A piece of washing soda the size of an egg to ten gallons of water is enough for one tub full of clothes. Dissolve the soda in one gallon of boiling water, then pour it into the tub containing the other water, which should be just warm enough to put the hands in; assort the clothes, the fine from the coarse, and put them to soak (in separate tubs) over night.
When the clothes are wrung out of the soak, wash them through two tubfuls of warm soapsuds, rubbing them carefully on the washboard, then rub them with soap and put them into the wash bag and boil them twenty minutes; then wash them out of the boiling suds and rinse them through three waters, the last one having a little bluing in it; put them through the clothes wringer and shake them out well before hanging them up to dry.
As much powdered alum as will lay on a dime, stirred into a bucket of water, will clear it in five minutes.
Half a gallon of boiling water, half a tablespoon-ful of salt, half a tablespoonful of lard, one piece of alum the size of a five cent piece, half a pint of starch. Put the boiling water, salt, lard and alum into a kettle over the fire; put the starch into a bowl with half a pint of cold water and stir it until it is all dissolved, then stir it into the boiling water and let it boil ten minutes from the time it begins to boil again, stirring it constantly; then strain it. Now it is ready for use. This starch is thick enough for collars, bosoms and wristbands. The alum gives a fine gloss to the clothes and makes them stiff even in wet weather.
Take two tablespoonfuls of starch and two table-spoonfuls of cold water and mix them well together, then stir it into a pint of clear cold water and add a few drops of indigo water. Put the articles into it, squeeze them out and iron them while wet, with a hot iron. Rub the iron on a greased cloth to keep it from sticking.
Prepare three tubs, each half full of warm water, in two of the tubs make a strong soapsuds by rubbing the soap on the hands in the water, or by rubbing it on a small piece of cloth. The soap must not be rubbed on the flannels; the water in the third tub must only have a very little soap in it. Don't begin to wash the flannels until you have the three waters ready; flannels must not lay wet any time, and must not be washed with other clothes, nor in the same water that other clothes have been washed in. Wash the flannels with the hands, never on a wash board, that shrinks them and makes them hard. When they are wrung out of the water shake them out well before hanging them up to dry. Don't dampen them before ironing them; iron them dry.
Blankets should be washed on a warm sunny day, and two pounds of hard soap is enough to wash twelve blankets. Cut up two pounds of good hard soap very fine and put it into an iron pot with two quarts of cold water and let it soak over night, then set it over the fire and stir it until it is as smooth and thick as honey. Then prepare three tubs of warm water; in two of them make a strong soapsuds and in the third tub put a very, little soap and a little bluing. After the blankets have been washed out of the second suds and wrung out of the third water, shake them out well and stretch them before putting them on the line. When blankets are to be put away for the summer, if the chest they 'are to be kept in is measured and the blankets folded according to the measurement, you can pack away double the quantity that you could if they were laid in in disorder.