Colored cottons should have their colors fixed before washing. Salt will set most colors, but the process must be repeated at each washing. Alum sets the colors permanently, and at the same time renders the fabric less combustible, if used in strong solution after the final rinsing. Dish cloths and dish towels must be kept clean as a matter of health, as well as a necessity for clean, bright tableware. The greasy dish cloth furnishes a most favorable field for the growth of germs. It must be washed with soap and hot water and dried thoroughly each time. All such cloths should form part of the weekly wash and receive all the disinfection possible, with soap, hot water and long drying in the sunshine and open air. Beware of the disease-breeding, greasy, damp, dish cloth hung in a warm, dark place. Oven towels, soiled with soot, etc., may be soaked over night in just enough kerosene to cover, then washed in cold water and soap.
Laundry tubs should be carefully washed and dried. Wooden tubs, if kept in a dry place, should be turned upside down, and have the bottoms covered with a little water. The rubber rollers of the wringer may be kept clean and white by rubbing them with a clean cloth and a few drops of kerosene (coal oil). All waste pipes, from that of the kitchen sink to that of the refrigerator, become foul with grease, lint, dust and other organic matters which are the result of bacterial action. They are sources of contamination to the air of the entire house and to the food supply, thereby endangering health.
All bath, wash basin and water-closet pipes should be flushed generously (as stated in a previous chapter) once a day at least. The kitchen sink pipe and laundry pipes should have a thorough cleaning with a strong boiling solution of washing soda daily, and a monthly flushing with crude potash. The soda solution should be used for cleansing the drain pipe of the refrigerator.