10 Surprising, Green & Thrifty Old School Hacks

10 Surprising, Green & Thrifty Old School Hacks

Sarah Rainwater
Feb 15, 2010

Our love for mid-century ephemera is what initially lead us to pick up this 1948 pamphlet of household hints at a garage sale, but we were surprised by how useful, practical, thrifty and green some of the advice was. Here are ten of our favorite tips for cleaning and saving some pennies around the house.

1. Make homemade room or closet deodorizer by mixing some diluted ammonia with fresh water and letting it sit out in a bowl overnight.

2. To erase fingerprints and spots from wallpaper, rub stale, soft chunks of bread in even vertical strokes.

3. Remove paper stuck to a wood surface by allowing a few drops of oil to soak into it and then rubbing it gently with a clean cloth.

4. Clean varnished surfaces with a cloth dipped in cool, weak tea. Tea also makes a good fertilizer for house plants and acts as an insecticide.

5. When you crack a dish, put it in a pan of milk and boil it for 45 minutes. The crack will usually disappear and the dish will actually become stronger.

6. Deodorize jars and bottles by pouring a solution of water and dry mustard into them and let them stand for several hours.

7. Pour hot salt water down your sink and tub drains once or twice a week to keep them free of grease and odors.

8. Sharpen scissors by cutting a piece of sandpaper once or twice with them.

9. Chill candles in the refrigerator for 24 hours before using them so the will burn evenly and not drip.

10. If a pot lid loses its knob, put a pointed screw through the hole and twist a cork (which is heatproof) onto it.

Have you tried any of these or other time-tested home hacks?

Tips found in A Treasury of Household Hints to Help You Beat the High Cost of Living, Edited by Michael Gore, 1948

(Image: Sarah Rainwater)

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