Your Household Guide – 1951

Stumbled upon the most interesting book tucked away in our hall bookshelf. This guide published in 1951 is full of long lost wisdom.

Thought it’d be interesting to share a few.

My comments in italics.

– To keep cookies fresh and crisp in the jar, place a crumpled tissue paper in the bottom.

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– To cut a fresh cake use a wet knife.

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– Cool a freshly baked cake away from drafts, as a draft can cause your cake to fall.

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– An apple cut in half and placed in the cake box will keep the cake fresh several days longer.

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– Leftover rolls: Place a pan of water in the bottom of the oven when you reheat rolls or biscuits. The steam from the water will rise and make the bread taste fresh and soft as the day it was baked.


– Plant radish and cucumber seeds together to keep bugs off cucumbers.

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Note we don’t recommend the below just found it interesting as we had no earthly idea what was Paris Green.

– To kill worms on cabbage, take one teaspoon Paris Green and 9 parts of flour and dust on cabbage.

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– Tiny seeds are easier to plant in an even row if sprinkled from a salt shaker.


– For rats and mice place sulphur where they run as they won’t run through sulphur.

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– Gum camphor will keep away ants. Now can someone tell us what Gum Camphor is?

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– Chiggers: A simple remedy which usually kills the chigger after the first application is kerosene oil and table salt, equal parts. Seriously…kerosene oil?

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– Hot alum water will destroy insects.

Had to google ” alum water.”

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– Store apples with potatoes. This will keep the potatoes from sprouting. One apple to every 4 potatoes.

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– Make sauerkraut when the moon is new until the first quarter, and the juice will stay on until it is used. Huh?

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– To label jars of food, write on the jar while it is still hot with a bright colored crayon. We really take sharpies for granted!


– When you wash baby’s bonnet, fit it over an inverted bowl to dry. Helps the bonnet hold its shape.

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– To whiten laces, wash them in sour milk. Why sour milk?

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– A slice of lemon in the water in which clothes are boiled will make them whiter.


– A small cork glued to the side of your sewing machine drawer or box, makes a convenient holder for your thimble. Wine bottle cork? We could hold a lot of thimbles!

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When needles have become rusty and seem unfit for use, rub up and down in earth and they will be like new. Uh…,earth?

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– String your pearls with dental floss.


– Place an egg in a pan of water. If fresh, it will lie on its side. If a few days old, it will tilt upward. If stale, will stand on end. If very old, it will float. No “use by” dates!

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When peeling onions, put a slice of bread in your mouth. I assume to prevent tears but it doesn’t really say….

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– Rub scissors with butter to cut marshmallows.

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– Onions will not make the eyes water if scalding water is poured over them before they are peeled. Surely it means scalding water over the onions and not ones eyes, which the latter would surely make the eyes water!

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– Spinach may be the broom of the stomach, but sauerkraut is the vacuum cleaner. Okay then!

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– Candles last longer if placed in the refrigerator for a few days before using.

Honey, are we having candles for dinner?

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The blade of a knife passed though a flame will slice bread more smoothly than a cold blade.

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– When scalding a chicken add one teaspoon of soda to the boiling water. Then the feathers will come off easier and the flesh will be clean and white. No not soda pop!

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To make the address plain on a parcel post package use a matchstick instead of a pen.

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– To make old popcorn kernels pop, put in jar with one tablespoon of water for two weeks, then it will pop.


Slice bananas with a silver knife, they won’t turn dark.

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– Do not wash eggs before storing, as water destroys the protective film that keeps out air and odors. Which leads us to this informative read about the difference in processing of eggs in Europe vs. in the U.S.A

Time Savers

– A pan of cold water placed in the oven will cool it off quickly.

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– To ripen bananas quickly, peel and place in oven 350 degrees for 10 minutes.


– A pitchfork is better than a hoe for uprooting grass.

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– A drop of sulphuric acid on dandelions will cause death of the roots.

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– Mix coffee grounds with dirt to set geraniums in. Increases growth and bloom.

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– Use a pan of clean, dry sand as a storage place for small garden tools. This will retard rust.

Now my most favorite helpful household hints from 1951

If the accident is serious, SEND for a physician at once.

– To make geraniums bloom, use bloody chicken water. What???

Apparently Brandy is very helpful as an antidote for poison

Check out the phone numbers in the back advertisements

Hope you have enjoyed as much as I did. Some wisdoms of yesteryear have certainly been lost in time.


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