The house-mother who has a laundry apart from her kitchen should rise up and call her home's builder blessed. Still, it is better to do the washing in a big airy kitchen than to wrestle with it in a basement, ill-lit and poorly ventilated. It is, indeed, axiomatic, that washing is best done where splashing water can do no possible harm. Splashing in a cellar almost invariably means continuing dampness: thus, what is gained in space and kitchen tidiness is very often lost many times over in health and comfort. Dampness wholly aside, a cellar laundry is bound to mean carrying much weight up and down steps. Cellar drying is inadvisable. Daylight, even of the wannest and stormiest, is a wonderful sweetener and disinfectant.
Set-tubs of soapstone or porcelain are immeasurably the best. The trouble is that in many cases they are too small and too few, especially in apartments. There it is rare to find more than two. whereas first-class laundrying requires at least three.
Next to set-tubs come cedar ones with brass hoops. A nest of four, fitting snugly one within another, will with reasonable care last ten years, besides being ever so much lighter and handier than tubs of pine or poplar.
Keep the tubs together between wash-days, and pour a little clean water into the upper one. This will save all from shrinking, yet will breed no smells nor mould. In use set them upon a long, stout bench, so proportioned in height to the washerwoman there will be no need to stoop much over the work. If space is scant, have the bench-legs hinged on, so they may be folded, and the bench stand or lie flat when not required.
The new glass wash-boards are clean, durable, and good for the clothes. Their one drawback is that they are a trifle heavy. Sanitarily they are far and away better than the wooden zinc-faced sort, which absorb dirt and hold all manner of taints. Indeed, it is unsafe to use wooden wash-boards unless they are carefully scalded and dried at the end of washing. One that has been used to wash clothes from a sick-room, even if there is no contagious disease, should be scalded with soda-water, and treated after to a drenching with chloride of lime. In contagious sickness, such as measles, scarlet-fever, or diphtheria, the best thing is to burn up the wash-board outright.
Wringers ought to be chosen with an eye to two things — durability and easy working. Size must, of course, depend on the tubs in use. After that, consider these things: First, how many parts? The fewer the better. Second, what sort of screws must be set? Here, again, the fewer the better. Third, the strength of the springs, the strain on them, and the sort of rubber? This is crucial, since it is the springs which insure wringing. In a general way it may be said that the simplest construction is apt to be the strongest. The length of the crank is generally proportionate to size; still, it is well to remember that the crank is, in fact, the lever through which power is applied; hence, the longer it can be without unwieldiness, the less power will be needed in the turning.
In wringing, it saves both the wash and the washer-woman to fold clothes to an even thickness, and exactly the breadth of the wringer-rolls. Sending things through in lumps and bunches strains the springs, and brings them quickly to the breaking-point. It is much the same with turning the crank. One vicious jerk does more harm than steady rolling on a whole wash. As soon as washing is over, dash clear warm water over the wringer, first removing it from the tub and standing it on end; then wipe it dry, put a little fresh oil on the bearings to guard against rust, and set it away in a dry place, cool enough to prevent all danger of warping.
Copper boilers are best, but cost four to five times as much as other sorts. Block-tin comes next in desirability. Next to that, a round flat-bottomed iron-pot. It is heavy, and may rust the clothes unless one is careful, but against that one may reckon cheapness, durability, and security. It does not come in holes at exactly the wrong time, as does the cheap copper-bottomed tin-boiler. The iron-pot is subject to just one danger — if cold water is poured into it while hot and empty, it is very apt to crack. But, whatever the boiler, it should never be put over the fire without at least an inch of water in the bottom.
Further, any sort of boiler must be kept clean and dry between times. Along with it keep the boiling bag, which should be of stout unbleached muslin, sewed fast at the sides, and furnished with a drawing-tape at top. Table-linen and all manner of fine white things must be boiled in it, not only to prevent iron-rust, but to keep off possible scum-stains.
Baskets and Sad-irons
The best clothes-basket is firm and square, of light splint or willow, with strong handles. Keep a clean cloth thrice as big as the basket to go in the bottom of it, and another smaller one, to tuck over the top. To insure the cloths being clean. provide two of each, and see to it that the spare one is washed every week. Provide also a reckless plenty of clothes-pins, with a special light basket for keeping them.
Steel-faced sad-irons with reasonably high handles, and six or seven pounds in weight, meet the greatest number of laundry needs. The variety in irons is so great, every woman should be able to find something to her mind. Each and all have their good points, but, when all is said, the common sad-iron is the queen of the laundry. Half-a dozen of the stx-pound weight will be none too many. There should be also two polishing-irons. two five-pound irons for thin stuffs, and a couple of the still lighter ones known as trimming-irons.
