Three Meals A Day


Washing Fluid: (Extra). -- 1 ball potash, 1/2 ounce salts of tartar, 1/2 ounce salts of tartar, 1/2 ounce carbonate of ammonia. Dissolve in 1 gallon warm water, keep on the stove until heated, mix, keep in a jug or bottle well corked. Soak the soiled clothes over night. In the morning put 8 pails of cold water in the boiler, and add to it 1-1/2 bars of soap shaved fine, and 1 cupful of the washing fluid. Put in the clothes least soiled first. Let the water heat up gradually and boil one-half hour, stirring frequently. Take out into a tub of warm water, rub the soiled portions if necessary, rinse and blue. p. 462

Non-Boiling Washing Fluid. -- 1/2 pound sal-soda, 1/2 pound borax, 1/2 ounce gum camphor, 1/2 pint alcohol, 1/2 pint turpentine. Dissolve the camphor in the alcohol; pulverize the soda and borax and dissolve in 3 gallons of rain water. Mix the whole together and add 3 gallons more of rain water. It is then ready for use.

Take 1 pint of soft soap, or 1/2 bar of hard soap, shaved fine, and mix with 1 cupful of the fluid. Make a warm, not hot, suds in a tub and soak the clothes one-half hours, then rub out, rinse, and the work is done. Keep the fluid tightly corked.

Centennial Soft Soap. -- 4 pounds of the common bar castile soap, shave fine; 4 pounds of common bar soap, shave fine; 3 pounds sal-soda, 8 ounces aqua ammonia. Dissolve all but the ammonia in 2 pailfuls of hot rain water. Let cool. White cooling test the soap, and add as much water as will make it the consistency of good soft soap. Add the ammonia while it is cooling and mix thoroughly.

Centennial Hard Soap. -- If any part of this is desired hard, boil the required portion one hour, adding 1 bar soap and 1/2 pound sal-soda to it. If the soap is wanted white, the castile and other soap must be white. If it should be desirable to scent the hard soap, 4 ounces of ergamot may be added to 50 pounds of soap.

DIRECTIONS FOR USING either the hard or soft Centennial soap. Soak the clothes in a strong suds made by dissolving the soap; also rub a little on all the soiled spots. Let them stand over night. No wash-board or boiler will be required. Simply rinse out in the morning in two cool waters. The clothes will not be injured. Soak in separate tubs if there is a great difference in quality of clothes.

Ammonia for Washing. -- Make the suds as usual, put into the three pailfuls 2 or 4 tablespoonfuls ammonia, according to the hardness of the water, this whitens the clothes. Boil from ten to twenty minutes, according to the soiled state of the clothes. Rinse in the usual way, rubbing any soiled spots. Many persons wash calicos, flannels and bed quilts in this manner; rinse the flannels in rather warm water. They will not shrink or turn yellow.

Borax for Washing may be used in the same manner as ammonia. It will not injure the clothes, being a neutral salt while its whitening properties are invaluable. Use a large handful of the borax powder to 10 gallons of the boiling suds.

Extra Hard Soap (CHEAP). -- 4 bars of yellow soap, shaved fine; 2 pounds sal-soda, 6 ounces borax, 2 ounces liquid ammonia. Put the soap in 8 quarts of soft water to dissolve. If the water is hard, break it first. When the soap is nearly dissolved over the fire add the borax and sal-soda. Stir until all is melted. Pour into a large tub, or shallow pan. When partly cool add the ammonia slowly, mixing well. Let stand a day or two and then cut into cakes or bars. Do this in a warm place. No better soap can be found for all kinds of washing, and the outlay can be covered by three cents per pound. This recipe has often been sold for five dollar.

Lye Hard Soup. -- 1 pound concentrated potash dissolved in 2 quarts of boiling water. Let stand until luke-warm, then pour into the lye 5 pounds of clean grease also luke-warm; stir twenty minutes, and, while stirring, pour in gradually 3 ounces of ammonia. When cold cut in bars. It is best to let it cool in something broad and shallow. This is very convenient to make when a quantity of grease has accumulated. It should be tried out before putting into the lye.

