Category: carpets

How did People Clean Carpets before There Were Vacuums?

Modern housecleaning has been made simpler by the advent of electric appliances that remove dirt, stubborn stains and grime from carpets and other fabrics. However, things were not always this easy in the past.

In the 19th century, people would protect their carpets by covering them with thick and heavy woolen cloths all over the exposed areas. Sometimes they would use heavy polythene papers to protect the carpets against stains and spills. Those who could afford canvas would also make use of it.

To remove dirt, dust and sand when cleaning carpets ; the common method was to beat the carpets with brooms. The problem is that this method did not remove stains. This was until early 1830s when some women discovered that scrubbing the stained area with lemon juice and thoroughly rinsing it with clean water actually did the trick.

The first manually operated vacuum cleaner was made in 1870, and it to a large extent made cleaning carpets easier. Developments were made on this vacuum in subsequent years, and in 1900, the first eclectic vacuum cleaner emerged. Various other modifications were made, giving rise to the vacuum cleaner in existence today.