Web Text-ures Logo
Web and Book design,
Copyright, Kellscraft Studio
1999-2012


(Return to Web Text-ures)
Click Here to return to
White House Cook Book
Content Page

 Return to the Previous Chapter
Kellscraft Studio Logo
(HOME)

MISCELLANEOUS RECIPES.
* * *

USES OF AMMONIA.

ALL housekeepers should keep a bottle of liquid ammonia, as it is the most powerful and useful agent for cleaning silks, stuffs and hats, in fact cleans everything it touches. A few drops of ammonia in water will take off grease from dishes, pans, etc., and does not injure the hands as much as the use of soda and strong chemical soaps. A spoonful in a quart of warm water for cleaning paint makes it look like new, and so with everything that needs cleaning.

Spots on towels and hosiery will disappear with little trouble if a little ammonia is put into enough water to soak the articles, and they are left in it an hour or two before washing; and if a cupful is put into the water in which clothes are soaked the night before washing, the ease with which the articles can be washed, and their great whiteness and clearness when dried, will be very gratifying. Remembering the small sum paid for three quarts of ammonia of common strength, one can easily see that no bleaching preparation can be more cheaply obtained.

No articles in kitchen use are so likely to be neglected and abused as the dish-cloth and dish-towels; and in washing these, ammonia, if properly used, is a greater comfort than anywhere else. Put a teaspoonful into the water in which these cloths are, or should be, washed everyday; rub soap on the towels. Put them in the water; let them stand half an hour or so; then rub them out thoroughly, rinse faithfully, and dry outdoors in clear air and sun, and dish-cloths and towels need never look gray and dingy a perpetual discomfort to all housekeepers.

A dark carpet often looks dusty soon after it has been swept, and you know it does not need sweeping again; so wet a cloth or a sponge, wring it almost dry, and wipe off the dust. A few drops of ammonia in the water will brighten the colors.

For cleaning hair-brushes it is excellent; put a tablespoonful into the water, having it only tepid, and dip up and down until clean; then dry with the brushes down and they will be like new ones.

When employed in washing anything that is not especially soiled, use the waste water afterward for the house plants that are taken down from their usual position and immersed in the tub of water. Ammonia is a fertilizer, and helps to keep healthy the plants it nourishes. f In every way, in fact, ammonia is the housekeeper's friend.

Ammonia is not only useful for cleaning, but as a household medicine. Half a teaspoonful taken in half a tumbler of water is far better for faintness than alcoholic stimulants. In the Temperance Hospital in London, it is used with the best results. It was used freely by Lieutenant Greely's Arctic party for keeping up circulation. It is a relief in nervousness, headache and heart disturbances.


TO DESTROY INSECTS AND VERMIN.

DISSOLVE two pounds of alum in three or four quarts of water. Let it remain over night till all the alum is dissolved. Then with a brush, apply boiling hot to every joint or crevice in the closet or shelves where croton bugs, ants, cockroaches, etc., intrude; also to the joints and crevices of bedsteads, as bed bugs dislike it as much as croton bugs, roaches, or ants. Brush all the cracks in the floor and mopboards. Keep it boiling hot while using.

To keep woolens and furs from moths, be sure that none are in the articles when they are put away; then take a piece of strong brown paper, with not a hole through which even a pin can enter. Put the article in it with several lumps of gum camphor between the folds; place this in a close box or trunk. Cover every joint with paper. A piece of cotton cloth, if thick and firm, will answer. Wherever a knitting-needle can pass, the parent moth can enter.

Place pieces of camphor, cedar-wood, Russia leather, tobacco-leaves, whole cloves, or anything strongly aromatic, in the drawers or boxes where furs and other things to be preserved from moths are kept and they will never be harmed. Mice never get into drawers or trunks where gum camphor is placed.

Another Recipe. Mix half a pint of alcohol, the same quantity of turpentine and two ounces of camphor. Keep in a stone bottle and shake well before using. The clothes or furs are to be wrapped in linen, and crumbled-up pieces of blotting-paper dipped in the liquid to be placed in the box with them, so that it smells strong. This requires renewing but once a year.

Another authority says that a positive, sure recipe is this: Mix equal quantities of pulverized borax, camphor gum and saltpetre together, making a powder. Sprinkle it dry under the edges of carpets, in drawers, trunks, etc., etc. It will also keep out all kinds of insects, if plentifully used. If the housekeeper will begin at the top of her house with a powder bellows and a large quantity of this fresh powder, and puff it thoroughly into every crack and crevice, whether or not there are croton bugs in them, to the very bottom of her house, special attention being paid to old furniture, closets, and wherever croton water is introduced, she will be freed from these torments. The operation may require a repetition, but the end is success.


MOTHS IN CARPETS.

IF YOU fear that they are at work at the edge of the carpet, it will sometimes suffice to lay a wet towel, and press a hot flat-iron over it; but the best way is to take the carpet up, and clean it, and give a good deal of attention to the floor. Look in the cracks, and if you discover signs of moths, wash the floor with benzine, and scatter red pepper on it before putting the carpet lining down.

