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Stain Removal Recipes

( Originally Published Early 1900's )



Paint, Tar, Pitch, Ink, Grease Spots, etc., To Remove from Clothing.-Take a little of the renovating soap, above, without water, and rub it into the soiled spots; let it remain a few minutes, then scrape off and cleanse with the ammonia water, also given for pressing clothing, under the head of renovation, If this does not fully accomplish it, use the renovating soap with the ammonia water. The drying, coloring, if needed, pressing, etc. to be the same. Tailors, it is claimed, use equal parts of ammonia and alcohol for cleaning coat collars, grease spots on pants, etc., and that nothing is better; but for very nice articles chloroform is better than anything else, removes grease of all kinds, also paints, varnish, etc.

Paint, Pitch, Oil, and Grease, To Remove from Silk, Linen,, etc.—Benzine (purified), also called benzole, 2 ozs. oil of lemon, 1/4 oz. Mix and keep corked. Directions—Apply with a cloth or sponge to any spots upon any of the above named kind of goods, rubbing with the fingers until removed. The colors will not be injured.—Indian Domestic Ecomomy.

Remarks.—For sake of safety in using benzine, or benzole, as one kind is called, see note after Kid Glove Cleaning. The lemon is only for flavor, or to hide the odor of the benzine.

Fruit Stains, To Remove from Clothing, etc.—To remove fruit stains, hold them so you can pour boiling water through them; and if this fails in any case to remove the stain, then dip the table-cloth or other article into hot water, and place it over burning brimstone, as for bleaching flannels, below.

Bleaching Flannels.—Wet them and place upon a stick over the top of a barrel, in the bottom of which is an old pan with some burning coals, and sprinkle on the fire a little, broken bits of brimstone and cover over with a piece of carpet to retain the smoke. Particularly applicable to children's flannels which have become yellowish, and which you do not like to wash for fear of shrinkage.

Silks, To Remove Spots, etc.—Fuller's earth, 1 oz.; saleratus, 1 even tea-spoonful, (if saleratus is not obtainable, get bi-carbonate of potash of a drug-gist, the same amount); lemon juice. Directions—Dry the earth thoroughly, and mix in the saleratus evenly; then moisten with the lemon juice sufficiently to form it into a roll or stick; dry in the sun. Wet the spots with hot water and rub it with the prepared earth. Dry in the sun; then cleanse with clear water.

Ink Spots, To Remove From Clothing: Wet the spots with milk —sour milk is best—if you have no milk, wet with water, and rub a piece of lemon on some salt, then upon the spot, a few times will always remove it. If you have no lemon, a little oxalic acid in water, rinsed out with clear water, will do it—except the cheap school inks made with chromates of potash, even oxalic acid will. not dissolve them; but the better inks, which are set with iron, the above will dissolve out.

Remarks.—Remember, if oxalic acid is used, to keep it away from children, as it is poisonous, or corrosive upon the flesh, so upon clothing if left without rinsing. A drachm will be enough for any ordinary spot, the size of the hand. If rinsed out as soon as the spot disappears it will hurt no clothing.

Ink—Printer's, To Remove From Clothing.-Saturate with turpentine, let alone for 2 or 3 hours; then rub well with the bands and dust out. Saturate means to wet thoroughly. It may be necessary to use some of the renovating soap, or erasive compound, or some of the soap for the machine shop men to wash away the discoloration.

Tar Spots, To Remove.-Tar spots may be removed by putting butter upon them for a few hours; then cleanse with soap and water to remove the grease, using the renovating soap if needed.

