The bedroom. - The daily care includes airing the room and its closets, airing and making the bed, dusting, removing lint and threads from the floor, and removing slops and bringing fresh water if bathing apparatus is in the room.
The amount of airing of the bedclothes depends somewhat upon the weather; bed linen absorbs too much damp if placed by the window on a rainy or foggy day. Pull back the bedclothes and hang them over a chair set front to the foot of the bed, seeing that the bedclothes do not drag on the floor. On a bright, fresh day remove all the clothes and hang them singly near the window. If there is a screen in the room, this is convenient for this purpose. The blankets should be hung out on the line once in a while, and washed twice a year. One important point in the cleanliness of the bed is a pad or thick cloth placed on the mattress under the sheet. The mattress should be sunned and aired often, and beaten or cleaned with the vacuum cleaner.
To make the bed, place the cover on the mattress, lay the under sheet straight, tuck in firmly at top and bottom, and fold the sides under straight, making angles at the corners. Put each piece on separately, turning the upper sheet down over the others. The cover is sometimes placed over all, and a strip to match over the pillows.
This is all important, and cannot be neglected a day, without causing an unpleasant odor. The jars containing slops should be rinsed in cold water, washed out in warm soap suds, dried, and aired. If the ware is china, hot water may crackle the glaze, and then it is impossible to remove odors. Wash and dry all the small articles and wipe out and refill the water pitcher.
Fold back, or remove the covers, and lay the bedclothes partly back. See that drinking water is in the room, and lighting conveniences.
The daily care consists in setting furniture and such small articles as the pictures and ornaments straight, removing lint and dust from the floor, dusting wherever needed.
Whether a thorough cleaning is needed weekly, depends upon the situation of the house, and the number of people who use the rooms. The rooms in a country house set in wide green spaces do not need cleaning so often as those of a city house.
Dust all small articles, place them together and cover them. Dust and clean off furniture and take the lighter pieces from the room. Cover what remains. Clean the textile fabrics in the best way available. Brush the walls, with a special brush, or soft cloth on a broom. Dust and cover pictures. Brush the rugs, or use vacuum cleaner. If the floor is hardwood, brush it with a soft brush, taking long, steady strokes from corner and sides to center. Take up dust in pan, and carry away to burn, or put in dust can at once. Wipe the floor with moist cloth, or with oiled cloth.
If there is a carpet and a broom is to be used, scatter pieces of wet paper over it, moisten the broom, and sweep as directed for brushing, using steady strokes and not allowing the dust to fly. The broom should be washed and dried. If dust flies, allow it time to settle. Dust the surfaces left exposed. Wipe off the woodwork if necessary, remove covers, and replace all articles. To have the room perfectly clean, windows should be washed, but if this is not convenient at the time, or the weather is bad, rub them and dust the sashes. Wash mirrors and the glass of pictures. This means much labor, and some people cannot accomplish it every week; and different rooms should have different cleaning days. But such thorough cleaning occasionally is necessary for keeping all articles in good condition and also for the health of the family.
The old-fashioned yearly house cleaning seems hardly necessary if cleaning is well done through the year, but in both fall and spring some extra freshening may be necessary in the way of thorough cleansing of textiles and furniture. All closets should have everything removed from them and the whole closet cleansed. Drawers should come out, be emptied, washed and aired, and fresh white or brown paper put in all.
This needs very particular care, no matter what the type may be. All drains and traps should be flushed daily, and a solution of caustic soda put down weekly. If there is an odor about the water closet, try salt first, and then some chloride preparation. The basin, the tub, and the seat and basin of the toilet should be thoroughly washed daily. When the bathroom is used by more than one person, all should be taught to leave all the toilet equipment perfectly clean. If the toilet is not of the water-closet type, even greater care should be taken. Everything must be kept scrubbed clean, and chloride of lime should be put down daily, if there is not a removable pail with earth. (See "Shelter and Clothing," p. 48.)