The American Pictorial Home Book
or Housekeeper's Encyclopedia - online book

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

580                                 THE LAUNDRY.
To make Starch.—Allow 1-2 pint of cold water and 1 quart of boiling water to every 2 tablespoonfuls of starch. Put the starch into a tolerably large basin, pour over it the cold water, and stir the mixture well with a clean wooden spoon until it is perfectly free from lumps and quite smooth; then take the basin to the stove or fire, and whilst the water is actually boiling in the kettle or boiler, pouring it over the starch, stirring it all the time. If properly made in this manner, the starch will require no further boiling, but should the water not be boiling when added to thicken the starch, it will not thicken, and must be put in a clean sauce pan and stirred over the fire until it does boil. Take it off the fire, strain it through a clean cloth into a basin, cover it to prevent a skin from forming on the top, and when sufficiently cool that the hand may be borne in it, starch the things. Many persons, to give a shiny, glossy appearance to the linen when ironed, stir around while hot 2 or 3 times a wax or sperm candle, let the clothes remain for 3 or 4 hours, when they are ready to iron.
Cold Starch.—Mix up the starch tolerably thick in a bowl of cold water, then dip in the parts of linen, as the collar, wristbands, cuffs, front shirts into the cold paste, then squeeze them up tightly in a clean, dry cloth and let them remain 1 hour, then have your irons ready, hot and perfectly clean; then put a thin, clean cloth over them and iron them. It is a good way. When the "things to be starched" are washed, dried and taken off the lines, they should be dipped into the hot starch and squeezed out of it, and then dipped into cold water, and immediately squeezed dry in a clean, dry cloth.
For Clear Starching.—From a German laundress.—Mix up the starch with cold water, then pour hot water into it, then have some rather warm water in a separate bowl, then dip the articles into the clear starch, then into the warm water, then squeeze them out after rinsing them thoroughly, then dip into the warm water only your lawn neck ties, and squeeze them out, and then wrap them up a moment, and iron them. The second water prevents the iron from sticking, and makes the article more glossy.
Note—When the warm water in the bowl becomes thick, pour it out, and add more that is fresh.
To Improve Starch.—To each bowl of starch add 1 teaspoon-ful of epsom salts. Articles are rendered stiffer and somewhat fire­proof by it
Starch Polish.—One-third white wax, 2-3 spermacetti; melt to­gether slowly, pour into a mould; use a piece as large as a bean, if the washing is small.