The English Housekeeper/Chapter 32

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Eau de Cologne.

Into 2 quarts spirits of wine, at 36, put 2 drachms essence of bergamot, the same of essence of cedrat (a superior kind of bergamot), 2 drachms essence of citron, 1 oz. essence of rosemary, and a ¼ drachm of the essence of neroly (an oil produced from the flowers of the Seville orange tree); let it stand 24 hours, then strain through brown paper, and bottle it.

Lavender Water.

Into 1 pint of spirits of wine put 1 oz. oil of lavender, ½ a drachm essence of ambergris, ½ a drachm essence of bergamot. Keep it three months.—Or: 8 oz. spirits of wine, 1 drachm oil of lavender, 10 drops of ambergris, and 20 drops of essence of bergamot.

Milk of Roses.

Thirty grains of salt of tartar, pulverised, 2 oz. oil of almonds, 6 oz. of rose water; mix the two first, then the rose water by degrees.—Or: 2 oz. of sweet almonds in a paste, 40 drops oil of lavender, and 40 oz. rose water.—Or: 1 oz. oil of almonds, 1 pint rose water, and 10 drops of oil of tartar.

Henry's Aromatic Vinegar.

Camphor, 2 drachms; oil of cloves, ½ a drachm; oil of lavender, 1 drachm; oil of rosemary, 1 drachm; and a ½ oz. of the best white wine vinegar; macerate for ten days, then strain it through paper.

Wash for the Skin.

An infusion of horse-radish in milk, or the fresh juice of house leek, are both good.—Honey water, very thick, is good in frosty weather.—Also, a wash made of 4 oz. potash, 4 oz. rose water, and 2 oz. lemon juice, mixed with 2 quarts of water; pour 2 table-spoonsful in a bason of water.

Pomade Divine.

Put ½ lb. of beef marrow into an earthen vessel, fill it with spring water, and change that every day for ten days, drain it off, put a pint of rose water to it, let it stand 24 hours; take the marrow out, drain and wipe it thoroughly dry in a thin cloth, beat it to a fine powder, add 1 oz. of benjamin, the same of storax, cypress nuts, florence, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ½ oz. of cloves: mix all these together first, then mix up with the marrow, and put into a pewter vessel with a close-fitting lid; put this vessel into a copper of boiling water, and boil it three hours, having boiling water to replenish the copper, so that the pewter vessel may be covered with water all the time. In three hours pour the mixture through fine muslin into pots, and, when cold, cover close with paper.

Lip Salve, very good.

Two oz. white wax, 2 oz. of unsalted lard, ½ oz. spermaceti, 1 oz. oil sweet almonds, 2 drachms balsam of Peru, a lump of sugar, and 2 drachms of alkali root; simmer together, then strain through muslin.


Mix ½ lb. fresh lard with 4 oz. marrow, and beat them with a shilling bottle of essence of lemon.

Cold Cream.

To ½ a pint of rose water add ½ a pint of oil of almonds, 1 oz. virgin wax, and 1 oz. spermaceti; melt over a slow fire, and beat them together till quite cold.—Or: melt ½ lb. hog's lard in a bason over steam; add ¾ pint rose water, and ½ a wine-glassful of oil of almonds; stir together with care till of a proper consistency.

For Chapped Hands.

Mix ⅓ pint double distilled rose water, ½ oz. oil of almonds and 7 grains salt of tartar.—Or: yolks of 3 eggs, 3 table-spoonsful honey, 4 table-spoonsful brandy, and 4 sweet almonds, pounded.—Or: dissolve a tea-spoonful of pulverised borax in a tea-cupful of boiling soft water, add a tea-spoonful of honey, and mix well together. After washing, wipe the hands very dry, and put the mixture on with a feather.—Oil of Almonds or spermaceti rubbed on at night are soft and healing.

Almond Paste for the Hands.

To 1 lb. stale bread grated, ½ lb. bitter almonds (blanched and pounded), ¼ lb. honey, and 3 table-spoonsful of oil of almonds. Beat well together and keep it in jars with bladders tied over. As you use it add more honey and oil, if it requires moisture.

Tooth Powder.

Bol ammoniac, gum mastic, red coral, and myrrh, of each an equal quantity finely powdered.—Another: 3 oz. camphor, 1 oz. powdered cinchona bark, 1 oz. prepared charcoal, and sufficient spirits of wine to dissolve the camphor. Mix thoroughly, and pass through a fine sieve.—The mixture of chalk and camphor is very good for preserving as well as cleansing teeth.

Curling Fluid.

Melt a bit of bees-wax, about the size of a filbert kernel, slowly, in 1 oz. of oil of almonds, and then add a drop or two of ottar of rose.

To clean Carpets.

Mix ox gall and water; rub the carpet with a flannel dipped into the mixture, then with a linen cloth. Sometimes carpets shrink after being wetted, therefore fasten them to the floor.

To clean Silk Dresses.

