary way, using brass polish,
then coat very lightly with some good floor polish and rub up
with a soft duster. The lustre lasts considerably longer.
Rottenstone is very useful for cleaning badly neglected brass.
Boil the article in a strong solution of washing soda, rinse
thoroughly, then wash in warm soapy water, using a small
scrubbing brush for ornamental parts. When dry, polish with
rottenstone and oil. Finally polish with a little dry
rottenstone and a soft duster.
CLEANING BRASS CURTAIN RODS
The so-called brass rod in reality is iron cased with brass,
and the latter quickly tarnishes from atmospheric moisture. To
save constant cleaning, thoroughly well polish the rods,
taking care that every trace of metal polish is removed, then
apply a thin coat of clear shellac or wax polish. The
application of a little oil, with a small brush or pipe
cleaner, to the moving parts of a patent runner ensures silent
and easy movement.
Should be rubbed frequently with a soft duster or chamois
leather and, when necessary, washed with a good soap and
water. Neither soda nor brass polish should be employed; the
lacquer is only a kind of varnish, and is easily removed with
any strong treatment.
CLEANING A BRICK FIREPLACE
Scrubbing should usually be sufficient to keep an unglazed
brick fireplace in good condition, but occasionally more
drastic treatment is necessary. The use of spirits of salts,
or hydrochloric acid, diluted with water, using approximately
1/4 acid to 3/4 water, removes any traces of plaster and
brightens the bricks. If hydrochloric acid is not available,
undiluted vinegar may be used instead. As hydrochloric acid is
corrosive it should be used with care and stored in a safe
place. Naturally the bricks should be well rinsed after its
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BRONZE ORNAMENTS OR STATUETTES
When cleaning these, avoid the use of water. Dust with a soft
duster, using a brush, if necessary, for the ornamental parts.
If the bronze requires further cleaning, apply a sparing
application of olive oil, rubbing it well. Afterwards remove
all trace of oil with a soft duster.
BRUSHES AND BROOMS
When new, brushes and brooms should be soaked for some hours
in cold water, then thoroughly dried before being used. This
prevents the bristles coming out so easily. Brushes must be
kept clean, and, when necessary, washed in a pail of hot,
soapy water, rinsed in cold water, and set up to dry. Never
let brushes stand on their bristles, but hang them by wire
loops. The wire, unlike string, never twists and does not wear
Combing the household brooms and the brushes in the carpet
sweeper and cleaner is the only way of effectively removing
hairs and fluff. A horse curry-comb is about the best sort to
use, as it is coarse and strong
BEFORE WASHING EBONY BRUSHES
Rub the wood thoroughly with Vaseline. This will prevent the
washing water from spoiling the ebony. The Vaseline may be
rubbed off afterwards with a dry duster and the wood will be
beautifully polished. Do not use too much Vaseline.
WHEN WASHING BRUSHES
Prepare warm soapy water such as is used for woollens. For
toilet brushes, the addition of a tablespoonful of borax to
two quarts of water softens it and helps in the removal of
grease. Household brushes, such as those used for boots,
black-leading stoves, etc., are generally very greasy, so that
the use of a small amount of washing soda is generally
necessary to facilitate cleansing. Wash by dipping the
bristles up and down in the soapy lather, afterwards rinsing
thoroughly in warm water to remove the soap. Then rinse in
cold water to harden the bristles, shake and hang out of doors
to dry. Brushes with flat backs, such as hair brushes, should
be stood on their backs to dry, after as much moisture as
possible has been shaken from them.
CARE OF WAX-POLISHING BRUSHES
Use a wire comb or stiff dandy brush on wax-polishing brushes
regularly to remove cotton or dust. Once a week or once a
fortnight is generally sufficient, according to how often the
polisher is used.
When sweeping either with a stiff broom or short-handled brush
always move the brush in the direction of the pile. To prevent
dust rising sprinkle tea leaves, from which all the tea has
been squeezed, over the carpet.
An easy way of removing grease spots from carpets is to
moisten a small piece of cloth with turpentine and rub over
the stains very hard until the spot disappears. Then rub
vigorously with a clean, dry duster until all trace of the
turpentine is removed or dust will stick to the carpet.
TO REMOVE CANDLE GREASE FROM CARPETS
First scrape off solid grease with a blunt knife. Place a
piece of blotting-paper over the spot and press with a hot
iron, moving the blotting-paper into different positions so
that the grease is more readily absorbed. If any trace of
grease remains after this treatment, it may be removed with
petrol. This liquid, being highly inflammable, should not be
used in a room with an open fire or light.
REMOVING SOOT FROM CARPETS
Soot marks are frequently found on carpets near the fireplace.
These can be removed by rubbing the place with a rag dipped in
carbon tetrachloride (a few ounces can be purchased from any
chemist, and will last a considerable time). The mark should
be rubbed vigorously, using a circular motion, and as soon as
the rag becomes soiled a clean one should be taken. Care
should be taken not to inhale this chemical, as it has slight
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THE CARE OF CORK CARPET
Of all floor coverings cork carpet is one of the most
difficult to keep in good condition. Its rough surface allows
dirt and grease to penetrate, which is not easily removed.
When necessary, wash it with warm water containing borax,
about a tablespoonful to a gallon of water. Afterwards rinse
thoroughly to remove all trace of borax, or the carpet may be
patchy in appearance. Neglected cork carpet, which is badly
spotted and the appearance of which cannot be improved by
washing, may be treated with a liberal amount of wax polish.
Several applications will probably be necessary before a
fairly smooth surface is obtained.
USES FOR CHAMOIS LEATHER
A chamois leather of medium size makes an excellent final
polisher for antique as well as highly polished furniture. The
cleaning of the glass of mirrors and pictures should be done
with a chamois leather wrung out of warm water. The advantage
of using a leather for this purpose is that no fluff remains
on the glass. If table silver is regularly washed in warm
soapy water, dried with a teacloth, and polished with a
chamois leather, it does not require a weekly clean.
TO CLEAN WICKER CHAIRS
Remove the dust from padded cushions with a furniture brush or
vacuum cleaner. Wash the wicker-work with warm soapy water to
which a little borax has been added. Rinse with plenty of cold
water containing one tablespoonful of salt to one gallon of
water. Dry out of doors for preference; if this is impossible,
before an open window. If the wicker is discoloured, brush
over with lemon juice after rinsing.
Metal coffee-pots, if not of aluminium, should always be
bright on the inside to ensure good coffee. An occasional
boiling of soapy water in which a little washing soda is
dissolved removes the discoloration. Thorough rinsing
afterwards is essential.
RENOVATING CRETONNE COVERS
New cretonne covers which are not sufficiently soiled to
require laundering may be freshened by rubbing over with a
petrol brush or with a pad of white cotton dipped in petrol.
This treatment is specially suitable for the arms and
head-rest, which usually become greasy. On account of the
inflammable nature of petrol the work should be done out of
FRESHENING KAPOK CUSHIONS
The possessor of a broom-handle type of electric vacuum
cleaner need only remove the dust-bag, and in its place tie on
the clean cushion-case. The lumpy kapok is then put on a clean
linoleum floor and the machine run over it. In a few minutes
the kapok, beautifully milled, fills the cushion case. Without
a machine it must be fluffed by hand.
TO WHITEN DEAL TABLES
These may be kept beautifully white if they are scoured
occasionally with the following mixture: 6 tablespoonfuls
chloride of lime, 1/2 lb. soft soap, and 1/2 lb. silver sand.
Mix these ingredients together and apply with a scrubbing
brush. Rinse thoroughly to remove all trace of sand and soap.
Dishes can be washed or rinsed quickly and effectively if a 2
1/4 foot piece of garden rubber hose with a spray nozzle is
used by screwing it on to the hot, or cold, tap at the sink.
The force of the spray is far greater than the ordinary flow,
and the water can easily be directed to specially flush any
particular corners or crevices.
To remove the brown stain found on egg-spoons, rub with a
moistened cloth dipped in salt after the spoons have been
PORCELAIN ENAMELLED BATHS
An easy method of removing the line of soap curd that always
appears after using a porcelain enamelled bath, is to sprinkle
a little dry soap powder (not a scouring powder or any
substance of a gritty nature) on to a piece of old Turkish
towelling and rub gently, when the marks quickly disappear.
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FOR CLEANING PORCELAIN ENAMEL
Porcelain enamel needs very careful treatment if it is not to
be damaged in cleaning. A paste made of powdered whiting,
French chalk and water, or plain turpentine or turpentine
substitute, will not in any way impair the surface and will
bring grease marks and stains away without exertion.
TO REMOVE RUST STAIN FROM ENAMELWARE
First wash, to remove all trace of grease. Then moisten a
small piece of muslin with a solution of salts of lemon, apply
this to the stain and rub it gently. It may be necessary to
repeat the process once or twice. When all discoloration has
been removed, rinse with plenty of clean water. This same
method may be used for cleaning porcelain enamelled baths, but
great care must be exercised, as acids used carelessly may
damage the surface of the enamel.
CLEANING ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT
The blowing attachment of a vacuum cleaner can be used to
advantage for removing dust and crumbs from the filaments of
toasters, cookers, etc., without damaging them in the
slightest degree. A flat paint-brush which can be purchased
for a few pence will be found most handy for this purpose; it
will remove all trace of crumbs very easily.
CARE OF PATENT FLOORS
Floors made from sawdust and a mineral substance which
petrifies after being laid a few days, require a plentiful
supply of linseed oil when new, until a thoroughly good
surface is obtained. The oil should be well worked in, and the
surplus allowed to remain on the floor overnight. If coarse
sawdust was used in making the floor, it may be necessary to
rub down the floor with steel-wire balls. When a smooth
surface has been obtained, patent floors only require
polishing with one of the well-known and efficient floor
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TO CLEAN WHITE FUR
Shake the fur first and brush out all dust, using a clean
brush. Then lay the fur on a large towel or small sheet and
sprinkle it with a handful of powdered magnesia. Rub this in
with the hand, paying particular attention to the parts that
are most soiled. Fold double with the fur inside, wrap up in
the towel or sheet and lay aside for three or four days. Then
shake the fur out of doors and beat on the wrong side with a
light cane until free from powder.
CLEANING FUR COLLARS AND COATS
Towards the end of the winter, fur coats and collars become
soiled. They can be cleaned by warming plenty of bran in the
oven. Rub this well into the fur, using a clean cloth or brush
for the purpose. Those who have a vacuum cleaner provided with
a suitable attachment, either hand-power or electric, should
use it to remove the bran.
TO CLEAN GOLD OR SILVER CHAINS
Put into a jar or wide-mouthed bottle, that has a screw top or
tight-fitting cork, I teaspoonful of hot water, 1/2
teaspoonful of ammonia, I teaspoonful of soap powder, and I
teaspoonful of powdered whiting. Mix together, put in the
chain, and cover tightly. Shake well, and leave for a few
minutes. Rinse in clear warm water, pat between the folds of a
soft towel to dry, and then rub very carefully with a chamois
CLEANING THE GAS-STOVE GRID
If this is old and has become very soiled and greasy, an
unpleasant smell occurs every time the gas rings are lighted.
By removing all the burners and scrubbing them in hot
soda-water they can be thoroughly cleaned, but if time is of
consequence, remove the grid and place it over a hot fire for
a few minutes, when all the grease will be burnt off. This
should only be done occasionally.
TO CLEAN LINOLEUM
The appearance of soiled and discoloured linoleum can be much
improved by cleaning with turpentine. Turpentine removes the
polish with which the dirt is incorporated. To prevent
linoleum from becoming soiled in this way, clean polishing
rags should invariably be used, particularly for
TO REMOVE INK STAINS FROM LINOLEUM AND POLISHED FLOORS
If possible, soak the ink up immediately with blotting-paper.
Scrub the stained part with a little warm water. If any ink
still remains, pour over a little oxalic acid. Rinse with
water containing a little washing-soda. Then wax polish to
improve the surface after using the soda.
TO BRIGHTEN MARBLE
Try the following: Wash the marble in the usual way, using a
little scouring powder if necessary, and dry thoroughly. Then
put a very little white furniture cream on a clean cloth and
rub over the surface of the marble. This will give it a fine
polish, which will be most pleasing to the eye.
CLEANING DISCOLOURED MARBLE
If badly stained, the judicious use of lemon juice will remove
stains and discolorations from marble. It must be remembered,
however, that lemon juice, being an acid, will impair the
surface if allowed to remain in contact with it for very long
or if applied too frequently. It should only be used,
therefore, after rubbing the stained part with a paste made of
soap and whiting has proved ineffectual. Friction soap
cleansers should not be used for polished marble as they
roughen the surface, and in consequence the marble soils more
readily. After the use of lemon juice, all trace should be
removed by thorough rinsing with warm water and drying. When
dry, the rubbing in of a very little salad oil, followed by
vigorous polishing with a soft duster, improves the appearance
of the marble, giving it a gloss. Oil, however, should not be
applied to other than a smooth surface.
TO CLEAN MIRRORS
These should first be dusted, and the frames lightly wiped
with a dry, clean cloth. Polish up the glass with a pad of
soft newspaper, or if it requires more cleaning moisten a
little fine whiting with methylated spirits, and rub this well
over the glass with a soft rag, being careful not to touch the
frame. Rub off again with a duster and polish with a chamois
leather. If the frame is gilt, wipe it gently with a wet
chamois leather and dry with a very soft duster-a piece of old
silk is best.
