Brooms should be made of pliable straw (broom corn), be evenly made, with a light and comfortable handle.
Brushes may include the whisk broom, soft brush of bristles both short and long handled for floors, a long handled brush of wool or soft material for walls, ceilings, and cornices, a soft brush for furniture, a thin brush for radiators, a silver brush, and stiff scrubbing brush. The variety of brushes at a furnishing shop is very large, and interesting to study. It is economy to buy good quality when you can, and if cleaned and not abused they last a long time. Wash the brushes in soapsuds and water, drain and dry before putting away. A bamboo beater is convenient. The dustpan should have a narrow cover at the handle side, and a strong handle.
Carpet sweepers prevent dust from flying and are easy to use, but inclined to wear off the pile of the carpet.
Vacuum cleaners are a necessity in crowded city quarters, where we cannot beat and shake dusty carpets and rugs out of windows, on the roof, or in the street, on account of our neighbors. That we cannot all have them does not make them less necessary. While they may involve no less muscular exertion they remove dust and old dirt in a remarkable way from fabrics, and are very useful for taking dirt from cracks in the floor and woodwork and from upholstered furniture. The principle of operation differs with different makes, and some are less effective than others, but there are several patterns that do good work and are not expensive. Experiment with one at the first opportunity. A room cleaned in this way is markedly different in odor from a room that has been swept with a broom, even when this is well done.
A good vacuum cleaner must have an air conveying system, a separator or other means of disposal of the material picked up, and a vacuum producer. They may be divided, according to the method employed, into those worked by bellows, by fan, by rotary pump and piston pump. This is a problem to take to the class in physics.