Sunday, August 24, 2014

Everything About The House

Jean-Baptist Greuze, "The Laundress"

Homekeeping tips from The Ladies Home Journal, October,1892. Edited by Maria Parloa.

"A GOOD CLEANING FLUID. When the washing of an article in soap and water is out of the question, sponging with some substance thatwill remove grease and other stains is the next best thing.  Naphtha or benzine is excellent for this purpose, bust at times something more is required.  A cleaning fluid that I have used upon silk and woolen fabrics with satisfactory results is made as follows:  Put into a large saucepan two quarts of water, half an ounce of borax and four ounces of white castile soap, shaved fine, and stir frequently until the soap and borax are dissolved; then take from the fire and add two quarts of cold water.  When the mixture is cold, add one ounce of glycerine and one of ether.  Bottle and put away for use; it will keep for years.

To clean an article, first brush thoroughly, and then spread on a table.  Sponge with the cleaning fluid and rub hard until the stains disappear.  Spots can be removed from carpets in this manner."

"TO MAKE JAVELLE WATER.  Into a large saucepan, porcelain-lined if possible, put four pounds of bicarbonate of soda and four quarts of hot water.  Stir frequently with a wooden stick until the soda is dissolved; then add one pound of chloride of lime and stir occasionally until nearly all the solids are dissolved.  Let the liquid cool in the kettle; then strain the clear part through a piece of cheesecloth into wide-mouthed bottles.  Put in the stoppers and set away for use.  The part that is not clear can be put into separate bottles and used for cleaning white floors and tables, also for cleaning the sink.  In making this preparation be careful not to spatter it on your clothing or the paint.  Half a pinto fthis water can be put into a tub with about a dozen pails of warm suds and the soiled white clothes be soaked in it.  Much of the dirt can be removed by this method.  The French laundresses use this preparation for white clothes."

(Javelle Water is the French term for bleach).

"CAUTION IN REGARD TO NAPHTHA.  Naphtha and benzine are so effective in removing grease and dirt from most fabrics, and are clean, sure, and so easily applied to eradicating buffalo bugs and moths, that I use the myself in preference to anything else.  In recommending them, however, to my readers, I always caution them to leave the windows opened and have no light or fire in the room when using the articles.  I want to say still further that the bottle should be kept closely corked, and where there is light and ventilation.

Sometimes insurance companies have contested the payment of claims for damages by fire when it has been shown that there was naphtha or benzine on the premises, so it is well not to buy the fluids until the day you intend to use them, and to get only the quantity you will need for that one time.  It seems to me that these agents are a great blessing; but the housekeeper should use them herself, and not leave the work to an irresponsible person."


anniebelle said...

I am writing a laundry day blog post myself. Great minds and all that? LOL

How are you btw Shay? We are currently playing vampire so we don't have to go out in this heat unless we absolutely have too.

Shay said...

I have stayed in the basement (15 degrees cooler than the rest of the house) with the cats and Babyface -- I only dragged myself to work VERY reluctantly this morning.

We had a good old fashioned toad-strangler tonight but it doesn't seem to have cooled things off appreciably.