Ye Olde Tips

Ye Olde Tips is a random selection from our collection of old Household Books filled with hints and helps for what was "the modern woman". Love it! Some of them are just as valid today for today's modern frugal homemaker then they were in yester-years.

Please, use Ye Olde Tips with caution! Or just enjoy.

Ye Olde Tips Selection of Health and Beauty Advice

Dissolve a cup of baking soda in a cup of warm water.  Add to warm bath and relax for ten minutes or until refreshed.

One tablespoon of baby oil in very warm bath water for smooth
skin.  Watch the wrinkles go. Always be very careful of slipping in a bath tub when you have added oil to the water.

Try a warm bath with feet propped up high for a relaxing twenty minutes.  

Mix dry oatmeal and water into a paste and spread on face.  Lie down and let it dry.  Wash off with warm water.  This makes an excellent facial.

Cold Cream on forehead, eyelashes and brows keeps soap out of eyes while shampooing.

For that Bright Eyed look, place cucumber slices on eyelids while relaxing in a hot bath for ten minutes.

Cures Cigarette Habit - Take before breakfast 1/2 teaspoon each of Rochelle Salts and Cream of Tartar, also chew Ginseng root and swallow the juice. Use at your own risk!

For Great Beauty - drink a teaspoon of Figwort.  This will banish every blemish from your skin as it cleanses the blood. 

Chamomile teas will give one a complexion to be proud of.

Remove gum from hair with nail polish remover, then shampoo.

Cornbread mix spread on face, let dry and wash off with warm water and see how clean your skin looks.

Another refresher... squeeze cotton pads out of ice water, place on eyelids and lie down, elevate feet.

To prevent hair pins from falling out, bend one prong in a "V" about halfway up and insert in hair.  It will stay.

To clean your rings quickly, use toothpaste.  Apply the toothpaste, rub with a soft cloth or brush lightly with a soft brush (old toothbrush) and it’ll shine in no time. Works for earrings, too!

Art gum eraser will clean bone colored shoes.

To keep Cold Cream from spoiling and maintain its freshness, keep it in the refrigerator... and it's so cool.

Prevent wrinkled scarfs.  Roll and place in toilet tissue cones.

Old lipstick tubes, thoroughly cleaned, are great for purse-sized pill boxes or for pins etc.

White shoe polish will keep a cast clean on broken bones.

Clip on earrings can be used for cuff links or scatter pins.

Cuticle remover will clear hands of nicotine stains.

Ice water and soap to remove ring from swollen finger.

Excellent bed table! Cut legs off old card table, to about ten inches high.  This
will make a good table for sick or bed-ridden folks. Or , cut to height you choose for a children’s play table.

Boil pine splinters and sip tea to stop hiccups of long duration.

Use a lazy susan at bedside to enable sick to reach more items.

Stairs and sidewalks slippery with ice: put a pair of old socks over shoes to prevent falls.

Tape on bottom of shoes helps prevent falls on highly waxed floors.

Emergency Sinus Relief – snort white vinegar high up in the nostrils.

Ye Olde Tips for Household Help

Recycle Your Own Paper - Use backs of unwanted advertising mail for scratch paper pads.  Roll your newspapers into a tight roll until they are log size, tie with a wire and burn in the fireplace.  It will burn like a log, but even longer.  

Shred all of your newspapers and junk mail and save in a large bag for use
in packing materials and for making paper mache items by adding flour and water.

Save cans to freeze leftovers in.

Save plastic bags from bread for freezer use.

Save plastic milk containers, clean very well, fill with water and freeze.  Use in camper iceboxes or coolers.  Also these can be used to freeze colored water or juices in for later use in a punch bowl.

Clean vinyl with liquid window cleaner.

Avoid tears when peeling onions, slice first, then slip the bands of skin off.

Use an egg slicer to slice apples or mushrooms.