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FINGER MARKS ON MAHOGANY FURNITURE
Can be removed by rubbing with a cloth dipped in paraffin, or
if preferred the furniture can be washed with warm soapy
water. It should be dried thoroughly and polished with a good
CLEANING OXIDISED METALS
In damp rooms oxidised silver, brass and copper fenders, and
other articles occasionally become discoloured. The safest way
to remove this discoloration is to rub the metal work fairly
briskly with a cloth soaked in oil. Any good furniture or
linseed oil can be used for the purpose. For decorated and
ornamental metal work, apply the oil with a stiff brush. It
may be necessary to repeat this process once or twice, and in
bad cases a good plan is to apply the oil overnight and remove
it in the morning. Polish thoroughly with a soft duster.
TO CLEAN NEGLECTED WHITE AND CREAM PAINTWARE
Wring out a soft, clean woollen cloth after putting it in a
bowl of hot water in which one teaspoonful of borax is
dissolved. Then dip the cloth into a saucer containing
ordinary whiting. Go over the paintwork with this until it is
clean, frequently re-immersing the cloth in the water,
wringing out, and applying whiting to it. Wipe paint over with
a clean cloth, wrung out from clean water. Dry with a soft old
towel and finally polish with a large chamois. The most
delicate paintwork may be treated like this with excellent
PAINT CLEANING HINT
When cleaning paint great difficulty is often experienced in
removing dust from the cracks, ledges and frames of windows,
bannisters, etc. An ordinary small enamel paint brush, which
decorators call a " sash tool," is excellent for this purpose.
First wet the paint with soapy water, apply soap to the brush,
and work out the dirt with the bristles. Afterwards, rinse and
dry in the usual way. Needless to say, only an old brush
should be used for this purpose.
CARE OF PAINTED DOORS
Wipe coloured painted doors with a damp cloth and leather to
remove the traces of soot and dust. When quite dry, rub in a
little good furnishing oil, or any good wax polish thinned
down with turpentine. Polish lightly with an old silk duster,
when the door will look as though newly painted. Doors of
white paint should be sponged with water and wiped dry with a
TRAYS Should be washed in warm soapy water and
occasionally rubbed over with sweet ail. An excellent polished
surface can be retained by the application of any good wax
polish. This requires to be well rubbed in, and then finished
off with an old silk duster.
TO CLEAN PEWTER
Take some whiting and sweet oil and mix them to a thin paste
with methylated spirits or a little ammonia. Apply this to the
pewter with a soft rag, rubbing it well in. Rub off when dry
and polish with a chamois leather.
TO CLEAN PIANO KEYS
Moisten a soft white cloth in alcohol, such as methylated
spirit, and wipe the keys, rubbing the way of the grain.
Polish with a soft linen cloth or chamois leather.
CLEANING BURNT PIE-DISHES
Burnt food can be removed from the rim of pie-dishes, plates,
etc., by dipping a damp cloth into common salt, then into wood
ash, and rubbing vigorously.
CLEANING SAUCEPANS, BAKING-TINS, ETC.
A mixture made by warming I lb. soft soap, I lb. powdered
whiting, I lb. of sand, and z quarts of water is excellent for
cleaning saucepans and baking pans. It can also be used for
aluminium provided it is quickly applied and thoroughly rinsed
off. When fat has burnt on the bottom of a saucepan, fill it
with water, and leave for an hour or so; then empty out the
water, and dip a soft saucepan brush into the cleaning mixture
and well scrub the pan. The outside should also be polished by
rubbing with some of the mixture. If this method of cleaning
pans is adopted it will be found that food does not readily
stick or burn in them.
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STEEL WOOL FOR SUEDE SHOES
The finest steel wool is one of the best cleaners obtainable
for suede shoes, Just brush the surface lightly with a small
quantity of the steel wool, and the spots will disappear as if
by magic. A petrol-cleaning brush is also most excellent.
CLEANING BROWN SHOES
If oil is inadvertently allowed to come into contact with
brown shoes, an ugly stain appears. This may generally be
removed by cleaning carefully with petrol, rubbing the spot
with a circular movement. The appearance of shabby brown
brogues can often be improved by cleaning thoroughly with
turpentine, using a nail-brush for the cracks.
STAINS ON BROWN SHOES
Stains caused by sea water are often difficult to remove from
brown shoes. Dissolve a small lump of washing soda, the size
of a sixpenny piece, in z tablespoonfuls of hot milk; clean
the boots all over with the preparation and allow it to dry on
the leather. Polish with any good brown boot polish.
TO WHITEN GLAZED SINKS
Scullery sinks which have been badly neglected and from which
stains cannot be removed by the usual friction powders, can be
freed from discoloration by a solution of salts of lemon. Wash
the sink to remove all grease with hot soapy water, rinse, and
put about two or three tablespoonfuls of the solution into the
sink, brushing it in with an old nail-brush. When the
discoloration has disappeared, remove all trace of the acid by
thorough rinsing. Salts of lemon, being a poison, should be
kept under lock and key, and should only be given to a
responsible person to use. Acids are only recommended for
sinks on which the glaze is already damaged, and which in
consequence allow tea-stains, etc., to penetrate beneath the
CARE OF SINKS AND DRAINS IN HOT WEATHER All sinks and pipes
should be flushed with very hot, strong soda water at least
twice a week in hot weather. After washing up, dissolve two
tablespoonfuls of soda in boiling water and pour over the sink
and down the waste pipe. An efficient disinfectant should also
be used frequently.
A NEW USE FOR A RUBBER SPONGE
This is excellent for cleaning the porcelain in the bath-room.
It retains the scouring powder, produces a good amount of
friction, and does not become stringy as a cloth does. It is
easily rinsed, and is a joy to handle.
CARE OF SPONGES
To lengthen the life of your sponge do not let it lie in soapy
water, but rinse well in clean water after use. Squeeze out as
much water as possible and place it to dry where the air will
have free access to every part. A sponge-basket might be used,
or it is quite a good plan to thread a soft tape through the
sponge and to hang it up to dry. If the sponge should become
greasy and soapy, soak it in strong salt and water. Squeeze it
occasionally in this, and then rinse in plenty of cold or
tepid water. When selecting a sponge, choose one of close and
even texture and without any large holes ; remember, too, that
it will swell considerably when put into water.
TO CLEAN SPONGES
Rinse thoroughly with plenty of clean water. Squeeze tightly,
then soak in a pint of water to which the juice of one lemon
has been added. Allow to soak for about an hour, then squeeze
clean. Rinse and dry, preferably out of doors.
CLEANING STEEL FIRE-IRONS
Steel quickly becomes rusty during the summer months when
fireplaces are not in use. To save labour, they can be painted
with a good colourless varnish. All steelwork should be
thoroughly well cleaned before lacquering, and warmed so that
is more easily applied. This is quickly done by placing
fire-irons in a warm oven. Varnish like that used by
paperhangers for varnishing sanitary wallpapers is suitable
CLEANING A KITCHEN STOVE
To produce a brilliant polish on a kitchen range, clean it
with ordinary blacklead to which some soap powder has been
added. To get the best result with the least effort, the stove
should be cleaned before it is quite cold, but not whilst very
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TO PROTECT THE METAL OF STOVES
The ironwork of kitchen stoves and sitting-room grates is very
apt to become rusty when not in use regularly, particularly in
damp weather. The use of a heat-resisting enamel obviates this
difficulty and protects the metal.
CARE OF KITCHEN STOVE
If a false bottom is used, the space between the real bottom
and the grating must be kept clear of ashes, or the fire will
Fire-bricks should be renewed before they are burnt through or
the ironwork will be burnt away as well, making much more
expensive and extensive repairs necessary.
Before using a range for the first time, examine it to become
thoroughly acquainted with the direction of the flues and the
position of the soot or flue-cleaning doors. These doors must
all be closed while the range is working. Clean the flues
thoroughly at regular intervals, at least once a week when the
fire is used daily. If there is a back boiler, the boiler flue
must be cleaned every day.
CLEANING WHITE STRAW HATS
First brush to remove all loose dust, then place fiat on a
clean wooden table and scrub with a soft nail-brush, using
warm water and soap. Rinse to remove all soap, then apply a
solution of salts of lemon, working it in with a nail-brush.
TO REMOVE TAR SPLASHES ON MOTOR-CARS, PRAMS, ETC.
If splashes of tar are found on the coach-work of motor-cars,
prams, etc., these can easily be removed by the judicious use
of a good metal polish. Apply a little on a clean soft rag,
and rub lightly until the tar splashes disappear. Afterwards
apply a little furniture cream or wax polish. This, of course,
is not to be recommended as a general rule, but only for
exceptional cases when the splashes will not yield to careful
treatment with turpentine.
TO REMOVE TANNIN
When the inside of a metal teapot becomes coated with tannin,
put in a lump of soda the size of a walnut, fill to the brim
with boiling water and close down the lid. Let this stand
overnight, or until the water is cold. Then wash the pot well,
and unless the brown crust is of long standing, the teapot
should be quite clean. A repetition of the process is
sometimes necessary. No teapot should be allowed to get
encrusted with tannin, as it spoils the taste of the tea. A
teapot should be well dried and aired before it is put away.
TO CLEAN A THERMOS FLASK
Put in a small quantity of salt and vinegar. Shake well and
rinse thoroughly. If this does not remove all discoloration, a
little silver sand can be used, although this should not be
used unless necessary, as in time it will scratch the glass.
TO CLEAN A TILED HEARTH
Wash first with soap and water, being careful not to use the
cloth too wet. Then dry thoroughly, apply a little furniture
polish or cream, and rub with a dry duster until bright and
CLEANING NEGLECTED KITCHEN TINS
An excellent scouring paste for cleaning neglected tins can be
made by mixing together equal proportions of pumice powder,
soap powder, and whiting.
CLEANING UPHOLSTERED FURNITURE
Remove as much dust as possible by the aid of a vacuum cleaner
or gentle beating and brushing. Use hot bran to remove more
obstinate dirt. This should be well rubbed into the fabric
with a clean brush or with a soft pad made of an old white
cloth. When all possible dirt has been removed by this means,
brush off all trace of bran and clean any spots, sponging
either with water or with a petrol brush. Spots of a greasy
nature will require petrol or some other grease solvent, those
of a sticky nature will be removed by careful sponging with
soap and water.
The following simple method will restore wall-paper to a
certain extent. Dust the walls down first, then take a pail of
clean bran and a clean, dry sponge. Dip the sponge into the
bran and rub over the paper gently and carefully. Do not use
the same bran twice, but repeat the process if necessary.
Soil marks which are not due to surface dirt may sometimes be
got rid of by rubbing with a large piece of clean pencil
eraser, with a lump of yeast dough, or new bread. The dough or
bread should be folded inwards and a clean part exposed, as
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WHEN CLEANING WINDOWS
Moisten any old cloth slightly with paraffin. Rub this over
the windows. It removes all dirt and marks readily. Use
another cloth for polishing. If well polished, the glass will
shine and will be devoid of smears and bits of fluff from the
cloth, and the process is very quick.
REPAIRS AND RENOVATIONS
TO ENAMEL A BATH
First wash the bath thoroughly, using hot water, a little
soda, soap, and a scrubbing-brush. Be careful to get rid of
all grease, rinse with clean water, and dry. Rub down any
rough surfaces with fine sandpaper and brush away the dust.
Then with a good paint-brush apply bath enamel. This can be
bought ready prepared and in several different colours-white,
cream, flesh-coloured, or eau-de-Nil. Allow the first coating
of enamel to dry and smooth again with sandpaper if necessary.
Then apply a second coating and dry as before. Some kinds of
enamel will take one or two days to dry. When finished, fill
the bath with cold water and allow this to remain for two days
in order to harden the paint and take away the smell.
FOR CANE SEATS
When the cane seats of chairs begin to sag, scrub first the
top and then the bottom with hot soap and water. Dry in the
open air. This causes the cane to shrink and makes the seats
as firm as new ones.
TO REPAIR CHINA AND GLASS
A home-made cement can be made by mixing together 3 oz. gum
sandrac, 3 oz. white shellac, and I gill methylated spirit.
Spread the cement on the broken edges, press tightly together,
and leave untouched for several hours.
COUNTRY COTTAGE DOORS
These are sometimes fitted with thumb-latches. They are nice
to look at and economical, but apt to rattle in windy weather.
A simple way to remedy this is to insert a dome-headed screw
either near the floor or the top of the wooden surround of the
door. This screw should be inserted in the recess into which
the door fits. The screw offers a slight resistance to the
door when you close it and prevents the latch rattling. It is
a rough-and-ready method, but the screw is quite
NOTE ON STOPPED DRAINS
Drains which have been stopped at the trap by " soft fouling "
-soap curd, tea-leaves, rag, etc.-can generally be freed by
the following device. Wrap sufficient old sacking round the
end of a broomstick so that it will form a piston which will
fit, but not too tightly, into the pipe below the grid. Then
remove the grid, empty out some of the water, insert the
improvised piston into the pipe, and work it up and down
fairly rapidly. The pumping action set up will soon break down
the stoppage. To prevent the sacking slipping off the
broomstick, it is advisable to bore a hole or drive a long
nail through the stick below the sacking, and to bind it
tightly with strong string.
PROTECTION FROM DRAUGHTS
An effective draught-excluder for the bottom of a door can b e
constructed in the following manner. Procure a piece of
1/2-inch board as long as the width of the door-frame, and
about 4 in. wide. Tack a piece of felt to the lower edge and
fix 2-in. cupboard hinges
to the upper edge. Screw a short length of brass strip (about
4 in.) on the back of the board near the bottom, at the
opposite end from the door hinges. This should project about
1/2 in. over the edge of the board. This is to engage with the
door-frame when the door closes. Attach the board to the door
by means of the cupboard hinges, at such a height that the
lower edge presses on the floor. Fix a spiral spring under
slight tension, screwing its upper end to the door and its
lower end about half-way down the board. The board should be
painted on both sides to protect it. A drop of oil should be
applied occasionally to the spring and hinges.
