Table linen should be carefully darned at once when it begins to wear and become thin, and may thus be preserved for a long time. When new, it should be washed before being made up, and the threads raveled or drawn, so as to make the ends exactly straight. Napkins should be washed before being cut apart. When not required for regular use, the linen should be folded loosely, and laid away without ironing in some place where it will not be subjected to pressure. When needed, it can be quickly dampened and ironed.
THE GARBAGE.—What to do with the waste accumulating from preparation of foods is a question of no small importance. The too frequent disposition of such material is to dump it into a waste-barrel or garbage box near the back door, to await the rounds of the scavenger. Unless more than ordinary precautions in regard to cleanliness are observed, such a proceeding is fraught with great danger. The bits of moist food, scraps of meat, vegetables, and other refuse, very quickly set up a fermentative process, which, under the sun’s rays, soon breeds miasm and germs; especially is this true if the receptacle into which the garbage is thrown is not carefully cleaned after each emptying.
A foul-smelling waste-barrel ought never to be permitted under any circumstances. The best plan is to burn all leavings and table refuse as fast as made, which may be done without smell or smoke by opening all the back drafts of the kitchen range, and placing them on the hot coals to dry and burn. Some housekeepers keep in one end of the sink a wire dish drainer into which all fruit and vegetable parings are put. If wet, the water quickly drains from them, and they are ready to be put into the stove, where a very little fire soon reduces them to ashes. All waste products which cannot well be burned, may be buried at a distance from the house, but not too much in one spot, and the earth should be carefully covered over afterward. Under no circumstances should it be scattered about on the surface of the ground near the back door, as heedless people are apt to do.
If the table refuse must be saved and fed to animals, it should be carefully sorted, kept free from all dishwater, sour milk, etc., and used as promptly as possible. It is a good plan to have two tightly covered waste pails of heavy tin to be used on alternate days. When one is emptied, it may be thoroughly cleansed and left to purify in the air and sunshine while the other is in use. Any receptacle for waste should be entirely emptied and thoroughly disinfected each day with boiling suds and an old broom. This is especially imperative if the refuse is to be used as food for cows, since the quality of the milk is more or less affected by that of the food.