VOL.  1                                     THE   IOWA   HOUSEWIFE                                              1880
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    Take  the clothes  out  of the  blue  water,  rinse  in cold  water, wring out, and  hang out to dry.  With  this  plan of  washing, and fair weather, the clothes will also be hung out by noon.  You will have the afternoon for cleaning up the kitchen and wash-room, putting away the tubs, boiler, etc., and making yourself tidy.  In the evening, the white clothes and most of the starched things are to be sprinkled and folded, ready for ironing.

    The procedure described above is the usual laundry practice of today.  The modern housewife may wish to purchase a washing machine to make washing easier.  Although the washing machine is not widely used, the editors recommend the purchase of one of the many reliable makes.

    In most Iowa homes this third day of the week is reserved for ironing.  The whole day should be reserved to complete this job.
    The cookstove should be fired up hot.  Three to five common sadirons should be set on the stove to heat.  While the irons are heating, finish sprinkling the clothes not sprinkled on Monday.
    This should be done by dipping your fingers in a bowl of water and dripping the water over the cloth to make it moist.  These newly sprinkled clothes should be rolled to stay moist.
    Next spread a blanket over the kitchen table to provide a surface for ironing.
    The first clothes to be ironed should be those which require the greatest attention to detail: ladies’ dresses and children’s clothes with ruffles and lace.  The more simple articles like sheets, napkins, towels, and aprons should be done last.
    When the sadirons are hot, the ironing should begin.  It is essential that the iron not be so hot that the clothing is scorched.  As the ironing progresses and the first iron begins to  cool, it should be traded for a fresh hot iron from the stove.
               Common Sad Irons.

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Explorations in Iowa History Project
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