ENAMELLING DOOR KNOBS
To obviate the need for frequent polishing, brass door knobs
and other small movable fittings can be enamelled very
successfully. First clean the parts ; this can be done with
fine sandpaper or brick dust. In addition to cleaning, the
surface is slightly roughened and gives a key which enables
the enamel to adhere better. Coat evenly with good stove
enamel, place in oven at a temperature of 300� F. for three
hours. This gives a hard-wearing finish
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TO ENAMEL WHITE TAPS SUCCESSFULLY
First rub down the taps with something of a gritty nature,
such as brickdust or emery paper, then give them one or two
coats of flat white undercoating paint, rubbing down each coat
lightly, afterwards applying a coat of any good porcelain
enamel sold for this purpose.
Small holes in enamelled baths and washing-up bowls can be
mended by pouring over cement mixed to a fairly thick cream.
The layer of cement must not be too thick, as it adds
considerably to the weight.
Red bricks around fireplaces are apt to get discoloured and
dark in appearance after they have been in use some time. The
application of red ochre is not always satisfactory, and
painting the tiles with ordinary oil paint changes their
character. The use of a good-quality water paint or washable
distemper, however, to match the colour of the bricks is found
to be very satisfactory.
The water paint should be applied to the edges adjacent to the
wall with a small brush, whilst a larger one may be used
satisfactorily for the front and hearth.
To repair cracked firebricks, flues, etc., reliable cements
can be purchased at any large stores.
FOR SCRATCHED FURNITURE
When there are unsightly, but not deep scratches, such as
would make refinishing absolutely necessary, try the following
Cut about one-quarter of an inch from one end of a Brazil-nut
kernel, and rub this freshly cut oily surface over the damaged
part. The depression will still be there, but the ugly white
streaks should have disappeared.
CHANGING THE FINISH OF FURNITURE
It sometimes happens that you wish to change the colour of a
piece of furniture to match its surroundings, say from light
to dark oak. To do this, scour the wood with pumice powder
moistened with a little water. This roughens the surface and
removes the polish. Then wash well with very strong
soda-water, taking care to wash every part of the polish off.
If necessary, re-scour any patches on which the polish still
remains. Rinse several times with plenty of clean warm water
to make sure that all the soda is removed. When the wood is
thoroughly dry, re-stain in any colour you like, using spirit
or water stain. When quite dry, apply two coats of beeswax or
any good wax polish. This fills the pores of the wood and
produces a good surface. Afterwards polish.
TO REMOVE A DENT IN FURNITURE
Make a pad with about six folds of thick brown paper, and soak
it in water. Lay this on the insured part and apply a hot
iron, pressing it on until the moisture has evaporated.
Moisten the paper again, and repeat the process, if necessary,
to raise the bruise level with the surface. Then polish.
INK STAINS ON WOODEN FURNITURE
Ink stains can be removed with a little oxalic acid. Be
careful not to spread the acid over the wood, but apply it
with a small brush or with the point of a feather. Wash off
with warm water and polish in the usual way.
RENOVATING POLISHED FURNITURE
The following home-made polish is an excellent reviver and
I gill linseed oil I gill turpentine.
1/2 gill methylated spirit. gill vinegar.
Shake well before use, apply sparingly, and polish with a soft
duster. Before using a polish of this kind any sticky
finger-marks should first be removed by sponging with a warm.
Unpainted wooden garden furniture, such as oak and teak,
requires, from time to time, the application of some
preservative. Linseed oil is the most satisfactory to use ;
not only does the rubbing in of linseed oil prevent the wood
cracking, but it also darkens and improves the colour. After
the summer season the wood is bleached, and an application of
oil revives the colour
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TO RENOVATE GAS BRACKETS
Gas brackets that are in the bathroom or scullery often become
shabby and rusty owing to the presence of steam. To prevent
this, rub them over once a week with an oily cloth, using an
old soft brush slightly moistened with oil to get into the
crevices, then rub with a clean soft cloth. Care must be taken
not to use sufficient oil to collect the dust. Brackets that
are rusty must be rubbed with fine emery cloth, when they can
be given a coat of some good black or coloured enamel or
EMERGENCY STOPPING FOR A LEAKY GAS PIPE
To prevent any escape of gas from a tiny hole or crack until
the services of a fitter can be obtained, mix some shredded
soap with powdered whiting and rub on to the crack. This
should, however, only be regarded as an emergency filling.
TO SILVER GLASS
Mirrors from which the silver has become worn in patches can
be repaired as follows : Mix 3 oz. tin, 3 oz. bismuth, and 6
oz. mercury together and warm in a small, clean, iron vessel
or a large iron ladle. Paste the edge of the glass to be
silvered with a narrow strip of paper to prevent the mixture
running off during the process of silvering. Thoroughly clean
and warm the glass and pour a small quantity of the hot
mixture upon it, tilting it first one way and then the other,
until the spot is well covered. Remove the paper, and apply a
coat of paint when quite hard.
TO REPAIR TORN LACE OR NET CURTAINS
Place the curtain flat on the table with an ironing blanket or
folded cloth underneath the torn part. Take a piece of lace or
net curtaining to match as nearly as possible, and large
enough to cover the hole, dip it in cold starch, wring out
tightly, place it over the hole, and press with a hot iron.
The join will be almost invisible, as the patch merges into
the fabric quite smoothly.
DIRECTIONS FOR LACQUERING First thoroughly clean the brass
parts to be re-lacquered with dilute spirits of salts and
brick-dust or pumice powder. Wash and dry thoroughly to remove
all trace of acid and grit. Burnish with very fine and partly
worn emery paper. A softer tone can be obtained by using any
good metal polish, but special care is necessary to remove all
trace of polish before the lacquer is applied.
The lacquering should be done in a warm, dry room, free from
any moisture, and the brass should first be warmed in the oven
if possible. Try not to breathe over the parts while
lacquering is in progress, as any moisture will give a frosty
Grind up some old corks very finely and mix with liquid glue.
Put this mixture in the holes, smoothing the surface
carefully, and, when set quite hard, rub over with glass
paper, colouring with paint or stain to match the linoleum.
The repair, if carefully done, will hardly show.
Linoleum that has become worn and unsightly can be neatly
repaired. First, cut out the worn part with a sharp knife.
Place this piece as a pattern on a new cutting of linoleum,
taking care to match the design, if there is one. Glue the
back of the new piece very carefully and place in the hole,
pressing it down well. The patch, if neatly applied, will be
Painted linoleum and oil-cloth which has become unsightly on
account of the pattern having worn in patches, may be given a
new lease of life if simply painted with a hard-wearing paint.
The floor should first be well scrubbed to remove all trace of
wax or oil polish. When thoroughly dry, apply one of the
special hard-wearing paints sold for this purpose. If a mat is
placed where traffic is concentrated, e.g. on the threshold,
painted linoleum will wear for a considerable time.
FILLING UP NAIL HOLES
Large nails leave holes in furniture and wood-fixtures when
removed. These can be neatly filled with a mixture of fine
sawdust and glue. Pour in hot and press tightly in position.
It makes a very firm filling. When quite hard, the surface may
be rubbed with partly worn sandpaper.
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RESTORING OAK FRAMES
Dark oak frames that have become bleached by exposure to
sunlight (or light-coloured ones that are required to be
darkened) can be made to look as good as new by the use of oak
wood dye or stain. Remove the picture from the frame, dust and
clean the latter, and remove as much as possible of any old
stain by scrubbing with hot soda-water, then apply the dye or
water stain evenly and allow to dry. If the frame is not
sufficiently dark, apply a second coat. On no account use a
varnish stain, as this will spoil the appearance of the wood.
RENOVATING DARK PAINT
Wash in warm water containing a little soap. Rinse thoroughly.
When quite dry polish with a sparing application of any good
wax polish. Every trace of wax must be removed or the paint
will look smeary.
MENDING LEAKY PAILS
Cut a piece of sacking slightly larger than the measurements
of the bottom of the pail or pan and press it firmly in
position. Make an even paste of cement and water and pour over
the sacking ; allow this to stand for about an hour, then pour
in another thin layer of cement until the sacking is entirely
hidden. Do not use the pail until the cement bottom has had
time to harden ; this will take about two days.
TO REMEDY A CLOGGED PIPE
When water in a bath, etc., refuses to run away as quickly as
it should, owing to an obstruction in the pipe, this can
frequently be remedied at home if a 6-feet length of spiral
wire is worked down the pipe. When withdrawn, this will bring
away the accumulation of soap, etc., which generally forms the
MAKING PUTTY FOR HOUSEHOLD USES
One often needs putty for various purposes in the home. It is
very easy to make the quantity desired by mixing some unslaked
lime in hot glue. If coloured putty is needed, the colour
desired should be mixed with some dry whiting, and then both
added to the lime and glue.
TO REMAKE A FEATHER PILLOW
This need not be a messy job if it is done in the following
manner. Make the new case of strong ticking and leave a
10-inch opening. Make an opening in the old case the same
size, and then sew the two openings together. Now shake the
feathers down into the new case, and run a tacking thread just
below the opening. Unpick and remove the old cover, and then
over-sew the seam neatly.
If the ticking is not very close in texture, it is a good plan
to rub over the inside of the case with beeswax before
filling, as this will prevent the points of the feathers
working through. If the feathers are soiled, the simplest way
to wash them is to turn them into a large muslin bag and sew
them up in the same way as above, and then to wash them in one
or two soapy lathers, well rinse,
and dry in the open air. This will make little or no mess and
the feathers will be beautifully clean.
WHEN A DOOR RATTLES
Fix a neat piece of the inner tube of an old cycle tyre to the
frame of the door. It may either be stuck in position or
secured with brass tacks, and a neater appearance is obtained
by painting it to match the woodwork of the door
REPAIRING A RUBBER HOT-WATER BAG
If the weakness appears along the seam, a strip of fine
unbleached linen can be fixed by sticking with a little
solution of celluloid. Most of the waterproof lacquers sold
for coating brasswork can be used as the adhesive. A small
hole can be repaired with a rubber patch and solution in the
same manner as a bicycle tyre is mended.
MENDING WITH SEALING-WAX
Sealing-wax can be used satisfactorily for effecting small
repairs in enamel basins, jugs, etc., not used to contain hot
liquids. By the following simple method tiny holes can be
mended and the vessel given a new lease of life : Get a stick
of sealing-wax the colour of the vessel to be repaired,
cleanse and thoroughly dry the part to be made good, and apply
the sealing-wax, melted, over the worn surface, pressing down
firmly and neatly. Any leakage will be effectively stopped.
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WHEN YOUR SINK IS PARTIALLY BLOCKED
If a sink is only partially blocked the following method is
usually very successful in clearing it, though it is not of
course suitable for a complete blockage. Push a long piece of
string, to which a tiny piece of rag is attached, down the
pipe as far as possible and turn the water tap on fully. The
rush of water is usually sufficient to carry the string down
the pipe. When it appears at the other end, pull it well
through and attach a larger piece of rag to about the centre,
then pull backwards and forwards for a short time.
IMPROVING A SINK-TIDY
Fix three cotton reels to the bottom of the sink-tidy with
nails. This raises the receptacle from the sink, and prevents
water and other waste liquids that are thrown down the sink
from rinsing out the contents of the basket, and so keeps the
sink much cleaner. RENOVATING
Kitchen tins, or metal articles such as a housemaid's box, can
be renovated by painting them with Brunswick black thinned
with turpentine. This gives the tins a bronze colour, which is
quite attractive in appearance and preferred by some
housewives to black paint.
TO IMPROVE THE APPEARANCE OF RED TILES
If red tiles are first washed in the ordinary manner, and when
dry are washed over with thin starch water they will be given
a slightly glazed appearance which will improve their colour.
It will also be found that with this process they will keep
clean for a greater length of time. Any starch left over from
laundry work, if sufficiently diluted, may be used for this
VARNISHING AN OLD TRUNK
Fibre or canvas trunks soon look shabby. If given a coat of
varnish their appearance will be greatly improved, and the
trunk is made waterproof. If torn, stretch the canvas in
position before varnishing. Leather trunks may be renovated by
the generous application of beeswax and turpentine, or liquid
or paste wax polish
RENOVATING A TRAVELLING TRUNK
The following mixture can be used and gives excellent results
1 eggcupful of methylated spirit; 1 eggcupful of vinegar;
twice as much linseed oil and turps. This must be shaken well
Canvas suitcases that have been torn or damaged by heavy
trunks can be mended by carefully patching with strong linen.
Unbleached linen is the best to use. Cut a patch somewhat
larger than the rent; round off the corners, and fix securely
with glue. To make the patch inconspicuous, paint it black,
green or brown, to match the colour of the case.
REPAIRING THE COVER OF A BLACK UMBRELLA
An amateur never finds patching with silk a very satisfactory
method of repairing an umbrella. The damage can be rendered
practically inconspicuous if a piece of black court plaster
somewhat bigger than the size of the hole is attached to the
inner surface of the covering.
A rent in a rubber mackintosh can be repaired on a similar
principle if some rubber solution is applied to a piece of the
material, which is then placed over the rent. A little French
chalk should be rubbed over the patch to complete the process
and remove all trace of stickiness.
TO REMOVE VARNISH FROM FLOORS
Floors that have been varnished and are worn and shabby must
be thoroughly cleaned before any fresh stain is applied.
Prepare some hot and fairly strong soda water, wet the boards
with this solution, and allow it time to soak, then scrub hard
the way of the grain. Afterwards rinse with clear warm water.
If, when the floor is dry, there are patches where the varnish
still remains, these must be rubbed with sandpaper or fine
steel wool. If these methods fail, methylated spirit can be
used. This is an effective though more expensive treatment.
