These tips come from an old booklet published sometime in the 1930’s and provide general advice and tips for running the home.
Vintage Household Hints
The Timeless Wisdom collection is a regular feature on Tipnut where we take a look back at the methods used and advice given to tackle regular household tasks. Many are still useful for today’s world while others give a glimpse into the problems and creative solutions from decades ago.
- Brooms just purchased should be soaked in strong salt water before using to make them last longer.
- Corks for bottles containing glue, polishes, cements, or other sticky substances can be easily removed if glycerin or vaseline is rubbed over ends of corks.
- Cream pitchers will not drip if a little butter or salad oil is put on the end of the lip.
- Dishes on top of ice in refrigerator will not slip if a fruit jar rubber is placed underneath each one.
- Dresser drawers will slide easier if the parts that stick are rubbed with laundry soap or paraffin.
- Electric push buttons can easily be seen in the night if they are touched up with a little luminous paint. This saves time, temper and bumps.
- Ferns can be kept while you are away from home for a few days by placing a bowl of water near the fern with one end of a cloth in the water and the other end in the fern container. The water will then be gradually drawn to the fern.
- Filling of jars and bottles with preserves, jams, etc., is made easier by using a gravy boat.
- Finger marks on furniture can be removed with sweet oil if furniture is varnished.
- Flooded floors can be quickly mopped up by using newspapers to absorb the water.
- Food odors can be eliminated from your refrigerator by placing a small quantity of charcoal in container on top of shelf.
- Freezing of clothes on the line during cold weather is prevented by using a little salt in last rinsing water.
- Freezing of windows to the sill is also eliminated by sprinkling a little salt on the window sill. This will enable raising windows without difficulty.
- Fresh paint smell can be eliminated by placing a pail of cold water in the room, changing it every two or three hours.
- Glasses which are stuck together may be separated by putting cold water in the top one and setting the bottom one in warm water. They will come apart without danger of breaking.
- Hand washing, especially for children, is easier if a small dish of raw cornmeal is kept in the bathroom and if children are trained to take some cornmeal and rub on with soap. This cleans hands more thoroughly and at same time leaves skin soft and white. (Children often have chapped hands from improper washing.) This procedure is equally effective for grownups who have stubborn dirt embedded in hands.
- Insects in earth can be killed with a spoonful of mustard in gallon of water. This is effective with potted plants.
- Knots in thread may be avoided when hemming table linen by running each needleful of thread through a piece of paraffin before using.
- Linoleum holes are easily filled with finely chopped cork mixed with liquid glue. When the mixture has set hard, rub down with emery paper and paint to match rug.
- Mason jar lids or lids of similar types of jars can be easily removed by running hot water over the lids for a few seconds.
- Medicine bottles can be packed in bag or trunk without spilling contents on clothes if ends of bottles are dipped in melted paraffin.
- Paint may be removed from glass by using strong hot vinegar.
- Paint brushes that have hardened will soften readily if placed in hot vinegar and then washed in warm suds.
- Painting around window glass can be accomplished with speed and neatness if a piece of newspaper, cut to fit, is stuck to the glass by means of water.
- Vinegar will remove white stains on furniture if they are not too deep.