1. Kid Gloves, To Clean. Take purified benzine, in a bowl or suit-able dish, sufficient to cover the gloves. Put the gloves into the benzine and saturate or soak to wet thoroughly; then having placed one upon a clean, smooth board, with a soft brush or soft sponge rub one way only, from the wrist towards the fingers, wherever there is any dirt, or all over is best, to make all look alike-clean, dipping them or the brush into the benzine as often as necessary to get out all the dirt; and if this can not be done with the first lot, throw it away and pour in fresh, and rinse and squeeze out in the benzine till perfectly clean. White gloves you will suppose, while cleaning, to be spoiled, as it gives them a dingy appearance. Tinted or light shades will not look quite so dingy; but, never mind, partially dry them in the sun. Now, having previously pre-pared a stick, a foot or more in length, carefully tapered, and rounded at one end to resemble a finger, insert it into each finger, carefully pulling the glove on by the wrist until smooth, then rubbing dry with fine soft muslin. When all is dry, polish with French powder (white), using soft white flannel in polishing. Use care on the stick, and in all the processes, to keep the gloves smooth, for if wrinkled the surface would be broken. Keep them from shrinking by putting upon the hands occasionlly when nearly dry; but if you are cleaning a smaller glove, for others, than will go upon your own hand, carefully pull them as needed to prevent shrinkage.

Benzine, Benzols, Rose Oil, Naptha, etc.—Explanation.—Naptha, which is a preparation made by the destructive distillation of wood, but now better known as "wood alcohol," was formerly used for this purpose; but as this is now worth 50 cents a quart, at least, and as the purified benzine, which is made from coal oil or petroleum, does this work just as nicely, and cost not more than 10 or 15 cents a quart, it is now almost wholly used for these purposes. This purified benzine is also known as "rose oil." Druggists understand all these names. Gasoline, even, will do the same work, but it has more of the odor, not being so thoroughly purified. Remember, it is the purified benzine that should be obtained; and, remember, too, all these articles are not only inflammable, but also explosive, if fire gets to them or the vapor arising from them. So do not use them near a fire, lamp, or gaslight, to insure safety.

Remarks.—The gentleman from whom I obtained this recipe—using naptha —told me he paid $15 for it, after he had carried on clothes cleaning for eight years, and he considered it a good investment at that price. It will do the work nicely, but the benzine is now the cheapest.

2. Or if the gloves are not much soiled, set a saucer of sweet milk, and a piece of white soap upon the table. Fold a clean towel, 3 or 4 thicknesses, upon the table, or upon your lap, and spread the glove smoothly upon it. Take a piece of clean white flannel and dip it in the milk; then rub it upon the soap, then upon the glove, from wrist to fingers, continuing the process until the dirt is removed, when, if a white glove it will have a yellowish tint, dark shades of gloves will be darker still. Be careful to clean every part of the glove thoroughly, , else there will be spots when done. Let dry, or nearly so, then put on your hands and work soft, and polish as in No. 1 above, and the result will be very satisfactory.

3. Or, take a pan of white corn meal, sifted; put on the gloves and make believe washing hands in the meal, carefully, for 10 or 15 minutes, according to the extent of soiling. Fold in a clean towel, and put a weight upon them for a time. (See also white furs to clean, for the propriety of using corn meal in removing dirt.)

Kid Gloves, Black, Worn Spots, to Restore.-When black kid , gloves are soiled, or turned white, in spots, from wear; wet the spots with black ink—a little poured into a sauce-plate, and apply by means of a bit of. flannel, upon the end of a small stick, is a good way—then, leaving a few drops of the ink in the plate, pour in a tea-spoonful of salad oil or sweet oil, and with the flannel rub the mixture over the whole gloves, and dry in the sun—polish on the hand with soft flannel.

Ladies Kid Boots—Black, to Re-Color Soiled, or Worn Spots. —First brush off all dirt, then color the spots with ink, or with the renovating dye, then with a little of the ink, or dye, in a little oil, as with black gloves, polish the whole uppers, so all will look alike.

Remarks—Jettine or liquid blacking, is much used, of late years, instead of ink and oil; suit yourself.

Woolen Hoods (White), Nubias, etc., to Cleanse, or Renovate, Without Washing.-Dry nice wheat flour in a clean pan in the oven and rub ii thoroughly into the hood, or nubia, until thoroughly cleaned, adding a very little bluing powder, if you have it, to the last rubbing—cleans them nicely and saves the shrinkage from washing; although our plans of washing woolens are excellent, and may be followed with these articles, if preferred.

