Steep Russian Isinglass twenty-four hours in white brandy, gently boil and stir the mixture until it is well compounded, and a drop of it, cooled, will become a very thick jelly; then strain it through a linen cloth, and cork it up closely. A gentle heat will dissolve it into a colorless fluid. Broken dishes united with it, will break elsewhere, rather than separate in the old fracture. To apply it, rub the edges, place them together, and hold them two or three minutes.
Never wrap them in woollen cloths. When they are not to be used for some time, have them made bright, and perfectly dry; then take a soft rag, and rub each blade with dry wood-ashes. Wrap them closely in thick brown paper and lay them in a drawer or dry closet. Coal-ashes, sifted through a fine sieve, rubbed on with a cork dipped into hot water or soft soap, are better to clean steel knives than Bristol-brick.
To prevent Ivory Knife Handles from being cracked.
Never let knife blades stand in hot water as is sometimes done to make them wash easily. The heat expands the steel which runs up into the handle a very little, and this cracks the ivory. Knife handles should never lie in water. A handsome knife, or one used for cooking is soon spoiled in this way.
Paint, or white spots occasioned by spilling medicine, or setting something hot upon furniture, can be removed by rubbing them with camphene.
Rub the spots of mortar with a stiff brush dipped in sharp, hot vinegar, and paint spots with burning fluid or camphene and sand, or rub the spot with a copper cent.
Use powdered pumice-stone instead of whiting or sand. It cleans paint very quickly, and without injuring it. But very little should be put on the cloth at once. A pint of it is enough to clean the paint of a large house. It is well to keep it on hand, as it is often needed for removing spots from paint, and for cleaning closet shelves.
Half a pint of castor-oil, half an ounce of white wax, half an ounce of spermaceti, half an ounce of bergamot, oil of almonds, or rose-geranium. Melt the spermaceti and wax in a quart bowl set into the top of the teakettle; then pour in slowly the castor-oil, stirring constantly five minutes. Then remove it from the fire, and set it into a basin of cold water, and continue to stir it until it is white and creamy. When it has been beaten an hour, add the perfume, and stir a little longer.
Before sweeping a carpeted room, set the vases and shelf-ornaments near together on a table; lay the books and small articles on a table or couch. Open the windows, and shut the doors. Remove the chairs and light articles of furniture to the entry. Cover the furniture that remains in the room with old sheets or skirts of old calico dresses kept on purpose to protect furniture from dust. A new housekeeper may not have these; and pieces of American cotton should be provided.
It is a good way to sprinkle tea-leaves squeezed dry upon the carpet across one side of the room; then sweep them, with short strokes, to the other side. Long strokes raise a great dust, and throw the tea-leaves upon the legs of furniture, besides wearing the carpet. When sweeping a cold room in winter, sprinkle a little snow over the carpet instead of tea-leaves. Always take up the dirt in the room which is swept; never sweep it into the entry. A long brush is good for sweeping oil-cloths or uncarpeted floors. After sweeping, wait at least twenty minutes for the dust to settle. Keep always a supply of dusters made of soft old calico, silk, gingham, or half-worn cotton. They should be hemmed, or made double, else they will not come out of the wash ironed and ready for use. With one of these wipe the walls as far as you can reach, all the ledges, and the furniture, ex-cept such parts as are carved, for which use a feather-brush.
Before sweeping a chamber or bedroom, cover the bed with one of the dust-sheets.