Household Hints (1860s style!)


To Wash White Lace

The following recipe for washing white lace is generally found more successful than any other.  Cover a glass bottle with white flannel, then wind the lace around it, tack it to the flannel on both sides, and cover the whole with a piece of flannel or linen, which sew firmly round it.  Then steep the bottle overnight in an ewer, with soap and cold water.  Next morning wash it with hot water and soap rubbing on the outer covering.  Then steep it again in for some hours in cold water, and afterwards dry it in the air or near the fire.  Remove the outer covering, and the lace is ready, no ironing being required.  If the lace is very dirty, of course it must be washed a great deal.


To Wash Point Lace

It is at best a hazardous undertaking for an amateur to attempt, as with the greatest of care, the extreme antiquity of the lace causes it during the process to drop very much into holes, which can only be repaired properly by a professional and experienced lace mender.  The first thing requisite for cleaning point lace is a frame ; this ca be made by taking out a slate from its frame, and winding round the latter some clean flannel or soft cambric.  Into this frame the lace must be carefully fixed and laced in at the sides, in the same way that work is put into a frame, great caution being used lest the lacing should be too tight.  With some Castile soap a warm lather should now be prepared, and a fine and soft brush gently having been dipped into it, the lace must be gently rubbed over with it until it is clean on one side, when, the frame being turned over to the other side.  To remove the soap suds, clean water, in which a small quantity of alum has been dissolved, must be thrown over the lace; then, with some very nice thin starch or weak gum-water, go over the wrong side of it with a soft brush; let it dry, and then iron it gent- also on the wrong side.  After this, open it and arrange it with a needle or a fine bodkin, applying a small rounded wooden instrument at the back of those parts which require raising on the right side.  If point lace be not very much soiled, after placing it in the frame, as I have already described, it may be carefully rubbed or touched in the most soiled parts with a piece of the finest bread, using, of course, only the crumb and blowing or dusting this off when the operation is completed.  Point lace should never look very clean, as connoisseurs consider its appearance spoilt when it is white in color. 


Cement for Glass

An excellent cement for uniting broken glass may be made by dissolving in a pipkin over the fire (taking especial care that it does not boil over), one ounce of isinglass in two wine glasses of spirits of wine.  This will be a transparent glue.


To Clean Decanters

First roll up in small pieces some whited-brown, or blotting paper; then wet and soap the same; put them into the vessel with a little luke-warm water; shake them well for a few minutes; then rinse the glass with clean water, and it will be as bright and clear as when new from the shop.