Lye Soft Soap: Ashes should be from good wood, or the lye will be weak. Keep the ashes dry until a week before using; see that they are well packed down in the leach, which can be made out of a barrel. Then pour on water until the lye begins to drip slightly; leave it to soak out the strength of the ashes for a week. Then pour on water and begin to run off lye. The proper strength can be told by its floating a fresh egg. If it is not strong boil it, or turn it through the ashes again. Then add clear grease, or “soap grease” in the proportion of 1 pound to 1 gallon of lye, boil until it is dissolved, then dig in a feather and if, on taking out, the plume part can be stripped off with the fingers, it requires more grease, which should be added until it will take no more. If a white scum rises skim off (it is grease), or add a little more lye. Boil until it looks soapy. If the lye remains weak, on account of poor ashes, add potash until it is of sufficient strength.

Soft Soap. -- 5 pounds of potash in 5 gallons warm, soft water. Let dissolve over night. In the morning put over with 4 pounds of grease and boil until it is thick and soapy. If the lye needs more grease add it, test with a feather. If there is too much grease, which can be told by a scum rising, add a little more lye. Pour all in a keg, or a half barrel, and add sufficient soft water to make it the proper consistency. It is much easier to boil a small quantity and thin afterwards.

Cold Soap. -- The grease for this should be tried out. Do this gradually as scraps accumulate; pour the grease, a little at a time, into a kettle kept for the purpose. Tallow and lard scraps, after the clear fat has been pressed out, are put in water and boiled, then strained through a colander, the grease left to rise, removed in a cake from the surface of the water, boiled up and poured hot into the soap-grease kettle. Working in this manner a solid mass of pure grease that never molds. Twenty-five pounds of grease will make a barrel of soap. Fill the barrel half full of lye strong enough to bear up an egg. Heat the grease boiling hot and pour into the lye. Stir often, and when it begins to thicken, fill up with weak lye. If made in cold weather, heat the lye as well as the grease. It never fails to thickne, and is much whiter and cleaner than boiled soap. In warm weather the soap may be made by putting the cold grease directly into the cold lye and leaving in the sun; stir often.

Transparent Soap. -- 1 pound of yellow bar soap shaved in thin slices, 1/2 pint of alcohol. Put in a small stone jar. Put that into a kettle of cold water and let the water boil for ten minutes, stirring the soap all the time. Scent to please, bergamot or rose, and pour into molds.

Climax Cleansing Fluid. -- This fluid will remove paint, grease, etc., from sorts of fabrics without injury to the most delicate. Carpets are renovated to a charm by its use. 2 ounces of ammonia, 1 teaspoonful saltpeter, 1 ounce of finely scraped variegated soap, Babbit’s will do, some use shaving soap, 1 quart of soft water, mix all together and let stand a few days without using. Cover the spot to be cleansed and rub with a sponge, then wash out with clear warm water. For carpets sweep off the dust, cover the spots well with the liquid and then scrub them with a common scrubbing brush, and wash off with clear water.

This same fluid applied with a small brush to every crack and crevice in a bedstead will be found certain death to all insect life.

To Remove Grease Spots. -- Alcohol, 4 parts; ammonia, 1 part; ether, 1/2 part. Mix. Apply the liquid to the grease spot, and then rub diligently with a sponge and clear water; Or use Climax Cleansing Fluid. In common goods the spot may be rubbed a little with the sponge, but in light goods simply apply it. Some very delicate articles may have grease removed by covering the spot with powdered French chalk and laying the garment away for several days.

To Soften Hard Water. -- To a boiler 3/4 full of water put in sal-soda the size of a large egg. This will not injure the clothes, will whiten and save rubbing. Use sal-soda for cleaning floors.

The Economy of Borax. -- The addition of an ounce of borax to a pound of soap melted in with a little water and not boiled, will save one-half in cost of soap and three-fourths in labor of washing, besides leaving the hands soft and silky and the clothes very white.

Bluing. -- Draw a cloth through the bluing water first to take up any floating particles; also dissolve the bluing in warm water. Shake the folds out of garments before putting in the bluing water. This will prevent streaks.

