CARE OF DINING-ROOM. HARDWOOD FLOORS.
WINDOWS. ANSWERING TELEPHONE AND
CARE OF DINING-ROOM
ONCE a week the room should be thoroughly
cleaned. Sweep hardwood floors with a soft hair
brush, then wipe with a long-handled dust-mop.
Clean soiled spots with turpentine applied with a
soft cloth. Never use water. Every day run the
carpet-sweeper or vacuum cleaner over the rug,
wipe the floor with a dry mop, and dust the room.
Place fresh water in all vases containing flowers.
After each meal remove any crumbs which may
have fallen to the floor and see that the room is
Give careful attention to the temperature and
ventilation of the dining-room. Bear in mind that
fresh air warms more quickly than impure air.
Before breakfast, air the room well, taking care
that it is warm before the meal is served. The
temperature of the dining-room should be higher
for breakfast than for any other meal, but this
is not always possible. The range of temperature
between 67° and 71° Fahrenheit is comfortable to
If an open fire is used for auxiliary heat, the waitress
should see that the fireplace is swept and cleaned,
and the fire relaid for the next lighting.
CARE OF DINING-TABLE
After each meal remove stains, if necessary, and
once a week rub the entire surface of the table. A
good polish is made from equal parts of raw linseed
oil, turpentine, and vinegar. Apply with a soft
cloth, then polish with a soft, dry, woolen cloth or
chamois, first rubbing across the grain and afterwards
with the grain. Do not neglect the sides and edges
of the table.
Many persons use a dull-finished table in preference
to one highly polished, as it not only shows wear
less and requires less care to keep it looking well,
but is also more beautiful. For a table in a country
house or in a household where service is limited, a
good treatment is the application of a very thin coat
of the best spar varnish. This should be put on by
some one who thoroughly understands the work.
A table so treated may be washed again and again,
and the surface always looks well.
CARE OF HARDWOOD FLOORS
The waxing and polishing of hardwood floors
would best be attended to by men who make it their
business. Directions are given, however, for those
who wish to have the work done by the household
Sweep the floor with a soft hair brush, then wipe
with a long-handled dust-mop. Clean soiled places
with turpentine applied with a soft cloth. Never
use water. Moisten a flannel cloth with the best
soft wax to be obtained and rub over the floor. Let
the floor remain in this condition an hour or more,
then polish with a weighted brush. Rub first across
the grain, then with the grain. When a slight luster
comes, cover the brush with a soft, woolen cloth
and rub in one direction only, until a high polish is
An application of spar varnish makes a floor more
durable, and is recommended for those receiving
hard usage, such as the floors of nurseries, kitchens,
and seashore or country dining-rooms. Floors finished
in this way are not injured by water.
CARE OF BRUSH AND CLOTHS
The brush must be kept clean when not in use.
As a protection from dust, slip the brush into a
As a protection from dust, slip the brush into a
cotton bag made with a running-string. Once in
wo or three months clean the brush by washing in
tepid water to which ammonia has been added. Let
the brush soak half an hour, rinse, and dry in the
open air with the bristles down. When bristles are
worn out, a new brush may be bought to fit into the
Wash the cloths in hot water and washing soda
and rinse in two quarts of warm water, to which one
tablespoonful of linseed oil has been added to restore
the oil and keep the cloths soft.
Keep all materials used for oiling and polishing
in a covered jar or tin pail to avoid danger of fire
from spontaneous combustion.
CARE OF WINDOWS
In city houses, it is best to have the windows
washed by a man ; but the windows of a suburban
house can usually be washed by the maid, without
difficulty. First clean the woodwork before washing
the glass, using wooden skewers in the corners.
Wash the glass with a cloth free from lint (a good
quality of cheese-cloth is best), wrung out of tepid
water. Rub dry with clean cloths which have absorbent
qualities and polish with soft paper. Some
persons prefer a sponge and a chamois. In winter
it is desirable to add alcohol to the water used for
washing, as it prevents the water from freezing on
the glass. Never wash windows when the sun shines
on them, as the result will be a window glass with
streaks across it. It is best to wash windows on a
mild day. Whatever the temperature, the maid
should be well protected from exposure to the
When answering the door-bell, never open the
door grudgingly. Open it wide, yet use caution
against the intrusiveness of agents. The maid
should have within reach a small tray on which to
receive calling-cards. She should never take the
tray to the door. If the caller does not present a
card, the maid asks whom she shall announce. She
asks the caller to be seated in the reception-room and
then takes the card to her mistress or, if no card is
presented, announces the name.
Returning to the reception-room, she announces
that Mrs. Blank will be down very soon, unless Mrs.
Blank herself comes down as quickly as the maid
could return. If the person at the door be a messenger,
he should be offered a seat in the hall while
the maid attends to his errand.
If the maid answers the bell in the morning, while
about her work, she must have a clean white apron
conveniently placed so that she can put it on quickly.
point to be remembered is that the stairs in the
front part of the house are to be used by the maid
only in conveying communications between the
reception-room and the upper part of the house, and
are not for the maid's convenience in attending the
ANSWERING THE TELEPHONE
The telephone call should always be answered
promptly, pleasantly, and courteously. If the call
is for some person in the house at the time, the maid
asks: "What is the name, please?" If the call is
for some member of the household who is nof at home,
the maid adds to her question : "May I take a message?"
If a message is given, the maid should repeat
it, to be sure that it is correctly received, and
write it down then and there, using the block of paper
and pencil which should always be at the telephone.
To keep the telephone in sanitary condition, the
mouthpiece should be wiped with disinfectant daily.