The dress must be taken to pieces. Take out all grease spots, with spirits of turpentine; rub the silk over, with a sponge dipped in an equal quantity of honey, and soft soap, with spirits of wine, sufficient to make it nearly liquid. When well cleaned, dip the silk in cold spring-water, hang it up to dry; when nearly cold, smooth it on the wrong side, with a cool iron.—Or: make some strong salt and water, in the proportion of a handful of salt to a bucket of cold water, lay in the breadths of silk, do not rub, but occasionally lift them up and down singly, for three days, rinse the silk in cold spring-water, hang it up to dry, and when nearly dry, smooth it out; iron it on the wrong side with a cool iron.

To take Grease out of Silk or Stuff.

Moisten ½ lb. fuller's earth with water, dry it before the fire, then pound, sift, and mix it with 2 oz. starch (beaten and sifted), ½ the white of an egg, ¼ pint camphorated spirits, and of turpentine; mix well, and bottle it. Spread it over the spot: if too dry moisten with soft water.

To remove Grease from Satin, Silk, Muslin, Drawing-paper, and other things.

Drop pure water upon the spot, and scrape on it caked magnesia, until it is saturated with the powder. When dry brush it off, and the grease, in most cases, will be removed. Some find soda to answer.

To clean Blond.

Soap it well, with curd soap, in lukewarm water, and let it lie all night; then wash it out, rinse in cold water, made blue, fold in a cloth, and iron it, with a cool iron.

To Wash Silk Stockings.

Put them into lukewarm water to cover them, soap the feet well, and rub that part which is soiled, with smelt blue; lay them smooth in the water, strew some blue the folds, and let them lie all night; be careful in washing to rub them well, as the blue is hard to come out: the second lather must be of equal heat, but not quite so blue. Cut bear is used to tinge them pink.

To clean Floor Cloths.

Sweep, then rub the floor cloth with a damp flannel, then with milk or milk and water, and polish with a clean dry cloth. This is better than wax.

To clean Stone Stairs.

Boil in 2 quarts of water ½ pint of size, the same of stone blue, 2 table-spoonsful of whitening, and 2 cakes of pipe-maker's clay. Wet a flannel with this, wash the stones with it, and when dry, rub with a clean flannel and brush.

To take Oil from Stone or Boards.

To a strong ley of pearl-ashes, add some unslacked lime, let it settle, pour it off clear; lower it with water, and scour the grease spots; but it must be done quickly.

To get a Stopper out of a Decanter.

Drop a few drops of spirits of wine on it, and it will soon come out.

To take Rust from Steel.

Rub well with sweet oil, and two days after, rub with unslacked lime till the rust disappears.

To clean Steel Stoves and Fire Irons.

Rub with a piece of flannel dipped in oil, then in emery powder; polish with a leather and rotten stone.

To clean Paint.

Put a very little pearl-ash or soda into the water, to soften it, then wash the paint with a flannel and soft soap; wash the soap off, and wipe dry with clean linen cloths.

To clean Papered Walls.

The very best method is to rub with stale bread. Cut the crust off very thick, and wipe straight down from the top, then go to the top again, and so on.

To clean Tin Covers.

They should be wiped dry after being used, to prevent their becoming rusty. Mix a little fine whitening with sweet oil, and rub well, wipe this off clean, then polish with a leather and dry whitening.

To clean Copper Utensils.

If the kitchen be damp, or very hot, the coppers will turn black. Rub brick dust over, then a flannel dipped in oil; polish with leather and rotten stone.

Marking Ink.

Mix 5 scruples of silver caustic, 2 drachms of gum arabic, 1 scruple of sap gum, in 1 oz. distilled water, in a glass bottle. The wash to use previously; ½ oz. of soda subcarbonate in 2 oz. distilled water.


Infuse in a gallon of rain or soft water, ¾ lb. of blue galls, bruised; stir every day, for three weeks. Add 4 oz. green copperas, 4 oz. logwood chips, 6 oz. gum arabic, and a wine-glassful of brandy.—Or: put 1½ oz. nut galls pounded, 1 oz. gum arabic, 1 oz. copperas into 1½ pint of rain water: shake every day for a fortnight, and it is ready.

Blacking for Shoes.

Boil 6 oz. ivory black, 1 oz. bees-wax, and 1 oz. mutton suet, in 3 pints of water till melted and mixed.—Or: 1 quart vinegar, 6 oz. treacle, 2 oz. ivory black, and the yolks of 2 eggs, well beaten. Boil together till well mixed, keep it covered close.—Or: mix into a pint of small beer, 4 oz. ivory black, 3 oz. coarse sugar and a table-spoonful sweet oil.

Pot Pourri.

Mix together one handful of orange flowers, of sweet marjoram, lemon thyme, lavender flowers, clove pinks, rosemary, of myrtle flowers, 2 of stock flowers, 2 of damask roses, ½ a handful of mint, and the rinds of 2 lemons, dried and pounded; lay some bay salt at the bottom of your jar, then a layer of the mixture, till the jar is full.

To Thicken the Hair.

Simmer ½ lb. of the best lard in a tea-cupful of olive oil half an hour, scumming all the time: add 9 drops of any scent. Rub it in three times a week.

To Destroy Bugs.

Corrosive sublimate, in spirits of wine, poured into crevices, or put on with a feather; it should be repeated as often as necessary. A deadly poison.


Mix a very small portion of white lead in paste which is to be used about books, drawings, &c., &c. This will keep away the worm which is so destructive. Poison.