Liquid Bluing. -- 1 ounce pulverized Prussian Blue, 1/2 ounce pulverized oxalic acid, 1 quart soft water. Mix. 1 or 2 tablespoonfuls to a tub.

Starching & Ironing

Starch Polish, for shirt bosoms, collars and cuffs. 1 ounce spermaceti, 1 ounce white wax. Melt together and mold in thin cakes; drop into the starch a piece the size of a dollar. p. 465 (Note from Shirley: Remember the product , Sateen? That must have been a new product of the 40’s? We kids used to order samples from a magazine ad, just so we had something that would come to us in the mail!!! Marketing gone awry! But an amusing memory anyway!)

Starch Gloss, Put in boiling starch, to 1 quart, 1 dessert spoonful of white sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of butter. This stiffens the articles and gives a glossy finish. Mutton tallow, or very pure lard may be used in place of the butter. Starch will not polish unless there is something added to it. A small tablespoonful of kerosene stirred into a quart of starch, after removing it from the stove, is used by many, or a little dissolved gum arabic is useful to be added to a quart of boiled starch made in the useful manner, gives a beautiful luster to the clothes and prevents the iron sticking. p. 465

Chinese Method of Glossing. -- For three shirts take 3 teaspoonfuls of starch, dissolve in 2 tablespoonfuls of cold water, pour on 1 pint of boiling water, add a piece of Polish or a bit of spermaceti; cook five minutes. Then take 6 teaspoonfuls dry starch, mixed with 1/2 a large teacup of cold water. Stir this into the hot starch and use at once. Hot starch stiffens much better than cool. Have the articles dry, starch bosoms, cuffs and collars thoroughly, rubbing the starch in well, and roll up tight as possible. Iron without sprinkling, stretch and smooth the bosom in shape very carefully, adjust on the bosom-board, lay a clean cloth over it and with a good hot iron rub carefully over the cloth until the bosom is damp, not wet, remove this and iron until almost dry, and begin to press down for the final polish. It will be improved by wiping off with a damp cloth and then using a polishing iron with as much strength as possible to bring out the final gloss. Wipe off just enough to remove the polish left by the common iron. To iron a collar lay it flatly down, and if it is a standing collar, iron the wrong side first, quickly, to drive out the moisture, then polish the right side with the polishing iron. To curve a collar, commence in the middle and give it a quick stroke toward one end and then to the other, hold it a moment in position and it will stay so. Turn -over collars are polished flat and turned afterward; do not iron the band too close to the outside. Iron cuffs the same as standing collars. Lift any plaits in bosoms with a knife.

Polished white shirts are a luxury, and shams and other articles repay the trouble of polishing in their increased beauty and in remaining fresh for a longer period of time. It cannot be done without a polishing iron or irons. They cost about fifty cents a piece. Always use the starch as hot as possible.

Boiled Starch to Use. -- There are two ways of using this. One is to make a boiled starch thick as jelly. Dissolve the starch in a little cold water, say 2 tablespoonfuls, pour over this boiling water enough to make it the right consistency, let boil five minutes; blue the starch slightly, if liked, use any of the polishes given, then take part of the thick starch into a dish, and thin the remainder with boiling water. Wring the articles out of the thick starch first, and then proceed to rub the starch into the collars, cuffs and bosoms, lay down on a cloth and rub as much starch as can be contained first into one side and then the other. Wipe off the superfluous starch with a clean cloth, stretch carefully in shape and dry. Instead of sprinkling, roll in a damp cloth wrung out of warm water, laying in first a collar and rolling over, then a pair of cuffs, etc. Do not let them get very damp. Iron as before directed.

SECOND. -- Starch in moderately thick starch made as above. Let dry and starch with a thin cold starch, made with lukewarm water in the proportion of 1 teaspoonful to 1 pint of water, roll up and iron in fifteen minutes or longer. Wipe off each article with a damp cloth to remove any surplus starch. Remember that boiled starch should be used hot, and that cold starch should always be made with tepid water, the starch dissolves better. Some housekeepers make cold starch out of soap-suds made of white soap, claiming it will not stick. Soft water, where clear can be obtained, is better for starch. A little kerosene put in cold starch is also recommended to prevent sticking.

