Every woman should have at command some practical knowledge of sanitation, for upon the home-maker or housekeeper rests the responsibility of creating and preserving the sanitary conditions of home life. Upon these conditions in a large measure the health of the household depends.

Pure air is the first essential for a healthful home. The housekeeper should personally attend to the daily airing of every part of the house. In summer the windows should always be open in every room, except when the rain comes in or when the wind is too high.

Sunlight is one of the great factors essential to health. No matter if carpets, curtains, wall-paper, and cushions fade; never forget that health is more important than faded things. Never draw the curtains or shut the blinds in bedrooms during the daytime, particularly on a sunny day. A room where the sun shines in is pretty sure to be the best place to invigorate the body when asleep. Sunshine is a wonderful cure for the nerves; any one who has a south window and an easy-chair can have a sun-bath every sunny morning, summer and winter.


There is nowhere greater necessity for constant care than in the cellar of the house; it should be light if possible, and as dry and clean as any room in the house. Once a year the cellar should be whitewashed, and so sweetened. It should be swept often, and tidied up like the rest of the house.

No decayed vegetables should be allowed to collect or anything that will retain the dampness; the air should be kept dry and pure by a constant current through the cellar. A clean, well-aired, and dry cellar will never smell.


The care of a house increases in proportion to the plumbing. Odors are often found in houses where the plumbing is of the very best, but this can be helped and possibly prevented by the intelligent use of proper disinfectants.

Kitchen Sink

The kitchen sink should be treated every other week with a hot solution of sal-soda (washing-soda); the other drainpipes in the house as often as once a month, unless there is illness, when it would be best to use a disinfectant in the bathrooms and all closets every day.

A solution of sal-soda is made by dissolving one pint or one pound of sal-soda in four gallons of boiling water; pour this while hot into the pipes; for pipes which may be clogged with grease make the solution much stronger.

A solution of copperas is very cheap, and excellent to use in drains and closets. This solution should be strong, using about one pound of copperas to one gallon of water.

Carbolic acid, an excellent disinfectant, is disagreeable to most people because of its odor. A five per cent solution is made by dissolving ten ounces of crystals in three gallons of water.

Potassium permanganate has no odor and is known in England as Condy's Fluid. The solution can be easily made by dissolving two ounces of permanganate in one gallon of Water or a few crystals can be dropped in the pipes and closets from time to time. Care must be taken, as a strong solution of this is a deep rich purple color and apt to stain.

Care Of The Ice-Chest

A neglected ice-chest is a menace to the life and health of the whole family. A well-ordered household should always mean a sanitary refrigerator. Keep the box full of ice, as refrigeration checks the germs.

One should be as particular in caring for an ice-chest during the winter months as in the summer-time. Keep a saucer of powdered charcoal standing in the ice-box. It will absorb all odors and keep the air pure. When opening a refrigerator that has been closed for a long time, burn for an hour a small-sized sulphur candle, then cleanse thoroughly with warm soapy water and dry perfectly, exposing to air and sun if possible. It is most important to keep the ice-chest wholesome and sweet.

It is also important that the door be kept closed; otherwise the temperature will rise and the ice melt rapidly.

A good scalding is not necessary very often if the chest is kept clean.

Remember that ice is apt to be dirty, and it is wise to watch the receptacle for the ice, that there be no leaves or anything collected there to decay or to clog the pipe. This pipe or the pan beneath should never be allowed to get slimy, as slime is a danger signal.

Once a week wash the walls, sides, shelves, and every corner with cold water, borax, and any sweet pure soap, rinse with clear water and wipe dry. The shelves may be taken out and scalded, but must be chilled and wiped dry before they are returned.

If anything is spilled, wipe it up at once, and be sure each day that there are no refuse bits of food or berries lying about.

It is best to keep everything covered; it is imperative that milk and butter should always be covered, and, if possible, kept in a separate apartment.

Do not keep food too long, to spoil and sour, and thus scent up the ice-box.