Try every one by rubbing the naked palm over the surface before buying, and reject it if there is the least roughness. It is quite as essential to keep the faces smooth: therefore do not set them upon hot coals, nor a red-hot iron, nor leave them very hot too long. High heat long continued gives rise to molecular changes that break up the surface after a little while, and make it show under the microscope numberless fine honeycomb pits. Light mats of soapstone or asbestos come in handy when the ironing-fire is too hot. Still, heat harms irons less than dirt and damp. Wash the irons as soon as they are cool enough not to hiss, rub them over with a flannel dipped lightly in kerosene, and set away. A good place for them is a stout wooden-box, set on end. with clean board-shelves across the inside. The shelves should be just far enough apart for an iron to set upright. Set them facing inward, the heaviest at the bottom. If there is a fluting-iron, give it the upper shelf to itself, and be sure to keep the box dry and clean.
Where there is a heavy weekly wash, a small watering-pot with the finest possible rose comes handy for the sprinkling, and is ever so much handier than the tin clothes-sprinkler sold in the shops. But the very best sprinkler is a good-sized atomiser, such as greenhouse-men use for spraying plants. Choose one to fit the hand, neither too big, nor small enough to cramp it. It sends out a fine misty spray that damps clothes all over, yet makes no place sopping-wet.
The variety of laundry-stoves is simply without number. One that is good and cheap can be easily fitted so as to supply hot water independent of the kitchen-boiler. It has sloping spaces around the fire-pot for irons, and a specially fitted round top to hold the wash-boiler. The water-pipe is, in some mysterious fashion, coiled around inside, next the fire, then led out either to tubs or a faucet. Then there is an oil-stove, price four dollars, which will keep three irons going, and hissing hot, at a cost of less than two cents an hour. It is, withal, so handily portable one may iron in the airiest room of the house with no danger of defacing it. If gas is available, it is barbarous to iron in a hot kitchen. One of the long stoves with perforated burners, each of which heats an iron, can be set outside the door of a hall-bedroom, and prove a godsend to either mistress or maid.
Ironing- Boards and Tables
An ironing-table ought to be high enough for the ironer to bend her elbows at right angles and work without stooping. In reckoning the height, allow for a thick mat or excelsior cushion under foot — it is a great economist of strength and backaches. Pick out sound deal, free of knots or warping, and see that the drawer works easily. To furnish the table properly, take first a soft, coarse all-wool blanket, fold it by a warp thread, lay the fold upon a long edge of the table, and make very smooth, then trim all round, save at the fold, exactly to the size of the table-top. Whip the cut edges lightly together as it has, first making sure that the under-side is as free of wrinkles as the upper one. Cut a four-inch square of stout muslin for each corner, double the squares to triangles, and sew them fast. Their use is to slip over the corners of the table, thus holding the blanket in place. When the blanket is washed, take off the squares, and remove the whipping from the edges.
Make ironing-table covers of unbleached sheeting. Cut them three inches bigger than the table-top all round, hem the edges narrowly, and mitre three of the comers, sewing them fast. At the fourth corner fold back the extra cloth, stitch it down, then in the double, work a couple of eyelets either side, and lace a tape through them. By tying this tape tight, after slipping the mitred comers over the table corners, all need of pins is done away with, and a firm, smooth, unwrinkable surface assured.
Cover skirt and sleeve boards the same way — first, with double woollen cloth sewed firmly on, then with removable muslin-slips, hemmed at the small end and laced snug over the large one. Fit under and upper covers so well either side can be used. A bosom-board is a necessity in doing-up shirts. It should be either square or shield-shaped, and smoothly covered with double flannel, with fine cotton outside. For ironing laces and embroideries, have a square of very thick card-board covered four-fold with flannel. If there are many children to iron for, a small-size skirt-board, and several sizes in sleeve-boards, soon pay for themselves in saving time.
Provide the ironing-table, further, with either a light trivet or asbestos mat to hold the irons, a clean wiping-cloth, a shallow wooden box with salt for rubbing a rough iron smooth, a smaller box for either white wax or white soap, and at least three clean, soft holders. In addition, furnish the laundry with a folding clothes-horse of white wood, which may be turned into a screen as clean clothes are hung on it; a big starch-kettle, agate-ware or copper or block-tin; several cheese-cloth strainers, and at least three sheets of cheese-cloth to cover the clean clothes while they air after ironing.
