Here is a collection of neat old housekeeping tips from The Modern Priscilla in 1917.
Save Grapefruit Seeds
If you wish a pretty plant during the winter months, plant dry grapefruit seeds in one of the fancy baskets so popular nowadays. And you will soon have a pretty green fernlike plant for the table.
To Prevent Syrup from Crystallizing
A pinch of baking soda added to any boiled syrup will keep it from crystallizing in the pitcher into which it is poured.
What Cloves Will Do
Put about six cloves into vegetable soup. It gives it a delicious and pleasing taste, not otherwise obtainable.
Making the House Cooler
I have found that my house inside is kept very much cooler in hot weather by seeing that my windows, doors, and shades are drawn so as to darken the room and keep the sun out in the mornings. Then about 5:00 PM I open the windows and let in the cool evening air. (Remember this was 1917, before air conditioning!)
Just before removing the washing from the line, turn the fine spray of the garden hose on them, then roll them up and put them in the basket. This saves the second handling of the clothes. (Years ago, clothes were sprinkled with water after they had been hung on the line. They were rolled up and put in a clothes basket to be ironed the next day.)
For my own pleasure, as well as that of my friends who visit me in the summer months, I buy inexpensive wooden boxes, paint them dark green and have them just the length of the window ledge.
Under the guest room window I plant all the sweet smelling things, like lavender, mignonette, and heliotrope. Underneath the living room windows, nasturtiums, and the entire length of my bay window in the dining room, scarlet geraniums and green trailing vines. Under another shady window ledge, beautiful ferns, and outside of my kitchen windows I place parsley, lettuce, thyme, summer savory, and endive.
My object is this – I can garnish all of my meats from the kitchen window, can pick a bouquet for the dining room table from the other rooms, as well as have the whole house perfumed by flowers.
To Remove Stains from Feet of White Stockings
After being worn for some time the feet of white stockings are apt to become stained or discolored and ordinary washing fails to whiten them. Leaving them hanging out in the rain overnight will often entirely remove the stain.
1/4 teaspoonful of baking powder added to mashed potatoes while beating will make them light and fluffy.
Hints to the Blond (No, this isn’t a blond joke!)
If your hair is blond and you find it darkening as you grow older, add a tablespoon of soda to the water in which you wash your hair, and a tablespoon of lemon juice in the rinse water. This keeps it light, fluffy, and easy to handle.
Water used in cooking rice and many of the vegetables contains nutrients and desirable flavoring materials valuable in soups or sauces. Too often this water is poured down the sink drain instead of reusing.