Paint Spots Upon Windows, to Remove.—Dissolve sal soda, 1 oz., in soft water, 1 pt.—in this proportion for as much as needed. Use it hot, with a piece of flannel, or sponge, on a stick, not to affect the fingers. Wash off with hot water, as soon as the paint spots are softened.

Kid Boots, or Shoes, White and Light Shades, to Clean.—Use the purified benzine and sponge as for gloves, drying and polishing the same. If they are too small to admit the hand, stuff them to keep them full size.

White kid boots, or shoes, can be cleaned by dipping a perfectly clean piece of white flannel in a little ammonia, and rubbing the cloth over a cake of white soap: after which gently rub the kid diligently, until the soiled places are white again. As the flannel becomes soiled change for a clean one, or a clean place.

White Furs, to Clean or Renovate.—Half fill a stone jar with white corn meal (for a child's muff and tippet, a 2 gallon jar will be suitable), place it on the stove and heat the meal as hot as the hand can be borne in it, stirring to prevent the meal from scorching. Put one piece, at a time, in this, and rub until thoroughly clean, then beat out the meal with a stick. Heat: further, if needed, for other pieces—the meal must be hot.

Finger Marks Upon Doors—To Remove.—Dissolve sal-soda, 1 oz.; In Soft water, 1 pt., and go over the soiled doors or other painted wood-work with it, using a sponge or cloth, following with a wiping cloth, slightly wrung -out of hot, clean water.

Erasive Compound, or, Soap for Cleaning Clothes.-Sal-soda, 1/4 Ib. ; castile soap, 2 ozs. ; starch 1 oz.; borax, 1/2 oz.; soft water, 1 qt. Directions.—Boil the soap in the water till dissolved, then add the other ingredients, all pulverized, and stir till all is dissolved, and pour into a square pan or box, to cool, when it can be cut into bars, of suitable pieces to wrap up for sale, if that is the purpose. Used for removing grease spots, paint, tar, etc., apply with a wet sponge by rubbing on the soap first, then on the spot till clean.

Remarks.—The friend who sent me this for insertion in my Third and Last Receipt Book," says: " It is equal to the "Lightning Eradicators," which are generally sold for 25 cents a cake, and as you will know, is much cheaper."

These cakes of soap sold on the street corners for 25 cents, are only about 1 or 1 1/4 inches long by 3/4 wide and 1/2 inch thick. The same friend also sent me the following ink, and the remarks connected with it are his also, but they can be depended upon, except the one I have modified, as to its not being equal to the best writing fluids.

Ink—Black for School Purposes—A Quart for a Dime.—Extract of logwood, 1/2 oz.; bi-chromate of potash, 10 grs. ; dissolve in a quart of hot rain water. When cold, put into a bottle and leave uncorked for one week, when it is ready for use. At first it is a steel-blue, but becomes quite black. I used this ink for a long time while in an office, and considered it equal to the best writing fluid. [This last remark, is all) in which I disagree with. him. It does, however, make a good school ink.] Moderate freezing does not hurt it.

Brocade or Broche Shawls—To Clean the White Center—Also Applicable to Fine, White Lace.—Spread a clean, white cloth upon the table and sift over it, dry, white corn-meal, as large a spot as the -shawl center, and lay the shawl upon it, and cover the center also, with the meal; then roll it up closely and put it away for a week, when, by dusting out -the meal, the shawl will be nice and clean," so says " Valentia," of Brookwood, Ill., in the Blade, or, she says:

2. Another and Quicker Way.—Is to take the same kind of corn meal, pt. and coarse salt, 1/2 pt.; mixing well, then with a brush, all being -dry, scour, or rather rub well, both sides, this does the work quicker, but the first is the best because it saves the rubbing, which frets out the texture. Of course the lace would not stand the rubbing of this last plan. Understand no water is to be used, it is all done by the dry process.

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