Easy Ways of Doing Difficult Tasks Baking-tins. Fill with fine coal-ashes and warm water, and well shake. Rinse in cold water. If greasy, fill with a strong solution of soap powder, leave for twenty-four hours, and then rinse well.
Bamboo Furniture. Clean with a small brush dipped in salt-and-water.
Baths. Adherent dirt is readily removed with a rag soaked with paraffin oil. The remaining traces of oil may be eliminated by washing with soap powder. Porcelain baths may be cleaned by making a paste of whiting and water.
Boards and hardwood tables should be scrubbed with the grain of the wood. If it is necessary to scrape, do so with the grain of the wood, otherwise the surface will be roughened.
A good scouring mixture is made of three parts of fine sand, and one part of lime. Mix in a saucer, dip the scrubbing-brush in this, and use instead of soap. Wash off with warm water and a flannel.
Boots and shoes should have mud removed from them with a strip of carpet glued to a piece of wood. The leather will not be injured in any way.
Brass. Brass candlesticks, and irons and ornaments which have blackened by neglect, may be cleaned very easily with oxalic acid – which, by the way, is poison – rubbed on with a flannel rag; they need only a little polishing with a leather after this. Wear an old pair of gloves to protect the hands. In ordinary cases, brass can be cleaned and brightened with powdered rottonstone, mixed to a paste with turpentine. Salt and vinegar applied with a rag are also effective.
Britannia Metal. Mix with spirit to a cream, 1 lb. Of powdered whiting, a table-spoonful of olive oil, and half a tablespoon- ful of soft soap. Apply with a flannel, wipe off with a clean cloth, and polish with a leather.
Candles. Candles that have become discoloured may be cleaned by wiping them with a rag damped with methylated spirit.
Cane chairs should be washed with hot soapsuds, and afterwards dried in the open air. This will also cure sagging.
Chesterfields, sofas, and ottomans covered in silk, damask, and chintz, should be cleaned with warm bran and a flannel.
China. China with gilding on it must be washed with soap and water, without soda, which is injurious. Tea-stains may be removed by rubbing briskly with powdered whiting or damp salt. Never pour boiling water over china, as it is very apt to crack the porcelain.
Clock. Soak a piece of cotton-wool in paraffin oil and place in a small saucer, a lid, or any similar small receptacle. Then put this in the case of the clock under the works. Close up the clock, and at the end of 24 hours the cotton-wool will be found to be covered with small black specks – these are the dust particles brought down by the fumes of the paraffin. Wind the clock and it will usually start again.
Coffee-pots should be cleansed by rinsing with salt or washing with hot soapsuds, using a mop to dry thoroughly.
Copper. Half a lemon dipped in salt cleans copper beautifully. Rinse the article in hot water afterwards, dry, and polish with a clean, soft cloth. A hot solution of salt and vinegar is also excellent, and crushed borax sprinkled thickly on a flannel cloth wetted in hot water and well soaped will brighten copper like magic. A copper kettle will clean more easily and quickly if filled with boiling water.
Dish-covers should be washed in plenty of soap and water. Rub the inside with a little sweet oil on a rag. The outside should be rubbed with whiting, and polished with a leather.
Door Steps. If door steps are painted with flat white paint they will only need attention about once a fortnight instead of every day, as is the case with ordinary hearthstone.
Enamelled ware may be cleaned by scouring with powdered pumice-stone or rubbing with rough salt moistened with vinegar. Enamel saucepans that have been burned should be boiled in strong soda-water for several hours, rubbed well with silver sand and soap, rinsed, and thoroughly dried.
Fire-irons. Clean steel fire-irons with emery powder and sweet oil, and polish with a little whiting.
Flat-irons. Rust may be removed from fiat-irons by scouring with dried salt and beeswax.
Frying-pans should be cleaned by soaking for five minutes in ammonia and water.
Gilt Frames. A clean rag dipped in very weak ammonia water and squeezed dry may be applied sparingly. The cheaper gilt frames are better simply dusted and left alone. If they are very dirty, brush all dust out thoroughly first and apply with a soft brush a mixture of white of egg and chloride of potash or soda.
