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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/1989

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1787
DOMESTIC SERVANTS AND THEIR DUTIES

and, as soon as hot water can be procured, washing commenced; the sheets and body-linen should be taken first, each article being removed in succession from the lye in which it has been soaking, rinsed, rubbed, and wrung, and laid aside until the tub is empty, when the foul water is drawn off. The tub should be again filled with lukewarm water, about 80, in which the articles should again be plunged, and each gone over carefully with soap, and rubbed. Experienced washerwomen rub one linen surface against the other, two parts being thus cleaned at once. After the first washing, the linen should be put into a second water, as hot as the hand can bear it, and again rubbed over in every part, examining every part for spots not yet removed, which require to be again soaped over and rubbed till thoroughly clean: then rinsed and wrung, the larger and stronger articles by two of the women; the smaller and more delicate articles requiring gentler treatment.

Boiling.—In order to remove every particle of soap, and produce a good colour, they should now be placed, and boiled for about an hour and a half, in the copper, in which soda, in the proportion of a teaspoonful to every two gallons of water, has been dissolved. Some very careful laundresses put the linen into a canvas bag to protect it from the scum and sides of the copper. When-taken out it should again be rinsed, first in clean hot water, and then in abundance of cold water, slightly tinged with blue and again wrung dry. It should now be removed from the washing-house and hung up to dry or spread out to bleach, if there are conveniences for it; and the earlier in the day this is done, the clearer and whiter will be the linen.

Coloured muslins, cottons, and linens require a milder treatment; any application of soda will discharge the colour, and soaking all night, even in pure water, deteriorates the more delicate tints. When ready for washing, if not too dirty, they should be put into cold water and washed very speedily, using the common yellow soap, which should be rinsed off immediately. One article should be washed at a time, and rinsed out immediately before any others are wetted. When washed thoroughly they should be rinsed in succession, in soft water, in which common salt has been dissolved, in the proportion of a handful to three or four gallons, and afterwards wrung gently, as soon as rinsed, with as little twisting as possible, then hung out to dry. Delicate-coloured articles should not be exposed to the sun, but dried in the shade, using clean lines and wooden pegs.

Woollen articles are liable to shrink unless the flannel has been well shrunk before making up. This liability is increased where very hot water is used: cold water would thus be the best to wash woollens in; but as would not remove the dirt, lukewarm water, about 85°, and yellow soap, are recommended. When thoroughly washed in this, they required a good deal of rinsing in cold water, to remove the sop. Greasy cloths, which have soaked all night in the liquid described, should