Cleaning is cleaning and something that must be done, be it in a home or office. And yet, there are choices as to what is the best way to clean and what cleaning products one chooses to use. For most people, the up-to-date method of cleaning implies using chemicals of one sort or another. While chemical cleaners do get the job done, it is interesting to look back in time to the days when modern cleaning products had not been invented, and electricity was a twinkle in Thomas Edison’s eye. No glass cleaner, no disinfectant, all-purpose cleaner, no furniture polish, no
rug stain remover, no toilet bowl cleaner, no vacuum, no dust buster, and no washer and dryer to clean dirty rags. And yet, cleaning was done. It is interesting to look at some of the old-fashioned cleaning methods, and in some instances, they can be used successfully today. It is interesting to note that with the emphasis now placed on environmentally safe cleaning products, many of the ways cleaning was done years ago was and still is environmentally safe.
Starting with the fact, there was no electricity brings the broom and dustpan to the forefront. Good sturdy brooms made from bundled twigs were used daily to sweep floors, porches, and walkways. A rag such as an old, worn-out shirt was tied around the broom to pull dust bunnies from under beds and furniture and for sweeping cobwebs from their dwelling places. Floors were washed with soapy water, rinsed with clean water, and then air-dried or dried with an old towel. As the person washing floors (usually a woman) had to do so on hands and knees, this process would not likely appeal to today’s homemaker, man, or woman. Dirty rags were washed out by hand and hung to dry. Another task of today’s homemaker would not likely choose to do.
Cleaning products were made from natural products and would include:
- Homemade soap made from lye and fat
- Lemon juice and water used as a form of bleach. This was especially good for getting stains out of linens and white shirts. The stain was soaked in lemon juice and laid in the sun (when possible), and the stain would usually disappear. Lemon juice was also used to give a pleasant citrus smell.
- Vinegar and water were used to clean glass, porcelain, and ceramic.
- Boiling water was used to dissolve wax and grease, and then the item was washed with soap and water. To remove wine or berry stains, the article was placed over a container (if possible), and boiling water poured through the item at the point of the stain.
- Getting stains out of carpets and furniture was difficult but usually accomplished by a lot of “elbow grease” with a still brush and small amounts of soapy water. This was followed by patting with a clean, damp rag, pressing as much dampness out as possible with a dry towel, and then letting the area air dry.
- Wood furniture was polished with a soft cloth, sometimes using a small amount of clean grease to bring out a shine.
- Dusters made from feathers were popular and, in fact, are still used in many homes and offices today.
No doubt in some parts of the third world countries, many of these same cleaning methods and products are still in use. We in America really do have an easy time of it when it comes to cleaning our homes and offices. And, if we can afford to, many of us use a professional cleaning service to do the work for us. Should you live in Ocala, Florida or surrounding areas, you can call Cassie’s Meticulous touch at (352) 276-0513 to learn how a successful professional cleaning service that has been in business for over 20 years can keep you home and office clean and sanitized. By the way, the carefully trained staff of Cassie’s Meticulous Touch use eco-friendly cleaning products—a real plus.