Household hints from the good old days

Yearning to get back to basics in these fast-moving, high-tech times? The editors of Yankee Magazine have culled their cache of vintage books and magazines for the best advice from the good old days. The result? 1,001 Old-Time Household Hints, which cover housecleaning, cooking, gardening, home repair, pets and body care, including:

Make your garden happy.

The editors recommend growing the perennial herb comfrey and adding it to your compost mix. Comfrey has loads of fertilizer-friendly nutrients that will benefit your garden.

Highlight hair naturally.

A magazine from 1894 suggests women wash their hair with baking soda to bring out the natural lighter tones. Add about a teaspoon of baking soda to your shampoo, massage it into your hair and rinse as usual.

Give your gingerbread zing.

Advice from a 1930 cookbook (and it works even if you’re using a gingerbread mix): Add a grated orange rind to the batter.

Make a no-moth zone.

When stowing away your sweaters for the season, sprinkle whole cloves over them. Cloves are a good moth repellent, and they will roll right off when you unpack your clothes for next year.

Priscilla Totten • February 13, 2011

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