Washing Up Milk

Should you ever run out of soap and find yourself in a desperate need to wash dishes, do not fear, there is an alternative to washing up liquid – milk.


Yes, milk. The Victorians knew it and they advised on the substitute of milk for washing pots, pans, plates and cutlery.

Here is what “Consult Me” says about washing in milk:

“Fill a dish pan half full of very hot water. Then put in a half cup of milk. It softens the hardest water and gives the dishes a clear, bright look, and preserves the hands from roughness and “chapping” which comes from the use of soap.”

“It cleans the greasiest dishes without leaving the water covered in a greasy scum.”

After you have finished you can tip your dishwater on your corn flakes*.

One wonders whether powdered milk, dissolved in the washing bowl, will suffice.

Have you ever wondered whether it is possible to lengthen the life of your milk? Well, yes it is. According to my Victorian knowledge base, simply add a small portion (not an exact measurement) of bicarbonate of soda or borax powder to your milk.

Borax Advert cleaned up“This is not at all injurious to health; but rather aids digestion.”

Alternatively, you can “place a piece of newly-hammered iron, or three twelve-penny nails**, in each bowl, then pour the milk upon them.”


*not recommended.

**A  12-penny nail is three and a quarter inches long.

nail*  *  *


About Jasen Quick

Author, historian, tutor.
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