This section is from the "A Bachelor's Cupboard" book, by John W. Luce.
Sponge on the wrong side with cool water and press with a warm iron until smooth.
This should make the silk stirrer and brighter.
While every man, however anxious he may be to valet himself, may balk when it comes to doing his own boots, a few " how to do's'' along this line may not come amiss. For there are times when the ranchman or prospector or camper wants to ride to town with immaculate shoe leather, or perhaps he elects to " go to a dance," and is fifty miles from a bootblack. Then let him read:
A fine ointment for boots which keeps the leather from cracking and preserves it well is made in this fashion: Take four ounces of lard, four ounces of olive oil, and one ounce of caoutchouc, and melt together over a slow fire until thoroughly mixed. Moisten the sole of the boot with water and warm it before the fire. Then smear this ointment over the sole and the top of the boot. This, when exposed to snow or rain, will be absolutely impervious to dampness, and makes the life of a boot that is used in mud or snow twice as long. To remedy tight shoes, one may adopt either of the two following plans: After lacing the shoe, wet a folded cloth in boiling hot water and put over the part of the shoe that pinches. Or pour into a wash basin water as hot as can be borne and put the foot in it, working the toes about in the shoe and making it conform to the shape of the foot as the leather expands. This will not injure patent leather, but it is a good plan to rub over with vaseline or petroleum jelly on a flannel rag after wetting. This nearly always gives instantaneous relief from pinching shoes.
For tan shoes, banana peelings possess some coloring matter and tannic acid that seems essential in polishing red leather. Rub the inside of the peel on the shoe and polish with a flannel rag. This gives the best of results.
To dry wet shoes quickly when one is far from a shoe-tree, put some small pebbles or gravel in a pan and heat not too hot, and fill the shoes with them. It may be necessary to repeat the process.
To restore the softness of leather that has been wet, rub the shoes with kerosene oil, pinching the leather and working it between the fingers as you do so.
Rubber boots should be dried carefully, and when they become wet inside they need heroic treatment. Have a peck of oats, or, failing these, coarse sand, or even old rags. Heat quite hot, then put inside the boot, and repeat until the boot is quite dry.
Allow mud to dry on the shoes before brushing it off. Then rub over with kerosene oil and glycerine in equal parts. If glycerine is not available, the oil alone may be used. Even tallow or melted lard may be used in emergencies.
For creaking shoes, put in a shallow pan or pie tin some melted lard and stand the shoes in it over night. This not only removes the creak, but makes them impervious to water.
When a leather belt has been exposed to the wet during a hard, rainy ride, or a tramp through the wet underbrush on a hunting trip, it will become hard and easily cracked. Rub it well with kerosene or another oil. Put the oil on a rag and draw the belt rapidly through it a few times, then wipe dry with another cloth. Tallow, lard, or even vaseline are good substitutes.
The white canvas or leather shoes so much worn now in summer are easily cleansed, either with pipe-clay well rubbed in and allowed to dry, or with boxes of specially prepared paste that comes for the purpose. As most bootblacks now make a specialty of cleansing white shoes, the average man will find it cheaper in the end to patronize this " skilled labor " than to do his own shoes.