Laundry Work


1. The washing day should be early in the week. Tuesday is a suitable dav, because preparation may be made on Monday.    *    *

The boiler fire should be made ready before washing day; cinders and ashes should be removed, and the due cleaned.^.Water must be put into the boiler before the fire is lighted^. After use, the inside of the boiler should be cleaned and carefully dried.

o. An early start should be made to avoid heat and to take advantage of the morning sun for drying clothes.

4.    Have soap jelly, blue, soda, and all necessaries at hand.

5.    Clothes and articles used by sick persons should be disinfected before they are washed.

(i. To disinfect clothes they should be soaked for several hours in cold water to which disinfectants, such as carbolic acid, phenyl, or kerol, have been added.

• Stains caused by paint, ink, fruit, mildew, ironrust, tea, coffee, or cocoa must be removed before clothes arc soaked, because—

(а)    Stains are more easily removed when fresh.

(б)    Most stains are fixed by soap.

8. Chemicals or other substances used to remove stains must be washed out í rom fabrics quickly by repeated rinsing, otherwise the materials may be destroyed.

5b All articles except stockings and very dirty garments should be mended before being washed.

10.    Rain water is best for laundry work, because it is soft. Soft water dissolves soap rapidly and produces a lather.

11.    Hard water is wasteful because much s.oap must be used; it may be made soft by boiling, or by adding soda, borax, or ammonia.

12.    Soaking or steeping is necessary in washing clothes; it loosens dirt and makes it easy to remove, without injuring fabrics by rubbing.

White clothes should be soaked in warm water to which has been added melted soap, soda, or borax. If possible allow clothes to soak over night.

13.    Soiled parts, such as neckbands and wristbands, should be rubbed with soap in the soaking water.

14.    1 able linen should not be soaked with bed or body linen.

lo. Table linen should be slightly stiffened with starch; the starch may be added to the rinsing water.

1G. Soda or washing powder must be used to remove dirt from dusters; if coloured, they should be rinsed finally in water to which salt has been added.

17. Water to which ammonia has been added is used for washing silk, flannel, and woollen garments; it should never be used for coloured articles.


18. To 6 gallons of water add i pint of soap jelly and 2 tablespoonfuls liquid ammonia.

19. Ammonia should be kept in bottles with glass stoppers and great care must be exercised in its use.




Enamelled basin.


Scrubbing brush.

Bag for boiling small articles. Knife.

Wooden spoon.

Copper stick.



List of Laundry


Set ferro concrete tubs, or 3 galvanised iron tubs.

Washing boiler.

Wringing machine.

Linen basket.

Clothes basket.


Iron bucket.

Washing board.


Note.—Utensils should be cleaned every

(a)    To Clean a Copper—

1.    Remove water from copper.

2.    Scrub sides and bottom, using sand soap or ashes.

3.    Dry thoroughly.

(b)    To Clean and Oil a Mangle—

1.    Oil tension screw, wheels, and -working parts.

2.    Wipe away superfluous oil and dust all metal parts.

3.    Wipe rollers with a damp cloth.

4.    Dry thoroughly.

To Make Soap Jelly.


1.    Shred soap into a saucepan.

2.    Cover with hot water.

3.    Let stand for 10 minutes.

4.    Place over fire; stir till dissolved.

To Make a Blue Bag.


1.    Place ball of blue in centre of flannel.

2.    Cover with calico.

3.    Tie tightly.


Pieces 4 inches by 4 inches of white flannel and white calico; G inches white tape or cord.

To Make Blue Water.


1.    Partly fill tub with water.

2.    Dip the blue in its bag into the water; let it soak for half a minute.

3.    Squeeze the blue bag; repeat till water held in the palm of the hand is slightly


To Make Boiled Starch.


1.    Put on a kettle of water to boil.

2.    Place starch in an earthenware basin.

3.    Mix it with cold water till starch is smooth.

4.    Rub soap on hands in the blended starch till a lather is formed.

5.    Stir starch well with an iron spoon.

6.    Pour in boiling ■water, stirring well till starch becomes clear.

7.    Dissolve borax in 1 tablespoonful of boiling water.

8.    Mix it with starch.


2 oz. or 2 tablespoonfuls starch; 4 tablespoonfuls cold water; enough soap to make a good lather; 1 quart of boiling water; \ teaspoonful borax.