The quickest thorough washing is a long way the best. Except for very dirty things, soaking hinders cleanliness rather than helps it. But here, as elsewhere, haste is best made slowly. Sort the clothes very carefully before a piece is wet. Wash table-linen first, then bed-furnishings, then skirts, night-gowns, and so on; then coloured things, next stockings and underwear, and, last of all, the soaked bits.
Even with set-tubs two wooden ones of handy size help out amazingly. One had better be kept especially for table-linen, and for rinsing the finest white things. Use the other for soaking, but do not soak too long. An hour is enough to soften and dissolve the dirt, yet not long enough to set it all through the garment. Soaking in suds strong with soda will eat and destroy the fabric, but dirt comes out easier and without damage to the fibres if the soiled things are wet through with and well wrung out of warm soda-water before they go in soak. This wetting and wringing out will whiten and sweeten, without hurting the clothes.
Any decent soap, or even soap-powder, will answer if only none of it be left in the clothes when washing is over. It saves both time and strength to dissolve the soap before washing begins. Shave a bar fine, cover the shavings with water, and set over a slow fire until it becomes a jelly. Hot water takes out dirt more quickly and more readily, but cold may be used at convenience. The essential thing is to keep it the same temperature all the way through. Indiscriminate alternations of hot and cold "full" all sorts of fabrics, and make them dead and coarse-looking. Lukewarm water is best until one comes to the boil. Fill the boiler with cold water at the minute of dropping in the clothes. Take them out after twenty minutes' boiling, and drop them into a cold rinsing water. Rinse a second time in lukewarm water, and have the blue water of the same heat. Remember the drier and quicker the wringings. the whiter the clothes. It is the remnant suds and dirt which make them yellow, and it is almost impossible to rinse out the suds if they are left to lie long.
Kerosene in the boil whitens clothes safely, especially such as are yellow from long lying. Use a tablespoonful to a gallon of water. For things very yellow or grimy, make an emulsion of kerosene, clear lime-water, and turpentine in equal parts; shake together until creamy, then add a cupful to a boilerful of clothes, and keep over the fire half an hour. The same emulsion is good for very dirty things, as jumpers, overalls, working-shirts, children's trousers. Use it in conjunction with very strong suds, as hot as the hand can bear, and rub it well upon the dirtiest spots. Leave the clothes five minutes before washing out, and be sure the second suds and the rinsing waters are as hot as the first suds.
It is nearly as essential to hang out things properly as to wash them well. If big things, such as table and bed linen, dry out of shape, stretching and pulling them straight wears them more than use. Hang sheets, tablecloths, towels, and napkins evenly across the line, ends down. Warp-threads are so much stronger than wool, if things are habitually hung out lengthwise they will certainly split along the fold. Indeed, all washable things should be so hung out that the weight while wet — which is thrice the weight dry — comes upon the lengthwise threads.
Take pains to hang out shirts so the bosoms will not drag. Once the several thicknesses dry in creases, it will be hard work to get them back in shape. It is the same with cuffs and collars. Snap them out straight, and hang so warp and woof pull true. All these stiff and polished things need to get bone-dry before starching. They also need to be well wet in blood-warm water before rubbing in the tubs. Stiff linen is nearly as breakable as cardboard, especially the fine sorts used in good shirts.
It is not hard to do up shirts when once the knack is learned. After washing and drying comes starching. Make the starch by rubbing one tablespoonful of dry starch smooth in a little cold water, then stirring it into a quart of freshly boilng water. Let it cook about two minutes, stirring all the time. When it turns from white to a translucent blue, it is done. Add to it a bit of white wax, paraffin, or spermaceti, as big as a nutmeg, a teaspoonful of salt, and two tablespoonfuls of thick gum Arabic water. Use only the whitest gum, and put four ounces of dry gum to the quart of water. It may be made in quantity, and kept for use bottled and tightly corked. Cook the starch a minute after all the other things are in. stirring it hard, and taking care not to scorch it. Scorched starch not only taints the whole house, but gives the clothes an ugly tint and a very bad smell, which it will take several washings to remove. Strain through double cheese-cloth while boiling-hot. Make a cupful of very strong bluing-water, and stir in enough of it to colour the starch rather deeply.
