Uses of Ammonia

March 17th, 2018

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. 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.

Source: The White House Cookbook, F.L. Gillette

If Hands Are Rough

February 19th, 2018

It is hard to embroider if hands are rough, as most women know. Let them try rubbing the hands with the finest sand paper, and they will find that the embroidery silks will not stick to the fingers.

Source: 1001 Household Hints, Ottilie V. Ames

Potatoes Used to Cleanse

January 26th, 2018

Small pieces of raw potato in a little water shaken vigorously inside bottles and lamp chimneys will clean them admirably. To clean a burned porcelain kettle boil peeled potatoes in it. Cold boiled potatoes not over-boiled, used as soap will clean the hands and keep them soft and healthy. To cleanse and stiffen silk, woolen and cotton fabrics use the following recipe:–Grate two good sized potatoes into a pint of clear, clean, soft water. Strain through a coarse sieve into a gallon of water and let the liquid settle. Pour the starchy fluid from the sediment, rub the articles gently in the liquid, rinse them thoroughly in clear water and then dry and press. Water in which potatoes are boiled is said to be very effective in keeping silver bright.

Source: Vaughan’s Vegetable Cook Book

Cold Cream

January 6th, 2018

Melt together two ounces of oil of almonds, and one drachm each of white wax and spermaceti ; while warm add two ounces of rose-water, and orange flower water half an ounce. Nothing better than this will be found in the range of toilet salves.”

Source: The Housekeeper’s Friend: A Practical Cookbook

Cure for Felons

January 4th, 2018

Boil up in any iron vessel of sufficient capacity, (say four or six quarts,) enough yellow dock root to make a strong liquor. When sufficiently boiled, and while the liquor is as hot as can be borne by the hand, cover the kettle with a flannel cloth to keep in the heat and steam, hold the hand or finger affected under the cloth, and in the steam, and in five minutes the pain will cease. If it should return, heat the liquor, and do as before.

Source: The Housekeeper’s Friend: A Practical Cookbook

Nail Care

November 25th, 2017

To give a fine color to the nails, the hands and fingers must be well lathered and washed with fine soap; then the nails must be rubbed with equal parts of cinnebar and emery, followed by oil of bitter almonds. To take white spots from the nails, melt equal parts of pitch and turpentine in a small cup; add to it vinegar and powdered sulphur. Rub this on the nails and the spots will soon disappear.

Source: The White House Cookbook, F.L. Gillette

Stained Hands

November 17th, 2017

To remove stains, rub a slice of raw potato upon the stains; or wash the hands in lemon juice or steeped laurel-leaves.

Source: The White House Cookbook, F.L. Gillette

Chilblains

November 1st, 2017

Chilblains are the result of too rapid warming of cold parts, generally feet or fingers. Sometimes for years after being frost-bitten, exposure to severe cold will produce itching and burning, and perhaps swelling and ulcers.

Treatment:

Rub with turpentine or alcohol. The rubbing in itself is excellent. See doctor.

Source: The Mary Frances First Aid Book, Jane Eayre Fryer

Camphor Ice

October 30th, 2017

Melt together over a water bath white wax and spermaceti each one ounce, camphor two ounces, sweet almond oil, one pound, then triturate until the mixture has become homogeneous, and allow one pound of rose-water to flow in slowly during the operation. Excellent for chapped lips or hands.

Source: The White House Cookbook, F.L. Gillette

Toilet Items

October 10th, 2017

Mutton tallow is considered excellent to soften the hands. It may be rubbed on at any time when the hands are perfectly dry, but the best time is when retiring, and an old pair of soft, large gloves thoroughly covered on the inside with the tallow and glycerine in equal parts, melted together, can be worn during the night with the most satisfactory results.

Four parts of glycerine and five parts of yolks of eggs thoroughly mixed, and applied after washing the hands, is also considered excellent.

For chapped hands or face: One ounce of glycerine, one ounce of alcohol mixed, then add eight ounces of rose-water.

Another good rule is to rub well in dry oatmeal after every washing, and be particular regarding the quality of soap. Cheap soap and hard water are the unknown enemies of many people, and the cause of rough skin and chapped hands. Castile soap and rain-water will sometimes cure without any other assistance.

Camphor ice is also excellent, and can be applied with but little inconvenience. Borax dissolved and added to the toilet water is also good.

For chapped lips, beeswax dissolved in a small quantity of sweet oil, by heating carefully. Apply the salve two or three times a day, and avoid wetting the lips as much as possible.

Source: The White House Cookbook, F.L. Gillette