Have a good supply of cheesecloth dusters, and heavier cloth for work on the floors. A sponge and chamois are useful. The mop, which is a cloth or fiber fabric on a handle, is something that we ought to banish when we can, for it is hard to keep clean, and is a trap for bacteria. A substitute for the common mop is a long handle with a cross bar covered with corrugated rubber, which is held down on the cloth, and rubbed back and forth but not fastened to the cloth. Avoid the use of linty old cloths, because the thread and lint clog the traps and drains.

Cleaning cloths should be boiled in strong soap suds, rinsed, and thoroughly dried before putting away. This is a difficult rule to enforce, for it is a temptation to tuck such things away where they will not show. Watch this matter as you do the garbage pail. When a cloth is too dirty to wash clean, burn it or send it away with paper refuse.

Cleaning Materials

Air, sunshine, and water are the great purifiers, plus muscular energy or the power of machinery, but we frequently use chemical aids. These should all be kept in stock.

Soaps And Alkalies

White and yellow soap, some washing powder, sal soda, caustic soda, household ammonia. Buy these in quantities if you have room to store them, and if they will not be used too lavishly because the supply is large. The soap is not much cheaper by the box, but it hardens with age, and then it wastes less rapidly when used.

Oils And Polishes

Crude oil, kerosene, a mixture of linseed oil, vinegar, and turpentine, one part each, cottonseed oil, alcohol.


A solution of oxalic acid marked poison. Vinegar is on hand among kitchen supplies.

Gritty Substances

Rotten stone, whiting, some gritty soap of a kind that does not scratch, a gritty powder, or fine sand for coarse work.

Disinfectant And Deodorizers

A weak solution of carbolic acid marked poison, chloride of lime, or some reliable preparation1 (though these are rather expensive), rock salt, and coarse common salt.