Make Cleaning Day Less Painful: Look How They Used to Do It

4/17/2016

By Natalie Dodson
Assistant Vice President, Mortgage Lending
NMLS #574151

Household hintsNobody loves housekeeping, so when we found “1003 Household Hints” among the INB keepsakes, we had to share! It’ll make cleaning day just a little less taxing when you see what cleaning was like in the 1940s. We’re not sure why the old Illinois National Bank would choose to give away something like this – probably a very expensive giveaway with a list price of 50 cents printed right under the editor’s name – but maybe it had to do with the bank’s tagline at the time: “Illinois National Bank, Everybody’s Bank.” Everyone has to clean! Thank goodness we don’t have to clean like this:

  1. Never shake rugs or hang them over a line. Shaking breaks threads, damages the backings, loosens knots, tears the bindings. Hanging bends and strains the fibers, causing them to break.
  2. At floor-scrubbing time, push – don’t pull – the pail around. Just place it on a small wooden platform to each corner of which you have mounted casters.
  3. Rid rooms of stale tobacco smoke with your own “homemade” deodorizer. Just mix a little diluted ammonia with a bowl of fresh water and let the bowl stay overnight in the room to be purged. Try this in your clothes closets, too.
  4. Windows will require less elbow grease to clean if you moisten a rag with some glycerin and use it on those dirty panes. They’ll stay clean longer too.
  5. To clean door knobs without injuring the wood finish behind them, cut cardboard shields to fit around the door knob and key plate. Then go to it!
  6. Varnished surfaces can usually be cleaned nicely with a cloth dipped in cool, weak tea. That’s right, cool, weak tea.
  7. You’ll prevent the inside of your salt shaker metal top from rusting if you paint it with ordinary nail polish. When the lacquer is dry, use a darning needle to open the holes form the inside out.
  8. Clean your candles with a cloth dampened in alcohol.
  9. Dirty clothespins leave their mark on linens and garments. Bathe them back to spotlessness in a pan of soapy warm water. Scrub each pin with a stiff brush, rinse in ammonia water, then spread out on clean paper and dry them in the sun.
  10. To clean slightly soiled single-tone rugs, use cornmeal. Work the cornmeal into the pile of the rug with a stiff brush and then remove it with a vacuum cleaner.
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