Heavy carpets sometimes do not require taking up every year, unless in constant use. Take out the tacks from these, fold the carpets back, wash the floor in strong suds with a tablespoonful of borax dissolved -in it. Dash with insect powder, or lay with tobacco leaves along the edge, and re-tack. Or use turpentine, the enemy of buffalo moths, carpet worms and other insects that injure and destroy carpets. Mix the turpentine with pure water in the proportion of three tablespoonfuls to three quarts of water, and then after the carpet has been well swept, go over each breadth carefully with a sponge dipped in the solution and wrung nearly dry. Change the water as often as it becomes dirty. The carpet will be nicely cleaned as well as disinfected. All moths can be kept away and the eggs destroyed by this means. Spots may be renovated by the use of ox-gall or ammonia and water.

A good way to brighten a carpet is to put half a tumbler of spirits of turpentine in a basin of water, and dip your broom in it and sweep over the carpet once or twice and it will restore the color and brighten it up until you would think it new. Another good way to clean old carpets is to rub them over with meal; just dampen it a very little and rub the carpet with it and when perfectly dry, sweep over with meal. After a carpet is thoroughly swept, rub it with a cloth dipped in water and ammonia; it will brighten the colors and make it look like new.


TO TAKE OUT MACHINE GREASE.

COLD water, a tablespoonful of ammonia and soap, will take out machine grease where other means would not answer on account of colors running, etc.


TO WASH FLANNELS.

THE first thing to consider in washing flannels so that they retain their size, is that the articles be washed and rinsed in water of the same temperature, that is, about as warm as the hands can bear, and not allowed to cool between. The water should be a strong suds. Rub through two soapy waters; wring them out, and put into plenty of clear, clean, warm water to rinse. Then into another of the same temperature, blued a little. Wring, shake them well and hang up. Do not take out of this warm water and hang out in a freezing air, as that certainly tends to shrink them. It is better to dry them in the house, unless the sun shines. They should dry quickly. Colored flannels should never be washed in the same water after white clothes, or they will be covered, when dry, with lint; better be washed in a water for themselves. In washing worsteds, such as merino dress goods, pursue the same course, only do not wring them hard; shake, hang them up and let drain. While a little damp, bring in and press smoothly on the wrong side with as hot an iron as can be used without scorching the goods.

Flannels that have become yellow from being badly washed, may be nicely whitened by soaking them two or three hours in a lather made of one-quarter of a pound of soft soap, two tablespoonfuls of powdered borax and two tablespoonfuls of carbonate of ammonia, dissolved in five or six gallons of water.



TO STARCH, FOLD AND IRON SHIRTS.

TO THREE tablespoonfuls of dry, fine starch allow a quart of water. First wet the starch smooth in a little cold water in a tin pan, put into it a little pinch of salt and a piece of enamel, or shirt polish the size of a bean, or a piece of clean tallow, or a piece of butter the size of a cranberry; pour over this a quart of boiling water, stirring rapidly, placing it over the fire. Cook until clear, then remove it from the fire and set the pan in another of warm water to keep the starch warm.

Turn the shirt wrong side out and dip the bosom in the hot starch as warm as the hands can bear the heat; rub the starch evenly through the linen, saturating it thoroughly; wring hard to make dry as possible. Starch the collar and wristbands the same way, then hang them out to dry. Three hours before ironing them, wet the bosom and cuffs in cold, water, wring out, shake and fold, roll up tightly, wrap in a towel and let remain two or three hours.

The back of the shirt should be ironed first by doubling it lengthwise through the centre, the wristbands may be ironed next, and both sides of the sleeves, then the collar band; now place a bosom board under the bosom and with a fresh clean napkin dampened a little, rub the bosom from the top toward the bottom, arranging and smoothing each plait neatly; then with a smooth, moderately-hot flatiron, begin ironing from the top downward, pressing hard until the bosom becomes smooth, dry and glossy. Remove the bosom board and iron the front, fold both sides of the shirt towards the centre of the back, fold together below the bosom and hang on the bars to air.


CLEANING OIL-CLOTHS.

A DINGY oil-cloth may be brightened by washing it with clear water with a little borax dissolved in it; wipe it with a flannel cloth that you have dipped into milk and then wring as dry as possible.


TO CLEAN BLACK LACE. No. 1.

A TEASPOONFUL of gum arabic dissolved in one teacupful of boiling water; when cool, add half a teaspoonful of black ink; dip the lace and spread smoothly between the folds of a newspaper and press dry with book or the like. Lace shawls can be dressed over in this way, by pinning a sheet to the carpet and stretching the shawl upon that; or black lace can be cleaned the same as ribbon and silk. Take an old kid glove (black preferable) , no matter how old, and boil it in a pint of water for a short time; then let it cool until the leather can be taken in the hand without burning; use the glove to sponge off the ribbon; if the ribbon is very dirty, dip it into water and draw through the fingers a few times before sponging. After cleaning, lay a piece of paper over the ribbon and iron; paper is better than cloth. The ribbon will look like new.


TO CLEAN BLACK LACE. No. 2.

BLACK laces of all kinds may be cleaned by alcohol. Throw them boldly into the liquid; churn them up and down till they foam; if very dusty, use the second dose of alcohol; squeeze them out, "spat" them, pull out the edges, lay them between brown paper, smooth and straight; leave under a heavy weight till dry; do not iron.


TO WASH WHITE LACE. No. 1.

