Washing, in general, signifies the cleansing of bodies or substances with water, and other ab-stergent ingredients.
Washing essentially contributes to cleanliness, and consequently to the preservation of health : hence, all person; ought to be habituated to this salutary practice, from their earliest period of life. Great caution, however, is requisite in washing infants: for which purpose, the water ought at first to be tepid, or of a moderate warmth ; then gradually reduced to a cool temperature; and at length, it may be used as cold as the common atmosphere of the season. - The head and neck must, farther, be rubbed during the whole process, with a wet sponge, and, together with the rest of the body, be immediately wiped dry with clean cloths; which in the winter should be previously warmed. Thus, children will be early inured to habits of cleanliness ; and the attention of parents to this important object will be amply rewarded.
Washing, in a domestic sense, expresses peculiarly the cleansing of family linen, by means of soap and alkaline solutions. - Although we have referred from p. 30, of our first volume, to this article, for an account of such vegetables as yield alkalies or pot-ash; yet, as these have already been stated in the progress of our work, we shall proceed to describe a washing machine that has lately been invented in Germany; and which promises to be superior to any similar contrivance hitherto suggested.
Description of a Washing Machine lately invented in Germany, by M. M. Fischer and Kerzig.
(Fig. 2, A), - a, is a section of the washing cylinder, with its 16 ladles, projecting 4 inches; but of these ladles only 4 jut out internally, as represented by the dotted line at b, b, b, b.
c, the iron roller, which is on the outside, fixed to the bottom of the cylinder, by means of an iron cross at d, d, d, d, with screws or nails : it rests on the beam e, so as to be upheld in the four excavated columns or posts f, f , f, f, by the lever g, and to be either raised or lowered, and afterwards secured by the pins h, h, according to the greater or less depth of water.
i, the cistern, at the sides of which the four posts are firmly inserted.
(Fig. 2, B.) A bird's-eye view of the machine. The laths between the ladles may be here distinctly seen, together with the roller, c, c, as it rests on the beam or supporter e, e, e, e, and is secured by a cap, K.
By means of this excellent contrivance, we understand from the inventors, by whom it was first used for cleansing the felts in an extensive paper-mill, that from 14 to 18 shirts may be completely washed within one hour: and that the friction is far less than in performing that operation by the hand ; while the foul water is not suffered to flow back into the linen, but is continually renewed. It table-cloths, etc. happen to be greasy, they must be whirled round in the machine for the space of from 20 to 30 minutes; when it will be necessary to take them out; and, after rubbing them well with soap, to expose them again to the action of the engine for half an hour, when they will be found thoroughly cleaned. Fine linen may be inclosed in a bag, and washed in a similar manner, so as to prevent it from being injured by friction. There are, however, two points which ought to be strictly attended to; namely, the agitation of the water should not be too violent; and a sufficient quantity of foul linen must be thrown in at a time, in order to amount to such weight will cause it to descend, after having been carried to the uppermost part of the cylinder. The only obstacle to the general introduction of this machine is, that it cannot be adopted in those situations which are not provided with a current or stream of water to work it; but, wherever a brook or rivulet occurs, such apparatus will be found highly serviceable in work-houses, great schools, prisons, and hospitals, not less than in private families ; as 200 shirts may be washed by one person in the space of 12 hours. It may be erected in a mill-reach, so as to be set in motion by the immediate pressure of the water; or, by connecting its mechanism with the main cylinder of the water-wheel.