Sunday, 19 January 2014

17 April 1886 - Useful Hints - 'French or Dry Cleaning at Home for Gloves, Ties, Boots (Either Satin or Kid), Furs and Plush' - by M.C.

This method is so simple that, to young ladies who go out a great deal, gloves are a great consideration, and when by such a simple process you can have clean gloves in a few minutes, most ladies would like to learn the method, the cost of which is so trifling.  The first thing to do is to procure benzene, or benzoline (the former I prefer) from a chemist; six-pennyworth will clean at least a dozen pairs, and then can be used again, if care be taken that in returning it to the bottle no sediment is allowed to return, but wiped from the bowl with a cloth kept for that purpose.

The best thing to scrub the articles on is a common slate and an ordinary nail-brush, and care must be taken that water on no account must be allowed to come near the spirit.

There are two bowls used, one for soaking, the other for rinsing.

After soaking the articles, lay them on the slate and scrub those parts which are the most soiled gently until clean, then rinse them through the clean spirit, and put them on a rounded stick, or a glove stretcher will do if not opened, and rub gently all over until dry, then hang them up on a piece of twine to take the smell out of them.

It is always best to do your cleaning in the day with windows open, so that the air carries off any smell; although not unpleasant, some people object to it.  Light or fire should be avoided, as the spirit is inflammable, but with a little ordinary attention there is not the slightest cause for fear.

This method of cleaning is so simple that a child of ten years old could, without the slightest fatigue, clean from twenty to thirty pairs per hour.

The rubbing clothes are made of the commonest kind of coarse towelling, half a yard square, and when these are dirty and require washing, they should be thrown into strong soda water and boiled, and when thoroughly dried are ready for use.

Boot and shoe cleaning is precisely the same as for gloves, only in the case of kid shoes, instead of being dried with a cloth, they are finished with plaster of Paris, the plaster being rubbed on with the hand.

White furs are treated in the same way, and then shaken well to get the powder out and raise the fur nicely.

Dark furs are rinsed in clear spirit after scrubbing, then rubbed neatly dry with a cloth, shaken, and hung up to dry the same as gloves.

I think it best to take the linings out of muffs (but not other things) because it is very difficult to get the lining to set smooth afterwards.

Neckties are smoothed over with a warm iron after cleaning, and, as a rule, look equal to new.  Furniture coverings can have all grease removed from them by rubbing the part with the brush first, and then quickly with a cloth; if the first application is not sufficient, the second one is a certainty.

This process of cleaning removes dirt and grease of every kind, but not stains.  Sometimes a spot of grease on a dress spoils the effect, and some people think nothing will do but to re-trim or take the soiled part away; but this spirit, carefully used on the spilt part, will almost instantaneously remove all trace of grease.

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