Godey’s Lady’s Book

Household Cleaning Recipes from Godey’s Lady’s Book

Godey’s Lady’s Book a magazine for American women published in Philadelphia. Godey’s was the most widely circulated magazine in the period before the Civil War. The magazine’s circulation over doubled from 70,000 in the 1840s to 150,000 in 1860.

Each issue contained poetry, articles, and engravings created by prominent writers and artists of the time. Sarah Josepha Hale (author of “Mary Had a Little Lamb”) was its editor from 1837 until 1877. Under her editorship the magazing and only published original American manuscripts.

Household Recipes

  • TO REMOVE WINE STAINS FROM LINEN — Rub the part on each side with yellow soap, and lay on it a thick mixture of starch; rub it well in, and expose it to the sun and air until the stain is removed. If in two or three days this is not the case, repeat the, process; when dry, sprinkle with a little water.
  • TO REMOVE INK STAINS — The moment the ink is spilt take a little milk and saturate the stain: soak it up with a rag, and apply a little more milk, rubbing it well in. In a few minutes the ink will be completely removed.

    • Method 1 — Mix equal quantities of fresh spirit of vitriol and lemon-juice in a bottle; shake well; wet the spots, and in a few minutes rub with a soft rag until they disappear. Another mode is to sponge the spots with a weak solution of muriatic acid or aquafortis.
    • Method 2 — If the marble be stained with oils, mix soft soap, fuller’s earth, and hot water into a paste; cover the spots with the paste, and let it dry on. The next day scour it off with soft or yellow soap.
    • Method 3 — Boil half, a pound of soft soap in a quart of water, very slowly, until the water is reduced to a pint. Apply this in the same manner as the preceding.
  • TO REMOVE STAINS OF BLOOD — An accidental prick of the finger frequently spoils the appearance of work; and, if for sale, decreases its value. Stains may be entirely obliterated from almost any substance by laying a thick coating of common starch over the place. The starch is to be mixed as if for the laundry, and laid on quite wet. The free and early application of a weak solution of; soda or potash, and the subsequent application of the solution of alum, is recommended.
  • LIQUID FOR REMOVING STAINS FROM LEATHER AND PARCHMENT — One dram of oxymuriate of potash, two ounces of distilled water. Mix these in a phial, and when the salt is dissolved, add two ounces of muriatic acid. Take in another phial three ounces of rectified spirits of wine, and half an ounce of essential oil of lemon. Shake these two ingredients well together; and immediately pour into a bottle of the proper size the contents of the two phials. Keep this liquid closely corked. It should be applied with a clean sponge and dried by a gentle heat. This preparation is excellent for boot tops. When it has been applied, as directed above, they may be polished with a brush in the usual way, and will appear like new leather.


Collection: Godey’s Lady’s Book
Publication: Godey’s Lady’s Book
Date: January, 1855
Title: Household Recipes
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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