Assort the clothes, and put those most soiled in soak the night before. Never pour hot water on them, as it sets the dirt. In assorting clothes, put the flannels in one lot, the colored clothes in another, the coarse white ones in a third, and the fine clothes in a fourth lot. Wash the fine clothes in one tub of suds. When clothes are very much soiled, a second suds is needful, turning them wrong side out. Put them in the boiling-bag, and boil them in strong suds for half an hour, and not much more. Move them, while boiling, with the clothes-stick. Take them out of the boiling-bag, and put them into a tub of water, and rub the dirtiest places again, if need be. Throw them into the rinsing-water, and then wring them out, and put them into the bluing-water. Put the articles to be stiffened into a clothes-basket by themselves, and, just before hanging out, dip them in starch, clapping it in, so as to have them equally stiff in all parts. Hang white clothes in the sun, and colored ones (wrong side out) in the shade. Fasten them with clothespins. Then wash the coarser white articles in the same manner. Then wash the colored clothes. These must not be soaked, nor have lye or soda put in the water, and they ought not to lie wet long before hanging out, as it injures their colors. Beefs-gall, one spoonful to two pailfuls of suds, improves calicoes. Lastly, wash the flannels in suds as hot as the hand can bear. Never rub on soap, as this shrinks them in spots. Wring them out of the first suds, and throw them into another tub of hot suds, turning them wrong side out. Then throw them into hot bluing-water. Do not put bluing into suds, as it makes specks in the flannel. Never leave flannels long in water, nor put them in cold or lukewarm water. Before hanging them out, shake and stretch them. Some housekeepers have a close closet, made with slats across the top. On these slats, they put their flannels, when ready to hang out, and then burn brimstone under them, for ten minutes. It is but little trouble, and keeps the flannels as white as new. Wash the colored flannels and hose after the white, adding more hot water. Some persons dry woolen hose on stocking-boards, shaped like a foot and leg, with strings to tie them on the line. This keeps them from shrinking, and makes them look better than if ironed. It is also less work than to iron them properly.
Bedding should be washed in long days, and in hot weather. Empty straw beds once a year.
The following cautions in regard to calicoes are useful. Never wash them in very warm water; and change the water when it appears dingy, or the light parts will look dirty. Never rub on soap; but remove grease with French chalk, starch, magnesia, or Wilmington clay. Make starch for black calicoes with coffee-water, to prevent any whitish appearance. Glue is good for stiffening calicoes. When laid aside, not to be used, all stiffening should be washed out, or they will often be injured. Never let calicoes freeze in drying. Some persons use bran-water (four quarts of wheat-bran to two pails of water), and no soap, for calicoes; washing and rinsing in the bran-water. Potato-water is equally good. Take eight peeled and grated potatoes to one gallon of water.
The best way, which the writer has repeatedly tried with unfailing success, is the following: Take one beefs-gall, half a pound of saleratus, and four gallons of warm water. Lay the article on a table, and scour it thoroughly, in every part, with a clothes-brush dipped in this mixture. The collar of a coat, and the grease-spots, (previously marked by stitches of white thread,) must be repeatedly brushed. Then take the article and rinse it up and down in the mixture. Then rinse it up and down in a tub of soft cold water. Then, without wringing or pressing, hang it to drain and dry. Fasten a coat up by the collar. When perfectly dry, it is sometimes the case, with coats, that nothing more is needed. In other cases, it is necessary to dampen with a sponge the parts which look wrinkled, and either pull them smooth with the fingers, or press them with an iron, having a piece of bombazine or thin woolen cloth between the iron and the article.