Note.—If starch is not required at once it should be covered to prevent a skin forming on top.

To Make Cold Starch (I.).


1 tablespoonful of starch.

4 drops of turpentine, I teaspoonful butter, or a piece of wax candle.

\ teaspoonful borax.

\ pint of cold water.


1.    Mix the starch to a smooth paste with a little of the cold water.

2.    Drop in the turpentine, butter, or wax.

3.    Add the borax, previously dissolved in hot water.

4.    Add remainder of cold water.

Stir well each time before use, as the starch sinks to the bottom. If the starch is good it settles into a solid cake.

Cold starch is always better if made a short time before it is needed; the standing softens the starch grains; they burst and swell when the heat of the iron is applied, entering the material and giving it the required stiffness.

To Make Cold Starch (II.).

1.    Put starch into a bowl; add 3 cups of water; mix well.

2.    Put borax, glycerine, and 3 cups of water into a saucepan; bring to the boil.

3.    Add the boiling mixture to the blended starch; stir well; strain.


6 cups water; 1 cup starch; 2 oz. lump borax; 1 teaspoonful glycerine.


Tea, Coffee, or Cocoa.


1.    Spread the stained part over a basin.

2.    Rub well with powdered borax.

3.    Pour boiling water through.

4.    Soak the article in clean water.



(a) 1. Wet the stained material with peroxide of hydrogen.

2. Allow the wet part to dry; repeat till the stain is removed.


(b) 1. Wet the stained material.

2.    Rub with salts of lemon, lemon juice, or sour milk.

3.    Soak the article in clean soft water.


1.    Soap or soda must not be used till the stain is removed, because either turns

an inkstain into a rust spot.

2.    Peroxide of hydrogen may be used with coloured articles. It does not injure

the most delicate fabric or colour.



1.    Spread the stained part over a basin.

2.    Rub with common salt.

3.    Pour boiling water through.

4.    Soak in clean soft water.

Fruit Stains.


1.    Sprinkle salt on spot; pour boiling water over salt; or

2.    Plunge stain into boiling milk for a few minutes; or

3.    Apply to stain a cloth dipped in dilute oxalic acid.

Note.—In all cases, rinse quickly.



1.    Stretch stained part over a basin of boiling water.

2.    Moisten; rub in salts of lemon.

3.    Pour boiling water through spot.

4.    Rinse well in warm water.



(a)    1. Wet the stained material with peroxide of hydrogen.

2. If the stain is not removed when the spot is dry, repeat.

(b)    1. Soak in cold water with a little salt.

2.    Wash and squeeze well until stain is removed.

3.    Soak in clean soft water.

Note.—Hot water, soap, and soda fasten the stain.


1.    Stretch the mildewed material over a hard, firm surface.

2.    Dust the surface with chalk; rub it well with a dry cloth.

3.    (a) Rub in salt and lemon juice, or

(b) Make a paste of French chalk and water; spread over stained part.

4.    Dry slowly in the sun; repeat either process if necessary.

5.    Soak in warm soft water.    .


. 1. Mildew is one of the most difficult stains to remove without injuring the fabric.

2.    Clothing and household linen become mildewed quickly in damp weather.

3.    Materials become mildewed if put away damp; hence the importance of

airing every article thoroughly.

4.    Whiting may be used instead of French chalk.

Wet Paint.

1.    Rub the stained part with turpentine.

2.    Hang the garment or material in the sun.

Dry Paint.

1.    Mix together equal quantities of ammonia and turpentine.

2.    Rub the stained part with the mixture.

3. (a) If the material is wool, hang in out in the sun.

(b) If the material is linen, cotton, or silk, wash well in warm soft water.


1.    Rub the stained part with mutton fat or dripping.

2.    Wash in warm water.

Grease or Oil.

(a)    1. Soak tnc article in cold water.