FIRST, the soiled laces should be carefully removed from the garment and folded a number of times, keeping the edges evenly together, then basted with a coarse thread without a knot in the end. Now put them in a basin of luke-warm suds. After soaking a half hour, rub them carefully between the hands, renewing the suds several times; then, after soaping them well, place them in cold water and let them come to a scald. Take them from this and rinse them thoroughly in luke-warm water, blued a very little, then dip them into a very thin, clear starch, allowing a teaspoonful of starch to a pint of water, so thin that it will be scarcely perceptible. Now roll them in a clean, fresh towel without taking out the bastings; let them lie for an hour or more, iron over several thicknesses of flannel, taking out the bastings of one piece at a time, and ironing on the wrong side, with a moderately-hot iron; the laces should be nearly dry, and the edges and points pulled gently with the fingers into shape, before ironing.


TO WASH WHITE THREAD LACE. No. 2.

TO WASH white lace, cover a bottle with linen, stitched smoothly to fit the shape. Wind the lace about it, basting both edges to the linen. Wash on the bottle, soaping and rinsing well, then boil in soft water. Dry in the sun. Clip the basting threads and do not iron. If carefully done it will look like new lace.



TO CLEAN SILKS OR RIBBONS.

HALF a pint of gin, half a pound of honey, half a pound of soft soap, one-eighth of a pint of water.

Mix the above ingredients together; then lay each breadth of silk upon a clean kitchen table or dresser, and scrub it well on the soiled side with the mixture. Have ready three vessels of cold water; take each piece of silk at two corners, and dip it up and down in each vessel, but do not wring it; and take care that each breadth has one vessel of quite clean water for the last dip. Hang it up dripping for a minute or two, then dab in a cloth, and iron it quickly with a very hot iron.

Where the lace or silk is very much soiled, it is best to pass them through a warm liquor of bullock's gall and water; rinse in cold water; then take a small piece of glue, pour boiling water on it, and pass the veil through it, clap it, and frame to dry. Instead of framing, it may be fastened with drawing-pins closely fixed upon a very clean paste, or drawing-board.


TO CLEAN BLACK DRESS SILKS.

ONE of the things "not generally known," at least in this country, is the Parisian method of cleaning black silk; the modus operandi is very simple, and the result infinitely superior to that achieved in any other manner. The silk must be thoroughly brushed and wiped with a cloth, then laid flat on a board or table, and well sponged with hot coffee, thoroughly freed from sediment by being strained through muslin. The silk is sponged on the side intended to show; it is allowed to become partially dry, and then ironed on the wrong side. The coffee removes every particle of grease, and restores the brilliancy of silk, without imparting to it either the shiny appearance or crackly and papery stiffness obtained by beer, or, indeed, any other liquid. The silk really appears thickened by the process, and this good effect is permanent. Our readers who will experimentalize on an apron or cravat, will never again try any other method.


TO WASH FEATHERS.

WASH in u arm soap-suds and rinse in water a very little blued; if the feather is white, then let the wind dry it. When the curl has come out by washing the feather or getting it damp, place a hot flatiron so that you can hold the feather just above it while curling. Take a bone or silver knife, and draw the fibres of the feather between the thumb and the dull edge of the knife, taking not more than three fibres at a time, beginning at the point of the feather and curling one-half the other way. The hot iron makes the curl more durable. After a little practice one can make them look as well as new feathers. Or they can be curled by holding them over the stove or range, not near enough to burn; withdraw and shake out; then hold them over again until they curl. When swansdown becomes soiled, it can be washed and look as good as new. Tack strips on a piece of muslin and wash in warm water with white soap, then rinse and hang in the wind to dry. Rip from the muslin and rub carefully between the fingers to soften the leather.


INCOMBUSTIBLE DRESSES.

BY PUTTING an ounce of alum or sal ammoniac in the last water in which muslins or cottons are rinsed, or a similar quantity in the starch in which they are stiffened, they will be rendered almost uninflammable; or, at least, will with difficulty take the fire, and if they do, will burn without flame. It is astonishing that this simple precaution is so rarely adopted. Remember this and save the lives of your children.


HOW TO FRESHEN UP FURS.

FURS when taken out in the fall are often found to have a mussed, crushed-out appearance. They can be made to look like new, by following these simple directions: Wet the fur with a hair-brush, brushing up the wrong way of the fur. Leave it to dry in the air for about half an hour, and then give it a good beating on the right side with a rattan. After beating it, comb it with a coarse comb, combing up the right way of the fur.


NOVEL DRESS MENDING.

A NOVEL way of mending a woolen or silk dress in which a round hole has been torn, and where only a patch could remedy matters, is the following: The frayed portions around the tear should be carefully smoothed, and a piece of the material, moistened with very thin muscilage, placed under the hole. A heavy weight should be put upon it until it is dry, when it is only possible to discover the mended place by careful observation.



TO RENEW OLD CRAPE.

PLACE a little water in a tea-kettle, and let it boil until there is plenty of steam from the spout; then, holding the crape in both hands, pass it to and fro several times through the steam, and it will be clean and look nearly equal to new.


TO RAISE THE PILE ON VELVET.

TO RAISE the pile on velvet, put on a table two pieces of wood; place between them, bottom side up, three very hot flat-irons, and over them lay a wet cloth; hold the velvet over the cloth, with the wrong side down; when thoroughly steamed, brush the pile with a light wisp, and the velvet will look as good as new.


