These can be given a clean, bright surface by the use of nitric acid. The desired surface is thus obtained quickly and with little trouble. But there is the objection that a considerable quantity of nitrous fumes are given off, and these red vapors are at once extremely disagreeable, and very prejudicial to health. Their production may be prevented by adding a little solution of bichromate of potash to the dilute nitric acid. This is found to answer perfectly, the copper surface being made clean and bright, without disengagement of vapors.
Take a fresh beef-gall, break it into a clean pan ; pour one-half into a very clean bucket, and nearly fill it with lukewarm water ; take a clean, coarse cloth, and, having brushed the carpet well, rub it hard with the cloth thoroughly wet with gall-water ; do a small piece at a time; have ready a dry coarse cloth, and rub the carpet dry; so proceed until the whole carpet is cleaned. A few drops of carbonate of ammonia, in a small quantity of warm rain* water, will change, if carefully applied, discolored spots upon carpets, and indeed all spots, whether produced by acids or alkalies. If one has the misfortune to have a carpet injured by whitewash, this will immediately restore it.
Another recipe for cleaning carpets is two and one-half bars Ivory soap, one half-pound powdered borax, one-fourth ounce glycerine ; shave soap fine, put in four gallons soft water; heat till dissolved, then let cool enough to use.
Grease on a carpet, if not of long-stand. ing, can be readily disposed of by washing the spot with hot soapsuds and borax - half an ounce of borax to a gallon of water. Use a clean cloth to wash it with, rinse in warm water, and wipe dry.
To Clean Paper-Hangings. Take small pieces of stale bread, about two days old, commence at the top of the room, and with the crust wipe lightly downward about half a yard at each stroke, till the upper part of the hangings is completely cleaned all around, and so continue until the whole is gone over. This operation, if carefully performed, will frequently make old paper look almost equal to new. Great caution must be used not to rub the paper hard, nor to attempt cleaning it the cross or horizontal way. The dirty part of the bread must each time be cut away, and the piece renewed as often as necessary.
Oil-Marks on wall-paper, or the marks where inconsiderate people rest their heads, are a sore grief to good housekeepers, but they can be removed without much trouble. Take pipe-clay or fuller's earth and make it into a paste about as thick as rich cream with cold water ; lay it on the stain gently, without rubbing it in; leave it on all night. It will be dry by morning, when it can be brushed off, and, unless an old stain, the grease-spots will have disappeared. If old, renew the application.