Fold a shirt-bosom lengthwise down the middle, dip it in the hot starch, and rub and knead with both hands until sure the stiffening has gone well through it. Wring very dry, and hang out as smooth as possible, then look the bosom carefully over, and wipe off even the least smear of oozing starch. If there are air-bubbles between the linen and the backing, stick a pin in them and press the plies together. Starch cuffs and collars in quite the same way, taking especial pains to have them dry straight. Leave on the line until full-dry. For sprinkling, lay flat on the table, bosom up, dampen the whole side thoroughly, but do not make wet; then fold the sides and sleeves over the bosom, dampen the under sides and roll up tight, beginning at the neck. Let lie an hour.
The Way to Iron Shirts
For ironing fold the shirt straight down the middle of the back, and iron the body smooth, taking care to move the iron mainly straight with the warp. Next fold a sleeve fiat along the sloped seam, and iron it upon both sides. Iron first through the middle, then take hold of wrist-band or shoulder with the left hand, and hold taut while the iron goes quite to the join. Open the wristband, lay it flat, and iron hard upon the wrong side, then turn and press upon the right side. Next iron yoke and neck-band. Then comes the tug-of-war -- otherwise ironing the bosom.
First fasten the neck-band properly, next slip the bosom-board inside the shirt, and spread the bosom smooth upon it, pressing it out simultaneously with both hands. With a thin clean cloth wet the whole linen-surface lightly with weak raw starch. Rub it in very well, and, if any place feels sticky, wipe it off with a cloth dipped in tepid water. Have the iron hot enough to yellow dry cloth if left to stand on it ten seconds. Begin at the bottom of the bosom and iron straight toward the neck, up the middle, holding the neck-band in the left hand, and pulling hard against the iron. Here as much depends on the left hand as the right — the knack lies mainly in knowing how to pull properly.
If the bosom wrinkles, or forms one of the warps known to laundresses as "cat-faces," wet the place with clear water, stretch it smooth, and iron over again. Rub the iron over with white wax before beginning work, also in the salt tray, to insure a perfectly smooth surface. If the starch is right, properly made and applied, it will not stick to the face. But if a yellowy crust forms upon the iron-tip scratch it off with a blunt knife, and be sure to wax and salt-polish the iron again before setting it on the shirt.
When the whole bosom is smooth, and nearly dry, take one of the polishing-irons, not quite so hot as the others, rub the face of it with either polishing-wax or white soap, and press the bosom hard all over, bearing hardest upon the rounded iron-point. Iron and polish cuffs on a flannel-covered board. Wet them also with raw starch, or, more properly, starch-water, press first upon the wrong side with a very hot iron, and turn upon the right side only when nearly dry.
Washing and Starching Prints
Before a new print goes into the tub, set the colours. The way of doing that depends on the colours. For green, blue, pinkish purple, mauve, and aniline reds, soak ten minutes in alum-water, using four ounces of alum to a tub of water. For the madder tints, soak in sugar-of-lead solution — an ounce of the salt to a gallon of water. For black, black and white, grays, and deep purples, dissolve a handful of coarse salt in a tub of water, and soak about seven minutes. Some blacks are made fresher and more permanent by putting strong black-pepper tea into the first suds. It is best to try the colour of anything by wetting a small piece in the various solutions, and using that from which it comes out brightest.
Prints should never be allowed to get so dirty as to demand soap. But if they do get very dirty use borax-soap, but do not let it touch the cloth. Make a strong suds, as hot as the hand will bear. But never let boiling liquid touch any printed surface. Borax, in proportion of a tablespoonful to the gallon of water, is a milder cleanser, and in most cases efficient. Wash through it quickly, rinse twice, in water a little cooler than the first, and wring as dry as possible. Never stop for a minute — standing after wetting is what makes colours run.
Prints merely crumpled and dusty had better be washed with wheat-bran than soap. Tie a quart of the bran loosely inside a piece of cheese-cloth, and rub the prints with it as though it were a cake of soap. Press the bran-swab well into ail folds and gathers, wash the clothes rapidly in the water, which will be milky-looking, and should be barely lukewarm so as not to cook the starch washed out of the bran. With very dirty frocks a fresh bran-swab may be needed. For dark grounds or black put a handful of salt in the bran-water. Rinse in three waters. Blue the last of them if there are white grounds or much white in the pattern. For buff, brown, or cream grounds, colour the last rinse-water with either strained black coffee or strong hay-tea. To make the tea, boil a lock of bright timothy hay in a gallon of water, strain, and bottle, adding enough alcohol to the bottles to keep them from souring.