TO CLEAN KID GLOVES.

MAKE a thick mucilage by boiling a handful of flax-seed; add a little dissolved toilet soap; then, when the mixture cools, put the gloves on the hands and rub them with a piece of white flannel wet with the mixture. Do not wet the gloves through. Or take a fine, clean, soft cloth, dip it into a little sweet milk, then rub it on a cake of soap, and rub the gloves with it; they will look like new.

Another good way to clean any color of kid gloves is to pour a little benzine into a basin and wash the gloves in it, rubbing and squeezing them until clean. If much soiled, they must be washed through clean benzine, and rinsed in a fresh supply. Hang up in the ah 1 to dry.


STARCH POLISH.

TAKE one ounce of spermaceti and one ounce of white wax; melt and run it into a thin cake on a plate. A piece the size of a quarter dollar added to a quart of prepared starch gives a beautiful lustre to the clothes and prevents the iron from sticking.


FOR CLEANING JEWELRY.

FOR cleaning jewelry there is nothing better than ammonia and water. If very dull or dirty, rub a little soap on a soft brush and brush them in this wash, rinse in cold water, dry first in an old handkerchief and then rub with buck or chamois skin. Their freshness and brilliancy when thus cleaned cannot be surpassed by any compound used by jewelers.



TO CLEAN SILVER PLATE.

WASH well in strong, warm soap-suds, rinse and wipe dry with a dry soft cloth; then mix as much hartshorn powder as will be required into a thick paste, with cold water; spread this over the silver, with a soft cloth, and leave it for a little time to dry. When perfectly dry brush it off with a clean soft cloth, or brush and polish it with a piece of chamois skin. Hartshorn is one of the best possible ingredients for plate powder for daily use. It leaves on the silver a deep, dark polish, and at the same time does not injure it. Whiting, dampened with liquid ammonia, is excellent also.


TO REMOVE STAINS FROM MARBLE.

Mix together one-half pound of soda, one-half pound of soft soap and one pound of whiting. Boil them until they become as thick as paste, and let it cool. Before it is quite cold, spread it over the surface of the marble and leave it at least a whole day. Use soft water to wash it off, and rub it well with soft cloths. For a black marble, nothing it better than spirits of turpentine.

Another paste answers the same purpose: Take two parts of soda, one of pumice stone and one of finely-powdered chalk. Sift these through a fine sieve and mix them into a paste with water. Rub this well all over the marble and the stains will be removed; then wash it with soap and water and a beautiful bright polish will be produced.


TO WHITEN WALLS.

TO WHITEN walls, scrape off all the old whitewash, and wash the walls with a solution of two ounces of white vitriol to four gallons of water. Soak a quarter of a pound of white glue in water for twelve hours; strain and place in a tin pail in a kettle of boiling water. When melted, stir in the glue eight pounds of whiting and water enough to make it as thick as common whitewash. Apply evenly with a good brush. If the walls are very yellow, blue the water slightly by squeezing in it a flannel blue-bag.

Before kalsomining a wall all cracks should be plastered over. Use plaster of Paris. Kalsomine may be colored easily by mixing with it yellow ochre, Spanish brown, indigo; squeeze through a bag into the water, etc.



PAPER-HANGERS' PASTE.

TO MAKE paper-hangers' paste, beat up four pounds of good, white wheat flour (well sifted previously) in sufficient cold water to form a stiff batter. Beat it well in order to take out all lumps, and then add enough cold water to make the mixture of the consistency of pudding batter. To this add about two ounces of well-pounded alum. Pour gently and quickly over the batter boiling water, stirring rapidly at the same time, and when it is seen to lose the white color of the flour, it is cooked and ready. Do not use it, however, while hot, but allow it to cool. Pour about a pint of cold water over the top to prevent a skin from forming. Before using, the paste should be thinned by the addition of cold water.


TO WASH COLORED GARMENTS.

DELICATELY colored socks and stockings are apt to fade in washing. If they are soaked for a night in a pail of tepid water containing a half pint of turpentine, then wrung out and dried, the colors will "set," and they can afterwards be washed without fading.

For calicoes that fade, put a teaspoonful of sugar of lead into a pailful of water and soak the garment fifteen minutes before washing.


THE MARKING SYSTEM.

MARK all your own personal wardrobe which has to be washed. If this were invariably done, a great deal of property would be saved and a great deal of trouble would be spared. For the sake of saving trouble to others, if for no other reason, all of one's handkerchiefs, collars and underclothing should be plainly and permanently marked. A bottle of indelible ink is cheap, a clean pen still cheaper, and a bright, sunny day or a hot flat-iron will complete the business. Always keep on hand a stick of linen tape, written over its whole length with your name, or the names of your family, ready to be cut off and sewed on to stockings and such other articles as do not afford a good surface on which to mark.

Then there are the paper patterns, of which every mother has a store. On the outside of each, as it is tied up, the name of the pattern should be plainly written. There are the rolls of pieces, which may contain a good deal not apparent from the outside. All these hidden mysteries should be indicated. The winter things, which are wrapped up and put away for summer, and the summer things, which are wrapped up and put away for the winter, should all be in labeled packages, and every packing trunk should have on its lid a complete list of its contents.

Congregationalist.


TO REMOVE STAINS AND SPOTS.

