The Strange & Interesting History of Cleaning

August 1, 2022

Picture of Claire Hebert

Claire Hebert

The notion of cleaning certainly isn’t something that triggers the question of history or how it developed over the ages. However, when you do think about it from this perspective, you can discover many interesting and surprising facts.

Unlike today, but still not so long ago, there were no companies in New Orleans, LA nor any other area that would offer a deep clean or any similar kind of service. If you’d like to discover some fun facts about the history of cleaning, and what it actually looked like hundreds of years ago, read on. 

What is the history of cleaning?

If you’ve ever wondered about how it all started or what supplies your ancestors used to keep their homes tidy and hygienic, now is the time to discover more about it. Have a look at these 4 amazing facts. 

The first product

Other than water, which we can definitely consider the first and main means of cleaning, there is an actual product that people used to make themselves, and it was soap. The first sign of it dates back to as far as 2800 BC in the ancient Babylon. Archaeologists excavated materials similar to soap, as well as cylinders with inscriptions that said “fat boiled with ash”. 

Apart from Babylonians, other civilizations also had their own ways of making soap‐like materials using animal fat and vegetable oil, according to an original document that dates back to about 1500 BC. 

The first ever vacuum cleaner

Before the actual vacuum cleaner, the first invention was a similar machine, but with an opposite way of functioning. In fact, this machine blew the air out in order to guide dust and dirt into a bag. However, Hubert Cecil Booth realized the inefficiency of it and wanted to improve the machine, so in 1901, he reversed the blowing into suction and constructed the first ever vacuum cleaner. 

The first mop

What is the history of cleaning

While the first tool that resembled a mop appeared in the 1400s, the one that had the same form as we know it today, came about in 1893 when an African‐American inventor, Thomas W. Steward patented it. The material he used was yarn, and this is also the material we can find on many mops today. However, with the modern age and more options available, there are also mops with cloths, sponges, and other types of materials. 

Paper towels

This is the supply that almost every home has in the kitchen, bathroom, and probably a couple of other places since its use is so versatile. However, it wasn’t until 1931 that it first appeared, when the Scott Paper Company invented it. 

The proof that you can use it for literally anything that comes to your mind is a creation by Marc Jacobs, a famous designer. In 2014, he used only paper towels to design a raincoat. If you go exploring for more fun facts about cleaning, you’ll find that an average American uses about 53lbs of this supply in one year. 

Where in New Orleans, LA can I find a reliable deep clean service?

If you’re not sure how to quickly yet thoroughly tidy up your kid’s room, or you just dread tackling the dirt in your garage, Geaux Maids of New Orleans is the right team for you. We boast our trained, bonded, and insured technicians who always go out of their way to make our clients satisfied. Rather than dedicating your time to the never‐ending chores, pay a relaxing visit to the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge and leave the rest to us. Give us a call today!

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