Polish for Hard or Stained Wood Floors

August 11th, 2017

Eight ounces of yellow beeswax, two quarts of spirits of turpentine, one quart of Venetian turpentine. Cut the wax in small pieces and pour the spirits over it–it will soon dissolve; then bottle. Apply with a flannel or soft cloth. It keeps the floors in excellent order.

Source: The Golden Age Cook Book, H. L. Dwight

French Polish

June 6th, 2017

Take a quarter of an ounce of gum sandarac and a quarter of an ounce of gum mastic; pick the dirt and black lumps out very carefully, and pound them in a mortar quite fine; put them into a bottle, and add to them a quartern (old measure) of strong spirit of wine; cork it down and put it in a warm place; shake it frequently till the gum is entirely dissolved, which will be in about twenty-four hours.

Before using it, be careful to ascertain that no grease is on the furniture, as grease would prevent its receiving the polish. If the furniture has been previously cleaned with bees’-wax or oil, it must be got off by scraping, which is the best way, but difficult to those who do not perfectly understand it, because if you are not very careful, you may scratch the surface, and create more expense than a workman would charge to do it properly at first. Or it may be done by scouring well with sand and water, and afterward rubbed quite smooth with fine glass paper, being careful to do it with the grain of the wood. To apply the polish, you must have a piece of list or cloth twisted, and tied round quite tight, and left even at one end, which should be covered with a piece of fine linen cloth; then pour a little of the polish on the furniture, and rub it well all over till it is worked into the grain of the wood, and begins to look quite smooth; then take a soft fine cloth, or what is better, an old silk handkerchief, and keep rubbing lightly until the polish is complete, which will take two or three hours. It will greatly help the polish if it is done near a fire.

If it does not look so smooth and clear as it should, a little sweet oil rubbed lightly over, and cleaned off directly, will greatly heighten it. If any part of the furniture has carving about it, where it will be impossible to polish, it must be done with mastic varnish, and a camel’s hair brush, after the rest is finished.

When the polish begins to look dull, it may be recovered with a little spirit of wine.

Source: The Cook’s Oracle and Housekeeper’s Manual, W.M. Kitchener

To Prevent Flies From Injuring Picture Frames

October 31st, 2016

Boil three or four onions in one pint of water; brush the frames over with the liquid and no fly will touch them. It will not injure the frames.

Source: 76: A Cook Book

Vermin Exterminator

December 24th, 2015

A blessing to housekeepers, and no danger of poison: Take a half pound of alum to one pail of water boiling hot; dip in the ends of the slats; then take a good scrubbing brush and apply thoroughly to all parts affected, all cracks in the plastering or wood work. A certain cure for bed-bugs. Tried.

Source: The Kansas Home Cook-Book