Cold water, a tablespoonful of ammonia and soap, will take out machine grease where other means would not answer on account of colors running, etc.
A dingy oil-cloth may be brightened by washing it with clear water with a little borax dissolved in it; wipe it with a flannel cloth that you have dipped into milk and then wring as dry as possible.
Wash in warm soap-suds and rinse in water a very little blued; if the feather is white, then let the wind dry it. When the curl has come out by washing the feather or getting it damp, place a hot flat-iron so that you can hold the feather just above it while curling. Take a bone or silver knife, and draw the fibres of the feather between the thumb and the dull edge of the knife, taking not more than three fibres at a time, beginning at the point of the feather and curling one-half the other way. The hot iron makes the curl more durable. After a little practice one can make them look as well as new feathers. Or they can be curled by holding them over the stove or range, not near enough to burn; withdraw and shake out; then hold them over again until they curl. When swansdown becomes soiled, it can be washed and look as good as new. Tack strips on a piece of muslin and wash in warm water with white soap, then rinse and hang in the wind to dry. Rip from the muslin and rub carefully between the fingers to soften the leather.
By putting an ounce of alum or sal ammoniac in the last water in which muslins or cottons are rinsed, or a similar quantity in the starch in which they are stiffened, they will be rendered almost uninflammable; or, at least, will with difficulty take the fire, and if they do, will burn without flame. It is astonishing that this simple precaution is so rarely adopted. Remember this and save the lives of your children.
Furs when taken out in the fall are often found to have a mussed, crushed-out appearance. They can be made to look like new, by following these simple directions: Wet the fur with a hair-brush, brushing up the wrong way of the fur. Leave it to dry in the air for about half an hour, and then give it a good beating on the right side with a rattan. After beating it, comb it with a coarse comb, combing up the right way of the fur.
A novel way of mending a woolen or silk dress in which a round hole has been torn, and where only a patch could remedy matters, is the following: The frayed portions around the tear should be carefully smoothed, and a piece of the material, moistened with very thin muscilage, placed under the hole. A heavy weight should be put upon it until it is dry, when it is only possible to discover the mended place by careful observation.
Place a little water in a tea-kettle, and let it boil until there is plenty of steam from the spout; then, holding the crape in both hands, pass it to and fro several times through the steam, and it will be clean and look nearly equal to new.