Leftover pancake batter makes good fried onion rings.  Separate and let soak in batter for fifteen minutes.  Fry  in hot oil.

Loose door knob?  Put a drop of shellac in the screw hole, then tighten.  It works.

Paint a screw, like on your kitchen cabinet, that keeps coming loose with clear nail polish.  Screw it back in and try not to use it for overnight.

To grow thyme - thyme will grow anywhere, but it prefers a dry, poor soil.  If the ground is rich, the plant will become too luxuriant and lose its aromatic qualities.
Thyme is excellent for a rough edging plant for borders. It will grow over the edge, but when you mow the grass you can go right over the top of it. The aroma is delightful!

Ye Olde Tips on How to preserve flowers and fruit - Fruit and flowers may be preserved from decay and fading by immersing them in a solution of gum arabic and water two or three times, waiting a sufficient
time between each immersion to allow the gum to dry.  This process covers the surface of the fruit with a thin coat of gum, which is entirely impervious to the air, thus preventing the decay of the fruit or flower.  Roses thus preserved have all the beauty of freshly picked ones, though they have been separated form the parent stock many months.

More Ye Olde Tips with these old-time recipes for household cleaning -

Household cleaner formula:  
Soap powder – 2 oz.;
soda ash – 3 oz.;
tri-sodium phosphate - 40 oz.;
finely ground silica - 55 oz.  

Mix well and put up in containers.  
Most of the above items can be purchased from drug stores or hardware and paint stores.

Household window cleaner formula:  
Castile soap - 2 oz.;
water - 5 oz.;
chalk - 4 oz.;
french-chalk - 3 oz.;
tripoli powder – 2 oz.;
petroleum spirits - 5 oz.  

Mix well and pack in tight containers.  
Above ingredients can be purchased at local drug, hardware, paint, or nursery stores.

Fire Kindler Formula:  
Rosin or pitch - 10 oz.;
sawdust - 10 or more oz.  
Melt, mix and cast in forms.

(We like to use melted wax poured over animal bedding cedar shavings (the kind for gerbils) and we use cupcake papers in muffin cups to form them. Use pretty  papers and colored wax and they look pretty on display near your fireplace. Great to take along camping, too. Not one of the "Ye Olde Tips" cause we just ain't that old yet but...just our two cents worth!)

Paint Brush Cleaner - ammonia (household ammonia will do).

Sun Burn Lotion - Peanut oil (buy at grocery store).

Radiator Cleaner - Tri-sodium phosphate (buy at paint store).

Tree Wound Dressing - Lanolin (buy at drug store).

Frosted Window Paint - super saturated solution of Epsom salts.

Mosquito Repellant - Oil of Pennyroyal, rub on skin (buy at drug store).

Furniture polish and cleaner - Vinegar

Tile Cleaner - Deodorized kerosene (buy at an oil company).

Windshield Anti-fog - Glycerine (buy at drug store).

Label Glue/Cement – Egg white is an excellent label cement.

Cockroach Exterminator - Borax (buy at the grocery store).

Ground Mole Control Powder - Black pepper placed liberally in their runs.

Battery Anti-corrode - Vaseline.

Fire Extinguisher - Plain baking soda. Keep by the kitchen stove and in the garage, too.

Nail Bleach - Hydrogen peroxide (buy at the drug store).

Type Cleaner - rubbing alcohol (buy at the drug store).

Wonder Car Product – Benzol removes tar, paint, wax, gum, etc.  

Ye Olde Tips  for Home Sewing

Emergency ripped hem repair - use double faced sticky tape between hem and dress.

Hang bobbins, thread, and other sewing notions on a bulletin board with straight pins near your machine.

Cut buttons, zippers, snaps, hooks, and eyes from all old clothes and place near your sewing machine.  Pin all the buttons that are alike together with a large safety pin.  Saves a lot!

Cut the cost of making a round tablecloth by using the fringe from an old bedspread.

