13 Safe and Old Fashioned Ways of Cleaning Your Home

Still in “spring cleaning mode”? Ever wondered how cleaning was done without chemicals? Here are a few cleaning hints from the 1940’s to help you.

I’m still in “spring cleaning mode” so decided to share some more cleaning hints that I found in a book called  “Round-the-Clock Conservation Hints – A Handbook Every Woman Should Own”.  It was compiled by the National Business and Professional Women’s Organization and published in 1945.

  1. Cleaning leather furniture – warm water and vinegar.  Apply with a damp cloth and wipe dry.
  2. Windows – vinegar and water (I use this mix and love it — no streaks!).  If the weather is cooler, crumble newspaper and wipe windows with this rather than a cloth.
  3. Window sills – Use Johnson’s wax to prevent water and rain spots.
  4. Window shades – wash with warm soap suds, wipe mostly dry and allow to dry completely before rolling up.
  5. Venetian Blinds – wash slats thoroughly with mild soap solution and wipe with chamois. (Note: when installing blinds, wax them.  It not only makes them clean easier but also prolongs their life.)
  6. Fireplace brick – clean with raw linseed oil.  This will keep the brick clean and enrich it’s appearance.
  7. Metal Fixtures (lamp bases, light fixtures, door knockers, etc) – only a damp cloth is needed.
  8. Wrought Iron – spread with a thin coat of semi-paste wax to keep them rust-proof and easy to dust.
  9. Washing walls – 1 Cup vinegar, 1 Cup household ammonia and 2 gallons water.
  10. Washing woodwork – 1/2 Cup vinegar, 1/2 Cup household ammonia and 2 gallons water.
  11. Outside of refrigerator – paste or liquid wax or automobile wax will keep the outside of your refrigerator clean and shining.
  12. Water stains from a sink – mix powdered chalk with a little household ammonia and apply with a brush.
  13. Cotton rugs – all cotton rugs can be tubbed in lukewarm water and mild soap.  If the water is too hot and the soap too strong, rugs will become fuzzy.  Dry rugs flat – never over a clothes line.  Drying this way will cause it to lose its shape.

This book is a treasure trove of information and I’m excited to continue devouring the pages for fun tidbits for you.

There is mention of ingredients that I either don’t recognize or am not sure we can still get.  Going to do some research to, at least, find some compatible substitutes so stay tuned.

Until next time!



P.S.  If you’re up against a cleaning challenge, let me know and I’ll see what I can find out.

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1 thought on “13 Safe and Old Fashioned Ways of Cleaning Your Home

  1. Thanks Heidi for these time’tested tips. I am wary of chemicals, and sometimes I pick up a bottle of all-purpose cleaner with a list of ingredients as long as my arm,and half of them I can’t even pronounce!
    I like using vinegar for some cleaning tasks, and find warmed vinegar is a great wood surface cleaner.

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