CHILDREN'S clothes, table linens, towels, etc., should be thoroughly examined before wetting, as soap-suds, washing-fluids, etc.. will fix almost any stain past removal. Many stains will pass away by being simply washed in pure, soft water; or alcohol will remove, before the article has been in soap-suds, many stains; iron mold, mildew 7 , or almost any similar spot, can be taken out by dipping in diluted citric acid; then cover with salt and lay in the bright sun till the stain disappears. If of long standing, it may be necessary to repeat the wetting and the sunlight. Be careful to rinse in several waters as soon as the stain is no longer visible. Ink, fruit, wine, and mildew stains must first be washed in clear, cold water, removing as much of the spots as can be, then mix one teaspoonful of oxalic acid and a half pint of rain-water. Dip the stain in this and wipe off. in clear water. Wash at once, if a fabric that will bear washing. A tablespoonful of white currant juice, if any can be had, is even better than lemon. This preparation may be used on the most delicate articles without injury. Shake it up before using it. Mark it " poison/' and put it where it will not be meddled with.


OIL STAINS IN SILKS AND OTHER FABRICS.

BENZINE is most effectual, not only for silk, but for any other material whatever. It can be procured from any druggist. By simply covering both sides of greased silk with magnesia, and allowing it to remain for a few hours, the oil is absorbed by the powder. Should the first application be insufficient, it may be repeated, and even rubbed in with the hand. Should the silk be Tussah or Indian silk, it will wash.

To remove an acid stain on violet silk: Brush the discoloration with tincture of iodine, then saturate the spot well with a solution of hyposulphite of soda, and dry gradually. This restores the original color perfectly.

Muriatic acid is successfully used for removing ink stains and iron mold on a number of colors which it does not attack.

Sulphurous acid is only employed for whitening undyed goods, straw hats, etc., and for removing the stains of certain fruits on silks and woolens. Sulphurous gas is also used for this purpose, but the liquid gas is safer.

Oxalic acid is used for removing ink and rust stains, and remnants of mud stains, which do not yield to other deterrents. It may also be used for destroying the stains of fruits and astringent juices, and old stains of urine. However, its use is limited to white goods, as it attacks fugitive colors and even light shades of those reputed to be fast. The best method of applying it is to dissolve it in cold or hike-warm water, to let it remain a moment upon the spot, and then rub it with the fingers. Wash out in clear, warm water immediately.

Citric acid serves to revive and brighten certain colors, especially greens and yellows. It restores scarlets which have been turned to a crimson by the action of alkalies. Acetic acid or tartaric acid may be used instead.

Where it is feared that soap may change the color of an article, as, for instance, scarlet hosiery or lilac print, if the garment be not badly soiled, it may be cleansed by washing without soap in water in which pared potatoes have been boiled. This method will also prevent color from running in washing prints.

To prevent blue from running into a white ground, dissolve a teaspoonful of copperas in a pailful of soft water, add a piece of lime the size of an acorn, and soak the garments in this water two hours before washing. To keep colors from running in washing black prints, put a teaspoonful of black pepper in the first water.

Salt or beef's gall in the water helps to set black. A tablespoonful of spirits of turpentine to a gallon of water sets most blues, and alum is very efficacious in setting green. Black or very dark calicoes should be stiffened with gum arabic five cents' worth is enough for a dress. If, however, starch is used, the garment should be turned wrong side out.

A simple way to remove grass stains is to spread butter on them, and lay the article in hot sunshine, or wash in alcohol. Fruit stains upon cloth or the hands may be removed by rubbing with the juice of ripe tomatoes. If applied immediately, powdered starch will also take fruit stains out of table linen. Left on the spot for a few hours, it absorbs every trace of the stain.

For mildew stains or iron rust, mix together soft soap, laundry starch, half as much salt, and the juice of a lemon. Apply to the spots and spread the garment on the grass. Or wet the linen, rub into it white soap, then finely powdered chalk; lay upon the grass and keep damp. Old mildew stains may be removed by rubbing yellow soap on both sides and afterwards laying on, very thick, starch which has been dampened. Rub in well and expose to light and air.

There are several effectual methods of removing grease from cloths. First, wet with a linen cloth dipped in chloroform. Second, mix four tablespoonfuls of alcohol with one tablespoonful of salt; shake together until the salt is dissolved and apply with a sponge. Third, wet with weak ammonia water; then lay a thin white blotting or tissue paper over it and iron lightly with an iron not too hot. Fourth, apply a mixture of equal parts of alcohol, gin and ammonia.

Candle grease yields to a warm iron. Place a piece of blotting or other absorbing paper under the absorbing fabric; put a piece of the paper also on the spot, apply the warm iron to the paper and as soon as a spot of grease appears, move the paper and press again until the spot disappears. Lard will remove wagon grease. Rub the spot with the lard as if washing it, and when it is well out, wash in the ordinary way with soap and water until thoroughly cleansed.

To make linen beautifully white, prepare the water for washing by putting into every ten gallons a large handful of powdered borax { or boil with the clothes one teaspoonful of spirits of turpentine.

Fruit stains may be taken out by boiling water. Place the material over a basin or other vessel and pour the boiling water from the kettle over the stains.

Pure water, cold or hot, mixed with acids, serves for rinsing goods in order to remove foreign and neutral bodies which cover the color. Steam softens fatty matters and thus facilitates their removal by reagents.

