Pioneer Tips: Bugs and Cleaning

More tips from my pioneer people book (edited):

Cockroaches and most vermin have an aversion to spirits of turpentine. Use it to take out spots of paint and to clean.

If vermin are in your walls, fill up the cracks with verdigris-green-paint. (The following is from wikipedia: Verdigris is the common name for the green coating or patina formed when copper, brass or bronze is weathered and exposed to air or seawater over a period of time. It is usually a basic copper carbonate, but near the sea will be a basic copper chloride. If acetic acid is present at the time of weathering, it may consist of copper(II) acetate.)

The more often your shake rugs and carpet, the longer they wear. When dirt collects in them, it wears down the thread.

Don't clean brass with vinegar. It makes them very clean at first but soon they will spot and tarnish. Use instead flannel and rum (!) or oil.

Never clean marble fireplaces with soap as this will destroy polish over time. Dust, or take spots off with an oiled cloth, then gently rub with a soft rag.

Feathers should be completely dried before using. After plucking, place immediately (lightly!) in baskets, then stir often. Keep them free from dirt and moisture. Place a light cheesecloth-type cloth over the top to keep them from being blown away. From time to time, dry in an oven (after it's been turned off from baking) to stand for several hours.

When you have a feather bed, change out the feathers regularly (at least once a year, during Spring Cleaning). Empty out the "tick" or mattress. Wash the feathers completely in a tub of suds. Spread out to dry thoroughly. That should make them as good as new.

Rum (especially "New England Rum") can be used to wash hair. It will keep it very clean and free from disease, and supposedly will help it grow in healthy. Brandy strengthens the roots of hair but has a hot drying tendency. (Hmmm... good for people with oily hair, huh?).

more another time!

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