Mother Nature has given us lavishly three great helps to cleanliness: fresh air, sunshine, and water. If we neglect to use these intelligently, what can we expect but disastrous results? The care of the home and the family comes under the "housemother's supervision, whether it be immediately entrusted to mistress or maid; and much depends on her vigilance. A clean house means healthy children; and ignorance of the conditions in one's house may cost the life of the little ones. Careless housekeeping promotes disease; therefore, it is most important actually to know for one's self that the house is clean from garret to cellar.

Vacuum cleaners, dustless dusters, and other labor lighteners make it possible to keep one's house freer than ever before from the germs collected in dust. A house that is kept clean all the time does not require the old-time spring cleaning, which not only so disgruntled the men members of the household, but so used up all the women that it might almost justly have been called the spring killing. The most sanitary houses are without carpets; bare floors with rugs are more easily made clean, and kept free from dirt.

How many of us realize that fresh air is a means to cleanliness, necessary to health as well as to good spirits? Open the windows every morning, rain or shine; damp air is better than impure air. On a cold day it will take only a short time to change the air. Remember, it is far easier to heat the clear cold air than the heavy close air so often found in houses, especially in winter. However hot it is outdoors, the air of the house should be kept in circulation in the summer. When a house is shut up tight, - in hot weather to keep it cool, and in cold weather to keep it warm, - the confined air is usually intolerably impure. It has been shown that colds and other infectious diseases are promoted as much by the bad air, containing emanations from unclean bodies in the confined conditions of the winter months, as by lack of oxygen in the air.

Open the windows when sleeping; the old-time notion that night air is not good for us has been exploded. It is better, if one does not care to open the sash the full width, to open the window both top and bottom. If opened only in one place, half the space is required for the bad air to go out; and only a small space is left for the good air to come in. Many intelligent, thinking people are careless in this respect; they do not give themselves enough fresh air; and so they pay the penalty with sleeplessness, morning headaches, pallid faces, white lips, and a general condition of anaemia.

Children suffer particularly from this lack of fresh air when sleeping; and their vital forces, in consequence, are seriously depleted. The fresh air feeds and cleans the lungs; without it, the lungs are starved, and the child's body loses its strength and energy, and becomes susceptible to disease germs. It would be considered a disagreeable and unclean thing to bathe in water that had been used before; but to breathe the same air over and over again is not commonly enough thought to be the unclean practice it is, or it would not be allowed by thoughtful persons. Take an early morning stroll, before people are out of bed, and see how few bedroom windows are open. After a tuberculosis exhibition in one of our great cities, attended largely by poor people, it was noticed that more windows were thrown open at night.

Next to fresh air in the house, the beautiful and friendly sunshine is the most essential thing. Sunshine is life-giving, and is invaluable as a curative agent. A house with no sunshine is depressing; to a sensitive child, the lack of it will cause a lowering of the system. It has been noticed in hospitals that the recovery of patients is slower on the north side in comparison with others kept on the south side, and in the sunlight. Every house should have abundant sunlight in every corner of its rooms.

Through the windows comes all the light of the house; it is deplorable that so many houses are kept dark by draperies and blinds. How bad we should feel if we could not have full-sized windows in our houses! Yet we are quite willing to waste half - or even more -of the space by covering it with opaque shades, shutting out just so much light, sunshine, and health. If you notice the windows in nearly all the houses even in the best parts of the city, you will see how dark the rooms must be inside. Who knows what demons of disease maybe lurking in the dark corners within? Take two families of children, both equally well-fed; place one in the fresh air and sunshine every day; keep the other under the roof, and with almost no fresh air. It would not take long to make the difference most apparent. The children used to being out-of-doors will be brown and rugged, with clear eyes, red lips, and good appetites; while the others will be pale, white-lipped, nervous, and fretful, and relishing almost no food. The sickly appearance of most of the children of the poor comes quite as often from air starvation at night as from malnutrition.

