This section of the book is from the "Household Companion: The Model CookBook" book
Use spirits of turpentine, and afterwards polish with linseed oil colored with alkanet root. If, however, the furniture is badly stained or inky, it should be washed with sour beer or vinegar, warm. Afterwards rub the stains with spirit of salts, which will remove them. The wood may then be polished, with linseed oil colored with alkanet root, or with beeswax, dissolved in turpentine, with a little copal varnish or resin added.
New mahogany may be given the dark tint of old by washing with various substances. Soap and water will darken somewhat, but oil is more efficacious; if a very dark tint is desired use lime water.
Paint may be cleaned with the following preparation : Mix one pound of soft soap, two ounces of pearlash, one pint of sand and one of table beer. Let these simmer together till fully incorporated, and use the mixture in the manner of soap.
Another cleaning mixture may be made by grating four potatoes to a pulp and mixing with a quart of water. After stirring, let the pulp settle and pour off the water. This must be applied with a sponge.