Nearly all colored fabrics stain the water used to clean them, and that without losing their own brightness in any way. No article of a different color should be plunged into a wash or rinse so stained, and no colored article should be rinsed in a blued lather. Scarlet is particularly likely to color wash water.
Colors are often improved by the use of certain substances in the wash or rinse-Sugar of lead has the credit of fixing all colors when first cleaned, and may be used with those likely to run. To brighten colors, mix some ox-gall with the water. Of course the quantity must be regulated by the quantity of suds in the wash and rinse. For buff and cream-colored alpaca or cash-mere, mix in the wash and rinse a small quantity of friar's balsam for one skirt. For a dress of black materials, use a little ammonia in the wash and rinse. For violet, also put ammonia, or a small quantity of soda, in the rinsing water ; but it must be borne in mind that some violets and mauves fade in soda. For green, use vinegar in the rinse, in the proportion of two tablespoon-fuls of vinegar to a quart of rinse. For blue, to one dress, put a good handful of common salt in the rinse. For brown and gray, use ox-gall. For white, blue the water with laundry blue.
Blankets may be similarly dealt with. Pull them out well, while wet, in both directions, two persons pulling. When half dry it is a good plan to take them off the line and pull them again; and when quite dry, give them a little more pulling out. This keeps them open and soft. Never use soda to them, and never rinse them in plain water or rub on soap. 440