Two pieces of cork fastened at the bottom edge of a picture-frame will prevent dust accumulating as it otherwise would do.
Gold Jewellery. Wash in soap and water, rinse well, and polish with jewellers rouge and a soft brush or leather. Omit the soap and water if the jewellery contains pearls, turquoise, or opals. Precious stones should be kept in a box containing boxwood sawdust in preference to velvet-lined cases.
Horsehair Chair Cushions. Brush and beat well to remove all dust. Take a quart of hot water, add to it a tablespoon-ful of ammonia. Wring a cloth out in this rather dry, and with it rub the cushions. Care should be taken to rub with the grain, and not across.
Ivory. A paste made of sal volatile and olive oil makes an effective cleaning preparation for ivory. Rub the mixture on the article to be cleaned and leave it in the sun to dry, brush off well and polish with a soft duster.
Keys and Locks. Rusty keys and locks should be placed in paraffin oil. The oil will loosen the rust and enable it to be rubbed off easily.
Kitchen-tables may be whitened by making a thin paste of chloride of lime and hot water. Spread it over the table, let it remain on for some hours, and wash off with a flannel and warm water.
Knitting-Needles. Rub rusty knit-ting-needles with a cinder.
Knives which have become stained should be rubbed with damp brick-dust and a little baking-soda, applied with a cloth, before being polished on a board, or scoured with a cork dipped in fine ashes. If the board is held in front of the fire for a few seconds, a greater brilliancy will result. Rubbing with half a freshly-cut potato before cleaning in the usual manner will usually suffice for minor stains. When not in regular use, grease the knives with vaseline. Ordinary stains may be removed from whito ivory knife-handles with a little salt in lemon-juice.
Leather Cushions. Rub with a damp cloth, and wipe quite dry. Apply with a soft cloth the white of an egg beaten to a stiff froth. All leather goods, such as leather bags and chair seats may be freshened up in this way.
Marble. To clean marble, use equal quantities of soft soap and pcarlash, and apply with a soft flannel. Let it lay on the marble for a few minutes. Wash it oil with warm water, and then wash it over a second time with cold water.
Milk Jugs. Wash milk and cream jugs in cold water, then in warm water. This will prevent them from looking smeared.
Mincing Machine. After using, grind some stale pieces of bread in the machine. This will coilect all grease, fat, and skin from the small knives. Then wipe with a clean cloth.
Mirrors. Remove fly-stains and smoke-marks with a sponge, and dust the surface with the finest sifted whiting, and polish with an old silk handkerchief. A pad of tissue-paper sprinkled with methylated spirit is also recommended.
Oil-Paintings. To restore oil-paintings, peel a potato and halve it. Rub over the painting with the flat side, cutting a new surface when the moisture becomes exhausted. Sponge afterwards very gently with clean, tepid water, and allow to dry. Do not hang an oil-painting over the mantelpiece, as it is apt to wrinkle with the heat.
Oxidized Silver. This needs special care in cleaning, and vigorous rubbing is not advised as the metal is only lightly covered. Wash the articles in a weak solution of ammonia and rub lightly with a soft cloth.
Paint. To remove paint marks from window-panes, rub lightly with a large piece of india-rubber. The marks will quickly disappear and the glass will in no way be damaged or scratched.
Papier-mache Articles. Wash with a sponge and cold water only, and sprinkle with flour while damp. After a few minutes, wipe off the flour, and polish with a clean, dry duster.
Paste Ornaments should be brushed with a soft brush, with a small quantity of liquid ammonia.
Piano Keys. To whiten, cover with a paste made of whiting and water. Leave on four hours, wipe dry, and carefully polish with an old silk handkerchief.
Picture-frames of unpolished wood may be preserved by rubbing in a little sweet oil, and afterwards polishing with a soft duster.
Pie-dishes which have got discoloured in the oven should be cleaned with a piece of emery-paper, bath-brick, or even a cinder will clean them.
Playing Cards. Sprinkle the cards with talcum powder and rub lightly with a soft, dry cloth.
Saucepans should be scrubbed out with hot soda and water. If anything has been burned in the pans, boil some soda and water in them, and then rub the insides with sand.
