Tea stains on mahogany… and how to clean tweed …

Our lives today are so full of conveniences, not just the washing machines and dishwashers we have in our homes, but the car washes we can run our cars through and the dry cleaners we can take our fabrics to, but also the materials that everything is made from (oh dear, a lot of plastic) and the cleaning products we have to deal with mishaps. I find it fascinating to look back to times when “the housewife” had to deal with most things herself. In the back of my Modern Practical Cookery book, there is a chapter dealing with cleaning and removing stains.

I don’t have anything made of mahogany, but if i did, and if i was so careless as to leave a tea stain on it, this is what I should do:

Tea stains on mahogany can be removed by gently rubbing the marks with spirits of camphor. Finish off with a gentle rubbing with ordinary furniture polish. Tea stains on material can be removed with glycerine. Mix five teaspoonfuls of glycerine and five teaspoonfuls of water in a saucer. Lay the stained part in the mixture, rubbing it gently with the tips of the fingers. Afterwards, moisten well with methylated spirits, and wash slowly with thick dissolved soap.

This sounds a very smelly process – and i would have to go out and by glycerine, methylated spirits and thick soap. More expense would be incurred with cleaning tweed – which i don’t have, nor does anyone in the family, ever since my son’s tweed cap blew off and floated away down the River Liffey.

Tweed can be washed quite well in tepid soapy water.
The only other way of cleaning it would be to brush it well with fig dust and cedar dust and naphthalene. Use a very stiff brush. Fig dust is sold by most corn-chandlers, and tins of cedar dust and naphthalene are sold by most chemists.

Well, glad though i am that I might be able to find fig dust at my local corn-chandlers, we don’t have such a supplier! I must try to remember to ask about tins of cedar dust and naphthalene next time I pop into the chemist’s!

My featured image is of the River Liffey… no sign of the tweed cap…

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