Sunshine bleaches out a wet print, often fatally. Notwithstanding, prints cannot be dried too quickly. Never hang a printed skirt double over the line. Fasten the band over a wooden barrel-hoop and hang in shade. Lacking a hoop, stretch it around the backs of two chairs set face to face, letting the band come in the middle. Let all sorts and conditions of coloured cotton and linen dry thoroughly before starching. Mourning prints should have the special black starch sold in the shops. Make yellow starch for yellow and brown prints, colouring it with either coffee or hay-tea. For white grounds have the starch rather blue, and less than half as thick as that for shirts.
Turn everything wrong side out before dipping in the starch. Knead and rub the starch well through, but never let it run upon the right side. Dry quickly, but still in the shade, and do not take down while one thread is moist. This is for thick things -- prints, chintzes, ginghams, chambrays, linens. Airy muslins, organdies, batistes, and so on, require different usage. The best starch for them is clear thick gum-water, white gum-Arabic, or gum-tragacanth. Dip them wrong side out, rub the gum well through, and squeeze dry, but do not wring. Spread as much as possible, and leave until the surface feels limp and a little sticky, neither wet nor dry. Take down, roll tight, and cover with a clean cloth. Unroll a breadth at a time, and pat and clap between the hands until quite dry. This is "clear-starching", no end troublesome, but worth while, since it is the only process that restores the clear, fresh new look to thin fabrics.
Sprinkle a clear-starched garment very lightly, but evenly. Wet splotches upon a semi-dry ground ruin everything. Any fabric that hisses under the iron is too wet. Thick prints take much more water than muslins, but excess is quite as harmful. Leave any sort of print tightly rolled at least an hour after sprinkling. Cover it so thickly the outside cannot dry. To iron a skirt properly is in the nature of high art, especially in these days of tucks, ruffles, and flares. Iron the trimming first -- unless it chances to be ruffles that are to be fluted later. Press tucks first along the line of sewing -- any sort of sewing draws for wetting. Hold the tucks hard with the left hand, after smoothing perfectly, and go over them with an iron just below scorching heat. If they run around, press them out on the table; if up and down, slip the skirt upon the board, and iron the whole tuck-length at once. At the belt press the iron-point well up among the gathers, holding them in the left hand while the right moves the iron.
Iron iintrimmed skirts first all over upon the wrong side, turn and press very lightly upon the right. Never iron anything out of shape -- that is, with the threads pulled out of their proper right angles. The best way to keep from doing it in ironing waists, yokes, etc., is always to iron with the warp-threads, and hold them straight in front of the iron.
Thin curtains -- Madras, bobbinet, muslin, or Nottingham lace -- should be shaken free of dust, washed in warm suds, squeezing, and laving up and down in place of rubbing; boiled, rinsed, blued, or yellowed; lightly starched while still wet, and dried as quickly and as straight as possible. Instead of ironing, baste broadish hems at top and bottom, and run into each a stout unpainted curtain-pole, as long as the curtain is broad. Stretch the curtain smooth upon the pole at each end. then hang up, sprinkle well, and let dry. The weight of the lower pole will straighten and smooth it. Repeat until all the curtains are dry, then rip out the hems, and press lightly with a warm, not a hot iron. If there are wrinkles or cat-faces after hanging the curtains, wet those spots, and pull down hard upon them. Usually they will dry out as smooth as need be. Ruffled curtains can have the ruffles fluted after coming off the pole. If hanging is impossible, simply stretch the curtains between the two poles. Take care that the poles are very smooth, and stout enough not to spring.
Real-lace curtains after washing can be pinned out upon sheets spread upon the floor -- tedious work, but worth while. Pin the corners first, drawing them very square, then stretch every scallop in line with the corners and pin it fast. After all are pinned, go over the whole curtain with a soft damp cloth, patting it hard enough to remove the least trace of starch. This makes the curtains look quite new, and does not wear them in the least. But with several pairs it is apt to be impracticable -- then the recourse is to frame-drying. No sort of lace should ever be ironed, not even upon a mangle.
For the frames, get clean stout deals, one by two inches and twelve feet long. Saw some in half for end-pieces. Bore half-inch holes four inches apart for two feet from each end. Have also some half-inch wooden-pegs long enough to go through two of the deals at once. Let the curtains half dry upon the line, hanging them as straight as possible. Take down a pair, pin scallop to scallop from top to bottom, and hang the pinned part over one of the long deals. Now pin the low edges as accurately together, slip inside them another long deal, stretch the breadth of the curtain apart, lay on a short end-piece, bringing the holes in it over holes in the side-pieces, and fasten with pegs. Likewise stretch the other end; then with a needle and coarse thread fasten the ends of the curtains to the cross-bars. Stand on edge in an airy place to dry. Six frames, or three pairs of curtains, will thus take up less space than one curtain spread out full-size.
