You know I love my new laundry room.
I love the yellow walls, and the green cabinets, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE my bright red washer and dryer.
Well, tonight I love it all the more.
Because I just finished reading the Laundry section of the Woman's Exchange Cook Book.
Of course, the whole book is an eye-opener, but for some reason the Laundry section really gets to me. Maybe it's that the other sections seem distant and amusing, while the Laundry section truly highlights how hard life was back then.
Doing laundry is now such a simple task, but a hundred years ago it was down-right grueling.
See for yourself:
Laundry Hints: To do washing the easiest and best, it is conceded by all that the clothes should be put to soak over night.
To preserve washtubs, do not put water inside the tub when the washing is done, but turn it bottom side up, and cover the bottom with water. It will be found that it prevents the staves spreading apart at the top.
To clean the rollers of a wringer, rub with kerosene oil.
To make a clothes line pliable, boil an hour or two before you use it. Let it dry in a warm room, and do not let it kink.
As soon as the ironing is done for the day the flat irons should be taken off the stove. To leave them on without using, takes the temper out of them.
Clothes for boiling are very much nicer put in a large bag made of sheeting or muslin; there will then be no danger from iron rust.
Ironing boards (which no one should be without) may be protected from dust by taking two paper flour sacks, cutting the bottom from one and pasting on the top of the other to form the required length. Slip this over the board when putting away.
CHEAP SOFT SOAP.
Take a clean barrel, the size of a kerosene-oil barrel, and in the bottom place 10 to 15 pounds of barrel-potash, and 15 pounds of rendered fat or tallow. Upon this pour 3 pailfuls of boiling hot water (soft water). Let it stand twenty-four hours, and add 2 pailfuls of boiling soft water, and continue to add a like amount once a day till the barrel is full. Stir it often to make it white.
THE WASH BOILER.
If by chance the washer boiler should spring a leak when filled with clothes over a brisk fire, carefully press the clothes away from the side of the lean and sift a small teaspoonful of Indian meal over the water.
TO WASH LACE CURTAINS.
Wash and starch. (Boil them in soapy water. No not rub. Rinse twice. Use a wringer, or squeeze them dry.) Do not iron them out. You may stretch sheets on a clean carpet, fasten down, and pin the curtains on this. Let dry. They will look like new.
HOW TO CLEAN CORSETS.
Take out the steels at the front and sides, then scrub thoroughly with tepid or cold lather of white castile soap, using a very small scrubbing brush. Do not lay them in water. When quite clean let cold water run on them freely from the spigot to rinse out the soap thoroughly. Dry without ironing (after pulling lengthwise until they are straight and shapely) in a cool place.
I swear, I'm exhausted just reading about it.