It is very simple to clean a clock, which may sound rather absurd. For an amateur it is not always necessary to take the clock to pieces. With a little care and patience and using some benzine, a clean white rag, a sable brush and some oil a clock can be cleaned and put into first-class running order. The benzine should be clean and free from oil. You can test benzine by putting a little on the back of the hand; if it is good it will dry off, leaving the hand quite clean, but if any grease remains on the hand, it is not fit to use.
The oil should be of the very best that can be procured. Vegetable oils should never be used. Clock oil can be procured from your druggist or jeweler.
All loose dirt should be removed from the works by blowing with bellows, or a fan, or dusting with a dry brush; in the latter case great care should be exercised not to injure any of the parts. Dip the brush in the benzine and clean the spindles and spindle holes, and the teeth of the escapement wheel. After washing a part, wipe the brush on the rag and rinse in the benzine; this should be repeated frequently, until no more dirt is seen.
When the clock has dried, oil the spindle holes carefully; this may be done with a toothpick or a sliver of woodcut to a fine point. Oil the tooth of the escapement wheel slightly, using a fine brush.
To cleanse articles of silver, gold, bronze and brass use a saturated solution of cyanide of potassium. To clean small articles, dip each one into the solution and rinse immediately in hot water; then dry and polish with a linen cloth. Larger articles are cleaned by rubbing the surface with a small tuft of cotton saturated in the solution. As cyanide of potassium is a deadly poison, care must be taken not to have it touch any sore spot on the flesh.
An inexpensive floor polisher can be made as follows: Secure a wooden box with a base 8 by 12 in. and about 6 in. high, also a piece of new carpet, 14 by 18 in. Cut 3-in. squares out of the four corners of the carpet and place the box squarely on it. Turn three of the flaps of the carpet up and tack securely to the sides of the box. Before tacking the fourth side, fold a couple of newspapers to the right size and shove them in between the carpet and the bottom of the box for a cushion. Fill the box with any handy ballast, making it heavy or light, according to who is going to use it, and securely nail on the top of the box. The handle can be made from an old broom handle the whole of which will be none too long. Drive a heavy screw eye into the big end of the handle and fasten to the polisher by a staple driven through the eye into the center of the cover, thus making a universal joint. The size of the box given here is the best although any size near that, if not too high, will answer the purpose just as well. The box is pushed or pulled over the floor and the padded side will produce a fine polish.
Greasy stoves may be cleaned with a strong solution of lye or soda.
A good method to clean silver of any kind is to place the articles in an aluminum vessel and add a few pieces of zinc. Hot water is added and the silver boiled until clean. It is best to use soft water. The tarnish is removed by the electrolytic action of the zinc on the aluminum and the silver, and the latter will take on a bright luster. This method of cleaning will not injure oxidized or black silver, nor that which is partly oxidized.
An easy method of removing the dirt and old varnish at the same time around a kitchen sink is told by a correspondent of National Magazine as follows:
Make a soft soap from common yellow laundry soap, and when it is almost cold stir in one tablespoonful of concentrated lye and one-half cupful of kerosene. When the mixture becomes a heavy paste, it is ready to be spread over the woodwork with a paint brush. Allow the soap to remain for a day and a half, then wash it off with plenty of hot water. The woodwork will be clean and ready for varnishing when it dries out.
Mold on wallpaper can be removed at once by applying a solution of 1 part salicylic acid in 4 parts of 95% alcohol.