Damping

The clothes should be damped the evening before the ironing day, if they are to be ironed in the morning, as it is essential there should be sufficient time for the damp to become even before ironing. If they become too dry they do not iron smoothly, and the result is not satisfactory.

Airing

After ironing, the linen should be well aired,

{a) to ensure its perfect dryness and a good gloss; (b) to prevent the wearer from taking cold; (c) to prevent mildew.

The linen should be counted to see the list is correct, then carefully mended, and put in its proper place; all house linen being placed at the bottom of its particular pile.

Reasons For The Various Processes In Washing

1. STEEPING. Every pile of white linen should be steeped in a separate tub for twelve hours in cold water; if very soiled, a little soap may be added to the fine things, and a little soda (dissolved first in boiling water) to the kitchen things. Cold water is an energetic solvent, loosening stains and dirt; and thus steeping saves time, labour, soap, and wear and tear of the fabric.

2. WASHING expels by means of friction, with the aid of soap, the dirt loosened by the previous steeping.

3. BOILING. All white cotton or linen goods should be boiled for twenty minutes or half an hour to improve the colour, and get rid of the loosened stains.

4. RINSING. After being taken from the boiler, the linen should be well rinsed, first in warm water, and then in cold, to remove the soapy water and scum. If all soap is not thoroughly rinsed away, the linen will become yellow, and the blue will not enter into those parts which retain the soap.

5. BLUEING. The object of this is to keep the linen white, and prevent it acquiring the yellowish tint that frequent washing and age would otherwise bestow. The blue water should not be prepared long before use, as the blue, being a powder, settles at the bottom of the tub, and is apt to cause streaks and spots on the linen. The water should be sky-blue in the hand : if too much blue is used it gives a dark shade, and spoils the colour instead of improving it.

6. STARCHING improves the appearance of white cottons and linens, and makes them keep clean longer.

7. Clothes must be evenly folded before wringing, or some parts will be bluer and stiffer than others, owing to the unequal pressure.

8. DRYING. Everything should be hung inside out, to avoid smuts on the right side. Body linen should be hung by the thickest parts, that the water may drain out and the linen dry more quickly. Avoid stress on the edges and corners of large square articles by pegging them some inches from the corners. Allow the wind to penetrate so as to facilitate drying. 9. If the things are very dry they must be sprinkled before folding, in order that the mangle may more effectually smooth out the creases and rough places. Warm water is used for sprinkling things which have been starched in hot-water starch, and cold for other things. Articles should be folded selvedge to selvedge when possible.