A bowl of clear water and clean old linen cloth are useful to remove any specks or soiling the linen may acquire while being ironed. Iron dry and then put all starched articles where the direct heat of the stove or sun may fall upon them. They are stiffer for drying quickly. Pin the band of the first collar together in front. Coil the others around and put inside. This will shape them. Arrange cuffs in the same manner.

To Smooth Irons that will sometimes tick unaccountably, rub over a board sprinkled with fine salt. Then pass over a brown paper with bees-wax in its folds, wipe off with a cloth, and everything will go smoothly. Irons should be taken off the stove when not in use. Continual warmth ruins the temper and prevents their retaining heat. p. 467 (Note from Shirley: Remember when we used to save the Tip-Top Bread wrappers for cleaning our irons ? They were wax like and I’ve searched my current day home for something like them -- to no avail, of course.!)

To Keep Starch from Scumming when taken from the fire, cover it closely.

Gum Arabic in Starch. -- Dissolve in hot water first. Will give a newness to lawns (?), either black or colored, that nothing else can equal. A little is also nice for white muslins. The gum may be dissolved and kept for use in a bottle. Solution--2 ounces to a pint of boiling water. Use a tablespoonful to a pint of starch.

Borax in Starch is used by some. Dissolve a lump in boiling water and put in cold starch. The whiteness and stiffness resulting will be very gratifying.

Flour Starch. -- Take 2 tablespoonfuls of flour. Make smooth with cold water, then turn in boiling water until it is the proper consistency, add 1/2 teaspoonful lard and let boil three or five minutes.


To Wash Lace Curtains -- Wash and starch. (Boil them in a soapy water. Do not rub. Rinse twice. Use a wringer of squeeze them dry.) Do not iron them out. You may stretch sheets on a clean carpet, fasten down, and pin the curtains on this. Let dry. They will look like new.

To Wash Linen or Calico. -- Make flour-starch of soft water. Thin with cool, soft water and wash the dresses in this without soap. Rinse in thin starch-water, turn wrong-side out, and hang in the shade to dry.

To Wash Sateen Dresses use borax water. This method will restore the gloss.

To Wash Soiled Ribbons and Ties. -- Rub carefully through a solution of 1/2 teaspoonful of ammonia to one cup of water. If much soiled put through a second water with less ammonia. Lay between clean white cloths and press until dry. The effect is good.

PONGEE requires no more care in washing than a white garment; it will bear hard rubbing if necessary, but it must not be boiled or scalded. Treat it about as you would flannel; let it get quite dry, and if you use a quite hot iron, not hot enough to singe, of course, all the creases will come out, and the silk will look like new. The ironing when went is the reason of silk handkerchiefs becoming yellow, the hot iron turning the moisture into steam.

Bleaching with Chloride of Lime. -- For 5 pounds of unbleached muslin take 1 pound of chloride of lime, over which pour boiling water. Let stand and settle. Have ready in a tub warm, soft water enough to cover the goods, into which strain through a cloth the solution of lime. Stir well, put in the goods, stirring them frequently, and let remain from fifteen to thirty minutes. Wring out, rinse thoroughly and the process is complete.

Coffee-starch for Brown Linen and Black Dress Goods. -- Make as usual, using carefully strained coffee instead of water. It gives the proper tint and prevents white scales of starch upon the surface. They may also be washed in hay water. Scald hay in the water until it is the proper color.

A Receptacle for Soiled Clothing can be easily made of a small barrel. Clean and line with cambric, covering the outside with cretonne or Turkey red cotton laid on in plaits. Border the top with a ruche of the same. Cover the lid with the same material and screw on a small brass knob in the center. This will be ornamental in a sleeping-room or corner of upper hallway.

To Wash Red Table Linen. -- Rub carefully in tepid suds, using a little borax in the water to set the color; rinse well. It must never be ironed, the hot iron fades it more than washing or wear. Pull out carefully and stretch in the proper shape before putting on the line. Dry in the shade, fold, and if wished put under a weight to press. They will retain their color much better than by the old method.