2.    Add borax.

3.    Wash in warm water.

(b)    1. Make a paste of fuller’s earth and water.

2.    Spread over stained part.

3.    Allow to remain for 30 minutes; brush off the fuller’s earth.


(A)    Preparation for Washing—

1.    Mending (1).

2.    Sorting.

(B)    Removal of Dirt—

5.    Washing.

6.    Boiling.

7.    Straining.

(C)    Preparation for Use—

10.    Starching.

11.    Drying.

12.    Mending (2).

13.    Sprinkling.

(D)    Care of Clean Articles—

18. Sorting.

3.    Removing stains.

4.    Soaking or steeping.

8.    Rinsing.

9.    Bluing.

14.    Rolling.

15.    Ironing or mangling.

16.    Folding.

17.    Airing.

19. Distributing.


1. Sorting—

After soiled clothes are collected they must be sorted into two piles; pile A

should contain articles that may be boiled;


(1)    Table linen.

(2)    Bed and body linen.

(3)    Towels.

(4)    Starched articles.

(5)    Muslins and laces.

(6)    Handkerchiefs.

pile B those which may not be boiled.


(1)    Silk, white and coloured.

(2)    Prints.

(3)    Coloured muslins.

(4)    Coloured linens.

(5)    Flannels.

(6)    Other woollen clothes.

(7)    Blankets.

(8)    Stockings.

2.    Steeping—

Steeping preserves materials and lessens the labour of washing; the cold water and soap in -which clothes are steeped softens and loosens dirt, thus making it easier to remove; less rubbing is required, therefore there is less strain on the material and less expenditure of energy.

3.    Washing—

After being wrung out of the steeping water the clothes must be washed in clean warm water with soap, the cleanest things being taken first. All parts of the clothes should be well looked over; any dirty parts, such as neck and wrist bands, should have particular attention. Every part should be well soaped and one piece of material rubbed against another. For heavy material, such as corduroy and moleskin, a scrubbing brush and corrugated washboard are needed. The water should be changed as soon as it becomes dirty.

4.    Rinsing—

Both before and after boiling, rinsing is very important—before boiling, to free clothes from dirty water; after boiling, because if soap is left in the clothes it gives them a bad colour, and mixed with blue forms spots of ironmould. Tepid water should be used for the first rinsing after boiling, so as to get rid of the soap.

5.    Boiling—

The boiler should not be more than three parts full of water. Enough soap should be shredded into the water to form a lather. When one lot of clothes are lifted out and another lot put into the boiler more water and soap must be added.

Small things should be put loosely into a bag; this keeps them together, prevents their being torn, and is a protection against ironmould.

A period of 20 to 30 minutes is sufficiently long for boiling clothes. The water must not be boiling when the clothes are put in. It should be brought gradually to boiling point. Clothes should not be packed into the boiler too closely; there should be plenty of room to stir them about freely with a wooden stick. When boiled, the clothes must be lifted out carefully into a basket over a tub or drainer. When drained, they must be rinsed until free of soap.

Note.—If clothes are not very soiled they can be placed dry into the boiler in which water and special washing preparation has been dissolved. Binse twice and blue as before. Teatowels should be boiled up daily with soap po-wder directly after use, not left till the general wash.

7.    Bluing—

Solid or liquid blue may be used: solid is the better. The blue should be placed in the middle of a piece of flannel, a piece of calico should be put over the flannel, and the two materials tied tightly round the blue by tape or white string. The blue bag should be soaked in water and squeezed till the water in the tub is the right tint. The water should just be sufficiently blue to remove the yellow look given to clothes by soap. If blue is allowed to settle at the bottom of the tub the clothes will become streaky.

Note.—Too many clothes should not be placed at the same time in washing, rinsing, or bluing water.

8.    Starching—

The best starch for laundry purposes is rice starch. Other kinds have coarser granules, and are not suited for fine work. Starch will not dissolve properly in cold water; it must be mixed with cold water; boiling water is then added. This causes the starch cells to burst, and a clear paste is formed.

Borax is added to starch to give a gloss to linen. Wax is added to make the iron move over the fabric without sticking.

