Key or mottled soap is useful for scrubbing; but carbolic soap is advisable for floors in the spring cleaning, and after any illness. Pastry-boards, bread-platters, and rolling-pins are all treated in this way, but very little soap is necessary for these; thorough rinsing is essential. All wooden culinary utensils should, if possible, be dried in the open air, as this keeps them sweeter, and avoids any mustiness.

Meat chopping-blocks are often made of elm, and, being thick, are less liable to warp; they are dark in colour, and for this reason a little soda may be used if the wood is very greasy.


Boil one quart of soft water with 1/4 lb. fuller's earth and 1/2 lb. pearlash; while hot apply it to the spots, and allow it to remain ten or twelve hours; then scrub in the usual way. When grease is spilt on a wooden floor, pour cold water over it at once to harden the grease, and prevent it soaking into the wood.

Good Preparation For Scrubbing Neglected Floors

1 lb. soft soap, 1 lb. fuller's earth, 1 lb. soda, 2 quarts of water, boiled down to half the quantity.

To Stain Floors

2 ozs. potash crystals (permanganate, 2d. per oz. or 1/8 per lb.) added to one pint of boiling water. This must be applied to the floor the way of the grain, very evenly, avoiding spilling, or making any spots. A pad should be used, made of flannel tied to a stick for a handle, as the mixture is so strong that it would destroy any sort of brush. Care should be taken not to allow any of it to come in contact with the hands, the stain being difficult to remove. When dry, give another coating until the requisite shade is obtained. After twenty-four hours, rub with a linen rag dipped in linseed oil; this brings out the grain of the wood, and gives a richer appearance.

Leave for twenty-four hours, then polish with beeswax and turpentine.

This may be relied upon to produce excellent results in floors, surrounds, deal tables, cupboards, etc.

To Prepare Beeswax And Turpentine

Shred some beeswax finely {2d. per oz. or 2/- per lb.) into an earthenware jar, cover it with turpentine, place near a gentle heat, and leave till dissolved, then add more turpentine if necessary. It should be of the consistency of thick cream; if too thick it becomes sticky. If applied with a pad of cloth or linen, it produces very satisfactory results on floors and furniture, although rubbing is required.

RECIPE FOR LIQUID POLISH.1 1/2 pint turpentine (8d. per pint, 4/- per gallon) 1/4 pint methylated spirit (6d. per pint, 3/-per gallon), 1/2 pint linseed oil (5d. per pint, 2/6 per gallon), 1/4 pint vinegar (2d. per pint).

Put these ingredients into a bottle and shake well, always forming an emulsion before use. This is an excellent recipe, and is especially successful for dark wood, such as mahogany.

The methylated spirit gives the wood a gloss, the turpentine and vinegar remove grease and prevent smearing, while the oil keeps the wood in good condition. Frequent use of this preparation prevents wood from becoming worm-eaten.