Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, May 17, 2005 - House & Home - 896 pages
The classic bestselling resource for every American household, Home Comforts addresses the meanings as well as the methods of housekeeping to help you manage everyday chores, find creative solutions to modern domestic dilemmas, and enhance the experience of life at home.

"Home Comforts is to the house what Joy of Cooking is to food." —USA TODAY

For the first time in nearly a century, here is an engaging and comprehensive book about housekeeping. Far from a dry how-to manual, nor a collection of odd tips and hints, a history book, or an encyclopedia compiled by a committee or an institute, Home Comforts is a readable guide for both beginners and experts of all the domestic arts. Including choosing fabrics, cleaning china, keeping the piano in tune, making a good fire, folding a fitted sheet, setting the dining room table, keeping surfaces free of germs, watering plants, removing stains—this guide covers everything that modern people might want to do for themselves in their homes.

Further topics include: making up a bed with hospital corners, expert recommendations for safe food storage, reading care labels (and sometimes carefully disregarding them), keeping your home free of dust mites and other allergens, home safety and security, this is a practical, good-humored, philosophical, even romantic, guidebook to the art and science of household management.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - juniperSun - LibraryThing

worth it for the section "When is Good Enough Good Enough". Mendelson's intent in this book is not to make us feel guilty or compulsive about Keeping House, but how to do it in a way that is effective. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - navelos - LibraryThing

I liked the introduction to this book and the general idea, but I felt that the content switched between common sense and stuff I'd never do and thus wasn't that helpful to me. It is very thorough though and if you're new to housework, it might have much valuable information. Read full review

Contents

My Secret Life
3
CLEANLINESS DAILY LIFE
5
Easing into a Routine
17
Neatening
30
The Whys and Wherefores of Home Cooking
37
Breakfast Lunch and Dinner
49
Serving Meals
58
Stimulating Beverages
70
The Chemistry of Household Cleaning
436
Aprons Rags and Mops
446
Dust and Dust Mites
450
Vacuuming Sweeping
454
and Dusting
458
Textile Furnishings
466
Floors and Furniture of Wood and Woodlike Materials
487
Resilient Floors
506

The Center of a Dwelling
88
C Kitchen Culture
103
To Market to Market
122
Cold Comfort
142
Bread and Honey
155
Safe Food
161
The Fabric of Your Home
193
Transformations
221
The Natural Fibers
232
The ManMade Fibers
242
and Blends
253
Fabrics That Work
266
IQ Carefully Disregarding
270
Care Labels
276
Gathering Storing and Sorting Laundry
288
Laundering
303
Drying the Laundry
329
Ironing
339
Folding Clothes and Linens
351
How to Launder Tricky Items
358
Common Laundry Mishaps
363
and Problems
367
Sanitizing the Laundry
375
Removing Stains from Fabrics
380
The Air in Your Castle
393
Peaceful Coexistence
401
with Microbes
417
Ceramic Tile
510
Stone
516
ManMade Solid Surfaces and Other Plastics
523
Bathrooms
529
Pipes and Drains
534
Walls Ceilings Woodwork and Windows
536
China and Crystal
543
Metals
553
Caring for Jewelry
563
Kindly Light
569
Fireplaces
587
Some Quiet Occupations
594
Sewing
599
Caring for Books
612
Music
617
Images and Recordings
622
Home Offices
628
and Computers
631
Pets
637
SLEEP
643
The Cave of Nakedness
653
Beds and Bedding
671
Closets for Clothes and Linens
687
NOTES
839
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
847
INDEX
857
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Cheryl Mendelson is a Harvard Law School graduate, a sometime philosophy professor, a novelist (Morningside Heights and Love, Work, Children), and a homemaker by choice. Born into a rural family in Greene County, Pennsylvania, she now lives in New York City with her husband and son.

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