To Take Up Matting.—Take up the matting, roll it up, and shake as much dust from it as possible by jarring it on the floor. Unroll it on a green lawn and apply the hose to it, or dash pails of water on it until it is thor oughly clean. This should be done on a hot day, and the matting should be thoroughly dried in the open air as quickly as possible. Take it in before the dew falls and air it again the second day if it does not quite dry the first.
Or draw the matting over a table and apply moist corn meal with a scrubbing brush, thoroughly cleaning a section at a time.
Or scrub with bran water.
To Clean Matting on the Floor.— Matting should not be washed or scrubbed with soapy water, as damp ness is injurious to it. It may be swept with a broom previously dipped in hot water, and afterwards gone over with a flannel cloth or sponge dipped in salt and water. The salt will freshen the colors and prevent the matting from turning yellow. It should be quickly dried with a second cloth before the water soaks in.
Or borax may be used in the water in place of salt. Afterwards, to give it a gloss and freshen the colors, it may be gone over with a cloth slightly moistened in fresh milk.
To Remove Stains from Matting. --Matting that has been badly stained may be cleaned by washing with a solution of oxalic acid in the propor tion of 1 ounce of acid to 1 pint of water. Apply to the stain with a stiff brush, use as little of the solution as possible, and afterwards wipe off with a dry cloth. Care must be taken to throw out the water immediately after using, as oxalic acid is a deadly poison.
To Remove Grease Spots. — Cover with French chalk and moisten with turpentine. Let this stand for a few days, and .then scrub off with a stiff brush.
To Lay Matting. — Before laying matting, cover the floor with several thicknesses of old newspapers. Mat t$ng is porous and lets the dust through. The paper catches this and admits of its being easily removed at house-cleaning time. Paper also pro tects the matting from the sharp and uneven edges of the boards.
Matting may be tacked down with ordinary carpet tacks or double pointed brads.
Or the different breadths may be sewed together with strong linen or cotton thread, using loose buttonhole stitches an inch or an inch and a half apart. To prevent tacking, the edges may be fastened with flour paste.
Or, to avoid sewing, the edges of the several breadths may be pasted down.
Pieces of matting may also be used as rugs on hard-wood floors, especially for bedroom use in summer, by sewing the breadths together with buttonhole stitches and binding the cut ends with cotton braid or tape.
To Lay Oilcloths.—Oilcloths may be put down without the use of tacks by making a cooked paste of flour and water somewhat thicker than flour starch. Lay the oilcloth in place and apply a strip of paste about an inch wide first to the floor and afterwards to the edge of the oilcloth. Stand a heavy board edgewise over this strip until the oilcloth sticks.
Or, if Conditions are right, merely press the oilcloth down with the hands. The edges may be fastened to the floor in the same manner.
Thus the oilcloth can be taken up when necessary without the injury caused by tacks and with little diffi culty.
To Repair a Smyrna Rug.—Shak ing a Smyrna rug often ravels out the ends. Continue this raveling so as to expose two or three inches of the woolen filling. Tie and knot the loose threads to form a fringe. This will prevent additional raveling, and the fringe will stand as much wear as if new. Use the pattern as a guide, so as to make both ends uniform.
To Patch Rugs and Carpets.—A hole in a rug or carpet may be patched with the rubber mending tissue used for patching garments. Dampen a piece of the same material or of bur lap, lay over this a piece of the rub ber mending tissue, and place it di rectly under the hole. Over all lay a piece of brown paper and press with a hot iron. Clip off any frayed edges with scissors or darn tbem with the ravelings.
To Clean Sheepskin Rugs.—A sheep skin rug should never be immersed in water. The less the pelt side is wet the better. Hence tack the skin on a barrel, pelt side down, and apply hot soapsuds to the wool side with a stiff, clean scrubbing brush until it is clean. Rinse well by dashing cold water upon it, putting in the last water suf ficient bluing to make the wool ap pear white, and leave it on the barrel to dry. This process does not expose the pelt to the rays of the sun, which would cause it to become dry and hard. After the wool is dry go over it carefully with a clean currycomb or other coarse comb to prevent the wool from matting. It will thus be left fluffy and white as snow.
Stair Carpets.—The better plan is to leave the stairs uncarpeted, but if a stair carpet is used the steps should be padded, especially over the edges, as otherwise the carpet will tend to wear along the edge. For this pur pose use cotton batting or carpet felt or folded newspapers, tacking them at the back of each step and allowing them to fall two or three inches over the edge. This will also assist in dead ening the sound of footsteps.