Duster, cloths, and sponges
Duster may be made from old clothing or household fabrics. Pieces, of fine, soft wool make the most satisfactory dusting clothes; next in usefulness are soft cotton, especially knitted materials, or cheesecloth and linen. Chamois is excellent for washing windows because it cleans and polishes at the same time.
It is made of sheepskin, oil tanned. French chamois cost more than domestic of a similar quality and size but is heavier and more durable. The quality of chamois can be judged by the elasticity. Sponges are better than clothes for washing walls, woodwork, and upholstery,
Natural sponges, the most satisfactory type of house cleaning, are available in many grades and sizes. Those called sheep’s wool sponges are the best quality for household use, and next in desirability are velvet and yellow sponges. It is cheaper and more satisfactory to buy two small sponges than to buy one large one and cut it.
Both chamois and sponges should be washed in lukewarm suds, thoroughly rinsed, as much moisture as possible squeezed out, and dried in the shade. A heavy thread or string ran through sponges and tied at the ends makes it possible to hang them on hooks when drying or storing. Artificial sponges are also used for cleaning purposes but are more expensive than natural sponges.
Dustpans and pails
Dust pans with long handles that eliminate stooping are the most desirable. It is advisable to have two pails for use in cleaning, one for water with soap and the other with clear water for rinsing.
Small twin pails fastened together at the handle are the most convenient because both may be carried in one hand or set together on a step ladder. Galvanized-iron pails are the most durable.
A vacuum cleaner is one of the most useful household tools because it removes dust and litter without scattering, Suction, sweeping, and agitation are employed in the various types of vacuum cleaners to remove dirt. The straight-air cleaner depends primarily on suction for dust removal. The motor-driven-brush machine uses suction plus sweeping and agitation, and because of these other factors, the suction may be considerably lower than that utilized by the straight-air cleaner.
Non-electric vacuum cleaners resemble the electric type in appearance, except that there is no motor. The revolving brush in the nozzle and the fan are operated by the action of the wheels as the cleaner is pushed across the floor covering. The dirt is drawn into a bag similar to that of electric cleaners. It combines the action of a carpet sweeper, and its cost lies between the two.
You can read: Types and Used of Cleaning Tools
Carpet sweepers are useful in sweeping the dust and litter from floor coverings. Some are made to adjust automatically to carpet pile of various heights with a minimum of pressure. Unless the brush is kept clean, its efficiency is severely impaired, and the sweeper is harder to push.
To remove string, hair, and ravelings without injuring the brush, it is better to clip them first with scissors. The brush should occasionally be wiped with a dry-cleaning fluid when it gets sticky from oil in the dust or wax on floors. The sweeper should regularly be oiled each month.
The beating of carpets and rugs is not recommended because it loosens the pile tufts and may injure the caking of the carpet. However, in homes without vacuum cleaners where it is impossible to send floor coverings to a good cleaning once a year, it may be necessary to use a beater.
Those made of rattan are less injurious to rugs than wire beaters. Mats should be placed nap down on grass or snow, but should never be beaten while hung over a clothes line.