Household Hints from the 1960s

I love looking through old books full of hints that worked beautifully well in the past (unlike many of the expensive and chemical-full things we have on the market today). Here are several I thought you would enjoy (and laugh with me about the "typewriter" hint!):


  1. If a lamp cord is much too long, you can shorten it by wrapping it tightly around a broom handle and leaving it that way overnight. It will stay spiraled and short.

  2. You save yourself a lot of trouble in washing windows if you use vertical strokes on the inside panes, and horizontal on the outside, or vice versa. That way you won't keep running in and out to get the places you missed.

  3. A good spoonful of powdered or liquid detergent in the bath water prevents a ring from forming.

  4. When you oil your sewing machine, remember to sew through a blotter several times before you sew through your material. The blotter will soak up the excess oil. (Wonder how many people know what a blotter is?)

  5. When you have several sizes of beds in the house, it's wise to settle on one particular type of sheet for each; stripes for Junior, pastels for Sis, plain white for Ma and Pa. That way there is no mussing up the linen shelf to find the right one.

  6. As nearly everyone knows, nail polish remover gets adhesive tape marks off with speed and ease.

  7. Your bed linen smells good if you keep your supply of toilet soap stuck here and there in the linen closet. This has an additional advantage: you never seem to run out of soap, because another bar is always lurking somewhere if you hunt long enough.

  8. If you are pounding a noisy typewriter when someone is trying to sleep in the next room, you'd better put a folded bath towel under it. It makes it quieter.

  9. When you're starting to town and notice that your hem has come undone, you can fix it temporarily with cellophane tape. Easier than pins.

  10. Put a strip of luminous paint around your flashlight handle, and you'll be able to see it easily in the dark - which is when you usually need it.

Source: From a book published by Fawcett Crest in 1960

By Caseye from Plano, TX

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July 23, 20100 found this helpful

Love it. And it seems like such easy, inexpensive, common sense. Thanks for posting this.

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July 24, 20100 found this helpful

Love the lamp cord idea. Never heard of that and definitely need to try it.

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July 24, 20100 found this helpful

I like all of them with the exception of #3. I don't think detergent that's meant to wash dishes or clothes is gentle enough to use in bathwater.

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July 26, 20100 found this helpful

I keep my sheets stored by sets with both sheets and one pillow case folded inside the other pillow case.

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July 27, 20100 found this helpful

I enjoyed all these retro tips. We especially need to find some luminous tape or paint for hubby's flashlight.


Marti, I also need to rethink how my sheet sets are stored. I couldn't find my pillowcase last time I changed my sheets. :P

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August 7, 20100 found this helpful

Love these, and especially that typewriter hint! Could have used that tip way back when (and something to get the gunk from carbon paper and changing the ribbons off my hands, anybody else remember doing that?)

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May 14, 20130 found this helpful

I love most of these. Sometimes I wish we could go back to those good ol days when life seemed simpler. I'm not sure either about the detergent in the bathwater, but yes I do remember the noisy typewriters, the carbon paper and changing the ribbons. That's when people still talked to each other instead of sitting in a restaurant at the same table and texting each other.


It's really sad today that kids as well as adults don't know how to converse.

People don't know today what an iron is. Sometimes their clothes are so wrinkled it looks like they came out of (well, never mind) it just looks bad. Everyone seems to want it in a hurry and wants it delivered yesterday. How sad.

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October 30, 20140 found this helpful

I still do that with the soap!
Marg from England.

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