It is important in the care of the house that every woman should have enough knowledge of plumbing to know how many traps are in the house, and where they are situated; and to be able to have them cleaned out at intervals depending on the size of the family, - the process not being required quite so often in a small as in a large family. In some houses, the trap covers are sealed down, and not to be opened unless a plumber is called. This is wrong, and most dangerous to health. Flushing the traps and pipes often with boiling water - one of the best of germ-killers - is absolutely necessary, especially in the kitchen. It is of little use to employ any disinfectant without using also boiling water.

The cellar is a place that is often neglected, being generally dark, cold, and disagreeably damp: conditions not conducive to cleanli-ness and health. There should be some way of letting in the sunshine and fresh air to dry and purify the cellar. An unclean atmosphere in the cellar will permeate the whole house; it has often been the cause of illness to some member of a family. Nothing that will collect dampness should be permitted to stay in the cellar for any length of time, such as piles of old newspapers and barrels of dirty rags. To this latter cause was once traced the diphtheria of a child in an otherwise clean and well-ordered house. Vegetables and fruit, stored promiscuously in a cellar, will collect dampness and decay, and thus become dangerous to health. Personal supervision of the cellar by the mother in the house is almost more necessary than supervision of any other part - unless it be the ice-chest.

How often the ice-chest becomes a menace when it is left wholly to the care of servants to clean as well - and as seldom - as they see fit! What wonder is it that the milk does not agree with the child when it has become tainted with the foul air of the unclean and bad-smelling ice-chest! If you will interview your ice-man, you will be surprised at what he will tell you of the conditions of ice-chests observed on his daily rounds. An evil odor is nature's way of warning; and when found, the cause should be promptly discovered and obliterated. Everything in the ice-chest should be well-covered; - an inverted tumbler or cup placed over the milk and cream jars. All liquids should be wiped up as soon as they are spilled, and bits of food should not be allowed to collect. Cooking-soda, used as a powder, is excellent as a cleanser, almost polishing the surfaces of chests lined with aluminum or zinc, as well as sweetening the air. Bits of charcoal, changed once in a while, are useful as a sweetener; but nothing will do much good, unless the chest is kept sweet and clean with hot water and pure soap, both being the most excellent disinfectants. The pan under the ice-chest is apt to be a great collector of germs. It should be emptied each day; washed and scalded often. If it becomes slimy, which may happen unless it is carefully watched, it is dangerous. To slime on the ice-chest pan might be traced many a sickness.

Cleanliness in the kitchen means purity of the food. Laws have been passed to insure pure food; but on the house-mother depends much of the problem of keeping food uncon-taminated. There is no simple food test. Food that is wholesome will be known by its normal odor. Anything that smells queer, and tastes all right, we are apt to risk eating; we do not mind a slight attack of indigestion in consequence. With children it is different; and many of their complaints, especially in summer, could easily be traced to tainted food. We demand pure water, and yet we habitually put in it ice that has come to us covered with filth; washed carelessly, if at all.

It is important that there should be stringent regulations for kitchen discipline; observed alike by members of the family, and all domestics. It would be desirable to have a set of simple printed rules posted permanently over the kitchen sink. Handle nothing in the kitchen before washing the hands in hot water and soap. Require all the dishes, after being washed in water and soap, to be sterilized by dipping in a pan of scalding hot water. Be sure they are washed and wiped with clean cloths, - the lack of a clean dish-mop is where many a housekeeper slips up. Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly before cooking or eating them. Vegetables, such as cabbage, cauliflower, or lettuce, should stand in salted water before being used. Kitchen discipline should require that a person never come from the toilet without thoroughly cleansing the hands by washing with hot water and soap. Another important rule is that food should never be touched with spoon, knife, fork, or fingers that have come from the mouth.

How many of us would care to have a health inspector visit our houses and pass judgment on the conditions found? Our garrets may be filled with the accumulation of years (most garrets are); and the cellars so bad that it is a puzzle to know where to begin to remedy their condition. It might be wise for us all to become house inspectors ourselves and thus insure the health of our families.