Wet the starch smooth in a little cold water, in a large tin pan, pour on a quart boiling water to two or three table-spoons 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 tea-spoon kerosene to one quart starch: this prevents the stickiness sometimes so annoying in ironing. Either of the above ingredients is an improvement to flour starch. Many, just before using starch add a little bluing. 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 - the same is true of potato starch.
For Washing the Lighter Woolen Fabrics that enter into the composition of summer dresses, borax is one of the most useful articles for softening the water and cleansing the material. This is used in the proportion of a table-spoon to a gallon of water, and, if dissolved in hot water, it makes a better lather. Of course, no thoughtful person will attempt to wash a woolen dress without first having ripped it apart, picked out all the threads, brushed the dust out, and marked the particularly soiled places by winning a thread around them. Wash one piece at a time, roll up and squeeze, or pass through a wringer instead of twisting through the hands. Wash in several changes of borax water, and rinse in clear water, in which a well-beaten eggs has been mixed; shake thoroughly, and fold in sheets until evenly damp all through, then iron the wrong side with an iron hot enough to smooth nicely without scorching.
Wash Silk Handkerchiefs by laying them on a smooth hoard, and rubbing with the palm of the hand. Use either borax or white castile soap to make the suds; rinse in clear water, shake till nearly dry, fold evenly, lay between boards, and put a weight on them. No ironing is required. Silk hose and ribbons may be treated in the same way; if there are colore that run, put as much sugar of lead as will lie on a quarter dollar, into a half gallon of water, and soak the goods half an hour, stirring frequently, then wash as above, and rinse in several clear waters, using sugar of lead in the last. Or, wash in cold rain-water with a little curd soap; then rinse them in rain-water - cold - slightly colored with stone blue; wring well, and stretch them out on a mattress, tacking them out tightly. They will look as good as new if carefully washed.