9.    Drying—

Drying should be carried out in the open air where possible, the early morning air being the best, as it freshens and bleaches the clothes.

The clothes-lines must be firmly fixed at each end. Clothes should be hung to the line by the thickest part, and should be, as far as possible, in a natural position, a peg being firmly fixed near each end to secure them to the line.

Sheets and tablecloths should be put over the line crossways with the hem against the hem. A peg should be fastened a few inches from each selvedge, and one in the middle. Collars and cuffs may be strung together on tape, a piece of muslin or thin cotton being pegged over them to keep them free from dust or soot.

Unstarched clothes may be taken off the line, folded neatly, and placed in a clothes-basket ready for mangling, or ironing.

10.    Sprinkling, Rolling and Cold Starching—

All starched and most unstarched clothes must be thoroughly dried and then damped so that the heat of the iron may be effective.

To Damp Clothes

1.    Spread out the clothes as flat as possible on a perfectly clean table.

2.    Put a basin of clean lukewarm water on the right-hand side.

3.    With the right hand sprinkle the water evenly over every part.

4.    Fold each large article up evenly and neatly.

5.    Poll tightly in a towel.

Note.—Tablecloths should be well damped and rolled up without folding till the water softens them. After a short time, shake out and the cloth is easily folded into halves and quarters ready for ironing. Poll again tightly and let stand for several hours; iron as directed below.

11.    Ironing and Folding—

1.    The ironing table, skirtboard, shirt boards, and sleeve boards must be covered

with felt or two thicknesses of blanket and a perfectly clean white sheet

or cover.

2.    The table or skirtboard must be placed so that the light falls on the articles

to be ironed.

3.    The iron stand should be placed on the right-hand side.

4.    The irons must be perfectly clean. Beeswax and cloths for rubbing the irons

must be ready in a convenient place.

5 .To clean irons

Wipe with a kerosene rag while iron is warm.

6.    To test the heat of an iron

Dip the tip of a finger in cold water and apply it quickly to the face of the iron. If the water changes into steam immediately with a hissing sound, the iron is sufficiently heated.

7.    Various kinds of irons are:—Flat or sad irons, charcoal, gas, electric, petrol,

polishing, and goffering.

Table Covers

1.    Place the cloth on the table with the right side uppermost. The cloth may

be folded and each fold ironed separately.

2.    Use a fairly heavy iron so as to get a glossy surface.

3.    Iron on the right side only, until the cloth is perfectly dry.

4.    Fold by placing the selvedges together, right side inside; bring each selvedge

back to touch the middle crease; roll the cloth up in the shape of a

cylinder; tie with tape.

Note.—The cloth must be well aired before it is put away, or it will lose its gloss and firmness.

1.    Proceed as for table cover.


2.    Iron right side first, then the wrong side.

3.    Fold large serviettes in the screen fold. Fold

over one-third with the right side outside and the name, number, or initial in the top right-hand corner. Fold back the remaining third underneath, and repeat from left to right.

4.    Small serviettes are folded by placing the

selvedges together and doubling the selvedges down on the middle line. The oblong thus obtained is folded in half crossways twice.


Treatment of clothes that may be boiled.


1.    All stains and dirty marks must be removed.

2.    The clothes must be kept a clear white colour.

3.    The material must not be injured.


1.    Soak them for at least 12 hours in cold water to loosen dirt.

2.    Move them about vigorously in steeping water; wring out; place in tubs

of clean warm water.

3. Wash out dirty marks by rubbing one part of the garment against another

part, using soap to loosen the dirt and taking the cleaner articles first; wring out and place in clean warm water.

4.    Rinse through water till the soap and dirty water are removed; wring.

5.    Put into boiler; boil for 20 minutes to improve the colour.

6.    Lift out of boiler; strain oil* soapy water.

7.    Rinse through clean cold water to remove soap; wring.

8.    Pass articles that are to be starched through boiled starch.

9.    Shake well; peg out to dry in the open air if possible.

Treatment of clothes that may not be boiled.


1.    Flannels and woollens must be sorted into—

(a)    White flannels.

