Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuesday Tips: You'll Never Hear Me Complain About the Laundry Again

I collect vintage cookbooks and such, so I brought this one home from my father-in-law's house some time ago. Although I often feel I'd have fit in better with the wives and mothers of the "good old days", most of the 1,001 tips on the crumbly, yellowed pages of this little spiral-bound book from 1951 make me grateful for today's conveniences.

Choice tips from the Laundry chapter include:

Clothes do not freeze on a wire clothesline if first wiped with kerosene cloth. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

To keep handkerchiefs, socks or other small pieces from wrapping around the washing machine wringers, fold them inside towel and run through. Wringers? Handkerchiefs? I wish I could say I was too young to remember those... 

To keep your fingers warm when hanging clothes on winter wash days, put a hot water bottle in the clothespin bag. I guess we would've had to wear dirty clothes all winter! (I'm glad my Mom didn't feel that way!)

When making starch, while it is still hot, drop into it a piece of alum about the size of a pea, and stir until it is dissolved. This will prevent the starch sticking to the irons. Ironing is bad enough, but making your own starch???

Writing about ironing reminds me of a sewing student story:
In one of my classes, there was a mother/daughter pair. When it was time to press our pattern tissue flat prior to pinning it to the fabric, I asked the little girl (around 10 years old) if she had learned how to iron yet. She said, "We don't have an iron".  Now, sometimes I wish I didn't own an iron, but how could you not own an iron?

Another ironing story:
My friend Rob, recently separated, had moved in temporarily with our mutual friend, Richard, a confirmed bachelor. Rob calls Richard at work to ask where the iron is. Richard says, "I've never used it, but Nana gave me one last Christmas. It's on the top shelf of the guestroom closet." Rob pulls down the box with the picture of the iron on the front, opens it up, and pulls out a bunch of dish towels. 

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