Boil 1 lb. of the best rice in 1 gal. water for 3 hours, and when done pour off into a basin a sufficient quantity to starch the dress. When the remainder is partially cold, well wash the dress with it, without using any soap, and rinse in cold water. Wring it well, and starch it with the rice water put by for the purpose, and dry quickly before the fire. When sufficiently dry, it is ironed with a cool iron, as it is very liable to scorch; use a wet cloth to damp the parts which may have become too dry for ironing. These dresses must on no account be allowed to lie damp, even for an hour, or they will be spoiled, as the colours are sure to run.

Alpacas, Printed Muslins, or Piques may also be cleaned by this method, for if the operation be performed with care and despatch, it will be found not to injure the most delicate colours.

Cleaning Piques And Coloured Muslins

French method: Make a strong lather with best white soap dissolved in soft water, and use while rather warm, but not hot. Wash the dress in this, but do not soak it previously. As soon as the lather appears soiled, squeeze out the dress, throw away the lather, and wash the dress again in a second lot, and so continue until the dress is thoroughly clean. Then well rinse it in cold water, and afterwards in cold water slightly blued. Squeeze all the water out of the dress, but do not wring it, and hang in a shady place to dry; or, if the weather be wet, dry it before the fire. When dry, they are to be starched. It is in this operation that the failures in getting up muslins and piques more often occur than in the washing. Use a large basin and have plenty of starch, and dissolve in the starch, according to the quantity of it, 3 or 4 in. of composite or wax candle. Squeeze the starch well out of the dress, and while it is still wet put it between some old sheets or tablecloths, and pass it between the rollers of a wringing machine or under a mangle; by this means all lumps of starch will be removed. Finish by ironing.

Piques should be ironed on the wrong side, as lightly as possible.


(1) To prevent shrinking in washing, soak the flannel for a night in cold water when dirty, and the next morning wash with curd soap in very lukewarm water. Don't wring, but press the water out and hang to dry. (2) Cleaning white flannel. Use pipeclay, which should be mixed to proper consistency in a pipkin; stand on the fire till warm, stir with wax candle for 5 minutes, add a modicum of soap and a dash of Prussian blue, and stand by to cool, and always use cold, laid on with a sponge, and dry in shady breeze. For grease spots, lay over them pure clay, size the thickness of a crown piece, then place in the sun, and the clay will absorb all the grease without fail. When trousers are dry, rub them to loosen the clay, which brush off, and you will have cleaner looking trousers than by washing, and they will be fit to wear two or three times without pipeclaying. The same for flannel jackets.

Cleaning Hearth-Rugs

Hearth-rugs should never be cleaned on the floor, but on a large scouring board, and should only be operated upon 1/6 of their length at a time. After being cleaned, they require to be dried very quickly; as otherwise, on account of the thickness of the pile, they are apt to sadden.

Hearth-rugs may be cleaned by either the first or second methods given for dry-cleaning carpets; with the following exception, that when the first method is adopted, only 1 lb. of soap dissolved in 1 gal. of hot water will be required. After the rug is finished, dip a clean sponge into a pail containing a little common sour, and well rub it into the face of the rug.

Cleaning Lace

Cover an ordinary wine bottle with fine flannel, stitching it firmly round the bottle. Tack one end of the lace to the flannel, then roll it very smoothly round the bottle, and tack down the other end, then cover with a piece of very fine flannel or muslin. Now rub it gently with a strong soap liquor, and, if the lace is very much discoloured or dirty, fill the bottle with hot water, and place it in a kettle or saucepan of suds and boil it for a few minutes, then place the bottle under a tap of running water to rinse out the soap. Make some strong starch, and melt in it a piece of white wax and a little loaf-sugar. Plunge the bottle 2 or 3 times into this and squeeze out the superfluous starch with the hands; then dip the bottle in cold water, remove the outer covering from the lace, fill the bottle with hot water, and stand it in the sun to dry the lace. When nearly dry take it very carefully off the bottle, and pick it out with the fingers. Then lay it in a cool place to dry thoroughly.

Cleaning Shawls And Scarves. China Crape, Brocaded Or Printed Silk

They may be cleaned by either of the methods, and in the same manner, as directed for silk dresses.


Scotch method: Scrape or cut up 1 lb. of soap, and boil it in a small quantity of water. When sufficiently cool, beat it to a jelly with the hand, at the same time mixing with it 3 tablespoonfuls of spirits of turpentine, and 1 of spirits of hartshorn. Wash the shawl thoroughly in this, then well rinse in cold water, and, when all the soap is out, in salt and water. This last need only be done when the shawl contains delicate colours. Then fold the shawl between two sheets, being careful not to let two folds of the shawl come together. Mangle, and afterwards iron with a very cool iron.

Sheepskin Bugs And Ants

Dissolve 1 bar soap in 2 gal. boiling water. Put 2 qt. of this into a tub or pan containing about 2 gal. warm water. First rub out the dirt and grease spots with the strong soap liquor, or, if necessary, with fullers' earth. Then put the rug or mat into the tub containing the weak soap liquor, and well wash and punch it. Throw away this first liquor, and mix another lot with the same proportions of warm water and dissolved soap, and again well wash the rug; and so continue until it Is perfectly clean. Then rinse well in cold water to take out all the soap, and afterwards in cold water in which a small quantity of blue has been dissolved. This blue water will only be required for white skins. After this has been done, the mat or rug should be wrung out, shaken, and hung to dry with the skin side towards the sun, but not when the heat is scorching, or the skin will become hard and brittle. It should, while drying, be frequently shaken and hung up first by one end and then by the other.

Silk Handkerchiefs, Ribbons, Mantles, And Fancy Waistcoats

Have 2 large earthenware pans, and put 2 qt. of camphine into each pan. Dip the article, whatever it may be, into the first liquor of camphine, well handle it in this, and repeat the operation in the second liquor. Then drain; have a dry sheet on your board, lay the article on it, and dry well with fine cloths. Finish by ironing with a box iron.

Table Covers

Dissolve 1 bar of soap in 4 gal. boiling water, and mix with it 1 lb. pearlash. Have 3 earthenware pans or tubs that will hold about 8 gal. each; into the first of these put 3 gal. of the dissolved soap and 1 pail cold water; into the second, 2 gal. soap and 1 pail water; and into the third, 2 pails water and 1 gal. dissolved soap. Well work the cover in each of these 3 soap liquors, beginning with the strongest, and wring it between each. Stir 1 tablespoonful of oil of vitriol into a tub containing 6 pails cold water. Handle the cover in this spirit water for 5 minutes, then take it out and rinse it in one lot of cold water; this is the proper method for cotton-and-worsted or printed cloth covers. Table covers made with a mixture of silk and worsted, instead of being spirited after cleaning, should be well worked in a pan containing 2 pails cold water, in which 1 lb. common salt has been dissolved, and afterwards rinsed through 2 lots of cold water. Dry quickly; then shake, brush, and finish by ironing with a box iron, or send to the pressers to be finished.

Tobacco Pipes

A very simple and effective plan. Cut 1/2 in. from the end of an ordinary cork, and fit it tightly into the bowl of the pipe. Then with a knife cut a hole through the cork wide enough to admit the nozzle of a water tap with a little pressure, turn on the water gently until the flow through the stem is sufficiently strong, and let it run until the pipe is clean.


Benzine applied with a sponge. It will remove almost every stain, and does not destroy the texture in the least.


(1) Use soap and water, but avoid its running through the "f" holes. Clean the interior with dry rice. Do not use spirit. (2) Moisten the solid parts with salad oil, then mix same oil and spirits of wine together in a basin, trying its strength first on a part of the neck or scroll, then with a piece of white linen rag, dipped in the oil and spirit, rub the soiled parts, keep shifting the rag as it gets dirty: it will take several days to do, but keep the parts well soaked, where dirty, with oil after every rubbing; but by no means scrape it. (3) Ordinary paraffin oil. Slightly saturate a rag of soft silk, and proceed to wash ' your violin therewith. The effect is almost magical; the paraffin dissolves the crust of dirt and resin and cleans the varnish without injuring. (4) For the outside, a strongish solution of washing-soda, applied with piece of flannel. If you find the soda remove the varnish (as it does with some oil-varnishes), use soap-and- water, and then paraffin. When clean, rub with linseed-oil; spirits of wine removes the old resin at once, but sometimes takes the varnish with it. For the inside, get a handful of rice, steep it in solution of sugar and water 5 minutes, strain off, and nearly dry the rice till just sticky. Put in at soundholes and shake till tired.

This will pick up all dirt, then turn out.

Violin Bows

(1) Take a small piece of flannel, wet it (cold process), well rub it with best yellow soap, double it, holding the hair gently between the finger and thumb, rub gently till clean, using plenty of soap; rinse flannel, wipe off, then wipe dry with a piece of calico or linen; in an hour afterwards it will be ready for the resin. (2) A solution of borax-and-water.

Wall - Papers

To remove oil stains, or marks where people have rested their heads, from wall-papers, mix pipeclay with water to the consistency of cream, lay it on the spot, and allow it to remain till the following day, when it may be easily removed with a penknife or brush.

Zinc Vessels

Zinc articles, if small, can be cleaned by being pickled in spirits of salts (hydrochloric acid) with water added, till the articles are nicely cleaned, in about three minutes, without being too strongly attacked, then washed and dried. Large articles like refrigerators are cleaned by being rubbed with a swab; dipped in raw spirits, then washed with water, and finished with whiting.