TO MAKE WASHING FLUID
Bring to a boil one pound of sal soda, half a pound of unslaked lime, a small lump of borax, and five quarts of water. Let cool, pour off, and bottle. Use one teacupful to a boiler of clothes. This is superior.
For washing woolens, silks, or fine prints liable to fade. One pint beefs gall, two pounds common bar soap cut fine, one quart boiling soft water; boil slowly, stirring occasionally until well mixed. Pour into a flat vessel, and when cold cut into pieces to dry.
TO TAKE OUT SCORCH
If a shirt bosom or any other article has been scorched in ironing, lay it where bright sunshine will fall directly on it. It will entirely remove it.
Take one ounce of Prussian blue, one-half ounce of oxalic acid; dissolve in one quart of perfectly soft rain water. Insert a quill through the cork of the bluing bottle to prevent waste or putting too much in clothes and you will be pleased with the result. One or two tablespoons of it is sufficient for a tub of water, according to the size of the tub. Chinese blue is the best and costs twelve and a half cents an ounce, and the acid will cost three cents.
Make a paste of two tablespoons best starch and cold water; when smooth stir in a pint of perfectly clear coffee, boiling hot; boil five or ten minutes. Stir with a spermaceti or wax candle. Strain and use for all dark calicoes, percales, and muslins.
Have a clean pan or kettle on stove with one quart boiling water, into which stir three heaping tablespoons flour, previously mixed smooth in a little cold water; stir steadily until it boils and thereafter enough to keep from burning. Boil about five minutes, and strain, while hot, through a crash towel. The above quantity is enough for one dress, and will make it nice and stiff.
TO MAKE FINE STARCH
Wet the starch smooth in a little cold water in a large tin pan, pour on a quart of boiling water to two or three tablespoons of starch, stirring rapidly all the while; place on stove, stir until it boils and then occasionally. Boil from five to fifteen minutes, or until the starch is perfectly clear. Some add a little salt or butter or pure lard or stir with a sperm candle; others add a teaspoon of kerosene to one quart of starch. This prevents the stickiness sometimes so annoying in ironing.
Cold starch is made from starch dissolved in cold water, being careful not to have it too thick. Since it rots the clothes, it is not advisable to use it.
TO CLEAN ARTICLES MADE OF WHITE ZEPHYR
Rub in flour or magnesia, changing often. Shake off and hang in the open air a short time.
HOW TO CLEAN VELVET
Invert a hot flatiron, place over it a single thickness of wet cotton cloth, lay on this the velvet (wrong side next the wet cloth), rub gently with a dry cloth until the pile is well raised, take off the iron, lay on a table, and brush it with a soft brush or cloth.
TO CLEAN RIBBONS
Dissolve white soap in boiling water; when cool enough to bear the hand, pass the ribbons through it, rubbing gently, so as not to injure the texture; rinse through lukewarm water and pin on a board to dry. If the colors are bright yellow, maroon, crimson or scarlet, add a few drops of oil of vitriol to the rinse water; if the color is bright scarlet, add to the rinse water a few drops of muriate of tin.
TO TAKE OUT PAINT
Equal parts of ammonia and spirits of turpentine will take paint out of clothing. Saturate the spot two or three times, and then wash out in soapsuds.
TO REMOVE INK STAIN
Immediately saturate with milk, soak it up with a rag, apply more, rub well, and in a few minutes the ink will disappear.
TO TAKE GREASE OUT
of silk, woolens, paper, floors, etc., grate chalk thick over the spot, cover with brown paper, set on it a hot flatiron and let it remain until cool; repeat if necessary. The iron must not be so hot as to burn paper or cloth.
Colored cottons or woolens stained with wine or fruit should be wet in alcohol and ammonia, then sponged off gently (not rubbed) with alcohol; after that, if the material will warrant it, washed in tepid soapsuds. Silk may be wet with this preparation when injured by these stains.
TO REMOVE IRON RUST
While rinsing clothes, take such as have spots of iron, wring out, dip a wet finger in oxalic acid and rub on the spot, then dip in salt and rub on and hold on a warm flatiron, and the spot will immediately disappear; rinse again, rubbing the place a little with the hands.
TO TAKE OUT MILDEW
Wet the cloth and rub on soap and chalk, mixed together, and lay in the sun; or, lay the cloth in buttermilk for a short time, take out and place in the hot sun; or, put lemon juice on and treat in the same way.
TO WASH WOOLEN GOODS
Many woolen goods, such as light-colored, heavy sacques, nubias, etc., may be washed in cold suds and rinsed in cold water. The garments should be well shaken out and pulled into shape.
TO WASH FLANNELS IN TEPID WATER
The usefulness of liquid ammonia is not as universally known among housewives as it deserves to be. If you add some of it to a soapsuds made of a mild soap it will prevent the flannel from becoming yellow or shrinking. It is the potash and soda combined in sharp soap which tend to color animal fibers yellow; the shrinking may be partially due to this agency, but above all to the exposure of the flannel while wet to the extremes of low and high temperature. Dipping it in boiling water or leaving it out in the rain will also cause it to shrink and become hard. To preserve their softness, flannels should be washed in tepid suds, rinsed in tepid water, and dried rapidly at a moderate heat.