To Wash Colored Handkerchiefs. -- Washing and boiling does not fade these, but hot irons do. Be very careful. If ironing could be dispensed with they would remain bright much longer.

To Remove Iron Rust. -- Lemon juice and salt mixed together may be spread upon the spots and the article laid in the sun. Repeat the operation if necessary. Starch may be spread upon the article instead of salt. A more convenient way is to have salts of lemon in a bottle dissolved in water enough to cover, and moisten the rusty spots with this. This will not rot the goods. When dry wash out in clear water.

To Remove Fruit Stains. -- Dip the injured portion of cloth in a solution of 1 part of chloride of lime to 12 parts of soft water. Rub it slightly and then rinse.

SECOND. -- Pour boiling water through the stained parts several times. If this does not remove it, cover the wet spot with a paste of starch and spread in the sun. Tea stains can be removed in the same way.

To Remove Tar. -- Butter or lard will remove spots of tar and soap and water will afterward take out the grease stain. This process will answer for the hand as well.

To Remove Ink Stains. -- Saturate the spot with spirits of turpentine and let it remain several hours; then rub between the hands. It will crumble away without injuring the color or texture of the fabric; then wash off with warm water. Fresh stains of ink can be taken out by soaking and washing in sweet skim milk, renewing it if need be.

To Remove Ink from Carpets. -- Wet the spot with sweet milk and sprinkle on salt. Leave for two or three hours and then wash with clear water.

Acid Stains, lemon, etc., can usually be removed by ammonia. If the color still fails to return, a touch of chloroform, will then restore it in almost all cases. Color that has been changed by perspiration can usually be restored by ammonia, always on black goods.

Color Destroyed by White-wash can be restored by being immediately washing in strong vinegar.

To Remove Paint Spots from woolen cloth or broadcloth wipe off instantly with a piece of cloth; if a coat, take the lining, if nothing else is convenient. The same will apply to SILK. If these methods fail, apply pure spirits of turpentine.

SECOND. -- Lay a many-folded sheet on the table and lay the stained part of the material on that (silk, cloth or any other goods may be treated in the same manner), and rubbing soap on a tooth-brush dip the brush in warm water and wash the paint away, the sheet absorbing the water. When the paint is extracted move the material to a dry part of the sheet; rinse the brush and with clear warm water wash the soap away. Rub with a dry towel both sides of the material and hang up to dry. If the paint is long drying rub with turpentine and wash with soap and water, or if the colors are delicate wash with warm water alone. Chloroform may be used instead of turpentine.

Yellowed Linen that has been laid away can be bleached by letting it soak in buttermilk tow or three days.

To Keep White Clothing from turning yellow through the winter, wash all the starch out in the fall, rinse in bluing water and put away unironed.

To Prevent Muslin Turning Yellow. -- There are some kinds of cotton cloth that invariably turn yellow after the first washing. If there is any fear of this, soak the garments two days before washing in clear water.

To Remove Mildew. -- Wet the spot, soap well and cover thickly with finely pulverized chalk or whiting.

SECOND. -- Soak in sour milk, rinse and lay in the sun.

THIRD. Dip in a solution of 1 part of chloride of line to 12 parts of soft water, strained; lay in the sun. Repeat if necessary. So soon as white rinse thoroughly.

Washing Blankets. -- Put the blankets in hot soap-suds with a little borax in the water. Rub lightly. Too much rubbing and wringing hardens and shrinks the flannel. Rinse in clear water the same temperature as the suds. Run through a wringer and hang up to dry.

To Wash Flannels of all kinds pursue the same plan as for blankets, though, if necessary, soap may be rubbed upon the soiled places. Bring in before fairly dry and roll up for ironing.

Renovating Black Silk. -- Sponge with water containing a little ammonia, or sponge with hot coffee (strained). Sponge on the side intended to show. It may be pinned to the carpet and dried, or allowed to partially dry before ironing on the wrong side. Shiny appearance of worn silk may be removed by sponging with borax water (l teaspoonful of the powdered to 1 cupful water), or rub off with gasoline.

