Household Tips

Household Tips and Hints
from the 1950's, 1960's, and earlier.

Tips & Tricks That Help You Save Money

More household tips from way back when.

Here are some household tips and tricks collected from the late 1950’s or early 1960’s thanks to my mom and grandma. Many are a little bit different, some apply just the same as they did way back then. My guess is if they used hem in the 1950's and 1960's then they had probably been passed on down from much earlier decades. After women running households have been frugal, thrifty and budget conscious for a long time! Saving money is a tradition.

As you know, I love to get a peek into kitchens back 50 or 60 years and more. As a matter of fact, not only do I love these hints and tips but I went on to collect even more kitchen tips  and household hints as I got older.  Just as my mom passed her wisdom on to me, I pass it on to my daughter, and she to her daughter.

They say history and family information has been passed down through time by stories, poems and songs that were told countless times before there was paper or books were common – they missed the countless instructions passed from cook to cook or homemaker to homemaker that was probably even more a foundation to history than tales of valiant heroes.

We are the Kitchen Heroes! Our legacy we pass quietly to those who work beside us.

(what are white woolies anyway? I am getting a picture in my mind as I ask though. Excuse me, if I giggle)

Household Tips Warning

Please remember that many "old time" household hints may be be suitable or safe for today's uses. Do your due diligence.

Household Tips

Household Tips Wisdom:
wisdom for today, wisdom for tomorrow.

Fly specks on glass or paint, come off with vinegar and water.

Pack a pleated skirt inside an old stocking.

To slide a hose onto a pipe, rub the inside rim with soap.

Hold the toothpaste tube under the hot water tap to get out the very last squeeze.

Nylons dry quicker if rolled in a dry towel or newspaper after washing, and gently pummeled.

Never dry a white woollie in the sun.  It will go yellow.

Open wardrobe and cupboard doors when it’s warm and sunny and let them air.

Sunlight helps mildew on clothes to disappear.

If the bristles of a paintbrush are bent, hold them in the steam of a kettle and pull back into shape.  Set in newspaper.

After doing the weekly wash is the time to do your manicure when nails and cuticles are really soft.

Cleaning brushes and combs. Add 1/4 teaspoon ammonia to a quart of quite warm water. Use this to wash brushes and combs. All the dirt and grease will be released. Rinse out in fresh warm water and dry by the fire or in the sun.

Lay embroidered material face down on several layers of flannel before Ironing to keep the design prominent.

Never hang a mirror in the sun.  It will make the silvering discolor.

Rust too thick? Soak it in paraffin first and then give it a good rub.

Crush an aspirin in the flower water to revive or sustain flowers.

To cut linen or cotton fabric straight gather the material and pull a thread.  It will leave a clear guiding line.

Hang your peg bag on the washing line and slide it along as you attach the clothes.

Clean walls and floors from the bottom upwards to avoid runs of dirty water.

Patches with rounded corners are easier to sew on.

Let your Turkish towels dry completely, fold and put away.  Never iron them or you will flatten the pile.

Screws dipped in paraffin will go into wood more easily.

Polythene bags with elastic bands on the wrist can be used in emergency instead of rubber gloves.

Polish for Linoleum and Oilcloth: Save all your candle ends and melt in the oven; mix with sufficient turpentine to make a paste.

How to remove  a rusty screw: Apply a hot iron to the screw head for a short time until screw is hot. Immediately use the screw driver to loosen the screw.

Tissue paper should  never be thrown away. Save it to polish windows and mirrors or for removing grease from late before washing.

For washing windows and mirrors, take a piece of paper and put a few drops of ammonia in it. This will readily take off all finger marks on the glass.

To take white spots from varnished furniture, hold a hot plate over them and they will disappear.

To help prevent your leather furniture from cracking, rub it all over with vaseline, rubbing it in well by hand. Let it remain until the next morning, then polish with a soft duster.

Coarse salt and water make an excellent cleaner for wicker furniture and summer matting. Use a strong brush and dry thoroughly afterwards.


Flower vases can be easily purified and cleansed by rinsing them out with warm water and powdered charcoal.

To clean sponges, wash them in diluted tartaric acid, rinsing them afterwards in water. It will make them white and soft.

To brighten copper, a little crushed borax, if sprinkled thickly on flannel cloth that is wet with hot water and well soaked, will brighten the copper like magic.

To clean tarnished silver, use a piece of raw potato dipped in baking soda.

Dampness in closets, pantries and cupboards can be remedied by placing in them a bowl of quicklime. This not only removes dampness but kills all odors.

You'll find more household tips and kitchen wisdom here. What's For Dinner?

Household Tips: Return To Homepage


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