To cover un-removable spots on children's clothes, iron transfers of animals, etc. over spots or paint with textile paints.  Looks new!

To reline a jacket or coat, use the old lining for the pattern.  Spray heavily with starch and press.  Pin to the new material for a perfect pattern.

For a matched set of spread and drapes, buy two bedspreads and make a set of drapes from one.

For an attractive eyeglass case, fold a pot-holder and sew up one side and the end.

Worn out tops of little girls slips or dresses?  Cut off at the waist and insert elastic for half-slip or skirt.  This is also good to do if she has grown too tall for it.

Use iron-on rug binding on men's trousers to prevent "waist-band curling" of trouser tops.  Great for  heavy-set men.

Ye Olde Tips and Clothing Hints 

Footlets twisted twice in arch of foot won’t slip off.

Use hair spray to stop runs in hose.

Clear nail polish will stop runs in hose and also makes good glue.

Use nylon net to brush lint off dark clothing.

Before you pin on a heavy broach, fold several pieces of tissue, then pin through dress with tissues on back to prevent sagging.

Felt markers are good to cover shoe scuffs.

Grease spots which have set, in washable fabrics, can often be removed by rubbing fresh grease on spot and washing immediately.

Ye Olde Tips for Beauty

from The Bride’s Book of Household Management - To the Brides of British Columbia  by the Merchant, Manufacturers and Business Houses of the Province Circa early 1900’s.


Care of the Hair – Normal hair should be shampooed every 3 weeks. If the hair is dry, a monthly shampoo is sufficient; if greasy, a shampoo is necessary every 10 days. Unless the hair is healthy, a hair tonic should be considered a part of the daily toilet – but great care must be exercised in the selection of a tonic. Hot oil applied with a brush to the scalp before the shampoo, does much toward toning up and feeding the hair roots. Another practical idea is to rub into the scalp, before shampooing, a lotion consisting of two tablespoonfuls of bay rum and the yolk of one egg.

The hair should be brushed twice a day. First, carefully, not roughly, comb out the tangles. Brush it first from underneath, with an upward and outward motion. Then brush the outside, from the top of  the head down. Ten minutes brushing daily, will give wonderful results. In the summertime the hair should be taken down in the open air as much as possible, allowing the sun to warm it and the breezes to blow through it. And again, whenever general health falls below par, give your hair special care and tonic treatment. Healthy hair should be given the following treatment once or twice a year.

Special Treatment - Wash the hair, for a few weeks, every third day with tar soap. Dry it carefully and apply a little castor oil to the roots, massaging the scalp and brushing the hair every day. Results will be quick – and sure. Probably two to three weeks will suffice to put your hair in perfect condition.

Camomile tea treatment has been strongly recommended by a noted authority as one of the best for thin, stringy, fading or greying hair. The essentials of this treatment are the camomile tea, which can be purchased at the druggists, some good tar soap, coconut oil, petroleum ointment – and patience

More Ye Olde Tips from a 1931 Home Economics Handbook:

Do you get tired when you’re cooking or baking? The height of your counters may be to blame!
Having the proper table or counter height can make the difference between being tired out with a sore aching back or enjoying your time in the kitchen’ Here’s some tips on how to gauge proper counter height:
1.    Stand straight
2.    Hold the upper part of the arm close to the body
3.    Bend the elbow
4.    Measure the distance between the floor and the elbow, subtract 2 inches

This will give the proper working height. Of course, usually more than one person is using the working surface, so an average height would be the next best choice – which is what is in most modern kitchens.  32 inches to 34 inches is the common height, but a tall person may need counter tops that are 36 inches high for maximum comfort. Working on a thick wooden cutting board is one way to “raise” the counter height; adding a lower height chopping block roll-around  work surface may help to provide a  “lower” height.

We hope you have enjoyed this selection of Ye Olde Tips. Look for more Ye Olde Tips soon.

Ye Olde Tips: Return To Homepage


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