Have ready a number of dry coarse cotton or linen cloths, some coarse flannels, and one or more large pieces of coarse sponge; two or more hard scrubbing or scouring brushes, some large tubs or pans, and pails, and also a plentiful supply of both hot and cold water.
Or use, instead of the soap, a mixture of fullers' earth, gall, and water, well rinsing and drying each spot as before.
When this has been done, the carpet may be cleaned by one of the three following methods: -
(1) To Dry Clean With Soap Liquor
Cut up a bar of soap and dissolve it over a fire in 2 gal. water. Put 2 qt. of this dissolved soap into a pail of warm water. Dip a scrubbing brush into this soap liquor, and scour with it about 1 sq. yd. of the carpet; be careful not to let the liquor soak through to the back. When this piece is thoroughly cleaned, rub the soap well out of it by means of a coarse flannel or sponge, sucking up all the wet and dirt made by the brush; rinse the flannel or sponge frequently in warm water. Now take a clean sponge and dip it into a pail of common sour, squeeze it out, and then rub the sour well into the part just cleaned and rinsed. Rub as dry as possible with clean, coarse cotton or linen cloths before proceeding with the cleaning. The whole carpet is to be cleaned, spirited, and dried in the same manner, a square yard at a time.
(2) To Clean With Gall
Put a bag of very fresh bullocks' gall into a pail containing 2 gal. cold water, with 4 oz. pearlash dissolved in it, and well mix it either with a stick or your hands. Have ready, besides this, 2 pails cold water, a large sponge, a couple of flannels, and some dry, coarse cloths. Dip the brush into the gall and water, and scrub the carpet, a square yard at a time, as quickly and as carefully as possible. Rinse, and suck up the. gall and dirt with a large flannel or sponge, which is to be frequently rinsed in the pails of cold water. Well dry with cloths before beginning a second square.
By adopting this simple process, any carpet, whatever its size, may easily be cleaned on the floor; the process is especially useful when the carpet is not very dirty, or when it contains delicate colours, as the gall cannot possibly injure them. The only objection to this method is that when cleaned with gall there is often a disagreeable smell left in the carpet; but if the gall be obtained from a fresh killed bullock, and the carpet, after cleaning, be hung for a few hours in a current of fresh air, the whole of this smell will go off.
(3) To Clean With Ammonia
Dissolve in a small pan 4 oz. peajlash in hot water, and mix with it 1 gal. ammonia, which must be obtained from a drysalter, not from a chemist. Dip a sponge or coarse flannel into the ammonia, take it out rather wet, and well rub it into the carpet, then dip the scouring brush into the liquor and well scour the part already sponged as quickly as possible. The dirt and ammonia must then be sucked up in the sponge or flannel, and the part well dried with flannels and cloths before proceeding with the next. Each square yard will take about 20 minutes to clean and dry thoroughly.
This is another very simple method, the only objection to it being that the carpet will smell of the ammonia for some time if it is kept in the room in which it has been cleaned; it should therefore be hung for 3 or 4 days in the open air or under an open shed, taking care, however, that it does not get wet.
In dry cleaning, special care must be taken not to allow the liquor to soak to the back of the carpet or rug; and also that, before commencing, the floor or board on which the operation is conducted, is perfectly dry. A good fire should also be kept in the room during the whole time, as much of the success of the operation depends on rapid drying.
Thorough cleaning, (a) Lay the carpet on a stone floor, having a fall of about 6 in., so that the soap and water may drain off as used, and well scour with a long-handled scouring brush, using the dissolved soap liquor in the manner described in the first process for dry cleaning. When well scoured all over, scour out the soap and dirt with plenty of cold water, fold and lift on to pegs to drain. While the carpet is draining, sweep and well rinse the flags; and then lay down the carpet, and well rinse and scour it a second time with plenty of cold water. Refold and hang on the pegs to drain, and again well rinse and sweep the flags. This must be repeated until all the soap and dirt have been got oat of the carpet; it must then be hung on the pegs, and the floor once more swept and rinsed. Have a tub or other vessel containing 12 pails cold water, and stir into it 1/4 pint oil of vitriol; spread the carpet evenly on the floor, and, with a pail, pour this sour carefully all over the carpet, and well work it in with a carpet broom. This, which is a very important process in carpet cleaning, must be performed with care and attention to the colours, especially when there are greens and blues.
When done, fold up the carpet very smoothly and put it on the pegs to drain, and afterwards dry as quickly as possible, either in a hot room or, on a dry day, in the open air.
(6) Have a board 3 ft. wide and 12 ft. long, so that two persons can work at it at the same time. Place this board on trestles, or horses, 3 ft. high, and on the ground underneath it place other boards, on which to drop the carpet as the scouring progresses. Place the carpet smoothly on the scouring board, face upwards, and well scour with hand-scouring brushes, using the soap liquor as before. When this length has been scoured, pull the carpet towards you and let it drop smoothly on to the boards at your feet, and then scour the second width in the same manner; and so proceed until the whole carpet has been scoured. Then fold it up and put it on the pegs to drain, and clean away all the soap and dirt from the boards and floor. Place the carpet on the scouring board as at first, and well scour out the soap and dirt with plenty of cold water; fold up the carpet and put it on the pegs to drain, and again rinse the boards and floor; and so continue until all the dirt and soap have been got out of the carpet. Then well clean the scouring board, the boards at your feet, and all places about them. Put the carpet once more on the scouring board and finish with the sour as directed for the first method, well scouring it in breadth by breadth. Drain and dry as before.
Carpets cleaned in this manner will look and wear as well as when they were new.
(c) First take out all the grease spots with a mixture of fullers' earth and gall. Dissolve 1 lb. pearlash in boiling water, put it into a tub with 6 pails of cold water, and then well mix into it 2 large gall bags, which should be very fresh; this will be sufficient to clean a carpet containing about 30 sq. yd. Spread the carpet either on the flags or on the scouring board, and use this preparation in exactly the same manner as you would the dissolved soap liquor; scouring, rinsing, spiriting, and drying the carpet just the same.
Never attempt to clean the back of any carpet, as the backs are sure to get clean with cleaning the face.
Cloth trimmings often become soiled, and unless cleaned, the appearance is impaired. Benzine and naphtha are used with success for this purpose upon grease spots, but when there is no grease, the materials fail, and are likely to produce bad results, owing to the oil that is contained in them. To remove the oil place a quantity of benzine in a bottle and drop into it a little oxalic acid; this will carry with it to the bottom of the glass all the oil remaining in the benzine, leaving the greater part perfectly pure. After standing for an hour or two, carefully pour off the clear fluid on the top into another bottle, and it will be ready for use.