The Ladies' Receipt Book, Vol.2


Have you wondered what people used to clean their clothes, porcelain or glass in the nineteenth century? And what other concoctions were made by the ladies' of the house for their every day needs? The 1829 edition of The Ladies' Pocket Magazine casts some light on the subject by sharing a few recipes:

TO KEEP MUSLINS OF A GOOD COLOR

Never wash muslins, or any kind of white cotton goods, with linen; for the latter deposits or discharges a gum and coloring matter every time it is washed, which discolors and dyes the cotton. Wash them by themselves.

TO MAKE LAVENDER WATER

Take of rectified spirits of wine half a pint, essentia1 oil of lavender two drachms, otto of roses five drops. Mix all together in a bottle, and cork it for use.

TO CLEAN CHINA AND GLASS

The best material for cleaning either porcelain or glass is fuller's earth; but it must be beaten into a fine powder, and carefully cleared from all rough or hard particles, which might endanger the polish of the brilliant surface.

TO CLEAN WHITE SATIN AND FLOWERED SILKS

Mix sifted stale bread crumbs with powder-blue; and rub it thoroughly all over; then shake it well, and dust it with clean soft cloths. Afterwards, where there are any gold or silver flowers, take a piece of crimson ingrain velvet, and rub the flowers with it, which will restore them to their original lustre.

TO MAKE FURNITURE PASTE

A better furniture paste than most to be bought in the shops may be made as follows:—Scrape four ounces of bees'wax into a basin, and add as much oil of turpentine as will moisten it through. Then powder a quarter of an ounce of resin, and add as much Indian-red as will bring it to a deep mahogany colour. When the composition is properly stirred up, it will prove an excellent cement or paste for blemishes in mahogany, or other furniture.

Further reading:
The Ladies' Pocket Magazine