Proper care of the bathroom
In the household, the bath room ranks with the kitchen in importance. Though the culinary department seems to be the pivot on which domestic affairs turn, the bath room, for obvious reasons, caters largely to our comforts and well-being.
Minutest attention to its sanitary condition is necessary. This is a simple matter, though it can grow into an expense as can the appointments. As to the old bathrooms, little need be said. There are not many of those left. Sand soap and hot water, and perhaps a dash of coal oil, will keep the tin tub in order, if used faithfully — say, three times a week. Wiping the woodwork wainscoting and the linoleum floor with an oiled cloth every housekeeper knows of.
In our up-to-date bathrooms, of white porcelain, glistening tiles and nickel plate, we cannot take too much pains. Their immaculate appearance not only makes the place an inviting spot — and we are there a good bit, come to think of it — but keep it sweet and sanitary. A great help to this end is extreme cleanliness. The porcelain tub should be white as snow always.
Some ammonia in lukewarm water will do to wash either the solid porcelain or the enameled iron. Should stains appear, care as to removing them should be taken lest the shiny surface be injured. Any metal polish will keep the nickel plate shining, and acids should be used with extreme care, for they eat the nickel.
The tiling can be cared for the same as the porcelain. If rugs are used, they should be shaken every day. The constant tramping over them brings in samples of pretty nearly everything from the street.
The disinfecting of a bath room should have a big share of attention whenever there is a stoppage in the drains — bath tub, basin or closet — it should not be allowed to remain an hour. It holds accumulations that should be cleared away at once. Minor troubles of this kind can be remedied by simple little force cups that may be obtalned at hardware stores for from 25 cents to $1.75. They are not effective, however, below the “trap.” Anything more serious should have the plumber’s attention at once.
There should be present always a good disinfectant. This may be a simple matter of chloride of lime, which is 5 cents a half pound — the cheapest and strongest, or some special preparations coming as high as 50 cents a half pint. The chloride of lime makes a rather unpleasant odor. But there are the odorless chlorides, which may be had for very little more. A precaution to take in other rooms of the house as well as the bathroom is the burning of a sulphur candle, say once a month.
One more point: Not a speck of dust should be allowed in these headquarters of cleanliness. Every shelf and every ledge, big and little, we should be able to use if we wanted to as a plate for apple pie.
Photo: Bathroom from 1905, as seen in House Beautiful