NEVER have dark furniture for a kitchen. It shows the dust much more than light and requires double the care. Never have extra shelves or mantels painted dark if you can help it. If it is your misfortune to have dark painted furniture, wipe it once in a few days with a damp cloth, and have it varnished often. Have your sink in a convenient place, but never under a window if you can avoid it, as much work is caused by greasy dish-water spattering upon the windows as it necessarily must. Back of your sink nail up a piece of varnished paper, and then you can with a wet cloth remove all spots that would soon spoil wall-paper. If you are so fortunate as to have a sink-room, have it papered and then well varnished; in this case every spot can be easily wiped off. The sink should be lined with zinc, nailed only around the edges, as nails upon the bottom rust and wear through, allowing water to run under the sink, thereby causing the boards to rot.
Good zinc can be kept nice and bright by scouring every week or two with sand, and rubbing all over once or twice a day with soft soap, scalding and wiping dry.
At one side have a place to put the water pail on, which always keep covered day and night; an uncovered water pail is a slack thing. Nailed upon the back of the sink, have a little box perforated through the bottom, to keep hard soap in, and if you have no better place, castile soap and a piece of pumice stone to remove stains from your hands. Your soft soap keep under the sink, which we take for granted is boarded up, with a door where you put your pots and kettles, board to scour knives upon, sand, etc., and this place should be kept as neat as your sitting room. Just over the sink have a narrow shelf with holes through, to set your common tumblers upon when washed and rinsed, that they may drain and dry, thus saving the time and labor of wiping them with a dry cloth.
At the other end of the sink, put up a narrow strip to set your kettle crickets on; of these you should have two, one to set your kettles on when washing and cleaning them, and which should be kept under the sink, in some odd nook?the other should be smaller, and only be used to set the kettles upon, when filling, and therefore must be kept handy and clean so if you should be sick with a headache, pain in your side, or any little trifling thing, and should ask your kind husband to fill the tea kettle, he would take the cricket down to set it on, instead of setting it in the sink?thus causing you more labor than it saves. He would be sure to do this were the cricket under the sink, or so black and nasty he could not touch it without soiling his hands.
And last but not least, have a light rack made of strips of wood an inch wide, an eighth of an inch thick and a foot long nailed over one another, making a rack a foot square, with both sides alike, to put in your sink to turn dishes upon while washing, thus keeping them from touching the sink liable to be greasy and dirty, and draining them so that they will wipe easily.
You may think, dear reader, that it takes considerable to furnish a sink to suit our taste; but every one of these things are around our sinks, and no one would we dispense with, neither will you, after having seen how convenient they are.
- Taken from Manufacturer and Builder Aug 1875