When a papered wall becomes damaged or soiled, the paper can
be patched so that it is almost inconspicuous. First remove
the dirty or torn paper by soaking it slightly with warm
water. Cut out a piece of wall-paper somewhat larger than that
which has been removed. Tear the edge so that it is irregular
and jagged. If the patch is carefully pasted, the unevenness
of the edge makes it hardly noticeable.
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HOME-MADE BAKING POWDER
Mix 2 oz. tartaric acid or 4 Oz. cream of tartar, 2 oz.
bicarbonate of soda, and 4 oz. ground rice thoroughly, and if
possible sieve once or twice to ensure absolutely thorough
BEESWAX AND TURPENTINE
Shred 2 oz. beeswax, place in a jar and add 1/2 pint
turpentine. Stand the jar in boiling water. On account of the
inflammability of turpentine, the pan should on no account be
allowed to stand on the stove.
Enough paraffin should be added to 2 oz. rottenstone, 3 Oz.
soft soap and 2 oz. whiting until the mixture is of a thin,
Another excellent polish can be made by mixing 4 Oz. whiting
with I gill oleic acid, and adding paraffin until the mixture
is of a creamy consistency. About I gill will be required.
AN ABRASIVE CLEANSER
An abrasive cleanser suitable for cleaning tins, neglected
sinks, etc., can be made by thoroughly mixing 3/4 lb. pumice
powder with 4 Oz. soap powder and 4 oz. powdered sodium
A CLEANSER FOR ENAMELLED WARE AND VERY SOILED PAINT
A mixture consisting of equal parts of soap powder and whiting
is excellent for cleaning all kinds of enamel ware, while it
can also be used for cleaning very soiled paint, when soap and
water alone do not prove satisfactory. A paste cleanser for
those who prefer it can be made by adding whiting to warmed
soap jelly until a paste of the desired consistency is
obtained. The mixture should be well beaten, adding a few
drops of methylated spirits if desired.
FURNITURE CREAM 2 1/2 oz. beeswax; a good 1/2 pint
turpentine; as much soft soap as will lie on a shilling; as
much potassium carbonate as will lie on a penny; a small 1/2
pint of warm water. The beeswax should be dissolved in the
turpentine, in the same way as for making " beeswax and
turpentine," i.e. by shredding the wax and adding it to the
turpentine in a jar, then allowing the mixture to stand in a
pan of hot water until all the wax has dissolved. Care should
be taken to ensure that there is no naked
charcoal in them for a few hours. Charcoal put into a small
muslin bag and placed near game absorbs any odour.
Pages 51-54 missing
EXTENDED USE OF ENAMELWARE
Enamel trays similar to those used in butchers' shops will be
found most serviceable in the house, as, apart from its
utility, this highgrade enamelware imparts a tone of cleanly
efficiency to a kitchen. Whilst pre-eminently suitable for
keeping meat fresh, a fair-sized tray of this kind is handy
when trussing poultry, filleting fish, or preparing steak. In
the pantry it is convenient for such items as bacon, butter,
lard, and margarine, all of which can be placed on it and thus
be transported with a minimum of effort. A container of this
substance is also suitable in the nursery for holding baby's
bottles, milk, etc.
DISCARDED GRAMOPHONE NEEDLES
These are very useful for holding in position the backs of
pictures and for strengthening photograph frames.
Satisfactory fire-lighters are difficult to obtain, but the
following home-made ones prove excellent.
Take a sheet of newspaper, fold lightly in half, roll up,
twist the roll lightly in the centre, or tie with string ;
then dip in melted paraffin wax or kerosene. The former dries
in less than a minute, the latter takes longer, and for
preference it should be dried out of doors.
An alternative method is to put old newspapers, or other
unglazed paper, into a pail of water and let them soak for
several days. Then tear up the pulp and squeeze it into hard
balls. Place them in a warm place to dry. These will be found
excellent for lighting fires, or to keep a fire in. They will
also make very good fuel for the copper fire.
A HOME-MADE KNEELING MAT
A home-made kneeling mat can be evolved from two rush fish
baskets, one slightly larger than the other. Cut off the
handles of the smaller, fill the bag with straw, paper, or
some other suitable filling, and then sew up the open end.
Place this bag inside the
empty one, again sewing up the open end. The mat is then ready
for use and may be hung up by the handles when not in use.
A USE FOR AN OLD MACKINTOSH
A mackintosh that is too shabby for wear can be made to serve
very usefully as an overall for washing day or when dyeing, by
removing the sleeves and sloping out the arm holes. The raw
edges can be neatened by binding with some bright-coloured
braid. Other pieces cut to shape could be used for placing
under the bibs of very young children
USES FOR OLD RUBBER HOT-WATER BOTTLES
When rubber hot-water bottles show signs of leaking they need
not be discarded, but may be partly filled with hot sand
instead of water. The sand should be placed in a baking-tin
and heated in the oven.
Old bottles also come in handy as kneeling mats when
A USE FOR AN OLD STONE HOT-WATER BOTTLE
An old stone hot-water bottle which has cracked need not be
discarded. It should be filled with salt and heated when
required by placing in a warm oven. The salt retains the heat
for a considerable time and a bottle filled in this way is
excellent in cases of illness.
FIXING RUBBER HEELS
When one essays to save cobbler's bills by fixing rubber heels
to boots or shoes at home, it is often found that the screw of
a former rubber heel has worn the hole in the leather too
large to accommodate the new-comer comfortably. This defect is
easily remedied by hammering a small plug of wood (even a
match-stick will answer the purpose sometimes) into the hole,
and then forcing the new screw into the fibres of the wood.
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Many people possess a discarded marble-topped washstand. The
marble slab, if removed, can be fixed to the side of a
lavatory basin, where it makes an excellent shelf and is
particularly easy to keep clean. If the washstand is in good
condition, but is no longer required to serve its original
purpose, the marble top can frequently be replaced by a wooden
one, and the washstand thus converted into a dressing-table.
A NEW USE FOR PICTURE WIRE
Instead of using twine or any kind of string for hanging up
brooms, mops, brushes, and all kinds of kitchen utensils, use
ordinary picture wire as a substitute. It will wear
indefinitely, and being stiff will catch on hooks more easily
A HOME-MADE FLOOR POLISHER
A rough and ready floor polisher can be made from a worn-out
broom-head. Cut the bristles clean to the top and nail on a
thick padding of wool or flannel. Cover all with a piece of
velveteen. The tacks used for fixing this should be driven in
quite flush to the top of the broom-head, otherwise they might
scratch or damage the wainscoting. Tie a clean soft duster
over the velveteen this can be removed whenever necessary for
A SAND PIN-CUSHION
This is practical in many ways. Make a small bag of double
cloth (so that the sand will not sift through), and fill it
dry sand until it is plump and hard. Then sew it shut and
cover it with some pretty, material. This kind of pin-cushion
is heavy enough not to fall about easily, and the sand keeps
the pins and needles sharp and shiny.
A rainproof shopping bag has many advantages over an open
basket, especially in wet weather. Several of these may be
made from the best parts of an old raincoat: each bag simply
requires two pieces of equal size, with allowance for a
strengthening hem at the top. It is easy to avoid buttonholes
and pockets and contrive a large bag from the back of the
coat, one from the bottom portion of each front, and a smaller
one from the tops of the fronts. Strong handles can be made
from the trimmings, using several rows of machine stitching to
A USE FOR OLD STOCKINGS
When woollen stockings are beyond wearing, wash and dry them,
cut off the feet, draw one leg over the other, and then fold
over and tack down the sides. You then have a splendid
polisher for stoves, floors, or bright articles.
An alternative way is to cut them into very fine shreds and
use them for filling cushions. They make a delightfully soft
USES FOROLD TOOTH BRUSHES
It is advisable to keep old tooth brushes, as they can be used
in a number of ways. Boot polish is sometimes sold in jars,
and when the jars are almost empty an old tooth brush can
often reach the polish when an ordinary shoe brush fails.
Similarly it can also be used for reaching the polish round
the bottom of an almost empty tin.
A USE FOR TREACLE TIN LIDS
When boiling puddings in cloths, place one or two lids from
2-lb. treacle tins in the bottom of the saucepan. This will
prevent the pudding from sticking to the saucepan.
A USE FOR OLD INNER TUBES OF MOTOR TYRES
Strips cut 3/16 inch will stretch considerably and can be used
instead of tapes for stretched kitchen and other small muslin
blinds. Wider strips can also be used for numerous other
purposes, such as the binding of broken woodwork after gluing.
Rubber soles can also be cut to fit baby's first suede shoes
to prevent slipping. Use a leather punch to make holes 1/2
inch apart around
the edge. Lay the rubber sole on the sole of the shoe and mark
through the holes with a pencil, then punch the suede to
correspond. If you have some suede leather use a strip about
1/8 inch wide to lace the rubber soles to the shoes. This will
last longer than sewing, as thread wears rather quickly.
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OLD WASH-LEATHER GLOVES
When these gloves are too worn to be of further use for wear,
they can be utilised to make window polishing pads. Cut open
the fingers, remove any buttons or press-stud fastenings, lay
the gloves flat on the table, placing several on top of each
other ; six
is a good number to use. Keep in position by machining or
backstitching a small circle round the middle of the pad.
USES FOR A WIRE LETTER-BASKET
Few women realise what a helpful article a wire letter-basket,
such as is used on many office desks, can be in the kitchen.
It makes a splendid drainer for dishes, a rack for cooling
cakes and bread, and is very handy for baking jacket potatoes
in the oven.
A USE FOR WOOD ASH
The clean white ash that can easily be collected after a wood
fire should be kept in a jar near the scullery sink, as it is
valuable for removing stains on metal and china, makes a good
scouring mixture for the sink, and a little added to the
washing-up water softens it and saves soap.
A USEFUL WRITING-TABLE
A folding card-table can be made into a very useful
writing-table by the addition of a bookshelf for railway
guides or other books of reference. A table with X-pattern
legs is best, and by fixing two pieces of thin wood-about as
long as the table is wide and joined together to form a
trough-to triangular pieces at each end, a handy bookshelf is
made which will rest securely in the V formed by the upper
parts of the table legs. The weight of the books will keep the
case in place, and if it is necessary to fold up the table,
shelf and books can be taken out quite easily.
AN ARM-CHAIR ATTACHMENT
For sewing materials or books, a bag attachment fitted on the
side of an arm-chair will be found extremely useful. It can be
made from a piece of material 24 in. x 15 in., either matching
or to tone with the fabric with which the chair is
upholstered. Double the stuff and French-seam each side to
within 3 in. of the top, then make a wide hem along the open
ends of the bag. Now take two strips of material IS in. X 4
in. and fold lengthwise to make the bands by which the bag is
fixed to the chair. Attach one end of each band to the hem,
near the seams. Slip a rod through the open ends of the hem on
the side of the bag which has the bands, and stitch down the
opening. This rod stiffens the bag and keeps it a good shape.
For chairs with open arms, the bag may be fixed by placing the
bands over one arm and securing their loose ends to the hem of
the bag by buttons and button-holes. For chairs with padded
arms, the bands should be attached to the inner side of the
hem and their loose ends fastened by buttons and button-holes,
the buttons being sewn to the arm of the chair.
Stitch a wide strip of unbleached calico to the sides or ends
of the blanket. The depth of calico depends entirely upon how
much additional length or width is required. The calico is
then used for the " tuck in " and the warmth obtainable from
the blanket is in no way diminished.
BUTTON-HOLES FOR ROMPERS
In making rompers for small children, it is a good plan to
make two rows of stitching with the sewing-machine the length
of the button-hole and so close together that there is barely
room to cut between. Cut between the rows and work the
button-hole over the machine stitching. This doubles the
strength of the button-hole.
The problem of keeping a restless child warm in bed is solved
by the use of cot covers. These are made like large
pillow-cases and should be 3 inches wider than the cot itself.
Along the sides and at one end sew double pieces of tape at
intervals, to be tied to the cot rails or lattice-work. Put
the blankets or eiderdown into the cover, and stitch the end
up very loosely. This does away with the necessity for
buttons, that might be a temptation to busy little fingers. If
the cover is tied firmly down after the child is in bed, he
will be able to move and turn over without uncovering himself.
Very attractive cot covers may be made from flannel or similar
soft fabric, the underside white and the upper either pink or
blue, daintily decorated with a monogram or embroidery.
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A HOME-MADE CRAWLING-RUG
If two pieces of double-knit Turkish towelling, 36 inches
wide, in brown or some other serviceable colour, are joined
together and the edges bound with carpet binding, a strong yet
soft crawling-rug is made. This is easy to wash and will be
found suitable for use in baby's playing-pen, etc. Tapes
should be sewn to the four corners.
TO SECURE TURN-BACK CUFFS
When making a dress or a jumper with turn-back cuffs, you will
find it a good plan to sew the tiniest snap-fastener about I
inch from the edge of each cuff, and fasten it to the sleeve.
By this means the cuff will always stay in place, and if the
garment has to be washed, the cuff can be so much more easily
ironed and will not require untacking each time.
WHEN MAKING CURTAINS
When making curtains of large-meshed filet net, it is
advisable to place a strip of brown paper, about 3 inches
wide, along the hem before machining. This will prevent the
material gathering up during the process of machining. When
the stitching is completed, the paper can easily be torn away
close to the perforations caused by the needle.
TO HANG SHORT CURTAINS
Thin net or muslin curtains can be made to keep very neat if
they are threaded with narrow elastic instead of a rod or
tape. Make a neat loop each end and slip it over two small
hooks fixed to the window frame. The elastic wears well and
the curtains do not sag.
When sewing the ball-and-socket snaps on a garment, always sew
the ball snap on the upper piece. The back of this is flat and
will leave no mark on the outside of the cloth, while the
socket-snap leaves a round mark in the centre. This is
especially noticeable on any smooth or hard-finished goods.
