This section is from the book "Elements Of The Theory And Practice Of Cookery", by Mary E. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Elements Of The Theory And Practice Of Cookery; A Textbook Of Domestic Science For Use In Schools.
Dish-washing need not be an unpleasant task if these rules are observed: 1. Use hot soapy water. 2. Change the water frequently. 3. Have the dishes free from crumbs and scraps before beginning to wash them.
Directions for dish-washing. Preparation. - Collect all dishes to be washed. To save time and steps in clearing off, use a tray to carry dishes from table to sink. Some people, by taking only what they can carry in their hands, make ten trips where two would do. If you can afford it, have a butler's tray (Frontispiece). As you take the dishes from the table, scrape and stack them on the tray. Wheel it to the sink and remove the dishes from it directly to the dishpan. A table on casters will do instead of the tray. Scrape them, putting scraps in an earthenware or enamelled dish; wipe frying-pans and other greasy dishes with pieces of soft paper. This paper may be used for kindling. Or fill them with hot water to which a teaspoonful of sal-soda has been added, and let them stand. Soak dishes that have contained batter, dough, eggs, or any starchy material in cold water; dishes that have been used to cook sugar, in hot water. Put all dishes of a kind together; plates in piles, knives, forks, and spoons laid with handles one way, etc. Place nearest to you the dishes to be washed first.
Have a clean dry place clear for clean dishes. Make ready two pans, or one if there is a draining-board.
Wash the dishes in the following order: 1, Glassware; 2, silver; 3, cups and saucers; 4, plates; 5, larger dishes; 6, the cleaner articles of kitchenware; 7, large utensils. This order may be varied according to circumstances. If you have hot water at hand constantly, the kitchen utensils may be washed and put away first, or as fast as they are used.
Wash all dishes, inside and out, in soapy water; rinse in clear hot water, drain, and wipe dry. Use sapolio or cleaning powder to remove food that sticks or is burnt on. Use a wire dish-cloth on ironware, a scrubbing-brush, if necessary, on enamelled ware, tinware, and wire strainers. Clean seams in tinware and enamelled ware with a wooden skewer.
Do not put knife-handles in water. Water discolors and cracks ivory and bone handles, and may loosen wooden ones. After washing knives, scour them with bath brick. Do not wash bread-board or rolling-pin at an iron sink. The iron will leave marks on them. Wash them at the table. Be careful not to wet the cogs of a Dover egg-beater. Wash the lower part, and wipe off the handle with a damp cloth. Water washes the oil from the cogs, thus making the beater hard to turn. Dry the seams of a double-boiler carefully. Do not waste time polishing tins. It is sufficient to have them clean and dry.
Dip glasses into hot water, so that they will be wet inside and outside at the same time. Unequal expansion of the glass, caused by one part's being heated suddenly, is what breaks them. Silver and glass are brightest if wiped directly from clean, hot suds, without being rinsed. A damp towel makes dull spoons and glasses. Scald; i.e., rinse with boiling water all vessels that have contained milk. Wash teapot and coffee-pot in clean hot water without soap, and wipe dry. Clean the spout carefully. Let them stand for a while with covers off. Wash dish-pan and rinsing-pan, and wipe dry with a towel, not with the dish-cloth.
Where running hot water is plentiful, time and towels can be saved by placing the dishes as they are washed in a wire rack, rinsing them with very hot water, and letting them drain. It is best, if possible, to set the rack of dishes for a minute into a pan or sink full of scalding hot water. Wipe glasses and silver. China and other ware will need only a polish with towel or strip of paper towelling. For success with this method, the dishes must be washed in clean hot suds, and rinsed quickly. If washed in greasy water, or allowed to cool before being rinsed, they will not dry clean. Caution: gold-decorated china should not be washed in this way. Very hot water may injure it.
For care of towels and sink, see pp. 39 and 44.
Scrape off a little bath brick with the back of the knife or with an old knife. Dip a cork in water or oil, and then in the brick-dust. Hold the knife firmly, with the blade resting flat upon a level surface, and rub both sides of the blade with the cork. (Fig. 5.) Wash the knife. Scour steel forks in the same way. Never scour silver-plated knives or forks.
Aluminum should not be used for vegetables with strong acid or for boiling eggs. These discolor it. Otherwise it needs little care. Never use soda on aluminum. Before using any polish fill with water and bring to a boil. For bad stains use oxalic acid diluted, one teaspoonful of acid to two quarts of water. If the stain still remains, rub with a damp cloth dipped in whiting or Dutch cleanser.
The quickest way to brighten silver is by electrolysis, that is, by decomposing the tarnish by electricity. One device for this purpose is an aluminum pan with cross-bars of tin on the bottom. Fill the pan with water, and for every quart dissolve in it one teaspoonful of baking-soda and one tablespoonful of salt. The silver must rest on the bars and be covered with the solution. A mild current of electricity is set up which causes the tarnish quickly to disappear. No rubbing is needed, but embossed silver may need brushing to loosen the tarnish. Rinse in clear water, and wipe dry with a soft cloth. The old way is to moisten a soft cloth with water or alcohol, dip it in fine whiting, and apply to the silver. When the whiting has dried, rub it off with another soft cloth, and polish with chamois-skin. To cleanse chasing or ornamental work, use an old tooth-brush. Rub egg-stained spoons and other badly tarnished articles with salt before washing them. The tarnish is not soluble, but with the chlorine in the salt it forms a soluble compound (pp. 22 and 57). Powders or cakes sold by silversmiths are good. Patent powders and polishes often remove some of the silver.