Let's Recycle Grandma's Household Hints

Some may be outdated, but much of the information in the "household hints" pamphlets your grandmother relied on as a young woman will apply just as well today.

| September/October 1978

The other day I came across a pamphlet of "household hints" that my grandmother had owned. Though the booklet was published in the days when milk came from a cow instead of a carton, the tips in it work just as well today as they did when they were first printed.

Here's a sample of grandma's "kitchen tricks" that I've found to be especially handy at this time of year when summer meets fall ...and neither of 'em want to take full responsibility for the weather.

Wood Stove Tips

The old wood stove will soon be in regular use again, and you can prepare it for its "busy season" with the kind of stove top cleaner they used in the old days. Just mix one part grease, one part paraffin, and one part kerosene in a clean can (preferably one with a lid) and melt these ingredients—carefully, they are all flammable—to combine 'em. Let the mixture cool, and then apply a small amount to the top of your stove. A clean cloth or a piece of paper bag should be used to rub the "polish" in.

Another old-timey idea: If your wood-burner is made of malleable iron, it can be kept as black and glossy as new if washed with cold coffee every now and then.

You can also restore the mica window on an old-fangled stove or furnace. Just clean it with a cloth dipped in a "half and half" vinegar and water solution.

And, if all this work has plumb worn out your stove-polishing brush, you can freshen that utensil up by putting a cover made out of scrap velvet on its business end.

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