Hints and Tips from Housewives Past

In an earlier post I wrote about my growing collection of WNAX neighbor lady books, and how much I enjoyed reading through all the household hints and letters from homemakers everywhere. Every so often I’ll pick up a stack of the books and leaf through the “household hints” sections, taking note of things that I had never tried before or solutions to cleaning dilemmas. Here’s just a sample from my new book — the 1946 edition. Some of these are just grand, and some of them seem to be a little questionable. Enjoy!

…if you have trouble removing decals from wall or any surface, use tepid vinegar. It will take the decal off beautifully.
– Mrs. Jeanette Graham, Beresford, SD

… to prevent a vegetable salad from becoming sodden when it has to stand, place a saucer upside down in the bowl before filling it with salad. The moisture will run underneath and the salad will remain crisp and fresh.
– Mrs. William Bash, Belle Fourche, SD

… if you add tomato pulp to any pancake batter, using the tomato for the liquid, you will have a deliciously flavored pancake.
– Mrs. Dave Mohror, Peterson, IA

… that any varnished woodwork and furniture washed with one quart of water, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1/2 tablespoon vinegar will need no polishing, just wash and dry.
– Mrs. Fred Ritter, Mitchell, SD

… in baking cookies if the pan is turned upside down and cookies are placed on the bottom of pan they will bake an even brown.
– Mrs. Tom Wilson, Forest City, IA

… you can thicken grape juice with corn starch or flour and serve icy cold over custard or tapioca pudding.
– Mrs. Paul Obst, Charles, NE

… if you soak pop corn in water for an hour before popping, the kernels will be large and fluffier.
– Mrs. Clifford Nelson, Revere, MN

… if you prick your bread on top with a fork just before baking, it will not have any air spaces under the top crust.
– Mrs. Walter Blum, Rock Rapids, IA

… that pop bottle caps nailed upside down on a board makes a good scraper for dirty shoes.
– Mrs. Lloyd Reynolds, Pipestone, MN

… a little grease around the inside of a pot about three or four inches from the top will keep macaroni or rice from boiling over.
– Mrs. Vern Mutford, Bonesteel, SD

… 1 teaspoon of peanut butter added to the white sauce for creamed carrots makes your family ask for more.
– no name

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  1. amanda’s avatar

    I love #2 about the salad & dressing.

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