The American Pictorial Home Book
or Housekeeper's Encyclopedia - online book

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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ladles' toilet.
pure glycerine, 5 cents' worth of tincture of arnica, lay a piece of white or black silk on a board, and paint it over with the mixture, then dry a little and put it on a flat surface to dry.
Court Plaster.—Suspend your silk on a wooden frame, then tack it on; dissolve some pure isinglass, apply the glue with a brush and let it dry; repeat it, and when dry cover it over with a strong tincture of the balsam of Peru. This is genuine English court plaster. It is pliable and never breaks. You can use what color of silk you may like to form your plaster. It should be put only on one side.
To Clean Combs.—If it can he avoided never wash combs, as the water often makes the teeth split, and the tortoise shell or horn of which they are made rough. Small brushes, manufactured pur­posely for cleaning combs, may be purchased at a trifling cost. With this the comb should be well brushed, and afterwards wiped with a cloth or towel.
To Wash Horn Brushes.—Dissolve a piece of soda in some hot water, allowing a piece the size of a walnut to a quart of water, or 1-2 teaspoonful of hartshorn; put the water into a basin, and after combing out the hair from the brushes, dip them, bristles down­wards, into the water and out again, keeping the backs and handles as free from the water as possible. Repeat this until the bristles look clean, then rinse the brushes in a little cold water, shake them well, and wipe the handles and backs with a towel, but not the bris­tles, and set the brushes to dry in the sun or near the fire, but not too close to it; wiping the bristle of a brush makes them soft, as does also the use of soap.
To Remove the Unpleasant Odor of Perspiration.—Wash in a gallon of water to which 1 tablespoonful of compound spirits of ammonia is added.
The sweetest perfume is where there is none.
For Chafing.—Wash in alum water or spirits of camphor and water, or a solution of borax or water.
Chapped Hands or Lips.—Persons washing in oils never have chapped hands, lips or chillblains. A little oil or unguent of any kind well rubbed over the hands on retiring at night, (removing the superfluous portion with a cloth), will not only preserve them from cold, but render them beautifully soft.
Numbed or Trembling Hands, An Excellent Wash for.— Wash the hands frequently, when so affected, in a strpng decoc­tion of worm wood and pounded mustard seeds; strained and used cold.
To Remove Warts from The Hands.—Pare the warts so as not to make them bleed, then bathe them night and morning with ammonia*