Carpet cleaning seems like a miniscule task nowadays because there is so many different ways to treat and prevent stains, but have you ever thought of what people did in the past to treat their carpet? As with most chores, caring for your carpet was not as easy as it is today. The importance of cleanliness seemed to come around the time of the Industrial Revolution. People started searching for more effective ways of keeping their house clean, especially their carpets.The most common method of carpet cleaning was to beat and sweep clean with a stick or broom of some sort. A straw broom was recommended to prevent damage to the carpet.
The first recorded treatment in history for treating carpet stains was roughly during the 1830’s using lemon juice.
That’s right, we said lemon juice.
Lemon juice, believe it or not, is considered the all-purpose and all natural cleaning life saver. Some say lemon juice was used for stubborn stains and oddly enough, a loaf of bread could be used to soak up stains like oil. The stained area would then be rinsed thoroughly with water and the rug would then be hung out to dry. In the late 1800’s, different carpet cleaning techniques were on the rise. There was the chloroform method as well as the clay paste method which was mixed with water and the applied to the stain overnight and in the morning when the chemicals or paste were washed away, poof…., so would the stain. However, the problem with both of these methods was that it caused issues like color fading. This is where the method of redyeing your carpet became popular. Advertisements claimed the redyeing method would restore your carpet to its original, “new” quality, but people soon came to find out that this method caused the carpet to shrink. Baaaack to the drawing board!
The first vacuum cleaner, nicknamed the “Whirlwind” was introduced in the late 1860’s by Ives W. McGaffey. It was hard to use for most because you had to manually turn a crank while pushing it across the floor. Like we see with most inventions, the “Whirlwind” was replaced about 10 years later with Mr. Bissell’s first mechanical carpet sweeper. As you read that name, you probably realized that he is still a household name to this day.
Vacuum cleaners evolved with the times, as did carpet cleaning methods, but as you can see in the beginning it wasn’t so easy to care for your carpets. As with every other technological advance there is always a starting point, I bet you are glad you are in the “I can call Inside Homes to do this” era! We know we are!