SECOND. -- To renovate a black silk, rub each breadth carefully with a woolen cloth to free from dust, and then sponge the right side with water in which one or two old black kid gloves have been boiled (1 quart of water for a pair of gloves). Iron while wet with very hot irons, on the wrong side. This cleanses, stiffens and slightly dyes, and gives quite the appearance of newness.

Renovating Colored Silks. -- The same method may be resorted to by using kid gloves the exact shade of the dress. For this reason old kid gloves should be saved.

Renovating Black Cashmere. -- Wash in warm suds with a little borax in the water. Rinse in bluing water very blue, hang up to dry without wringing and iron on the wrong side while quite damp. It will look equal to new. Some use soap bark.

SECOND. -- Sponge with ammonia water until the pieces are thoroughly wet. Roll tightly and begin ironing at once. Cover the board with soft flannel, lay the right side down and iron dry on the wrong side. Brush off any flannel lint that may remain on the right side. A strip of old black broad-cloth, four or five inches wide, rolled up tightly and sewed in place, is better than a sponge for cleansing black and dark colored clothes, as it leaves no lint.

To Clean Black Lace. -- Put in alcohol, churn up and down until the liquid foams. If very dusty repeat the operation; squeeze them out, clap them between the hands, pull out the edges, lay between brown paper, smooth and straight. Leave under a weight until dry.

To Clean White Silk Lace. -- Wash and rinse in benzine, dry in the open air and press between folds of white paper. Cotton lace and Crepe Lisse ruches may be washed in benzine.

Ribbons Washed in the same way will often look very nicely. Benzine is very inflammable.

To Wash White Linen Lace. -- Mix 1 teaspoonful powdered borax in a basin of strong white Castile or other fine soap-suds. Baste the lace very carefully upon two thicknesses of white flannel, catching all the points down. Let soak in this suds twenty-four hours, or longer if very much soiled. Then let lie in clear water for two or three hours, changing once. In the last water dissolve a little pulverized sugar (this will stiffen slightly). Squeeze out, do not wring, place the flannel, lace down, on two thicknesses of dry flannel and smooth with a hot iron. When quite dry rip the lace off. The result is perfect.

SECOND. -- Put the lace away in a box with equal parts of magnesia and powdered French chalk sprinkled liberally in its folds. Lace dealers keep fine lace in this preparation while awaiting sale.

To Restore Old Crape (sic). -- A piece of glue dissolved in skim milk and water is said to be very effective in restoring old crape. Use very hot and clap dry.

To Restore Velvet. -- Heat a flat-iron, turn it upside down, put a wet cloth over it, lay upon this the wrong side of the velvet, then, if necessary, rub up the nap rapidly. Ordinarily, the steam alone will do this.

Lisle Thread Gloves and Hose should be dried upon frames to prevent shrinkage. Put the gloves upon the hands.

To Wash Swans-down. -- Rub it gently in soap-suds, and when dry it will shake out perfectly fresh.

To Wash Fancy Hose. -- It is an excellent plan to wash all such hose before wearing, in a weak solution of salt and water, with about a teaspoonful of sugar of lead. Rinse thoroughly afterward. Run through a wringer twice, the last time folded in a towel, to remove all the moisture, then turn wrong side out to dry. This will prevent the color from running on the right side. Dry immediately before a fire, as a long cold drying is sure to make the colors run. Pin them up to dry. Do not lay them over anything. To wash, prepare a clean suds of soap and warm water. Wash, rinse in clear water, and, if the articles are bright colored, throw in a little salt to prevent the colors running. Wring out and dry as above directed.

Black Hose should be washed as above, wringing in the same way, then rolled in a cloth and kept from the air while drying.

Bordered Towels should be treated the same as fancy hose, to set the color the first time, and then washed like red table linen.

To Wash Silk Knit Underwear and Hose. -- Wash by hand in cool suds of fine castile, or toilet soap, rub very little; press dry in a cloth. Rinse twice; once in clear cold water, again in water tinctured with cream of tartar, or vinegar or alum. Dry quickly, first stretching in shape. Do not iron, press under a heavy book. If the article is black, add a little ammonia, instead of acid to the rinsing water.