Airing. Everything needs well airing after it has been washed, especially clothes and bed linen. Air the clothes either in the sun, providing it is really hot, or by a fire. To test whether things are aired, put them against a mirror. If the mirror is perfectly clear afterwards, the article is aired, but if it is left with a smeary mark it is not. Bed linen should be kept in the airing cupboard. This will keep it aired and ready for use.
Blankets. New blankets should be left to soak in cold water for at least two hours before washing. This helps to free them of the sulphur which is used in the dressing of woollen articles. While blankets can be washed satisfactorily at home, it is not advisable to wash them too often as they are liable to get hard. If, however, they get very dirty, send them to the cleaners occasionally in turn with washing them.
After washing blankets it is necessary to get every atom of soap out. Rinse them in several lots of cold water, and repeat this process until the water is perfectly clear. When blankets are not in use they should be stored carefully and kept well aired. Wrap them up with plenty of carbon to prevent the moth from getting to them. They can, however, be stored under the mattress of a bed that is in use. This will also keep them well aired and free from mota.
Blueing. The blue bag is used for white articles. It helps to make them a better colour and prevents them going yellow.
A few drops of ammonia added to the blue water helps to make them even whiter.
Chamois Leather. Wash in warm soapsuds. Rinse in several clear warm waters. Press out all the water and hang in the air to dry. When almost dry, rub until soft and smooth and pull into shape.
Coloured Articles. Boil a quarter of a pound of soap until nearly dissolved, then add some alum and boil together with water. Wash the clothes in this mixture when it has been allowed to cool. A little alum added to the second water also will help to keep the articles their rightful colour. Rinse finally and thoroughly in cle:ir water.
Delicately tinted articles should be washed in warm water, not hot, dried out of doors, and ironed with a cool iron.
To set colours in embroidered handker-chiefs, etc., soak the article for about ten minutes in a bowl of water to which two teaspoonfuls of turpentine has been added. For cottons, dresses, etc., dissolve a little salt in hot water, allow it to get cold, and soak the article in it for about an hour. Alum water will be found effective for restoring any faded colour.
Flannels. New flannel clothes should be soaked for at least an hour in tepid water, to which washing-powder has been added, because, like blankets, there is sulphur used in the dressing. Next soak them in lukewarm rain-water for half an hour, and then wash them in soapy water, but do not rub the soap on the articles. Rinse in slightly soapy water and hang out of doors to dry. Iron lightly with a cool iron. If possible, try to wash flannels on a dry breezy day. Never hang them in the sun or try to dry them indoors as thJ3 is liable to make them shrink.
To shrink new flannel, soak it in water, then rinse through in clear cold water.
Hanging out Clothes. All clothes should be wrung well before being hung out to dry. The clothes line must always be perfectly clean or ib will stain the clothes. It should be put away after use and covered up so as to prevent any dirt or dust from getting to it. As an extra precaution, wipe the line before using it. The Game applies to clothes pegs. Delicate materials should have a piece of clean white paper placed between the article and the pegs.
Dyed and printed garments should be hung in the shade, otherwise they are liable to fade. Be careful when hanging clothes out that if the wind happens to get rather high, the clothes will not blow about and get caught on any trees or roses or touch the ground.
Knitted Articles. Never rub soap on any kind of knitted garment. Make a lather of soap and warm water, not hot, and shake the articles about in the water. Press the water out but do not wring. Lay the articles down to dry as they will keep their shape better.
Lace. White lace should be washed with white soap and in fairly hot water. Change the water frequently and add soap to all as the lace does not need rinsing. Pin to dry on a board covered with a linen cloth. Fine lace is never ironed.
To colour lace after washing, put it into warm water to which suilicient made coffee has been added to colour the lace, straining the coffee first through double muslin.
Honiton lace should be folded evenly together and tacked lightly in a pieco of flannel. Double the flannel over it and squeeze constantly. Never use hot water. Pull into position and leave to dry down. Do not iron.
Linen. Linen can be kept white by the addition of a little refined borax to the water in which it is washed. One teaspoon-ful of turpentine added to the washing-water will also whiten linen and remove ctains easily.
If bed linen, table cloths, etc., after having been washed are put into a pail of water to which one tablespoonful of ammonia has been added, their colour will be greatly improved. Always boil and blue all white linen. One tablespoonful of borax put in the copper when the water is boiling will help to restore the colour of clothes which are inclined to turn yellow.
Mending. All clothes and linen should be mended before they are put away, otherwise the pile will accumulate and the task will prove irksome.
Silk. Pour one gallon of boiling water on to sufficient shredded yellow soap or soap flakes to make a thick jelly when cold. Put sufficient of this jolly into a bowl of lukewarm water to make a lather. Do not rub the silk with soap, but move the articles about in the water till they are clean. Rinse in water to which has been added just a suspicion of blue-water.
For coloured silk, put a little salt in the rinsing water. Wring well and iron at once on the right side with a cool iron. To retain gloss on silk, add a little methylated spirit to the washing water. Never use soda for white silks. Aspirin added to the rinsing water will revive the colour of faded silk. For faded blue articles, add a little blue to the rinsing water, providing they have no other colour, and this will revive the colour. To keep silk dull in appearance, iron on the wrong side.
Starch, Cold Water. Soak the starch for a few hours before mixing, as this makes it smoother. Cold starch is used for glazing collars. To do this, dip a flannel into powdered French chalk and rub smoothly on each collar. Next, rub on each a little white curd soap. Iron on the right side, while damp, with a moderately hot iron.
All table and bed linen should be starched. When an article has to be blued and also starched, it is better to put the blue in the starch.
Starching. Boiling – water starch is made in the following way: One table-spoonful of starch, three tablespoonfuls of cold water, half a teaspoonf ul of borax and a small piece of white wax. Mix the ingredients to a smooth paste, pour on about a quart of boiling water, stirring all the time until smooth, and add a pint of cold water. The starch is now ready for use. If one tablespoonful of sugar is added, tin articles will be more glossy when ironed and retain their stiffness longer.
To prevent starched articles from sticking to the iron, add a little alum to the starch before pouring the boiling water on. To stiffen lace, use cornflour instead of starch as this will make it firm, yet not stiff. Never starch fine lace.
Stockings. Stockings should be washed by themselves in warm soapy water. New stockings should always be washed before use. Rinse in slightly soapy water to prevent laddering.
Woollen Goods. Always use soft water, but not softened with soda. Fresh rain-water is the best. Do not rub the articles with soap, but gently rub them in the lather made from the soft water and soap flakes or soft yellow soap. Squeeze the articles dry without wringing. Never have the water too hot and always dry out of doors.
Body linen and handkerchiefs should always be washed by themselves, as also bed linen, table linen, dusters, tea cloths, etc.