Stockings and Underwear
To wash silk stockings and underwear, first soak for ten minutes in fairly strong borax-water, then wash rapidly, rubbing as little as possible, through good white soap-suds about blood-warm -- that is to say, about 98°. Hotter water makes knit-silk harsh and crinkly. Squeeze out the suds, but do not wring. Rinse through two waters of the same temperature as the suds, and hang to drain and dry without wringing. Hang shirts and drawers smooth, and pull the sides a little apart, but not out of shape. As silk dries, so it is apt to wear. White silk needs a little bluing in the last water. Coloured silk is best left without.
Do not sprinkle knit-silk to iron it. Wring a thick towel out of clear hot water, fold up the dry garment in it, and let lie an hour. Make very smooth upon the table, and press lengthwise with an iron just below scorching heat. Fold stockings wrong side out. along the seam, and press from the seam outward, taking care not to wrinkle the under side. Fancy lace-woven stockings in white and light tints need to be cleaned in a flood of benzine. Lay them flat in an earthen dish, and deluge them first upon the wrong side. Wash up and down, until the benzine is dirty; then lay in a clean dish, right side out. and pour on more benzine. All that remains is to air them sufficiently to remove the smell, which commonly requires a week.
Wash heavy stockings and underwear, whether all-wool or mixed, as though they were flannels -- that is, in luke-warm borax soap-suds, with little rubbing, and no machine-wringing. Dry as quickly as possible, but in the air rather than by artificial heat. Shape on the line, so ironing will not be needed. Ironing, indeed, shrinks woollens nearly as much as washing, hence should be left off when possible.
Black-pepper tea will freshen the colour in both black and brown stockings. So will a washing in salt water before suds touch them. The salt bath need not be repeated after the first washing. But, whatever is used or let alone, remember always to shake stockings hard, turn them and shake again before wetting; also not to wash them in dirty or linty suds, after all the other things. Though they come properly toward the tag-end of washday, they fully deserve separate clean suds. Damp very lightly for ironing, and lay in shape before the iron.
Wet very dirty socks or stockings, as those of workmen or small boys, with kerosene, and let them lie half an hour. Then cover them with very hot water, made slick with either soda or ammonia, stir them rapidly around in it with a wooden paddle, fish out in a minute or so. and wash in clean suds. It will not be hard washing -- most of the dirt will have been left behind. But beware of leaving them too long.
Some Small Helps
Ironing is, when all is said, tedious work, and trying. But it may be made less so by a few simple expedients. One is the floor-cushion before mentioned. Make a flat pad of excelsior, three inches thick, and big enough to stand comfortably upon. Another is the knee-board -- three feet long, thin and light -- which may be held on the lap, thus making it possible to sit while ironing small things such as napkins, handkerchiefs, and collars. Another -- this for table-linen -- is the roller. Get a big card-board mailing-tube as long as a folded tablecloth is wide. Fasten a narrow ribbon inside the tube so a yard hangs out of each end. Then, when the freshly ironed cloth lies long and white, instead of folding it, roll it up about the tube, keeping it straight and smooth. Tie down the end with the ribbon, cross the strings, pass them around the roll, and tie on the other side. Thus the cloth keeps its unmarred smoothness, yet is easy to handle, and easier still to store in the closet.
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should always use the cinders reserved for her use by the cook, as they will answer equally well with coals; arid when burnt either in the ironing stove or under the copper, will give an intense heat. She will find that by soaking the clothes over night in soft water, that they will wash much more easily; especially if the parts most soiled be slightly rubbed with soap. The best laundresses use a lye made by pouring water upon wood-ashes, and straining through an hair-cloth, this lye not only saves soap, but gives a beautiful whiteness to the linen. In washing flannels, be careful never to pour boiling water upon them, as it will thicken them; but take the flannels, and put them in scalding water, which will keep them thin. Ink-stains, fruit-stains, and iron-mould, are easily removed by using the essential salt of lemons. Spirit of salt may be also used for the same purpose; but if the part is not immediately washed with soap and water, the texture of the linen may be hurt by it. In getting up fine-things, the clear-starchers use gum-water; but as gum-arabic is very dear, its use should be confined to the finest articles.Domestic Economy, By John Farley, 1811.