Sewing Machines. Clogged oil is a fruitful source of trouble in a sewing machine. It may be dissolved by flooding the working parts with paraffin oil, and then wiping away with a rag. Oil-holes should be cleared by using a crochet-hook.
Silver. Wash in hot soapy water and dry while still warm with a clean cloth, giving a final rub with a leather.
If it has become very discoloured, it may be cleaned by rubbing with a Little pro-pared chalk mixed with sweet oil.
Sink. Common salt rubbed with a scrubbing-brush will quickly cleanse a sink. Grease may be removed by rubbing with a little paraffin oil on a pieco of flannel. A lump of soda laid upon the top of the sink pipe will prevent the clogging of the pipe with grease.
Sponges. First wash the sponges in ammonia, then put them into a bowl of water to which has been added a little cream of tartar. Rinse in cold water and leave to dry in the sun.
Stair-rods. When tarnished, wash with soap and water, and polish with a slightly oiled cloth, dusted over with finely-powdered rottenstone.
Tennis Balls. Scrub the balls well in hot soapy water, rinse well and dry in the sun. This will not injure the balls, and when they are dry thoy will look like new.
Tinsel. Pound a small quantity of rock ammonia to a powder. Cover the tinsel with the powder and rub well.
Tinware. Tin pans, if rubbed over with fresh lard and heated thoroughly in the oven, will never rust afterwards. Thus treated, any tinware can be constantly put in water and yet remain comparatively bright and quite free from rust.
Very hard rust can be removed by scouring with paraffin and sand. Afterwards, boil in soda-water. Powdered whiting moistened with a little paraffin should be used for cleaning. Polish with a leather and dry powdered whiting.
Tortoiseshell should be polished with a paste of jewellers rouge and sweet oil. Let this remain on the shell until quite dry, then rub off, and polish with a chamois leather.
Tumblers should be washed in water to which a little ammonia has been added, then rinsed in clean, cold water. Polish with a chamois leather or very soft cloth. Use cold water, with a little soda, if the glasses are stained. After cut glass has been washed and dried, rub it with prepared chalk and a soft brush, carefully going into all the cavities.
Typewriter. A pipe cleaner of the brush type makes an excellent cleaner for parts inaccessible to the usual cleaning brushes.
For cleaning similar small mechanisms, such as clocks, it will also be found in-valuable. For oiling, the cleaner is very useful, principally on account of its length. If dipped into the oil bottle for about -o- in., the material forming the brush of the cleaner will absorb sufficient oil to lubricate several small bearings.
Varnish may be removed from the hands by rubbing with a rag dipped in methylated spirit, and afterwards washing with soap and water.
Water-bottles. Mix half a teaspoon-ful of salt and a tablespoon fill of vinegar; shake the bottle about, and allow it to stand for an hour or so; then gently rub the stains with a piece of flannel or linen on a stick, and rinse well with clean water. Crushed egg-shells shaken well in water or warm soap-suds are useful for minor stains.
Window-blinds. First dust and brush to remove all surface dirt; then cover a table with a newspaper and lay the blind out flat upon it. Take a very stale loaf, remove all crust, and cut the crumb into several pieces. Crumble one piece on to the blind, and rub the crumbs firmly backwards and forwards with the palm of the hand. As the crumbs become dirty, brush them off, and take a fresh piece of bread and repeat the process. Scour the blind thoroughly in this way on both sides. If not too soiled, it will come out quite clean and fresh.
Window-cleaning. Many and varied are the methods available for window-cleaning. A stiff paste of whiting and water, sparingly applied, and afterwards polished off with a clean dry cloth, is excellent. Panes rubbed with a piece of soft linen wetted with vinegar and polished in the way already mentioned is another favourite, and a little methylated spirit on a chamois-leather is a third. A few drops of paraffin in water used for cleaning windows, mirrors, etc., is also recommended.
To prevent frosty and steamy windows, clean them well, and apply pure glycerine all over the surface; polish lightly with a clean cloth until quite dry. They will keep clean and clear for quite a long period.
Wrought-iron. Rub with a cloth dipped in sweet oil, and polish with a dry flannel.
Zinc must be washed well in hot soda-water, and then rubbed with a flannel dipped in turpentine.