(b)    Coloured flannels and woollens.

2.    Woollen garments shrink if allowed to lie about wet.

3.    If soap is rubbed on flannels, the soda in it hardens them and turns white

wool yellow.

4.    Cold or hot water injures flannels and woollens; warm water is best.

5.    Woollens should not be dried in the sun nor directly in front of a fire. They

should not be allowed to steam.

Treatment of white flannels.

1.    Shake them to remove dust.

2.    Prepare warm Tvater by mixing it in the proportion of 2 quarts of boiling

water to 3 quarts of cold water.

3.    Add enough melted soap to make a lather; add a few drops of ammonia to

make the water soft and to remove grease.

4.    Squeeze the articles gently in the water between the hands, but do not rub

them. Turn them inside out and repeat the process till they are clean.

5.    Rinse them in water the same heat until all the soap is removed.

6.    Shake them well to raise the nap.

7.    Dry them in the open air, if possible, hanging them up by the thickest part.

Treatment of coloured woollen garments—

These may be washed in the same way as white woollens, with the omission of ammonia, because it affects certain colours. The articles must be washed and dried quickly to prevent the colours from running. Salt is added to the rinsing water to assist in fixing the colour. One tablespoonful of vinegar to 4 quarts of water may be used to brighten colours.

Treatment of blankets—


New flannels and blankets are often very difficult to wash on account of the sulphur they contain. To remove it they must be steeped in a soft lather of tepid water, melted soap, and ammonia. They can then be washed in the usual way. A breezy day should be chosen for washing blankets in order that they may be dried quickly.

Washing of Knitted Garments—

1.    Place garment in warm soft water and dissolved lux.

2.    Squeeze the garment carefully till quite clean.

3.    Roll in a towel to remove most of the water.

4.    Spread out on a towel in an airy place; try to get the garment the exact size it was before. Never wiring in the ordinary way. While it is drying move it about to keep its soft woolly appearance.


(a) A frame covered with wire netting makes an ideal place to dry woollies, (h) No ironing is needed, just coax it into shape.

(c) As wool is an animal fibre, no soda or other strong alkali should be used. It should never be boiled.

Treatment of coloured prints and muslins—

1.    Wash the clothes in lukewarm water and melted soap.

2.    Squeeze them between the hands. Do not rub them.

3.    Rinse them in clean water to which 1 tablespoonful of salt and vinegar for

each gallon of water have been added.

4.    Stiffen with boiled starch.

5.    Dr}r quickly out of the sun.

G. Damp with warm water.

7.    Iron with a moderately hot iron.

8.    Hang on hanger.


1.    Soap must not be rubbed on coloured garments, because the soda in it affects

the colours.

2.    Coloured prints and muslins are not as a rule boiled. Some shirting is

guaranteed to stand boiling, but it is better to test the material before boiling.

3.    Coloured articles must never be allowed to lie about damp.

4.    Prints and muslins should be ironed on the right side, unless there is a raised

pattern in them. In this case they must be ironed on the wrong side.

A.    The starching, ironing, and glossing of shirts and collars.

B.    The washing and ironing of coloured silks.

C.    Bran washing.

A. The starching, ironing, and glossing of shirts and collars.

1.    Collars, cuff, and stiff shirt fronts must be starched in cold starch before being


2.    Every article must be perfectly clean and dry. All old starch must be

removed. Boiling is the only effective method of removing starch.

3.    One tablespoonful of starch is sufficient for six collars or four collars and one

pair of cuffs.

4.    Stir the starch well from the bottom of the basin.

5.    Dip each article into the starch separately, squeeze the starch out of it, and

rub it between the hands to get the starch well into the material. Repeat the processes of dipping, squeezing, and rubbing.

6.    Starch the cuffs of a shirt first, then the stiff front, taking care that the

starch does not get into the body part.

7.    Place collars and cuffs separately on a clean cloth, and roll all up tightly.

8.    Place the cuffs on the stiff front, and roll up tightly.

9.    Allow collars, cuffs, and shirts after being starched to lie in a cool place

as long as possible before being ironed.