Sulphuric acid may be used in certain cases, particularly for brightening and raising greens, reds, yellows, etc., but it must be diluted with at least one hundred times its weight of water and more in cases of delicate shades.


CEMENT FOR CHINA AND GLASS.

TO HALF a pint of milk put an equal quantity of vinegar in order to curdle it; then separate the curd from the whey and mix the whey with the whites of four or five eggs, beating the whole well together. When it is well-mixed, add a little quick-lime, through a sieve, until it has acquired the consistency of a thick paste. With this cement broken vessels and cracks of all kinds may be mended. It dries quickly and resists the action of fire and water.

Another: Into a thick solution of gum arabic, stir plaster of Paris until the mixture assumes the consistency of cream; apply with a brush to the broken edges of china and join together. In three days the article cannot be broken in the same place. The whiteness of the cement adds to its value.


CLEANING SINKS.

TO PURIFY greasy sinks and pipes, pour down a pailful of boiling water in which three or four pounds of washing soda have been dissolved. A disinfectant is prepared in the same way, using copperas. Copperas is a poison and should not be left about.

Leaks in Waste Pipes: Shut yourself into a room from which the pipe starts. Put two or three ounces of oil of peppermint into a pail of boiling hot water and pour down the pipe. Another person who has not yet inhaled the strong odor should follow the course of the pipe through the house. The peppermint will be pretty sure to discover a break that even an expert plumber might overlook.

The Examiner.



MANAGEMENT OF STOVES.

IF THE fire in a stove has plenty of fresh coals on top not yet burned through it will need only a little shaking to start it up; but if the fire looks dying and the coals look white, don't shake it. When it has drawn till it is red again, if there is much ash and little fire, put coals on very carefully. A mere handful of fire can be coaxed back into life by adding another handful or so of new coals on the red spot, and giving plenty of draught, but don't shake a dying fire, or you lose it. This management is often necessary after a warm spell, when the stove has been kept dormant for days, though I hope you will not be so unfortunate as to have a fire to coax up on a cold winter morning. They should be arranged over night, so that all that is required is to open the draughts in order to have a cherry glow in a few minutes.

Good Housekeeping



TO REMOVE INK FROM CARPETS.

WHEN freshly spilled, ink can be removed from carpets by wetting in milk. Take cotton batting and soak up all the ink that it will receive, being careful not to let it spread. Then take fresh cotton, wet in milk, and sop it up carefully. Repeat this operation, changing cotton and milk each time. After most of the ink has been taken up in this way, with fresh cotton and clean, rub the spot. Continue till all disappears; then wash the spot in clean warm water and a little soap; rinse in clear water and rub till nearly dry. If the ink is dried in, we know of no way that will not take the color from the carpet as well as the ink, unless the ink is on a white spot. In that case, salts of lemon, or soft soap, starch and lemon juice, will remove the ink as easily as if on cotton.


TO TAKE RUST OUT OF STEEL.

IF POSSIBLE, place the article in a bowl containing kerosene oil, or wrap the steel up in a soft cloth well saturated with kerosene; let it remain twenty-four hours or longer, then scour the rusty spots with brick dust; if badly rusted, use salt wet with hot vinegar; after scouring rinse every particle of brick dust or salt oft' with boiling hot water; dry thoroughly with flannel cloths and place near the fire to make sure, then polish off. with a clean flannel cloth and a little sweet oil.


TO MAKE A PASTE OR MUCILAGE TO FASTEN LABELS.

SOFTEN good glue in water, then boil it with strong vinegar and thicken the liquid, during boiling, with fine wheat flour, so that a paste results; or starch paste with which a little Venice turpentine has been incorporated while it was warm.

A recipe for a transparent cement which possesses great tenacity and has not the slightest yellow tinge: Mix in a well-stoppered bottle ten drachms of chloroform with ten and one-half of non-vulcanized caoutchouc (rubber) cut in small pieces. Solution is readily effected and when it is completed add two and one-half drachms of mastic. Let the whole macerate from eight to ten days without the application of any heat and shake the contents of the bottle at intervals. A perfectly white and very adhesive cement is the result.



POSTAGE STAMP MUCILAGE.

TAKE of gum dextrine two parts, acetic acid one part, water five parts. Dissolve in a water bath and add alcohol one part.

Scientific American.


Gum of great strength, which will also keep for a long time, is prepared by dissolving equal parts of gum arabic and gum tragacanth in vinegar. A little vinegar added to ordinary gum water will make it keep much better.


FAMILY GLUE.

CRACK the glue and put it in a bottle, add common whisky; shake up, cork tight, and in three or four days it can be used. It requires no heating, will keep for almost any length of time, and is at all times ready to use, except in the coldest of weather, when it will require warming. It must be kept tight, so that the whisky will not evaporate. The usual corks or stoppers should not be used. It will become clogged. A tin stopper covering the bottle, but fitting as closely as possible, must be used.


GLUE.

GLUE to resist heat and moisture is made as follows: Mix a handful of quick-lime in four ounces of linseed oil, boil to a good thickness, then spread it on tin plates in the shade, and it will become very hard, but may be easily dissolved over the fire as glue.

A glue which will resist the action of water is made by boiling one pound of common glue in two quarts of skimmed milk.