TO PREVENT FEATHERS WORKING THROUGH CUSHIONS
When making cushions and pillows use only the best quality
linen or union ticking. Rinse and rub inside the case
thoroughly with beeswax, paying particular attention to the
When making narrow girdles or ties, the dressmaker will find a
piece of stout string or piping cord very helpful. Machine the
material, placing the string inside the narrow strip. This
should be attached at the first end, and when it is necessary
to turn the girdle right side out, a firm pull of the loose
end of the string and a little coaxing with the fingers will
accomplish the transformation with ease.
A NEW USE FOR GAUZE
A most useful article in a work-basket is a little roll Of
2-inch gauze bandage. Use it to reinforce bindings where
buttons have been torn off, to bind the inside of neck-bands,
or any place that is not going to show. It is also useful to
place under darns in white stockings or under-garments.
WHEN HEMSTITCHING BY HAND
When hemstitching, wrap a piece of coloured paper around the
first finger of the left hand, sewing it on if necessary. Use
this when doing the hemstitching; the fine threads are much
more easily seen and eye-strain is eliminated.
AN ECONOMICAL HANDBAG
Good quality hatter's plush is not cheap, but if an old silk
hat is available, the silk plush can readily be stripped off.
Cut off the edge rim with an old pair of scissors, place the
end of the scissors under the edge of the silk, and raise it
slightly so that a good hold
is obtained. By gently pulling the plush the sides of the
are soon stripped. The top of the crown is removed separately.
Sufficient material is thus obtained to make a good-sized
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TO KEEP DRESS LININGS FROM SHOWING
It is often impossible to keep the lining of a dress from
slipping and showing at the neck. When it cannot be tacked to
the neck of the dress, try clasping the dress and lining
together by sewing clip fasteners on the two shoulders. If
these are sewed on properly, they are not noticeable, and the
slipping is prevented.
STRONG LINEN LABELS
Unworn parts of old stiff linen cuffs and collars, cut neatly
and pierced to allow of string being passed through, make
excellent labels for use on parcels.
TO MEND LINEN
Thin places on table linen or sheets may be quickly and
satisfactorily mended by being darned on a lock-stitch
machine. Place a thin piece of muslin, or an old handkerchief,
underneath and machine backwards and forwards; when the place
is covered with the stitching, cut away the fabric from
underneath close to the darning. When starched and ironed the
dam is very inconspicuous.
MENDING A TEAR IN A MACKINTOSH
Adhesive tape used for strapping cuts, etc., can be used
successfully for mending a rent in a mackintosh. Draw the torn
edges together, place a strip of the tape over them on the
wrong side, press gently with a warm iron. If done carefully,
this makes a very neat join.
Inexpensive and attractive mats can be made at home with very
little trouble from stair carpet, bought by the yard, and
bound by hand with carpet binding. Hair cord carpet used in
this way is particularly serviceable
TO STRAIGHTEN NEEDLES
It often happens that while knitting, composition needles
become bent. By pouring hot water over them and straightening
them immediately with your fingers, and then dipping the
needles into cold water, the needles will be perfect once
THREADING A NEEDLE WITH WOOL
Everyone knows how difficult it sometimes is to thread a
needle with wool. The following hint may be helpful: Take a
short length of sewing-cotton, place the two ends together,
and pass them through the eye of the needle. Then pass the
wool through the loop, and pull through. The needle is quickly
and easily threaded in this manner.
If a sewing-machine needle is blunt, sharpen it on the broken
edge of a broken saucer or plate.
A SUBSTITUTE FOR A NEEDLE
If, when stringing beads, all needles are too large, let the
melted wax from a burning candle drop on the end of your
thread. Twist the end between the fingers, and when hardened
you will have a fine substitute for a needle.
PIPING CORD HINT
The rather thick cord used for piping loose chair-covers is
very apt to shrink the first time the covers are washed,
thereby causing the seams to have a puckered appearance. If
the cord is washed, boiled, and dried before being used, this
difficulty is overcome.
RENOVATING A WAISTCOAT POCKET
Line the pocket with a piece of soft leather such as pliable
nappa or strong suede. Mend the hole and make a pocket from
two pieces of leather so cut that when inserted into the
pocket they do not come nearer the mouth than the ordinary
lining. Top sew the leather lining firmly round the sides and
bottom, and then secure in position.
TO SAVE THE POCKETS ON DRESSES
Most women are apt to catch their pockets on door-knobs and
other projections, often spoiling the appearance of an
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good dress or apron by a rent that no clever mender can
conceal. To prevent this, rip the pocket down I inch on either
side, finish it with a hem, and sew a fastener at the top.
Then, when the pocket catches, the fastener loosens, and no
rent is made.
A PRACTICAL PIN-CUSHION
Fine sand enclosed in a strong case makes a cushion which is
heavy enough to stay where it is placed and which keeps the
pins and needles sharp and bright.
If bran is used for stuffing pin-cushions, it should be
thoroughly well baked in the oven before being used, or it is
likely to become sour and smell unpleasant after the cushion
A TRANSPARENT RAG-BAG
It is almost impossible to dispense with a rag-bag, especially
when there are children in the house and clothes constantly
requiring renovation. But precious time is often spent hunting
through a capacious bag for the particular bit of stuff
needed. An ideal bag can be made out of coloured mosquito
netting, the exact roll wanted can be easily seen, and it
prevents the necessity of emptying the bag for a weary search.
Moreover, the netting will be found to wear well. The same
idea might be applied to buttons-if kept in a wide-mouthed
bottle they can be easily seen.
TO SHARPEN SCISSORS
When scissors become blunt a quick and efficient remedy is to
put a steel knitting needle between the two blades and close
the scissors on it as though one were going to cut the
knitting needle in half, letting it slip to the points of the
scissors. When this has been repeated several times, the
scissors will have regained their original sharpness.
SPRING CLEAN THE SEWING MACHINE
A few minutes spent on cleaning and oiling the various parts
of a sewing machine will add years of efficient service to it.
Turn the machine back, and notice the accumulation of fluff
and dust under the feed. Fold a bit of old linen round a
hairpin and remove every particle. Then thoroughly clean the
whole machine with a rag soaked in paraffin. This loosens old
caked-on dirt. Run the machine for a minute, and wipe off all
superfluous oil. Finally apply a few drops of best machine oil
to all the holes. Wipe thoroughly with a clean duster to
remove all trace of oil.
A SEWING HINT
If when stitching or hand-sewing calico, or other highly
dressed cotton fabrics, the material is first rubbed with a
little dry soap or beeswax, the needle slips more easily and
the tedium of the work is minimised.
NEW USE FOR WORN SHEETS
Cut out the worn parts of an old sheet and make into casement
curtains. They can then be dyed to match the colour scheme of
your room. Bolton sheeting or cotton twill is particularly
suitable for this purpose.
TO DETECT LOADING IN SILK
Many silks, especially glac�
silk and cr�pe de Chine,
are heavily weighted, usually with tin phosphate. Excessive
weighting may very easily be detected by burning a tiny piece
of the silk. If much weighted, it will not bum readily and
will leave an ash clearly showing the original structure of
the silk. An unweighted silk burns more readily and the ash
formed shows no indication of the original structure of the
WHEN KNITTING SOCKS
It is a good plan when working the heel and toe to knit in
some linen thread along with the wool. This will strengthen
the parts where holes are most likely to occur, and the socks
will last twice as long without mending.
SOCKS FOR SHOES
Shabby felt hats can be made to serve a useful purpose if they
are first brushed and beaten to remove all dust. Then take a
paper pattern of your foot by standing on a piece of paper and
outlining the shape with a pencil. A little alteration may be
fit different shoes. Besides costing nothing, they are
particularly warm for cold weather wear.
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Fingers are often pricked during the course of needlework, and
bloodstains appear on the material. These can be removed by
damping a small quantity of starch and placing it over the
stain. When dry the starch should be rubbed or brushed off,
and no trace of the marks should remain. If, however, they are
not completely removed by the first application the process
may be repeated.
TO MEND LARGE HOLES IN CHILDREN'S STOCKINGS
Cut a piece of black net larger than the hole, rub it till it
is soft, and then stitch it neatly on to the wrong side of the
stocking under the hole. Darn in the usual way, and the net
will be found to give extra support.
The problem of keeping lingerie straps from view when a
boatshaped neck frock is worn is an ever-present one, even
with the use of lingerie shoulder-clasps. The trouble can be
obviated by having a small self-coloured strip of material
inside the dress neck across the shoulder-seam. The end
nearest the neck should be kept in position with a press-stud,
the other can be sewn securely. Pass this under all the
lingerie straps and fasten with the snap, thus keeping them in
TO LENGTHEN THE LIFE OF A TABLECLOTH
When a tablecloth shows signs of wear, a narrow strip should
be torn off one side and one end and the edges of the cloth re
hemmed. This will alter the " fold " of the cloth, and so
lengthen its period of usefulness. When it again shows wear,
the best portions may be cut into squares and hemmed for use
as nursery table napkins, or made into small tray cloths by
the addition of a suitable edging.
TO PREVENT SILVER AND GOLD FABRIC FROM TARNISHING
Place black tissue paper over the metallic fabric so that air
and light are excluded. Pack it away in a box as air-tight as
REPLACE WORN-OUT TAPE
When running a new elastic or tape through underwear, sew one
end of the new tape to one end of the old. Then, as the old
tape is pulled out, the new tape will be pulled in.
MENDING A TEAR
If a delicate muslin is torn, it may be neatly mended by
placing the torn part, with a new piece of the material
underneath, over an embroidery hoop. This will hold all firmly
and make the delicate darning of the hole a comparatively easy
TO REPAIR A SILVER THIMBLE
Holes in the top of a silver thimble may be repaired at home
with sealing-wax. Drop a very small quantity of warm wax
inside the thimble. Damp the middle finger with cold water and
press the thimble on well.
When dish-towels become so thin that they get soaked through
almost immediately, try stitching two of them together. This
will give them double life, and there will be double the
comfort in using them. They need not be the same size. Place
the smaller one neatly on the top of the larger, and stitch
along the edge. Worn bedroom towels can be utilised in the
same way. They are often made of nice huckaback or damask, but
too shabby for bedroom use. If two are stitched together they
will make a splendidly absorbent dish-towel. The process is
not to be recommended for hand-towels, but for kitchen use it
is a great success.
HAND AND TEA TOWELS
A large buttonhole, backed with tape to strengthen it, worked
on the edge of a towel is more convenient than a loop of tape,
and wears better. Towels without tape loops are also more
convenient to launder, as there is nothing to catch in the
wringer or iron.
REMOVING TRANSFERS FROM FABRICS
It sometimes happens that a transfer is ironed accidentally on
to a wrong portion of material. If this occurs, the design is
readily removed by rubbing it well with a clean soft rag
dipped in methylated spirits. This treatment will not harm
coloured or delicate fabrics.
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Transfer patterns for embroidery or other needlework may be
kept indefinitely by the following device, which is a distinct
advantage when one's favourite design is out-of-date and
unobtainable in the shops. Take the used transfer, lay it on a
piece of drawing paper, and place a piece of carbon paper
between, the copying side towards the drawing paper. Trace
over the pattern with a sharply pointed, hard pencil. This
will give a clear reprint. When you wish to use the pattern
again, take a copy on tracing paper, and with the aid of
carbon paper transfer it to the material.
WHEN USING TRANSFERS
Embroidery transfers may be used a second time if the
following method is employed. Tack the transfer firmly on to
the material to be worked, using a running stitch, and follow
the lines of the pattern, stitching through both paper and
material. If the design is for braiding, or one with a
practically continuous line, a sewing machine will do the work
for you. When the whole design has been covered, pull away the
thin paper, and the pattern will stand out plainly marked by
the lines of stitching. White cotton should be used for
washing embroidery, otherwise a cotton of a colour contrasting
with the background will show the design more clearly.
HAND TUCKS MADE EASIER
The hardest part in making tucks by hand is to get them even,
and yet they are a pretty trimming and a great convenience on
children's dresses. Try this method; Use the sewing-machine,
the tucker, a coarse needle, and no cotton, and crease firmly
as you work. Then it is easy to use the needle holes as a
guide for the hand sewing, and the result is quick and even
HINTS FOR THE
FOR BABY'S BED
Often it is difficult to provide a bed for a young baby
visitor. Put a flat pillow in a small drawer from a chest or
bureau, cover it with a blanket, and you have a safe,
comfortable bed. It can be put on two chairs near the mother's
bed for convenience.
RENOVATING NURSERY BLACKBOARDS
The blackboard should first be well rubbed down with glass
paper. Apply two coats of any good prepared flat black paint
or of ordinary black paint composed of vegetable black, two
parts of boiled oil, and one part of turpentine. Allow each
coat to dry, and rub it well down before proceeding. Then
apply the following dressing mix together two parts of
turpentine and one part of japanned gold size, and vegetable
black; to a pint of this black pigment add half a pound of
powdered emery or pumice powder. For the final coat take six
ounces of white shellac, one pint of spirits of wine, add
sufficient lamp-black to make the mixture a dense black, and
apply one coat to the board. Allow to harden for two or three
days before use.
TO DRY WELLINGTON BOOTS
Long rubber Wellington boots, so necessary for children on
stormy days, very often get soaked inside. To dry them
quickly, procure some bran, warm it in an iron shovel, and
pour it into the boots. When this is cold, warm it again and
repeat the process until all the moisture has been absorbed
and the boots are thoroughly dry. The bran should not be
allowed to get very hot FOR BABY'S COLD
Mix one drop of oil of eucalyptus with an egg-spoonful of
Vaseline. After the evening bath cleanse each nostril with a
little Vaseline, and then, by means of a screw of cotton-wool,
insert a very tiny portion of the above mixture into each
nostril. This may be repeated night and morning, and affords
A CHILD'S CUPBOARD
It is not every mother who recognises the wisdom of providing
for each child some definite place where his own belongings
may be kept. If each child can have his own room, that, of
course, is ideal. The next best thing is to have some one
article of furniture, a cupboard, chest of drawers, or set of
shelves, as the child's very own. The right of absolute
ownership invests the child with a dignity which is worth much
trouble to secure.
