If you live in a suburb or in the country, brush, shake, and beat articles to be cleaned out of doors, noticing the way of the wind that the dust may not be carried back into the house.
To cleanse a rug, spread it on the grass, rub with a medium stiff brush with white soap solution on the wrong side, turn it over, and rinse with water from the hose; or better still, tack it by two corners to a wooden wall, and then wash with hose. The city dweller must resort to the vacuum cleaner, or rely upon a cleaning establishment. The other alternative is to shake out the dust in the room, remove each article as it is cleaned, let the dust settle, and take it out as well as it can be. One apartment dweller heard this remark rise from the window below her: "Shut the window quick. Those dirty people upstairs are brushing a rug out the window!"
Painted surfaces and woodwork should be wiped off with a soft cloth wrung out of tepid water. A small amount of neutral white soap solution in the water can be used for paint if it is greasy, but alkalies are ruinous.
A highly polished surface (piano) is cleaned by washing with a sponge and tepid water, and rubbing until dry with a wet chamois wrung out of cold water. This method was learned from a piano polisher, and it works excellently. A dry chamois streaks the surface.
1 Some of the widely advertised disinfectants are rather ineffective. Those interested should look up the tests of commercial disinfectants published from time to time by the United States Public Health Service.
The wood of furniture is kept clean by rubbing with a soft dry cloth, but once in a while needs cleaning with crude oil or the mixture of oil, turpentine, and vinegar. Bureau drawers need watching for finger marks.
Glass is best cleaned by rubbing on a mixture of whiting and water. Leave it to dry and rub off with a dry cloth. A fine gritty soap comes for this purpose. Ammonia and water and a soft cloth work well, the success depending upon the final polishing. Very soft tissue paper is satisfactory for polishing.