Take A (Vintage) Tip…

By Alison May 24, 2016 3 Comments 3 Min Read

Pamphlets containing a random selection of household hints are some of my favorite things to find on my regular vintage treasure hunting trips and last week, while out and about with Helen in search of lovely little somethings for our new Vintage business, I found myself utterly charmed by by an ageing yellow pamphlet called “Take A Tip!”: a collection of tips from the good readers of the Manchester Evening News back when such inspiration could be bought for a shilling…
And so, here, without further ado, I present to you my favorite tips from my latest find. The vintage equivalent to my very own Puttery Treat!

Rusty Cake-Tins.

To remove rust from the corners of cake tins which have not been in use for a long time, dip a raw potato in scouring powder and rub.
Mrs. M.M. Jones, Withington.

Cushion Apron

Do not throw away that faded old cushion cover. Sew tapes on the corners, by each side of the openings, and tie it around your waist.
On wash days pop the pegs in it. On bedroom days, pop all the dusters, polishes, and brushes you need, and when re-decorating use it for the “turpy” rag, scraper and so on.
Mrs. A. Barton, Rochdale.

Dress Stiffener

Here is a tip when packing. Cut several pieces of cardboard slightly smaller than the case. Then fold each dress carefully, wrap in tissue paper and tie on the cardboard. The dresses can be lifted out easily and are almost always straight.
Mrs. M. Lally, Moston.

A Pinch of Salt works Wonders!

Take ink out of white cottons. Make a paste out of some lemon juice and salt and leave it on the stain for some time before washing.
Miss. Ann Barker, Stockport.

Scuffed Toes

When the toes of leather shoes become scuffed, rub over with wax crayon of the same colour as the shoes and then polish in the usual way. The scuff marks cannot be noticed.
Mrs. R.Cutler, Hr. Crumpsall.

In the Bag

When bringing in the weekly wash, save a lot of trouble and possibility of small items being dropped by leaving the pillowcases on the line and filling them with the smalls.
They will then also stay tidy until you are ready to iron them.
Mrs. B.Stirzaker, Bury.

Keeping It Soft

Chamois leathers quickly become stiff and brittle after use. Re-wetting them in this condition speeds up deterioration and cracks rapidly develop in to holes.
After using your wash leather, rinse it out and put it in to an a screw-top jar. This keeps it perfectly moist and pliable.
Mr. L.P.Miles. Prestwich.

Fly Fighter

Leave two small dishes or bottles of disinfectant on your kitchen table and the flies will disappear.
Mrs. R. Solomon, Manchester 8.

Fluffy Pillows

Have you got any of “grandma’s” old feather cushions or pillows in the house? And do you feel like throwing them out when you try to “fluff” them up?
Undo a small piece in the seam of the cover, just enough to insert the tube of a bicycle pump. Use the pump gently in the ordinary way and the air will “fluff” up the feathers.
Mrs.E. Allman. Sale. 

For Sleepy-Heads

If, as is usually the case, a pillow-case wears thin in the centre, stitch a pretty full-sized handkerchief corner-wise over the thin part and the case will have a second life.
Mrs. R. Arthur, Blackpool. 
Happy Vintage Housekeeping Darlings!


  1. Rachel Kallenbach says:

    I think there must be something wrong with me because charming lists like these make me giddy.

    1. Alison May says:

      Rachel you aren’t alone: I practically dance when I find books full of these lovely, old-fashioned tips!

  2. Alyson Andrew says:

    That rusty cake tin tip caught my eye and I was just about to skip off and try it. But unfortunately I haven’t had access to a bottle of Ajax since my Nan was alive. Can you still get “scouring powder”?
    PS. I love vintage tips like these too, especially ones on ladylike decorum! 🙂

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