A " dressing-up " box provides endless amusement, provided it
is only brought out occasionally. Any odd garment, a top hat,
a bunchy umbrella , bright parasol, old lace curtains,
artificial flowers may be added to it. Red Indian head-dresses
are easily made of a double strip of bright cotton joined by
elastic and feathers painted red, blue, and yellow stitched
into the double stuff. A long red cotton sash and red cap can
make a pirate.
To the excitement, daggers, swords, and shields can be cut out
old cardboard boxes, and the blades be covered
with silver pap A burnt cork for making up is useful, though
not always popular with those in authority.
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A SUGGESTION FOR DULL DAYS
The making of jigsaw puzzles is fascinating amusement for dark
days in the nursery. Select a pretty picture and paste it on a
fairly thick piece of smooth cardboard. When quite dry, cut
the picture into many pieces of different sizes and shapes,
and shake these up in a box before trying to fit them
A gay frieze to be hung just out of reach of mischievous
fingers by means of drawing-pins can be made from strips of
black, shiny paper 13 inches by 45 inches, if on each strip
four pictures from the covers of Good Housekeeping are
pasted. The lighter-coloured pictures give the best results,
and the strips look more attractive if they do not touch each
other, as the unbroken black band is too overwhelming.
MAKING HIGH CHAIRS SAFE
There is always a danger of children rocking their high chair
over when in it, or pulling it over on top of them when
learning to walk. Try this safeguard. Put an ordinary
screen-door hook on the back of the high chair and a screw-eye
in the woodwork in each room where you usually put the baby.
The chair can be hooked to the wall in this way, and there
will be no danger of its being toppled over.
LET THE CHILDREN PASTE PICTURES
Tack a piece of white oilcloth on the wall where the kiddies
can reach it easily. Let them cut out pictures and paste them
on the oilcloth: When they get tired of the pictures, wash
them off with a cloth and warm water. Then the picture-board
is ready for another set of pictures. Perhaps they will cut
out a picture of a barn and paste it near the top of the "
board," and then all around it they may paste animals of all
kinds, chickens, etc. Soon you will find them displaying much
ingenuity in arranging different pictures.
RAFFIA WORK FOR CHILDREN
Raffia work for children is a delightful occupation, training
them (boys and girls) in the blending of colour and in
ingenuity, besides providing many useful and dainty articles
for the home. For sick youngsters, when a day in bed is
necessary, it is invaluable. Provide them with an ounce of the
natural coloured raffia and several other pretty shades, and
they can make beautiful table mats, key baskets, thimble and
tape cases, teapot stands, and extremely pretty table-napkin
rings. It is fascinating work and very simple, the youngsters
become so engrossed that the ailment is forgotten and the
restless, nervy child is soothed. The raffia needle is flat
with a blunt point and so quite harmless for little fingers ;
the raffia itself and the little bundles of pliable cane are
quite cheap to buy.
The soles of baby's first toddling shoes are often made of
suede, and this, when baby begins to walk, gets smooth and
slippery, which means tumbles. Rub the little soles frequently
with coarse sandpaper to make them rough again. (For
alternative treatment see page 57.
INDIVIDUAL TOWELS AND FACE CLOTHS FOR CHILDREN
One is often confronted with the problem of keeping the
bathroom neat without spending too much valuable time in
performing the duty. Sometimes it seems a hopeless task with a
number of children to throw towels down and only one pair of
hands to pick them up. Try giving the little ones towels and a
face cloth of a special colour ; they will like the idea of
having these as their very own and will take a pride in
putting them in their proper places. The appearance of the
bathroom will be greatly improved as to neatness, and the
towels will not become so badly soiled.
Children are always dropping the strings attached to toys they
pull along the floor. Try attaching a large button to the end
of each string i it will give them something to hold.
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WHEN GIVING AN ALCOHOL RUB
In applying alcohol to the skin in " rubs," the patient finds
great discomfort in the slapping on of the liquid and the
attempt of the nurse to keep it from running over the skin. By
putting the alcohol in a bottle with a sprinkler top, and
setting the bottle in a dish of warm water, then sprinkling
the liquid on the skin while warm and rubbing immediately, a
sense of soothing is experienced. In addition to this, a few
drops of rose water added to the alcohol will take away the
AN INVALID BAG
Make a short shoe-bag with four pockets stitched on, and tie
this to the side of the back portion of the bed. Into one
pocket might be put toilet articles, while glasses, note-book,
pencil, scissors, handkerchiefs, and many other useful things
might be accom modated in the others. This can be made a real
joy and comfort.
TO HELP THE BEDRIDDEN
A simple device that enables partially helpless old people to
turn in bed, or even pull themselves up to a sitting position,
is the following. Take new, stout, cotton cloth. Fasten strong
strips securely to either side of the bed frame. Make a good
knot, easy to hold, in the end of each strip. The strips
should be long enough to reach to the centre of the bed. When
not in use, the knots may be pushed up under the pillow.
TO TREAT BURNS
A bottle of picric acid solution obtainable from any chemist
should always be kept in the first-aid box. If applied
immediately to a burn of any description it eases the pain and
in practically every case prevents the formation of a blister.
This is a greyish coloured clay, usually sold in powder form.
Very useful for removing greasy dirt and stains when
drycleaning materials, or from wood, etc. Specially refined,
it makes safe and valuable dusting powder for toilet purposes.
SOME USES FOR GLYCERINE
A mixture of two parts glycerine and one part lemon-juice
makes an excellent cleansing lotion for the skin. Apply it
sparingly, and rub well into the hands. Glycerine may also be
used for loosening round glass stoppers in bottles when they
cannot be removed by any other means. Apply it with a paint
brush around the top of the stopper. It will gradually soak
between the two surfaces and facilitate the removal of the
stopper. If this is very persistent, the bottle should be
inverted and placed in a small egg-cup or jar of glycerine and
left for several days.
AN EFFICIENT AND INEXPENSIVE HAND LOTION
An efficient and inexpensive lotion for preserving the hands
can be prepared by mixing together equal quantities of
glycerine, milk, and methylated spirits. It is necessary to
shake well in order to secure a proper admixture of the
ingredients. The lotion should be rubbed well into the hands
after washing in warm water-preferably before retiring for the
Linseed poultices that are of necessity made in a room distant
from the patient are very likely to lose their heat. To
prevent this, warm the mixing bowl and linseed meal in the
oven before pouring on the boiling water, and carry to the
patient between hot plates.
A salt sprinkler is not a usual bathroom furnishing, but it
will find a place in every toilet cabinet once it is
discovered how swiftly a shake of fine salt on the tooth brush
removes the menacing bacterial film, which is so hard to keep
off the best brushed teeth, leaving them polished and
wholesome. This should not take the place of paste or powder,
but merely used as an additional treatment every now and then.
TO PREVENT BLISTERED HEELS
Walking trips too often mean blistered heels, even when
wellfitting shoes have been bought for the occasion. Padding
of any sort is likely to wrinkle, and wool stockings, though
helpful, are sometimes too hot. A woollen " heel piece " will
ease the foot through the blistering period until it becomes
naturally calloused. Knit a " heel piece," using soft 2-ply
wool. Cast 48 stitches on four needles; make I inch of ribbing
and then knit as if for a stocking for a inches; turn the
heel, and after you are working again on four needles, knit z
inches as if you were going to complete the foot; then knit I
inch of ribbing and cast off. You have then a firm heel
without the toe or leg. If this is worn under the stocking it
will take the rub and save the heel without in any way
altering the general fit of the shoe.
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TABLE DECORATIONS, ETC.
A PRETTY AND INEXPENSIVE AUTUMN DECORATION
Gather some sprays of beech leaves when they have become
tinted with various shades of yellow, gold and orange. Varnish
them on both sides, applying the varnish evenly with a small
brush. When dry, their colouring will be enhanced and the
leaves may be used for decoration purposes throughout the
autumn and winter. If varnish is not available, the leaves
should be placed flat on a thick layer of newspaper. A hot
iron should then be rubbed on a lump of beeswax and quickly
pressed on to the leaves, when they will be coated with a thin
film of wax.
In order to retain the shape of the leaves it is a good plan
to place the spread between sheets of paper under a carpet for
a few days before varnishing or waxing them.
Cotton-wool used for decorative purposes should first be
soaked in a fairly strong solution of alum. After half an
hour's immersion remove the cotton-wool, squeeze from it the
surplus liquid, and place to dry, preferably in the fresh air.
The alum remaining in the cotton-wool makes it very slow to
ignite. It is, of course, possible to buy fire-proof crepe
paper, festoons and streamers in a very wide range of colours.
These are not expensive, for festoons 4 inches wide and 10
feet long cost only 4 1/2d. each.
Red-berrred Solanums make a cheerful and brilliant decoration
for winter days, but unfortunately the berries soon drop off.
Anyone who possesses a garden with some small shrubs such as
Veronicas could, with the help of some sealing-wax, make
attractive and economical decorative plants. The tiny trees
should be planted into flower-pots of suitable size. The
berries are contrived from a stick of pillar-box red
sealing-wax, and a piece of fine wire, about 1 1/2 inches
long. First heat the wax very slightly over the flame of a
candle or methylated-spirit lamp. When soft, pull, or cut off
with moistened scissors, small pieces of equal size . when
nearly set, roll the pieces to form round berries. Heat the
wire and push into the wax, then warm the berry gently above
the flame to melt it slightly; this improves the shape and
gives a bright surface. Put into cold water to cool, and fix
to the shrub by means of the wire. If the berries are made
approximately the size of cherries, a comparatively small
number produces a brilliant colour effect.
At Christmas-time, more than at any other, there are many who
receive beautiful flowering and foliage plants as expressions
of Christmas cheer, and doubtless there are many living in the
cities who find that after a few days the plants wilt and
droop, losing all their freshness and beauty. This is
sometimes attributed to too much heat, but the more likely
reason is that the air is excessively dry. The following will
be found quite a good remedy. For each plant secure a small,
cheap sponge, saturate it with water, and place it as nearly
in the centre of the plant as possible. Keep the wet sponge
always in the plant, and you will find that the leaves remain
fresh and green.
These form a pretty decoration for the Easter table, as well
as a novel and pleasing way of distributing the time-honoured
egg. They are just tiny fir-trees hung with bright-coloured
eggs, wee Easter hares and yellow, fluffy baby chicks.
TO PROLONG THE LIFE OF FLOWERS
The addition of a tablet of aspirin to a large vase of flowers
will prolong their life. For smaller vases, half a tablet is
sufficient. The flowers should be placed in a cool position at
night. Where there is a mechanical refrigerator, the life of
flowers will be lengthened if they are stored overnight in the
least cool part.
A NOVEL TABLE DECORATION
An attractive and unusual bowl of greenery and flowers can be
made at the cost of a little trouble as follows : Into the
wire mesh of a rose bowl pack closely small pieces of sponge
until it is quite covered. Thoroughly wet the sponge, and
scatter into the crevices rice, rape, or bird seed, and a few
dwarf nasturtium and trop�olum
Fill the bowl itself half full of water, and put it in a dark
place until the seeds begin to germinate, then bring out to
the light and do not forget to keep the sponge always
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TO GET RID OF ANTS
If you know the hole or crack from which the ants enter the
house, sprinkle quicklime and pour boiling water down it. Keep
all food in covered jars or tins, not in bags or open
A useful killing powder for ants is made as follows � Calcium
phosphate, 40 per cent. ; icing sugar, 20 per cent. ; and
sodium fluoride, 40 per cent. Well mix and puff into the
haunts of the ant with small bellows. Ants may be killed by
thousands if their homes are searched out and a mixture of
paraffin 70 parts, turpentine-oil 15 parts and refined birch
tar oil 15 parts be sprayed or poured in.
The ant may also be exterminated in its home by using a
tablespoonful of carbon bisulphide. This must not be inhaled,
and as it is highly inflammable should not be used in a room
with a fire or naked light.
In the case of ordinary dwellings where cockroaches are found
persistently to congregate behind the wall-paper, the best
plan is to remove the wall-paper altogether and use coloured
distemper until the pest has vanished. Wooden floors and
skirtings which afford retreats can be made untenable by the
simple process of sprinkling and working into the crevices a
mixture of equal parts of castor sugar and borax, or a powder
composed of sodium fluoride 10 parts, ground rice 8 parts, and
calcium phosphate 2 parts.
The life-history of the fly is briefly as follows. During the
first warm days of March the survivors from last season, which
have remained hidden in the crevices as flies, or have
remained as cocoons in undisturbed dirt during the winter,
begin to come out and air themselves on the window-panes in
readiness for resumed activity. Incidentally, this is the best
time to attack them, for they are then few in number and poor
in vitality, and every female destroyed in March means some
millions less to account for in August. A good plan is to
spray probable breeding-places with a mixture composed of
carbolic 5 parts, citronella oil 1 part, and paraffin oil 14
A room can be cleared of flies by tying a wine-glass, broken
at the base of the stem-an object found in most houses-to a
light pole, long enough to reach the ceiling. After sunset or
in the early morning, when the flies are asleep on the
ceiling, hold the glass half full of methylated spirits under
the flies. The fumes will cause the flies to fall into the
spirit, which kills them instantly. The spirit can then be
poured off into a bottle and used over and over again.
Instead of putting meat and other food on open larder shelves,
have part of the larder enclosed with wire gauze like a meat
safe, and keep everything the flies are likely to attack under
cover. This is much simpler and much more effective than
having to put wire covers and pieces of muslin over food.
