Brighten Rugs With Ammonia & More Tips From The Past

The Timeless Wisdom Collection is back with a new bunch of goodies! These are household tips I have collected from vintage magazines and articles dating back to the 1940’s and 1950’s, it’s an occasional feature I do here on Tipnut. Each of the tips are simple pieces of info shared between women back in the day.

This is a nice way to pick up some helpful ideas as well as take a look back in time when women used every little bit of anything they could in a purposeful way–they wasted nothing if they could help it. If an item was getting shabby, they found ways to brighten it instead of tossing it then running to Walmart for a $5 replacement shipped from China. Different times.

I’ll be sharing a few more vintage tip lists over the next few weeks, enjoy!

Timeless Wisdom Notes

  1. Ammonia sprinkled on a rag and wiped over window glass or mirrors is wonderful for cleaning them.
  2. Spilled medicine won’t smear the label if it is covered with a coat of clear nail polish.
  3. Have you ever tried to brighten rug colors by wiping an old soiled rug with a cloth wrung out of warm water to which ammonia and salt have been added?
  4. A paste of flour, vinegar and salt makes an excellent cleaner for brass, copper, or pewter. Let paste stand 1 hour on article, wipe off, wash and polish.
  5. To help remove the objectionable odor of new paint, place a bucket of water in the freshly painted room.
  6. Rub a bit of furniture wax on a soft cloth and pass it lightly over the writing on the package you must take in the rain to mail. Address will not blur.
  7. If you need a wide piece of wax paper, seal two strips together with a hot iron; it cools quickly.
  8. Linoleums can be cut and handled more easily if first placed in a warm room or sunlight for a few hours.
  9. Put a safety pin in a certain corner of the rug before you take it up. In this way you can distribute the wear and know how the rug was laid before.
  10. An indispensable substitute for “chore girls” is made from a piece of screen wire about 10 inches square. Turn the edges in, then crinkle it into a ball.
  11. Put aside an old pair of white gloves and use them for cleaning the slats on your venetian blinds. Slip the gloves on and, with your fingers, you’ll be able to reach every mite of dust.
  12. For a new look in package tying–use several strands of left-over yarn as a satisfactory substitute for ribbon. These may be braided, the ends finished with small tassels, balls, bells, or tiny yarn dolls.
  13. Rubber tends to darken silverware, so never put anything made of rubber in the silver drawers. Use cord or ribbon to hold silver together–not rubber bands.
  14. To protect delicate china and fine glassware from chipping or breaking when washing, place a clean hand towel in the bottom of the dishpan–it acts as a pad.
  15. To remove the yellow stains from enameled bathtubs and wash basins, wash with salt and turpentine.
  16. White spots on furniture that has been caused by water, hot dishes, or alcohol, may be removed by rubbing the stains with camphorated oil or oil of peppermint.
  17. Wax candles will burn more slowly and for a longer period of time if they are chilled in the icebox several days before they are lighted.
  18. To save the oilcloth and prevent corners of new table oilcloth from cracking, take several strips of wide adhesive tape and crisscross it on the underside.
  19. Wrap a strip of adhesive tape around picture frame wire exactly at the center. This will keep the wire from slipping and always hold the picture in place.
  20. Furniture polish that has been stored in a cold place will penetrate the pores of the wood better if brought to room temperature before it is used.
  21. One of the best things for polishing mirrors and glass of all sorts after washing is crumpled tissue paper.
  22. Try putting linoleum pieces in the window seat where you keep your flowers. The jars, flower pots or the water will not mar or stain the linoleum, making it easy to keep clean.
  23. Hang rubber gloves with a piece of cellulose tape to a towel rack; this enables the air to get inside for quick drying and they will not stick together.
  24. A tin muffin pan may be painted with bright enamel and used for serving beverages; glasses won’t tip over and serving is made much easier.
  25. Save all left-over pieces of soap, either hand or laundry soap, and place in a can. Pour a small amount of water over them and place on back of stove, the soap will melt and form a jelly. This is ideal for washing dishes or clothes.
  26. If you have a brass or metal door knocker, wax it immediately after polishing. This practice will keep it bright.
  27. Plenty of elbow grease is bad for china and pottery. Hard rubbing and cleaning powders may cause the color to fade and damage the smooth finish.
  28. A gilt frame can be brightened by applying the white of an egg with a soft brush.

Related Posts


    • Nettacow

    OK, what’s a “chore girl”??? (#10)

    • TipNut

    Hi Nettacow, I’m pretty sure chore girls were pot scrubbers (or some kind of wire mesh scrubber for cleaning).

    • p2

    a Chore Girl, like Chore Boy, is a steel wool scrubber the size of a large SOS pad. You can find both in the same aisle as SOS pads.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *