This article embraces the cleaning and scouring processes employed by dyers, recipes for washing and cleansing various things not coming within the dyer's art, and prescriptions for the removal of stains. The whole subject is arranged under alphabetical sub-headings.
(1) Put a small quantity of salts of sorrel or oxalic acid into a clean pan, and pour on it sufficient scalding water to cover the bonnet or hat. Put the bonnet or hat into this liquor, and let it remain in it for about 5 minutes; to keep it covered, hold it down with a clean stick. Dry in the sun or before a clear fire. (2) Having first dried the bonnet or hat, put it, together with a saucer of burning sulphur, into a box with a tight closing lid. Cover it over to keep it in the fumes, and let it remain for a few hours. The disadvantage of bleaching with sulphur is that the articles so bleached soon become yellow, which does not happen to them when they are bleached by oxalic acid.
Straw or chip plaits, or leghorn hats and bonnets, may also be cleaned, bleached, and finished as above.
1/2 oz. pure bichromate of potash. 1 oz. sulphuric acid. 1 oz. nitric acid. Rub over, wash with water, wipe dry, and polish with rottenstone or chalk. (Lyle.)
(1) Use soft-soap and rottenstone, made into a stiff paste with water, and dissolved by gently simmering in a water-bath. Rub on with a woollen rag, and polish with dry whiting and rottenstone. Finish with a leather and dry whiting. See also Brass.
Carefully take out the lining, and wash with warm water and soap, as directed for white ostrich feathers, but do not shake them until they are quite dry. Before re-making, carefully repair any rents there may be in the skin.
Prepare a quantity of lime water in the following manner: Well mix 1 lb. of quicklime in each gal. of water required, and let it stand until all the undissolved lime is precipitated, as a fine powder, to the bottom of the tub or pan, then pour off the clear liquor for use. The number of gallons to be prepared will, of course, depend on the quantity of feathers to be cleaned. Put the feathers into a clean tub, pour the lime water on them, and well stir them in it until they all sink to the bottom. There should then be sufficient of the lime water to cover them to a depth of 3 in. Let them stand in this for 3 or 4 days, then take them out, drain them in a sieve, and afterwards well wash and rinse them in clean water. Dry on nets having a mesh about the same size as a cabbage net; shake the net occasionally, and the dry feathers will fall through. When they are dried, beat them well to get rid of the dust. It will take about 3 weeks to clean and dry a sufficient quantity for a bed. This process was awarded the prize offered by the Society of Arts.
Very few chandeliers are gilt; they are burnished and lacquered with yellow lacquer. Proceed as follows, whether gilt or lacquered: Take the chandelier to pieces, and boil in strong soda ley for a few minutes, brush over with a soft brush, pass it through a strong solution of cyanide of potassium (a deadly poison), wash through a tubful of boiling water, dry in clean sawdust, wipe up bright with a washleather, and relacquer.
Gilt mountings, unless carefully cleaned, soon lose their lustre. They should not be rubbed; if slightly tarnished, wipe them off with a piece of Canton flannel, or, what is better, remove them if possible, and wash in a solution of 1/2 oz. of borax dissolved in 1 lb. of water, and dry them with a soft linen rag; their lustre may be improved by heating them a little, and rubbing with a piece of Canton flannel.
(14) "I had tried previously to remove the hardened balsam in many ways, and had succeeded fairly with a mixture of prepared chalk, methylated spirit, and liquid ammonia, but found this objectionable because it was such a dirty job. I now simply warm the slides over a flame, and push off the covers into strong sulphuric acid (oil of vitriol), and leave them therein for a short time; when clean, drain off, and rinse with a little fresh acid, and finish off by washing well in water. As much balsam as possible is removed from the slides by scraping with a knife, and then sulphuric acid is rubbed upon them with a glass rod. They are then well washed. If necessary, a finishing touch may be given with a warm solution of washing soda or methylated spirit and ammonia, to remove all trace of grease. Sulphuric acid should be added to water, or water to sulphuric acid, very gradually." (Thos. H. Powell.)
(15) American potash, 3 parts; unslaked lime, 1. Lay this on with a stick, letting it remain for some time, and it will remove either tar or paint. (16) Common washing soda dissolved in water. Let it soak a while - if put thick on say 30 minutes - and then wash off. If it does not remove, give it another application.
(17) Procure a washleather of convenient size and some "paper-hanger's" canvas. Two yards, divided into three pieces, will be a nice size to work with. Have the cut sides hemmed, and they will last a long while. When it is desired, use one; boil or soak for an hour or so in a solution of soda and water to get out the " dress"; then wring out, and rinse in as many courses of clean water as you like; then partially dry (practice will enable you to judge), fold to a convenient size, and it will be ready for use. The soda solution will now be cool enough for the leather (if too hot it will shrivel the leather); wash in the same manner, and wring superfluous moisture out; then wash the glass thoroughly with it and plenty of elbow grease, and polish off with the canvas. (18) A very effective agent in cleaning glass is a dilute solution of fluoric acid. To this is sometimes added a small quantity of some other acid, either sulphuric or hydrochloric. The glass, after being washed with this, must immediately be well washed with clean water. Fluoric acid must be carefully handled, as before dilution it will cause painful sores if allowed to come in contact with the hands and to dry on them.