THE FURNITURE MITE
The furniture mite, to the naked eye, appears as a tiny
whitish speck, and if appearing in great numbers is a cause of
much annoyance to householders, particularly in damp houses.
Any room in which the mite is found should be kept as dry as
possible, and should be fumigated by burning about one pound
of sulphur to each thousand cubic feet of air. The best method
of doing this is to procure an object, such as an old iron
tray, on which the sulphur should be placed over a pail of
water. The apparatus should be so placed that there is no fear
of fire, and the sulphur should then be set well alight-live
cinders will be found a great help in this connection. All
bright objects such as brass, gilt, etc., and furniture should
be removed as well as all carpets and rugs. The latter should
afterwards be removed and well beaten out of doors. Carbolic
solution is an excellent treatment for floors and woodwork in
rooms affected by the furniture mite.
EXTERMINATING THE FURNITURE BEETLE
The furniture beetle generally attacks unpolished seasoned,
hardened wood. The following process is usually an effective
method of extermination. Take the piece of infected furniture,
saturate it with camphorated paraffin oil, and leave for
several weeks. Then soak with a stain made from Vandyck brown
powder dissolved in liquid ammonia. When thoroughly dry, treat
with linseed oil, any surplus oil being removed later; finally
expose to the light and air for as long a period as possible.
PROTECTING THE HOUSE FROM MICE
The use of efficient mouse-traps is not the only means of
exterminating this pest. The utmost care should be taken to
prevent the entry of field mice. Damaged ventilating gratings
should be renewed or covered with fine mesh wire netting, and
any other possible means of entry looked for. Mice often come
into the house by small holes in the larder or in cupboards,
particularly those under the stairs. Holes too large to be
repaired easily with cement should first be filled with corks
and then cemented. Worn linoleum or floorboards should be
repaired or renewed. Conditions are made unpleasant for mice
if cayenne pepper is sprinkled on shelves and near food.
Special precautions should be taken that no food is left
uncovered, and in houses that tend to be overrun with mice all
foods should be stored in tin or wood containers, not in sacks
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HOUSE MITES AND SILVERFISH
These pests can be dealt with effectively by blowing into
their haunts a powder composed of sodium fluoride 30 per
cent., powdered borax 40 per cent., and pyrethrum powder 30
per cent. This is also a very effective insecticide for
ridding places infested with a particularly disagreeable pest,
the silverfish, which often haunts houses, and hotel kitchens.
A modification the powder is as follows: sodium fluoride 45
per cent., sugar 15 per cent., flour 15 per cent., borax 10
per cent., pyrethrum powder 15 per cent.
Wherever mosquitoes are found to be breeding in trees, the
tree holes should be sprayed with a mixture of water 6o per
cent., soft soap 15 per cent., eucalyptus oil 15 per cent.,
bicarbonate of soda 10 per cent. This preparation should be
boiled and allowed to cool before using. The tree holes should
then be filled in with pitch.
Finally, where mosquitoes are found to be breeding in a house,
shed, or stable, the affected places should be cleared by
spraying with a mixture of good carbolic 25 per cent., and
paraffin oil 75 per cent. The rooms should be kept clear by
spraying with a mixture of petrol 6 parts, lemongrass 1 pint,
citronella oil z parts. This mixture is inflammable, and
should not be sprayed in a room containing a fire or gas jets.
TO DESTROY MOTHS IN CARPETS
Carpets that have been stored away should be periodically
examined, and if any traces of moth are found, a damp
huckaback towel should be placed over the affected part, and
well ironed with a very hot iron until dry. This will destroy
moth eggs and maggots.
A useful spray for killing the red spider is made of the
following Put 1/4 lb. quassia chips in z quarts of water, and
soak all night, then boil for one hour; add hot water to make
5 gallons and while hot stir in z lb. soft soap carefully, and
to each 100 parts of the mixture when strained off, add 3 1/5
oz. liver of sulphur.
Furniture which is sprayed every six months with a mixture
composed of 93 per cent petrol, 4 per cent. linseed oil, and 3
per cent. citral, and then polished with soft rags, is
improved in appearance and preserved from woodworm.
Winter woollies that are not required during the summer months
can be kept safe from moths if they are packed in newspaper
with, a few pieces of camphor or naphtha in each packet. The
printer's ink on the newspapers repels moths. Instead of
closing the packages with pins, which readily tear out, it is
an excellent plan to use gummed paper-package tape. This
fastens very securely and leaves no holes through which the
moths can enter.
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ALUMINIUM HOT-WATER BOTTLES
When the water in aluminium hot-water bottles gets cold, great
difficulty is often experienced in removing the screw stopper
without damaging the ring or the screw thread. This is
particularly the case when the stopper is made of a different
metal from that composing the neck of the bottle, and is due
to the fact that the neck becomes smaller on cooling and grips
the screw very tightly. The difficulty may be overcome by
holding the neck of the bottle for a few seconds in a cup of
boiling water. The stopper can then be removed quite easily.
NEW USES FOR THE ALARM CLOCK
It can be used during the day as well as to help one to rise
in the morning. When cooking, set it as a reminder to look at
the oven or some particular saucepan. When you have just a
short time to lie down and relax, set it at the time when you
must go to work again. You will find rest more beneficial when
you have not to worry about resting too long. You can also use
your alarm clock when taking doses of medicine which come
several hours apart. In many little ways the alarm clock can
become quite a useful household article.
TO MAKE BATH SALTS
For making bath salts it is essential to choose well shaped
and glassy soda crystals, or if specially good ones are
desired, borax crystals may be used. The latter, however, are
considerably more expensive.
The crystals may be coloured in two ways
1. By dissolving a spirit dye, such as metanil yellow, or
eosine, in pure alcohol or directly in eau-de-Cologne,
lavender water or some other scent dissolved in spirit. Only a
very small amount of dye is required, and in most cases it is
quite sufficient to use 25 per cent. If scent is not used for
dissolving the dye a small amount of some essential oil, such
as violet, lavender, etc., should be added. The mixture should
then be sprayed on to the crystals by means of a scent spray,
whilst the crystals are turned frequently with a spoon.
2. A cheaper way of making bath salts is by dissolving any
good cold water dye in water and adding about one
dessertspoonful of glycerine to one pint of the liquid, which
should be sprayed over the crystals as above. The dyed
crystals then need scenting by adding a few drops of some
essential oil. In this case the crystals may need drying for a
short time and should be spread out on a tray. They should
not, however, be left for long as they would tend to lose
water, and the outside of the crystals becomes powdery in
TO SOFTEN BOOTS
To render boots that have been out of use soft and pliable,
wash them in warm water, and afterwards well rub castor-oil
into the leather. They will not polish well until they have
been in use and the heat of the foot has caused the oil to be
thoroughly absorbed by the leather.
To save wasting the ends of candles, procure a cork which fits
the candlestick tightly. (By rolling it under the feet for a
few seconds the cork will become very pliable and slightly
more compressed.) Drive a nail through the cork so that the
pointed ends extends for about 1/2 inch to I inch. Then insert
the cork with the point upwards into the candlestick, heat the
end of the nail and press the candle on to it. By this device
the candle can be burned completely and the candlestick does
not become so corroded with wax.
WHEN RE-LAYING CARPETS
Put sheets of newspaper between the underfelt and the carpet.
This lengthens the life of the underfelt, keeps it clean and
softens the tread. In small bedrooms where no underfelt is
used, newspaper spread on the floor prevents the dust from
working up between the floor boards and soiling the back of
To prolong the life of coal scuttles glue an odd piece of
linoleum, the thicker the better, and cut to fit, into the
lower part of the scuttle. This reduces the wear considerably.
For a circular or helmet-shaped coal-box, a piece of linoleum
a few inches larger in circumference than the bottom of the
scuttle should be obtained, and a few cuts made with a sharp
knife around the edge.
WHEN A CHIMNEY CATCHES FIRE
As soon as the chimney is discovered to be on fire, close all
windows and doors to exclude as much air as possible. Then
throw a few handfuls of common salt on to the fire and hold up
a piece of wet blanket in front of the fireplace.
TO REMOVE THE SHINY LOOK FROM CLOTH
When cloth garments become shiny rub over the worn part with
fine emery paper. This frays the fibres slightly and raises
the nap. Then finish by rubbing over with a warm silk duster.
Another method is to rub over the shiny part with a piece of
flannel dipped in turpentine.
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REMOVING A CORK WITHOUT A CORKSCREW
On those many occasions when a corkscrew cannot be found, a
good plan is to use an ordinary screw. Screw this well into
the cork, fix a piece of string to the head and with this pull
the cork out.
When a cork seems to be too big for a bottle it can often be
made to fit by soaking it in boiling water for a few minutes;
or a small wedge-shaped piece may be cut out of one end of the
cork. To prevent a cork slipping out when travelling, stick a
strapping of adhesive paper over the top, or tie over it a
piece of strong parchment-paper. To make a cork air-tight and
water-tight, soak it in oil for five minutes before using it.
A CURTAIN HINT
If the casement rod is difficult to pass through a curtain
hem, as is sometimes the case with newly washed thin ones, put
a large thimble on the end of the rod and it will slip along
An economical device for saving the tops of curtains or porti�res
is to sew on tabs about 2 inches long at regular intervals
along the top. If these are sewn on the inside of the curtain
and the furniture safety-pin passed through them (instead of
through the material), the curtain is greatly saved from wear
To keep a door ajar, make a soft sausage-shaped pad about 8
inches in length and with a loop at each end. Slip the loops
over the handle at each side of the door and the pad will
prevent the door closing and also from slamming.
Draining-boards attached to the scullery sink are sometimes
made of soft wood, and continual contact with water spoils
their appearance. To overcome this difficulty and to make the
boards more hard-wearing, linseed oil can be rubbed into the
wood, followed by a coat of liquid-wax. This renders the
surface impervious to moisture. From time to time, say every
month a little extra wax should be applied.
If you are obliged to work in a steamy or moist atmosphere,
rub your glasses with soap and then polish them : you will
find that the moisture does not rest on them. This is a good
tip for those who do cooking or laundry work.
WHEN FIRES WON'T BURN
This may be due to several causes-damp wood, insufficient
paper, a damp chimney, or careless laying. If the chimney is
damp, roll up a piece of newspaper loosely, light, and allow
it to burn as it goes up the chimney, just as the fire is
lighted. If it is a kitchen range, open the flue door at the
back of the stove and put the lighted paper up ; this warms
the chimney slightly and creates an upward draught. If the
wood is damp and no dry wood is available, roll up some balls
of newspaper rather tightly, and carefully arrange small
pieces of coal on these. In quite a short time there will be a
good fire. An old metal tray or sheet of metal held across the
front of an open fire produces a good draught.
TO RENDER FLANNELETTE NON-INFLAMMABLE
Non-inflammable flannelette loses its fire-resisting
properties on being washed. This property may be restored by
rinsing the material in warm water in which alum has been
dissolved (I oz. to a gallon). Flannelette that is treated in
this way acquires a measure of resistance to flames.
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HINTS WHEN USING GAS
When using the gas griller, always place a kettle or saucepan
of water on the top; this utilises the top heat as well as
that underneath. Use saucepans of a strong, light make, and
broad and flat in shape. Be careful to keep them clean-outside
as well as inside; sooty saucepans heat badly and require
longer to boil.
When using the oven, try to arrange your cooking so as to fill
all the shelves. It is a waste of gas to cook one dish only.
Do not boil a gallon of water if a pint will serve your
Do not turn a gas so high that it blazes round the sides of a
kettle or saucepan. Do not light a burner sooner than is
necessary, and always turn it off directly you have finished
with it. Turn the gas off from the main pipe when you have
finished using the stove, and always at night.
When making a milk pudding that requires long, slow cooking,
put all the ingredients in a double boiler and cook for an
hour or so over the simmering burner. Then turn the mixture
into a greased pie-dish and brown in a hot oven or under the
griller. This will save from two to three hours of oven gas,
and the pudding will taste the same as one that has been baked
a long time.
CARE OF GAS AND OIL BURNERS
Gas-bills and cookery are both affected by the burner
deficiency of your gas-range or your oil-stove. Be sure that
the burner is adjusted to produce a clear blue flame in the
gas-stove. Be sure that oil-burners have daily care. It takes
but a moment. First don't cut the wicks; instead, wrap a piece
of tissue paper about the forefinger and press down the
carbon, making an even, smooth, compact wick surface. Brush
off loose particles from wicks with a stiff lamp-brush to make
them last a long time.
A GARAGE HINT
The provision of a wash-basin in the garage, even if it is
only a portable one, does much to protect the paintwork of the
house from greasy fingers and good towels from stains and
dirt. When building is in progress, the cost incurred in
installing a small fitted lavatory basin in the garage,
providing this adjoins or is in close proximity to the house,
is not great and is well worth while.
THE TEMPER OF GLASS AND CHINA
These articles may be improved if they are placed in a vessel
of cold water, brought slowly to boiling-point, and then
allowed to cool in the same water. This has a toughening
effect on the material, and articles treated in this way are
much less liable to crack when heat is applied to them.
FOR HOUSEMAIDS GLOVES
First stretch them on a frame, then give the fingers and
wearing parts one thin coat of enamel paint. When this is worn
off, apply another coat. Do not paint the backs or wrists of
the gloves, as this makes them harsh and too stiff. This has
been proved to lengthen their life considerably.
To prolong the life of rubber gloves, sprinkle a little French
chalk inside each time before use, and if a little is applied
to the hands, it prevents the gloves sticking and consequently
tearing when taken off.
PROTECT YOUR HANDS
Before doing any rough work, such as polishing stoves, or
working with plants and handling soil, grease your hands well
with cold cream. You will find that this precaution prevents
dirt entering the small cracks in the surface skin.
