The Historical Spectator.


Worcester’s Dictionary (1848 edition) defines “infection” as “the propagation of disease through the medium of the air.” “The simple theory of disinfectants” is that air that smells bad carries disease, and that eliminating the bad odor will therefore eliminate the infection. It would be wonderfully consoling if the theory were true.

Disinfectants.—Do our lady readers understand the simple theory of disinfectants? Every housekeeper has had occasion to use chloride of lime: half a pound to five gallons of water, is the quantity recommended by a very able chemist. Aromatic vinegar poured upon a heated iron plate is perhaps the pleasantest of all, though not always to be had, or remarkably economical. The cheapest, and, at the same time, one of the most convenient and agreeable of all, is common coffee. Pound the well-dried raw bean in a mortar, and strew the powder on a moderately heated iron plate. Just traversing the house with a roaster containing freshly burned coffee will clear it from all offensive smells.

From Godey’s Lady’s Book, July, 1852.