FURNITURE CREAM.

SHRED finely two ounces of beeswax and half an ounce of white wax into half a pint of turpentine; set in a warm place until dissolved, then pour over the mixture the following, boiled together until melted: Half a pint of water, an ounce of castile soap and a piece or resin the size of a small nutmeg. Mix thoroughly and keep in a wide-necked stone bottle for use. This cleans well and leaves a good polish, and may be made at a fourth of the price it is sold at.


CEMENT CRACKS IN FLOOR.

CRACKS in floors may be neatly but permanently filled by thoroughly soaking newspapers in paste made of half a pound of flour, three quarts of water and half a pound of alum mixed and boiled. The mixture will be about as thick as putty, and may be forced into the crevice with a case knife. It will harden like papier-mache.


A POLISH FOR LADIES' KID SHOES.

A FINE liquid polish for ladies' kid shoes, satchels, etc., that is easy of application, recommended as containing no ingredients in any manner injurious to leather, is found by digesting in a closed vessel at gentle heat, and straining, a solution made as follows: Lampblack one drachm, oil turpentine four drachms, alcohol (trymethyl) twelve ounces, shellac one and one-half ounces, white turpentine five drachms, saudarac two drachms.


PASTE FOR SCRAP BOOKS, ETC.

Paste that Will Keep. Dissolve a teaspoonful of alum in a quart of water. When cold, stir in flour, to give it the consistency of thick cream, being particular to beat up all the lumps. Stir in as much powdered resin as will lie on a dime, and throw in half a dozen cloves to give it a pleasant odor. Have on the fire a teacupful of boiling water; pour the flour mixture into it, stirring well all the time. In a few minutes it will be of the consistency of molasses. Pour it into an earthen or china vessel, let it cool, and stir in a small teaspoonful each of oil of cloves and of sassafras; lay a cover on, and put in a cool place. When needed for use, take out a portion and soften it with warm water. This is a fine paste to use to stiffen embroidery.


TO REMOVE INDELIBLE INK.

MOST indelible inks contain nitrate of silver, the stain of which may be removed by first soaking in a solution of common salt, and afterward washing with ammonia. Or use solution of ten grains of cyanide of potassium and five grains of iodine to one ounce of water, or a solution of eight parts each bichloride of mercury and chloride of ammonium in one hundred and twenty-five parts of water.


A CEMENT FOR ACIDS.

A CEMENT which is proof against boiling acids may be made by a composition of India rubber, tallow, lime and red lead. The India rubber must first be melted by a gentle heat, and then six to eight per cent, by weight of tallow is added to the mixture while it is kept well stirred; next day slaked lime is applied, until the fluid mass assumes a consistency similar to that of soft paste; lastly, twenty per cent, of red lead is added in order to make it harden and dry.


TO KEEP CIDER.

ALLOW three-fourths of a pound of sugar to the gallon, the whites of six eggs, well beaten, a handful of common salt. Leave it open until fermentation ceases, then bung up. This process a dealer of cider has used for years, and always successfully.

Another Recipe. To keep cider sweet allow it to work until it has reached the state most desirable to the taste, and then add one and a half tumblers of grated horse-radish to each barrel, and shake up well. This arrests further fermentation. After remaining a few weeks, rack off and bung up closely in clean casks.

A gentleman of Denver writes he has a sure preservative: Put eight gallons of cider at a time into a clean barrel; take one ounce of powdered charcoal and one ounce of powdered sulphur; mix and put it into some iron vessel that will go down through the bung-hole of the barrel. Now put a piece of red-hot iron into the charcoal and sulphur, and while it is burning, lower it through the bung-hole to within one foot of the cider, and suspend it there by a piece of wire. Bring it up and in twelve hours you can cure another batch. Put the cider in a tight barrel and keep in a cool cellar and it will keep for years.

A Holland Recipe. To one quart of new milk, fresh from the cow (not strained), add one half pound of ground black mustard seed and six eggs. Beat the whole well together and pour into a barrel of cider. It will keep cider sweet for one year or more.


TO BLEACH COTTON CLOTH.

TAKE one large spoonful of sal soda and one pound of chloride lime for thirty yards; dissolve in clean, soft water; rinse the cloth thoroughly in cold, soft water so that it may not rot. This amount of cloth may be bleached in fourteen or fifteen minutes.


A POLISH FOR LEATHER.

PUT a half pound of shellac broken up in small pieces into a quart bottle or jug, cover it with alcohol, cork it tight, and put it on the shelf in a warm place; shake it well several times a day, then add a piece of camphor as large as a hen's egg; shake it well, and in a few hours shake it again and add one ounce of lampblack. If the alcohol is good, it will all be dissolved in two days; then shake and use. If the materials were of the proper kind, the polish correctly prepared, it will dry in about five minutes, giving a gloss equal to patent leather. Using aniline dyes instead of the lampblack, you can have it any desired color, and it can be used on wood or hard paper.


TO SOFTEN WATER.

ADD half a pound of the best quick-lime dissolved in water to every hundred gallons. Smaller proportions may be more conveniently managed, and if allowed to stand a short time the lime will have united with the carbonate of lime, a nd been deposited at the bottom of the receptacle. Another way is to put a gallon of lye into a barrelful of water, or two or three shovelfuls of wood-ashes, let stand over night; it will be clear and soft.