10.    In ironing collars and cuffs

(a) Take one collar or a cuff out of the cloth, place it flat on the ironing table, -wipe each side with a clean cloth to remove specks, and push any fullness from top to bottom. A bone paper-knife is useful for smoothing down fullness.

( b) Take a good hot iron, rub it on wax to prevent sticking, and test it on a piece of calico.

N.B.—1. If the iron is too hot it causes small creases which cannot be removed, and the linen is said to ‘ ‘ mackerel.1 9 2. If the iron is too cool, the linen will not become stiff, because the heat is not sufficient to burst the starch grains.

(c)    Iron lightly over the wrong side of the collar or cuff two or three times.

(d)    Iron heavily on the right side, pressing out creases.

(e) Iron on both sides till perfectly stiff and dry, and polish.

(/) Put the iron across the left-hand end of the wrong side of the collar, and pull the collar sharply through, pressing the iron down with the right hand. If this be done quickly the collar will “curl” correctly.

11.    In ironing a shirt

(a)    Follow directions given in 10 (b).

(b)    Iron the neckband and yoke on both sides.

(c)    Iron cuffs and sleeves. For cuffs see 10 (c) (d) (e).

(d)    Fold down the centre of back and iron on both sides.

(e)    Flatten out back, smooth it carefully, and put in pleats il necessary. (/) Arrange front evenly on the back, and iron the soft front.

(g)    Place the shirt board under the stiff front, and iron the stiff front carefully, drying it thoroughly.

(h)    Gloss the stiff front and cuffs. Fold and air well.

12.    To gloss or polish collars, cuffs, and shirt fronts

(a)    Heat the glossing or polishing iron.

(b)    Clean it thoroughly—the slightest speck of dirt spoils the work.

(c)    Damp the outer layer of linen very lightly and quickly with a clean cloth dipped in cold water.

(d)    Place the linen on an uncovered polishing board.

(e) Rub quickly and heavily, in one direction only, the surface of the linen until it is bright and polished.



Badly ironed or speckled linen should not. be glossed, as glossing only makes defects more noticeable.

Chemical preparations are sold for glossing. Great care must be taken when using them, as they are usually inflammable, consequently the linen may be scorched and discoloured.

13. Diagrams illustrating the folding of a shirt

Xotc.—The cuffs may be folded back so as to appear between the folds on the yoke.

B. Washing and ironing of coloured silks.

(a)    Remove any spots with white spirit, especially round necks of frocks.

(b)    When quite dry, wash quickly in cold water with a little lux (dissolved

in boiling water first).

(c) Rinse well in cold water and roll tightly between towels to dry.

(d) I)o not leave more than the time taken to squeeze the garment. Shake

it well.

(e)    Place on a hanger and dry quickly in the breeze, out of the sun.

(/) Iron dry with a fairly hot iron.

Xotc.—The whole secret lies in not allowing colours to stay wet.

Unless tested beforehand do not use warm or hot water.

Do not wash coloured silks unless the air is dry.

C. Bran washing.

1.    Embroidered linen and canvas, especially the unbleached varieties, may be

washed in bran water. This process gives them a slight stiffness and helps to retain the natural shade.

2.    To make bran water—

(a)    Add 1 breakfastcupful of bran to 2 quarts of cold water.

(b)    Boil the mixture for ten minutes, removing scum as it rises.

(c)    Strain, and add 1 quart of cold water.

(d)    Use for washing and rinsing the materials.


Prussian Blue is a compound of iron, carbon, and nitrogen. Clothes treated by it show rust stains if soap or soda is not entirely removed in the rinsing water.

Ultramarine Blue is dearer than Prussian blue, but gives more satisfactory results.

flashing Powders are mixtures of soda, borax, and soap.

Bleaching Powder is made by absorbing chlorine with slaked lime.

Javclle Water or Washing Fluid is made by mixing 1. lb. of soda and 1 lb. of chloride of lime in 5 quarts of water. After the liquid has settled the clear part is poured off and bottled.

Soap is a combination of fat, water, and an alkali. Good hard laundry soap may be made from «lean tallow or dripping and caustic soda.

raçr ■