Wednesday , April 17 2024

18th Century Stain Removers

One of the most frequent disasters which all of the households have to deal with is stains…

The following method applied in the 18th century is an example to show how advanced and  better understanding people were as to different fabrics and stains that needed different treatments. Far from using one product advertised on Television for everything! An example to show how people were in “touch with everyday life“. Sadly, which most of us have left behind.

A multiplicity of accidents occur to soil and spot dresses, which should be removed at once.

To remove…

Grease-spots from Cotton or Woolen materials of fast colours, absorbent pastes, purified bullock’s blood, and even common soap, are used, applied to the spot when dry. When the colours are not fast, use fullers earth or pulverised potters clay, laid in a layer over the spot, and press it with a very hot iron.

For Silks, Moires, and plain or brocaded Satins, begin by pouring over the spot two drops of rectified spirits of wine; cover it over with a linen cloth, and press it with a hot iron, changing the linen instantly. The spot will look tarnished, for a portion of the grease still remains: this will be removed entirely by a little sulphuric ether dropped on the spot, and a very little rubbing. If neatly done, no perceptible mark or circle will remain; nor will the luster of the richest silk be changed, the union of the two liquids operating with no injurious effects from rubbing.

Fruit-spots are removed from white and fast-coloured cotton by the use of chloride of soda. Commence by cold-soaping the article, then touch the spot with a hair-pencil or feather dipped in the chloride, dipping it immediately into cold water, to prevent the texture of the article being injured.

Ink-spots are removed, when freshly applied to the spot, by a few drops of hot water being poured on immediately afterwards. By the same process, iron-mould in linen or calico may be removed, dipping immediately in cold water to prevent injury to the fabric.

Wax dropped on a shawl, table-cover, or cloth dress, is easily discharged by applying spirits of wine.

Syrups or Preserved Fruits, by washing in lukewarm water with a dry cloth, and pressing the spot between two folds of clean linen.

Essence of Lemon will remove grease, but will make a spot itself in a few days.


To clean Silk or Ribbons

INGREDIENTS – 1/2 pint of gin, 1/2 lb. of honey, 1/2 lb. of soft soap, 1/2 pint of water.

METHOD – Mix all of the above ingredients together; then lay each breadth of silk upon a clean kitchen table or dresser, and scrub it well on the soiled side with the mixture. Have ready three vessels of cold water; take each piece of silk at two corners, and dip it up and down in each vessel, but do not wring it; make sure that each breadth has one vessel of quite clean water for the last dip. Hang it up dripping for a minute or two, then dab it in a cloth, and iron it quickly with a very hot iron.

To remove Paint-spots from Silk Cloth

If the fabric will bear it, sharp rubbing will frequently entirely discharge a newly-made paint-stain; but, if this is not successful, apply spirit of turpentine with a quill till the stains disappear.

To make old Crape look nearly equal to new

Place a little water in a teakettle, and let it boil until there is plenty of steam from the spout; then, holding the crape with both hands, pass it to and fro several times through the steam. It will clean it and make it look almost equal to new.


Before sending the linen to wash, the lady’s maid should see that everything in her charge is properly mended; for her own sake she should make sure that it is sent out in an orderly manner, each class of garments by themselves, with a proper list, of which she retains a copy. On its return, it is still necessary to examine every piece separately, so that all missing buttons are supplied, and only the articles properly washed and in perfect repair passed into the wardrobe.


About Prem Rao

Prem is a professionally qualified Butler and a passionate hospitality professional. Prem has a reputation for turning around properties and country estates to a dynamic and sought after places. Endeavours to provide a joyful experience by being thoughtful to his clients and to be a pleasure to work with for the staff. His humble beginnings of his career began in five-star deluxe hotels and lasted for 8 years. Travelled the world on cruise ships for about 9 years before embarking on being of service to ultra high net worth and title families in the UK. Have been of service to Royalties and celebrities. Prem shall be able to help with the following • Create Standard operational procedure and household manual. • Offsite training in all cores household skills • Onsite training to meet employer’s requirements • Tradesmen and contractors as required • Property management • Event management Prem likes, History, learn new things, places , people, travel, documentaries, and good food. For him, the workings of a human mind is a constant curiosity.

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