TO WHITEN THE HANDS
Shred down 6 oz. of brown Windsor soap, and put into a jar
with 1/2 gill of lemon juice. Stand the jar in a saucepan of
water and let the contents melt over a slow fire. Then cool
slightly and add 1/2 gill of eau-de-Cologne. Stir occasionally
whilst cooling. Keep the mixture in a jar and apply it to the
hands after washing.
To prevent hearthstone rubbing off when cleaning steps,
hearths, etc, use some thin starch left over from washing day
instead of clear water. Clean, and apply the hearthstone in
the usual way.
INDISPENSABLE IN THE KITCHEN
A thick piece of cardboard about 24 by 18 inches in size
covered tightly with oil-cloth. Use it to protect your table
from saucepans or greasy dishes. It can be easily and quickly
wiped clean and is preferable to pieces of paper, which soon
TO UNTIE KNOTS
Place the knot on a table and gently hammer with a wooden
article for a second or two, reversing the knot as you do so.
Then insert the closed points of a small pair of scissors,
gradually open them, and the knot will come untied.
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If gummed labels stick together, lay a thin piece of paper
over them and press with a warm iron. They will soon come
apart easily and the gum will be intact. Spread out to dry.
The same applies to stamps or jam-pot covers.
TO REMOVE TIN LIDS
The lids of boot and furniture polish tins are often difficult
to remove. If the tin is placed on edge and rolled gently
under the foot the lid will swing off. It is advisable to
place a newspaper on the floor, in the event of a slight scrap
of polish coming from the tin.
A LINEN-CUPBOARD HINT
An excellent arrangement which prevents the edges and folds of
sheets, towels, and other household linen from becoming
discoloured whilst stored in the linen cupboard, is to fix
glazed linen or old glazed blinds at the top of each shelf as
close to the back of the cupboard as possible. Allow
sufficient material to cover the back, the shelf and contents.
Small brass hooks can be screwed into the wooden battens, and
rings attached to both sides of the linen. This ensures the
cover remaining in position. The glazed surface repels dust
WHEN STORING FINE LINEN
Linen that is not in constant use should be wrapped in
something blue to preserve the colour and prevent it becoming
yellow. Blue paper will do, or part of an old sheet that has
been previously dipped in a deep blue water.
TO SCENT LINEN
Try using Woodruff, which is found growing in many
old-fashioned gardens. Pick the leaves with the stalk and dry
them in the sun in the same way as lavender is dried. Then sew
them into longshaped muslin bags and tie with ribbon. Place
these amongst the linen and they will give it the scent of
new-mown hay Woodruff-scented linen is truly delightful.
TO PREVENT MATS SLIPPING
To prevent mats slipping on a polished floor avoid the
application of any polish underneath the mat, also, when
polishing the floor, apply the wax sparingly, having first
thinned it down with turps substitute to the consistency of
thick cream. A new rubberised canvas is now obtainable which,
being cut to fit and placed underneath the mat, prevents it
Another method of preventing coco-nut fibre doormats from
slipping is to fix two or four small metal angle pieces into
the floor, securing each by two screws. Two only are required
when the bottom of the door frame prevents the mat slipping in
one direction. The metal angle pieces can be made at home from
quarter-brass or iron, for they are quite invisible when the
mat is in position.
TO PREVENT SMALL MATS FROM CURLING
If a piece of linoleum the width of the mat, and from 6 to I2
inches long, be stitched to each end, it prevents small mats
from curling and also prolongs their life. Holes should be
bored in the linoleum with a gimlet and stitched to the mat
with string. Oilcloth may be substituted for linoleum if the
latter is not available. By this means cuttings of floor-cloth
can be utilised to good advantage.
Parts of a mincing machine are very liable to be lost. To
obviate this, make a bag from heavy crash or holland I2 inches
wide by I8 inches long (or according to the size of your
particular machine). Finish the top with a hem and
draw-string. After the mincer has been washed and dried, put
all parts into the bag and hang or place in the kitchen
dresser. If a thin strip of wood be placed under the mincing
machine, the table is not damaged or marked in any way when
the machine is used.
IN THE NURSERY
A table having a top of white porcelain enamel proves
invaluable in the nursery. The older children can use it when
they want to use paints, crayons, or modelling clay; milk
bottles, hot-water cans, etc., can be placed on it without
damage, and when baby is bathed his basket, bath towel and
soap can be accommodated. A wipe with a damp cloth is all that
is required to keep it in spotless condition.
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TO KEEP A PANTRY DRY
It is quite as necessary to keep food in a dry pantry as it is
to keep it in a cool one. Damp weather acts very quickly on
food, and care is necessary to prevent waste. By placing a
two-pound jar of lime in a small pantry or larder the air can
be kept sweet and dry.
Jam is particularly affected by damp, and this treatment will
be found useful, if a large pot has been opened and has to be
kept for any length of time, as it is impossible to render it
airtight by re-tying down.
CARE OF PATENT LEATHER SHOES
To prevent patent leather cracking, rub in vaseline or olive
oil when the shoes are new, and afterwards at regular
intervals. Allow the oil time to penetrate the leather, and
then rub off any surplus with a soft cloth, or dust will
stick. The oiling is best done when the shoes are on trees.
TO MAKE A STRONG PASTE
An especially strong paste can be made by substituting
rice-water for ordinary water when making a flour-and-water
paste, as the starch in the rice-water makes the paste more
KEEP POULTRY FEATHERS
All breast and back feathers should be collected and kept in a
bag until a considerable quantity is amassed. Then wash them
in hot soapy water to which a little soda has been added and
rinse them well. Dry the feathers indoors, spread out on
paper, or on a sheet spread on the floor. When nearly dry
return them to the bag and hang them out in the sun, or in a
warm kitchen. Or, if a thin muslin bag of good size is used,
the feathers may be washed and dried inside it. These feathers
make excellent stuffing for pillows and cushions.
POTTERY THAT IS POROUS
To overcome the difficulty often encountered of water
percolating the base of vases, jars, and bowls made of pottery
that is either unglazed or insufficiently glazed, paint the
outer surface of the bottom, when dry, with some petrifying
liquid, or apply two coats of any good enamel.
To safeguard furniture from becoming marked by pots that may
be slightly porous, cut two or three thicknesses of blotting
paper the exact shape of the base of the vase; should a little
moisture work through, the wood will not then be damaged.
TO PREVENT IRONS RUSTING
Irons that are kept in a kitchen which tends to be damp or
where much gas is used are liable to become rusty from week to
week. A simple way of overcoming this difficulty is to rub the
face and edge with the end of a candle before the iron is
quite cold, this produces a thin film o� wax which prevents
the rust forming, and it also uses up any candle ends.
TO ECONOMISE RUBBER-SHEETING
When this is required for a bed, the amount may be reduced by
buying just sufficient to cover the portion necessary. Then
stitch on to the two sides a strip of calico the same width as
the rubber, and use this for tucking under the mattress and
keeping the rubber in position.
WHEN FITTING UP A SINK
Do not forget to have a shelf put up to hold all cleaning
materials such as soda, sand, scouring soap, and a
disinfectant, etc. Also have a strip of wood with hooks to
hang up mop, scrubbing-brush, vegetable-brush, bottle-brush,
and dish-cloth. A sink can be kept much tidier if there is a
definite place for all the cleaning appliances.
TO SOFTEN DRY SHOE POLISH
When, as frequently happens, a shoe polish becomes too dry for
use, it can be made usable by moistening with a little
turpentine. This will soften it, and excellent results will
then be obtained.
TO REMOVE GLASS STOPPERS
If stoppers cannot be removed, apply glycerine, either by
painting it round the top of the stopper or by placing the
stopper and neck of the bottle in an eggcupful of glycerine.
It may be necessary to leave the bottle in this position for
several hours, or even for
a day or two, if it has become very firmly fixed. The
glycerine works its way between the ground glass stopper and
the neck of the bottle and so facilitates removal.
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STAINS ON SILK STOCKINGS
The unsightly stains which appear on silk stockings, caused by
the dye from leather shoes, may be prevented by cutting a
piece of chamois or wash-leather to fit each shoe. After
cutting out a piece of leather for the sole and around the
heel, distribute a little glue to the edge of the chamois
leather; place it in position in the shoe, taking care to
stretch it tightly and so prevent any wrinkles. To ensure firm
adherence, leave the shoes at least one day before wearing
STORING STEEL FIRE-IRONS
In the summer months, it is often desired to put away such
things as steel fire-irons and other steel articles. Well rub
each piece over with vaseline. Wrap up tightly in newspaper
and pack them into brown paper parcels. A further precaution
is to place a saucer of quicklime in the` bottom of the
cupboard. This must be renewed from time to time.
Silver that is not in use should be packed up, covered
tightly, and stored in as airtight a place as possible. A
simple way to store spoons and forks is to procure a strip of
baize 8 in. deeper than the largest spoon. Place a strip of
wide tape or braid down the centre. Stitch the tape securely
at intervals of about I in. across its width. This forms slots
into which the spoons and forks can be placed. The 4 inches of
baize to spare at the top and bottom is folded over the
silver, and the whole strip rolled up tightly and tied with
tape in the same way as a tool outfit. This efficiently
excludes air and prevents the silver from tarnishing. As an
extra precaution, the roll can be wrapped tightly in several
thicknesses of newspaper. Larger silver articles can be
wrapped up in plenty of old linen, then newspaper, and packed
in a tin box ; a tin trunk, tin hat box, or a biscuit tin
answers the purpose quite well.
WHEN PAPER STICKS TO THE TABLE
Paper stuck fast to the top of a polished table may be removed
by putting a few drops of oil on to the table and rubbing it
gently with a soft cloth.
TO RAISE A KITCHEN TABLE
To overcome the difficulty of tables and benches that are too
low for comfortable work, door stops can be fixed on the
bottom of each leg. If bought to match the table leg in
colour, they form a neat finish to the leg, the table stands
as solidly as before, and it is three inches higher. This
simple contrivance does away with much back-aching, occasioned
when cooking or ironing at a table too low for one's height.
TO SEPARATE TWO TUMBLERS
When two tumblers become fixed one inside the other, pour cold
water into the inner glass and stand the outer one in warm
water. In this manner the inner glass contracts and the outer
one expands so that they are easily separated.
TO MUFFLE A TELEPHONE BELL
Although telephones are very convenient in a bedroom, there
are disadvantages in this arrangement in the case of severe
illness, when the bell is apt to be disturbing. In the
ordinary pattern telephone this noise can be effectively
muffled by pushing some cotton wool under the gong upon which
the hammer strikes. No harm is done and the wool is easily
When travelling, it is very convenient to carry a thin board
the size of the bottom of one's trunk, covered with felt and
calico. This is most useful for ironing and pressing clothes.
When packing your case for a night on the train or boat, put
in a tube of good shaving soap instead of the usual cake of
soap. Besides not having a wet cake of soap to repack, you
will find that the shaving soap lathers and cleanses so much
better if the water is hard.
A VASE OF VALUE
To ensure the safety of a valuable vase or ornament other than
those made of glass, fill it up to the middle with ordinary
sand. The weight of the sand will render the vase practically
immune from all danger of being knocked over.
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TO EMPTY THE VACUUM CLEANER BAG
Instead of using an open newspaper, as is commonly done, place
the open end of the bag in a paper bag large enough to allow
the vacuum bag to be shaken easily. This method eliminates
much flying dust, and is especially helpful if the bag has to
be emptied indoors.
PROTECTING PICTURES ON DAMP WALLS
Pictures hanging on walls inclined to be damp may be
considerably protected by tacking a disc of cork at least }
in. thick-cut from an ordinary bottle cork-to each of the
lower comers of the frame. The pictures are thus held a little
way from the wall and the air is able to circulate freely
EASING LAMP WICKS
Lamp wicks which are rather tight in the wick holder can be
made to work more easily if one or two threads are pulled out
at either end. This reduces the size slightly.
TO WATERPROOF CLOTH
Put 1 gallon of rain-water into a pail and add to it I oz.
powdered alum and I oz. sugar S stir these about, let them
and then pour off the clear upper liquid. Put the material to
be waterproofed into this and let it soak for 24 hours. Wring
out, dry partially, and then mangle or press with a heavy
iron. This treatment will not injure the material, and it will
enable it to stand any amount of rain.
WATERPROOFING FOR BOOTS AND SHOES
Clean the soles and welts of the boots and shoes of all mud
and dust, well drying the soles. Warm about 2 Oz. castor oil
and apply before a fire; use a small brush, working the oil
well into the welts and soles, and taking care not to touch
the uppers. When the oil has soaked in, give two further
applications and stand the boots and shoes for twenty-four
hours in a warm place. A single coat applied every ten days
will ensure a watertight sole during the most inclement
weather. Do not treat suede-leather shoes in this way.
HELPFUL TO THE WAITRESS
The novice in waiting has sometimes difficulty in remembering
at what side a dish ought to be handed or removed. The
following rule will aid her memory. When a dish has to be
offered or helped
from, take it to the left-hand side of the person sitting;
otherwise put down and remove all dishes at the right-hand
side. The only exception to this rule is in the serving of
wine, which is offered at the right-hand side, where the
glasses are naturally standing.
TO PRECIPITATE WHITING
Whiting makes a very cheap polish for silver and plated
articles, but there is always a risk of scratching the metal
unless the whiting is first precipitated. To do this, tie some
whiting loose in a muslin bag, place in a jug or basin; pour
on plenty of cold water, agitate the bag of whiting, and allow
the mixture to settle. Next morning pour off the clear water;
the whiting which is left behind can either be dried in a warm
place or left to dry slowly. Store in a covered jar or pot,
and to use moisten with a little water or ammonia.
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