WASHING FLUID.

ONE gallon of water and four pounds of ordinary washing soda, and a quarter of a pound of soda. Heat the water to boiling hot, put in the soda, boil about five minutes, then pour it over two pounds of unslaked lime, let it bubble and foam until it settles, turn it off and bottle it for use. This is the article that is used in the Chinese laundries for whitening their linen, and is called "Javelle water;" a tablespoonful put into a suds of three gallons, and a little, say a quarter of a cupful, in the boiler when boiling the clothes, makes them very white and clear. Must be well rinsed afterwards. This preparation will remove tea stains and almost all ordinary stains of fruit, grass, etc. This fluid brightens the colors of colored clothes, does not rot them, but should not be left long in any water; the boiling, sudsing, rinsing and bluing, should be done in quick succession, until the clothes are ready to hang on the line.


HARD SOAP. (Washing.)

Six pounds of washing soda and three of unslaked lime. Pour on four gallons of boiling water, let it stand until perfectly clear, then drain off, and put in six pounds of clean fat. Boil it until it begins to harden, about two hours, stirring most of the time. While boiling, thin it with two gallons of cold water, which you have previously poured on the alkaline mixture, after draining off the four gallons. This must be settled clear before it is drawn off. Add it when there is danger of boiling over. Try the thickness by cooling a little on a plate. Put in a handful of salt just before taking from the fire. Wet a tub to prevent sticking; turn in the soap and let it stand until solid. Cut into bars, put on a board and let it dry. This makes about forty pounds of soap. It can be flavored just as you turn it out.


SOAP FOR WASHING WITHOUT RUBBING.

A SOAP to clean clothes without rubbing: Take two pounds of sal soda, two pounds of common bar soap and ten quarts of water. Cut the soap in thin slices and boil together two hours; strain and it will be fit for use. Put the clothes in soak the night before you wash, and to every pailful of water in which you boil them add a pound of soap. They will need no rubbing, but merely rinsing.


TO MAKE SOFT SOAP WITHOUT COOKING.

POUR two pailfuls of boiling water upon twenty pounds of potash and let it stand two hours. Have ready thirty pounds of clean grease, upon which pour one pailful of the lye, adding another pail of water to the potash; let it stand three or four hours, stir it well; then pour a gallon of the lye upon the grease, stir it well; and in half an hour another gallon of the lye, stir it thoroughly; in half an hour repeat the process, and thus proceed until you have poured off all the lye; then add two pails of boiling hot water to the remainder of the potash, and let it stand ten hours; then stir the mixture, and if it has become stiff and the grease has disappeared from the surface, take out a little and see whether the weak lye will thicken it; if it does, add the lye; if it does not, try water, and if that thickens it, let it stand another day, stirring it well five or six times during the day; if the lye does not separate from the grease you may fill up with water.


OLD-STYLE FAMILY SOFT SOAP.

To set the leach, bore several holes in the bottom of a barrel, or use one without a bottom; prepare a board larger than the barrel, then set the barrel on it, and cut a groove around just outside the barrel, making one groove from this to the edge of the board, to carry off the lye as it runs off, with a groove around it, running into one in the centre of the board. Place all two feet from the ground and tip it so that the lye may run easily from the board into the vessel below prepared to receive it. Put half bricks or stones around the edge of the inside of the barrel; place on them one end of some sticks about two inches wide, inclining to the centre; on those place some straw to the depth of two inches, over it scatter two pounds of slaked lime. Put in ashes, about half of a bushel at a time, pack it well, by pounding it down, and continue doing so until the barrel is full, leaving a funnel-shaped hollow in the centre large enough to hold several quarts of water. Use rain-water boiling hot. Let the water disappear before adding more. If the ashes are packed very tightly it may require two or three days before the lye will begin to run, but it will be the stronger for it, and much better.

To Make Boiled Soft Soap. Put in a kettle the grease consisting of all kinds of fat that has accumulated in the kitchen, such as scraps and bones from the soup-kettle, rinds from meat, etc.; fill the kettle half full; if there is too much grease it can be skimmed off after the soap is cold, for another kettle of soap. This is the only true test when enough grease is used, as the lye will consume all that is needed and no more. Make a fire under one side of it. The kettle should be in an out-house or out of doors. Let it heat very hot so as to fry; stir occasionally to prevent burning. Now put in the lye a gallon at a time, watching it closely until it boils, as it sometimes runs over at the beginning. Add lye until the kettle is full enough, but not too full to boil well. Soap should boil from the side and not the middle, as this would be more likely to cause it to boil over. To test the soap, to one spoonful of soap add one of rain-water; if it stirs up very thick, the soap is good and will keep; if it becomes thinner, it is not good. This is the result of one of three causes, either it is too weak, or there is a deposit of dirt or it is too strong. Continue to boil for a few hours, when it should flow from the stick with which it is stirred like thick molasses; but if after boiling it remains thin, let it stand over night, removing it from the fire, then drain it off very carefully into another vessel, being very particular to prevent any sediment from passing. Wash the kettle, return the soap and boil again, if dirt was the cause; it will now be thick and good; otherwise if it was too strong, rain-water added will make it right, adding the water gradually until right and just thick enough.


Book Chapter Logo Click the book image to turn to the next Chapter.