Take down all pictures, ornaments, etc.; clean them and put them away in the closets. Clothes, carpeting, and "trumpery" stowed away, must be thoroughly dusted and aired in sunshine and wind. Take up carpet, fold it up by lifting one side, carrying it over to the other, and laying it down carefully, thus preventing straw and dust getting on the upper side. Carry it out and lay it on the grass or hang it on a clothes-line and beat it on the wrong side with canes - taking care that the canes have no sharp points. Then spread the carpet out and sweep well on the right side. There is more art in sweeping a carpet than a novice is apt to suppose. An old broom should never be used; and a new one should be kept especially for the carpets. With Brussels and velvet carpeting there are two ways to the pile, just as in velvet, and they should always be swept with the pile. If a carpet it swept against the grain, it soon looks rough and scratched up. Wash out all grease spots with a little gall soap and clean water, after the dust is entirely beaten out. Take one or two pails of sawdust, wet thoroughly and scatter well over the floor; a very little dust will arise when you sweep it off, and it will not be necessary to clean the floor before washing wood-work and windows. If you can not get sawdust, use moist earth instead.
Wash and polish the windows, and if the walls are hard-finish, they may be washed off lightly with soap-suds, and wiped dry. Wash wood-work and floors with hot soap-suds, and rinse with strong, hot brine, or hot water with a strong mixture of cayenne pepper in it, to drive out mice, rats, and other vermin. Now take some clean old calico and put around a new broom and rub down every part of the paper; if it gets dirty, get a clean one, and wash that ready for the next room. If well rubbed, will make the paper look clean and bright. If new paper is needed or whitewash overhead, it is better to hire a man who makes that his daily work. The great secret of good floor-washing is never to do the whole room with the same water; change it two or three times in a small room, and more frequently in a large room. After washing, wipe with a flannel, wringing it frequently. In washing woodwork, do not slop water enough about to run a mill, for it can be done just as well without making any slop. Do not use soap if the paint is good; with rain-water, a soft rag, and a brush if there are any fancy moldings, give it time to soak, and you will find all dirt comes off, leaving the paint looking like new. Glass should be washed, wiped nearly dry, and finished with tissue paper. (Always save tissue paper for that purpose.) In washing the floor, do not forget the closets. If moths are in them, use benzine on the floor; also sprinkle the room floor with benzine, remembering that there must be no fire. When floor is dry, blow cayenne pepper into every crack and crevice, using a small pair of bellows for the purpose.
Now we are ready to go to the next room the same way. Then return to number one and put the carpet down. A carpet wears better if put down well, and it is better to have it done by experienced persons when the expense can be afforded and such help can be had. Moth-proof carpet lining is best, but several thicknesses of newspaper come next as a carpet preserver. The printer's ink is an excellent moth preventive, and the newspapers keep the carpet from rubbing on the boards. The good old-fashioned way of putting under good clean rye or oat straw is again in favor, for the reason that dust, so destructive to them, will pass through both carpet and straw to the floor. Begin at one corner, and nail down one of the sides at the cut ends of the breadths, continuing round the selvage side, and stretching it evenly and firmly without straining the fabric. When two sides are nailed, take next the other selvage side. The last side will require the most stretching in order to get rid of puckers.
For stair carpets, make a pad of coarse cotton cloth, nearly as wide as the carpet, and the full length of the stairs; fill with two or three layers of cotton-batting, sewed across to stay it about nine inches between seams. This is best because not displaced so easily as paper. Have half a yard more carpeting than is needed in order to turn the carpet upside down, and change the positions of the places where the edge of the steps make a mark. When the carpet is new, leave it uncovered, and put down stair cloth after it begins to show wear. Linen over-carpet in the summer is both cool and pleasant; besides, it helps to keep away moths. After being swept and laid down on the floor, the carpet should be wiped. Have two pails, one of clean soap-suds, the other with lukewarm water, a clean flannel cloth, and two clean, coarse towels. Take the carpet by breadths, wring the flannel out of the lukewarm water and hold it so that you can turn and use it up and down three or four times on the same place. Rub both with and against the grain as hard as if you were scrubbing the floor, then throw the flannel into soap-suds, and rub the carpet dry with one of the dry-towels. If you leave the carpet wet, the dust will stick to it and it will smell sour and musty. Wash the flannel clean in the soap-suds, wring it out of the warm water and proceed as before. If the carpet is very dirty or has much green in it, use fresh ox-gall in the lukewarm water in the proportion of a quart of gall to three quarts of water, and rub the carpet dry as already directed. This rubbing a carpet raises the pile and freshens the colors. When the carpet is nicely down and swept the room is ready for its customary furniture, unless the more thorough renovation of kalso-mining and painting is to follow the cleaning. Before replacing, every article should be thoroughly cleaned, every button and tuft of the upholstered goods receiving its share of attention from the furniture-brush. Sofas and chairs should be turned down and whipped then carefully brushed, and all dust wiped off with a clean cloth slightly damped. Clean the pictures and hang them back. If photo or engraving, and dust under the glass, take them out and rub off with a clean cloth. Clean the glass by washing in weak ammonia water and wiping dry. If gilt frames, wash with a little flour of sulphur and rain-water; if rosewood or other dark wood and varnished, rub with furniture polish made as follows: Alcohol, eight ounces, linseed oil (raw) eight ounces, balsam fir, one-half ounce, acetic ether, one-half ounce. Dissolve the fir in the alcohol, then add the others and apply with a flannel cloth, and rub until dry. If oiled (not varnished), rub with a cloth wrung out of lamp (kerosene) oil and they will look like new. Go over all the furniture with the above polish or oil, according as they are oiled or varnished. If ever troubled with bed bugs, go over every part good with lamp-oil. Clean all the other rooms the same way, leaving the hall until the last. Wash the oil-cloth with water in which some borax is dissolved, and wipe with a cloth wrung out of sweet milk. Follow the above directions for the rooms down stairs; do not have more than two rooms torn up at once. Clean out all moths as you go, for they will soon ruin carpets, chairs, sofas, etc., if not killed. Polish the furniture as above, and do not raise any dust where it is for a few days. Ink stains can be taken out with oxalic acid. Wash in cold water, then in a solution of chloride of lime, than in water again: if white goods, warm them up in salted milk, let them lie some time, and then wash in water. In cleaning paint, use water in which ammonia has been added, till it feels slippery, or use fine whiting - to be had at the paint or drug-stores. Take a flannel dipped in warm water, squeezed nearly dry; dip this in the whiting, and rub the paint with it; then wash off with warm water. For windows, use either of the above, or Indexical soap. For the natural wood, or grained work, use clear water and wipe off quickly, or cold tea.