Method Of Cleaning

The principle in all cleaning is to dust each thing before removing it from the room to be cleaned, then burn all the loose dust. Commence at the top of the house and work downwards, finishing with the kitchen and offices.

1. Take the carpet up and fold by seams ready for shaking; have it brushed, beaten, and shaken, and ready to re-lay when required.

2. Have chimneys swept.

3. If necessary, have the ceilings papered or white-washed; if not, brush with a ceiling-brush or Turk's-head mop. If the wall-papers are very soiled, and it is not convenient to have them newly papered, they should be brushed with a soft hair broom covered with a clean duster, changing it when soiled; or they may be cleaned by rubbing downwards very lightly with a dough made of flour and water, or by some crumbs of bread.

4. Take down the blinds, if Venetian, wash each lath, following the directions for washing paint. Fancy glazed blinds maybe laid on a table, dusted, and cleaned with crumbs. Holland blinds, if very dirty, should be taken off the rollers, washed (after dusting) by gently squeezing in lukewarm soap lather, starched in stiff hot-water starch, and ironed.

5. The furniture must be washed with vinegar and water, and dried, first moving the smaller pieces into another room, and covering those which must remain with dust-sheets.

6. After the floor has been swept, the paint should be washed, the mantelpiece washed and polished, and the windows cleaned.

7. Scrub the floor, leaving door and window open to make it dry quickly.

8. When quite dry, re-lay the clean carpet, treating it with oxgall if necessary (see Chapter XII (Carpets).).

9. Bring back and polish furniture, replace pictures and ornaments, and put up clean curtains.

The Housemaid's Cupboard

To prevent friction between maids, it is wiser, when possible, to give a definite place to the housemaid for the keeping of all her requisites. As the larger portion of her work (in a small household where a cook is her only fellow-servant) lies upstairs, it will be convenient if a cupboard or small room can be allotted for this purpose on the first or second storey. An ideal cupboard should contain a sink fitted with hot and cold water and a draining board, in order that bedroom bottles, ware, etc., may here receive their weekly washing, and water obtained for the filling of jugs. It is not always convenient for a maid to enter the bathroom. A shelf should be provided for the accommodation of hot-water cans, so that when emptied these may be turned upside down to drain, thus preventing rust and speedy leakage.

A table is of the greatest use, as on it toilet-table silver may be cleaned, brushes washed, sponges attended to, clothes brushed, etc.

In this room everything which is necessary for the weekly and daily cleaning of the rooms should be at hand, such as dust-sheets, curtain bags, mattress brush, dustpan and brush, carpet sweeper, carpet whisk, floor flannels, wash leather, furniture cream, floor polish, salt, soap, etc. The housemaid's pail, after being carefully washed and rinsed, should be kept in a secluded place in the open air, and not in the house; ware cloths after attention should be dried in the open air if fine, but if a small clothes horse or rail is placed near to the window, it will be found most useful for drying these cloths, also damp floor flannels, when the day is wet.

On the door may be hung a plan of the work which is expected of the maid, the special time of her allotted duties, and an inventory of the various utensils, etc., provided for her use.