Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dirty Washing - a few cleaning tips.

A few tips on cleaning clothes. This is later than my period, dating to the 1590's but the techinques will not have changed much. Here are four recipes from a book written by German nuns.

How one gets dirt out of clothing:
If you want to get dirt out of fabric, take the yolk of an egg and beat it well and spread it on the spot and rub it until it goes through the fabric. Then spread it on the other side and again rub it very well in; then let it dry, and take then good soap and a bit of water and wash it, and it will go away. 

How one shall wash an undergown. 
If you want to wash an undergown, take three measures of ashes and put them in a great open vessel and poured first hot boiling water thereon and then cold water so that the vessel is full and let it become strong, and sieve it then through a cloth and dunk the gown therein and wash it went cool, otherwise it will be yellow, and rub it well with soap on the collar and the sleeves and where it is sweaty. If you think that's a lye solution is too strong, makes it well with water or pour more water on the ashes and mix it with the first.

How one gets wagon grease out of clothes:
If you want to get wagon grease out of clothing take clay and put it in a pot and pour water thereon, and let it boil until it becomes like mud and paint it on the stain, but in such a way that it does not burn the cloth; and lay it in the hot sun until it becomes dry and then rub it out and the stain will go away.

How one works silk to dry it faster:
If you want to work silk, that it will soon dry, take warm bread fresh from the oven and let the heat go into the silk; if you do not have that, take a hot stone or two and sprinkle water thereon and lets the heat go into the fabric, and it will soon dry

Today's picture - A washday circa 1530 from the alchemical manual Splendor Solis

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I think if you tried to convince my mum that beating an egg yolk onto her favourite dress; she'd chase you out of the house! You should have seen the look when the advice from Cleen Company was to use vinegar to remove limescale from her kettle. Sound advice, but she wasn't having any of it!