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.
Porcelain and enamelled iron are the best materials for a sink. Wood is least desirable, because hardest to keep clean. The space below the sink should be left open. The sink should slope down toward the waste-pipe. The waste-pipe should have a bend in it that will allow water to stand in it deep enough to prevent gases from passing up from the drain into the kitchen. This bend is called a trap. The water it contains is called a water-seal. (See Fig. 4, p. 38.)
After pouring soiled water down the waste-pipe, follow it with clean water, so that foul water shall not stand in the trap. If a sink is left unused for several days or longer, the water-seal may evaporate so that gases from the drain rise into the room. On this account a house that has been vacant should be well aired before being occupied.
There should be a strainer, screwed down over the top of the waste-pipe. It is well to have a finer strainer also, through which to pour waste-water. This, by catching crumbs which might pass through the set strainer, helps to keep the sink clean. A grooved draining-board, sloped toward the sink, and a shelf above the sink for cleaning materials, are convenient. There should be hooks for hand-basin, dipper, soap-saver, sink-scraper, and scrubbing-brush. The garbage-pail should be of metal, or other non-absorbent material. Its cover should fit tightly.
Neglect of the sink causes bad odors and attracts water-bugs and roaches. Keep it at all times free from scraps. When the dishes have been washed, or when the sink is to be left unused for several hours, wash it, using scrubbing-brush and sapolio. Wipe the woodwork and tiling. Wash strainer, soap-dish, and other sink utensils. Wash the cloth. Scrub the draining-board, and rinse the sink. If it is of iron, and is to be left for several hours, wipe it dry. If rusty, use kerosene, or grease it with mutton-fat or lard, sprinkle with lime, and leave overnight.
Clean brass faucets with flannel dipped in vinegar or lemon-juice, and rub thoroughly with rottenstone and oil, then polish with a dry cloth; or apply putz pomade or some similar preparation, rub off with another cloth, and polish with a third one. If the faucets are greasy, wash them with soap-suds or sal-soda solution before using anything else. Nickel faucets and trimmings need only to be washed with hot soap-suds and wiped dry.
Waste-pipe and trap must be kept as free as possible from deposits of grease. After pouring down very greasy water pour down boiling water so that the grease may not cool and settle on the sides of the waste-pipe.
Care of garbage-pail.1 - Scrub the garbage-pail with sal-soda and rinse with boiling water once a day. Dry it in the sunshine, if possible. Where there is no objection to mixing paper with garbage, the pail may be kept clean by lining it with newspaper.
1 It is better to avoid using a garbage-pail. Garbage may be burned in a bright fire if all the drafts are left open. A garbage-incinerator built into the stove-pipe or chimney is desirable.