Days Gone By - stories from the past

FiF: Fix-it Friday – How our ancestors cleaned silver plate

Silverplate is always a time consuming task and it wasn’t any different for our ancestors. This is a way they usually had success in the 1890s, but it still required “elbow grease.”

To Clean Silver Plate

Red male deer

Red male deer – his horn was the original source of hartshorn powder (Wikipedia)
  • Wash well in strong, warm soap-suds, rinse and wipe dry with a dry, soft cloth
  • Mix as much hartshorn powder 1  as will be required into a thick paste with cold water;
    be required into a thick paste with cold water;
  • Spread this over the silver, with a soft cloth
  • Leave it for a little time to dry
  • When perfectly dry, brush it off with a clean soft cloth or brush
  • Polish it with a piece of chamois skin.
  • Hartshorn is one of the best possible ingredients for plate powder for daily use.
  • It leaves on the silver a deep, dark polish, and at the same time does not injure it.

1  A source of ammonia used in baking cookes or, as “salt of hartshorn,” as smelling salts. Once the word meant literally the ground horn of a hart’s (male deer’s) antlers, but ammonium carbonate was later used as a substitute, which also went by the name of “salt of hartshorn.” This is still available in American pharmacies and used occasionally in making cookies.

Discover many more household tips and recipes from the past in .  VINEGAR OF THE FOUR THIEVES: Recipes & curious tips from the pastNow in paperback, makes a great gift!

Vinegar of the Four Thieves: Recipes & Curious Tips from the Past

Features: Vinegar of the Four Thieves Recipes Curious Tips from the Past
By (author): Donna R Causey
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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey


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