1930s household hints

Just as I like beauty tips and tricks from the past, I also like household tips and tricks from times gone by. With the rushing mentality that we have these days, we barely take time to stand still for a moment on how to mend and clean items that need to be repaired or cleaned thoroughly so that it can function as new again. In these times we throw things away too easily and buy something anew within an eyeblink.

I like cleaning the house from top to bottom. It relaxes me; some music playing on the background, me singing out loud and the satisfaction it gives me when I see the finished result. I think I inherited the cleaning-obsession-genes from my grandmother; always and everywhere cleaning.

I really liked the household tips mentioned in the book 'What every woman should know - lifestyle lessons from the 1930s' (I am hoping to give the promised review on that tomorrow) and I decided to share them with you - not all ofcourse, otherwise you should not have to buy the book yourself. Which you should.

Let's start!

Mildew stains can often be removed by moistening soft soap and starch with the juice of a lemon. Spread the paste over the mildew lay out, and bleach. Afterwards was in usual way

Sour milk makes a good cleaner for gilt picture frames. Simply rub with the sour milk and dry with a clean duster. This will not remove the gilt, as other methods often do

Lingerie silk should be washed in a solution of lukewarm water and pure soap flakes. Squeeze the garments, rinse out thoroughly in several changes of water, wring lightly by hand and hang over a line to dry. Do not peg out and when ironing, do so on the wrong side with a cool iron. A hot iron will render the silk fibres brittle abd should never be used.

Silk stockings which have been washed should, when nearly dry, be rubbed with a flannel till all moisture is extracted, when they will not require mangling or ironing.

Grease on coat collars may be removed easily if eucalyptus oil is applied. Rub gently with a soft rag.

Irons, especially if they have been used for garments that have been starched, should be cleaned before they are put away, Wash them in hot soapy water to which a teaspoonful of ammonia has been added. If no starch has been used, the usual rubbing on the wire gauze is sufficient to clean the iron.

Lace curtains will last longer if they are placed in a pillow slip before putting them in the (laundry)copper.
This obviates the risk of tearing them when using the copper stick.

Pique frocks should be ironed on the wrong side to bring up the pattern. Remember to use a slightly cooler iron for linen than for cotton, as it scorches more easily. And when washing out voile frocks ready for the summer, put a little vinegar in the rinsing water and use a very little starch to make the material crisp.

Brooms and brushes will not mark the furniture and paintwork if a piece of rubber beading is fixed at the ends above the bristles.

Glassware of the ornamental type will have added lustre if it is polished with a clean duster that has been soaked in paraffin and then dried. This will also discourage flies.

Small rooms can be made to appear larger by painting the skirting boards the exact same shade of the carpet. This increases the apparent floor space.

Candles that do not fit their holders need not be shaved  with a knife. Dip the bases in boiling water  and they will found to fit any candlestick.

Woollen coats and jumpers dry more evenly and keep in better shape if a cane is passed through the sleeves instead of the usual coat hanger. Suspend the cane from the clothes line.

Stains on the skirting board and the lower parts of furniture are a frequent occurrence when the amateur tackles floor staining during spring-cleaning operations. Keep a bottle of turpentine beside you when doing the job. A quick wipe with a rag dipped in this will immediately remove the stains.

Bath towels that are wearing thin in the centre can be utilised to make hair shampoo towels. Fold the towel in half, end to end, and cut a slit up the centre of one half as far as the fold. Then cut a circle, about 15 inches in diameter, out of the middle of the towel, at the top of the slit. Bind the edges with tape, thread a draw string through the circular part and wear over the shoulders when shampooing the hair.

Linen which has become slightly discoloured should be soaked in buttermilk for one or two days. Rinse first in cold water and then in warm water, and spread out on the lawn to dry.

Pans which have been used for frying fish or onions frequently retain a slight odour. Swill them around with water and vinegar after scouring, and this will dissapear.

© Text is on copyright of Daily Mail


  1. Love these timelessly handy tips. I didn't know you could use sour milk for that purpose - very cool (that's my entry for "you learn something new everyday" today! :)).

    ♥ Jessica

    1. No I didn't knew either! I was quite stunned by some of the tips and how well they work! The same counts for the beauty section of the book. Lovely tips.

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