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Spring cleaning hints

Spring cleaning hints

by Noellen Newton and Naomi Newton

It’s that time of the year again … time for a thorough spring clean! Here's some handy hints from our 1913 cookbook, covering blankets, bronze, brass and sultanas.

Elbow grease at the ready? Let’s start with some good old-fashioned furniture polish.

Furniture polish

Excerpt from a book, headed 'Furniture Polish'

Ingredients: 2 gills vinegar, 1 gill spirits of wine, 1 gill salad oil. Mode: Applied with a good deal of elbow grease.

Source: Home Cookery for Australia: All Tested Recipes, 1913,& Arbuckle, Waddell & Fawckner, Melbourne, p176.

To clean sultanas quickly

Are your sultanas needing a spring clean too? And in a hurry? Then follow the advice below!

Excerpt from a book, headed 'To Clean Sultanas Quickly'

Place the fruit in a floured cloth. Tie the ends of the cloth and shake well for five minutes, when the stalks will be found to have fallen off, and the fruit will be clean and ready for Christmas puddings.

Source: Home Cookery for Australia: All Tested Recipes, 1913, Arbuckle, Waddell & Fawckner, Melbourne, p181.

To wash blankets

All of your winter blankets will need to be freshly laundered before storing them away for next year.

Excerpt from a book, under the heading 'To Wash Blankets'.

Mode: Put two large teaspoons of borax and one pint of soft soap into a tub of cold water. When these are dissolved, put in the blankets, and let them remain overnight. Next day rub out, and rinse thoroughly in two or three waters, and hang them up to dry. Do not wring them. It is better to dissolve the borax and soft soap in a saucepan.

Source: Home Cookery for Australia: All Tested Recipes, 1913, Arbuckle, Waddell & Fawckner, Melbourne, p179.

To remove stale cigar smoke

Do you need to remove the smell of stale cigars? Look no further than this remedy … and make sure you have a shovel!

Excerpt from a book, headed 'To Remove Stale Cigar Smoke'

To take away the smell of stale cigar smoke in a room, burn a little coffee on a shovel, and carry it through the room.

Source: Home Cookery for Australia: All Tested Recipes, 1913, Arbuckle, Waddell & Fawckner, Melbourne, p180.

To clean bronze, ivory and brass

To clean ivory, bronze and brass. Be sure to bring out your old brass musical instruments and give them a shine! Play something for the neighbours too – we are almost sure that they would love it as much as you do.

Excerpt from a book, headed 'To Clean Ivory', 'To Clean Bronze' and 'To Clean Brass'.

To clean ivory. Make a light paste of sal volatile, prepared chalk and oil. Dig a rag in this paste and rub it on the ivory. Afterwards put a little more on the ivory, leave it to dry in, and then brush off and polish with a little leather.

To keep bronze ornaments in good condition, wipe them over with a little oil, and polish them with a soft duster.

Brass may be cleaned by scrubbing it well with strong ammonia. Then wash it with clean water, and dry carefully with a soft cloth.

Source: Home Cookery for Australia: All Tested Recipes, 1913, Arbuckle, Waddell & Fawckner, Melbourne, p180.

To clean windows

Here's a hint to clean windows AND get rid of flies!

Excerpt from a book, headed 'To Clean Windows'

Sprinkle a pad made of newspaper with ammonia. Rub the inside of your windows with it, and you will not be troubled with flies.

Source: Home Cookery for Australia: All Tested Recipes, 1913, Arbuckle, Waddell & Fawckner, Melbourne, p181.

We hope you enjoy these tips of yesteryear.



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Glorious Days: Australia 1913 will be on show at the National Museum of Australia from 7 March to 13 October 2013. Costs apply.