In this Mother’s Day month, our thoughts are turned to our own moms and grandmothers. I think about how things were in their day. How did mom do things differently from what we do today? How did grandma do things differently from mom?
Just for fun, I wanted to take a look way back at how “clean” was viewed and accomplished through the different eras. In the Victorian era, the luxury of a regular bath was reserved for the upper class. Family members would share the same bath water and so, as it got used over and over, by the time it got to the last family member, the baby, it was murky, so murky you could possibly lose someone in it. Thus came the birth of the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.”
In 1400, the Chinese invented toilet paper; thank you, China. The first electric powered vacuum cleaner was invented in 1901, and not widely used until later than that. Today, we have central vacuums, Rumbas, amazing cleaning products and polishes that make things sterile and shiny. Thankfully, most of us are able to shower or bathe regularly without having to share the water.
Do we think about all the conveniences we have now to help us with keeping clean and keeping our homes clean? I know that I am thankful that I don’t have to take the rug out to the laundry line and beat it to death. One thing I can remember was a great aunt who would wrap each clean folded towel in wax paper and carefully place it in the linen closet along with the other individually wrapped clean towels and linens. On that same note, does anyone remember the plastic couch covers in the ‘60s? It was a terrible invention in my eyes, but nonetheless, the standard of clean in those days.
Before commercially produced cleaning sponges were invented, they would actually use sponge from the sea. Wood ash, pork fat and also lye were used to make soap. Some natural resources used then for cleaning are still popular today, such as vinegar and lemon.
The one common denominator from then to now is good old elbow grease. Cleaning is hard work – it was then and still is now – but the reward is great and makes us feel good.
I guess, regardless of how they did it through the years, the fact is: they did it. Our great grandmothers, grandmothers and moms worked tirelessly to keep things clean and in order. I think about my own mother and how hard she worked all her life. I thank her and all of the other moms this Mother’s Day for all they do for us.
From everyone here at Prescott Maid to Order, thank you to all of the moms who came before us and all the moms here today. Have a wonderful Mother’s Day! QCBN
By Lucy Leyva
Lucy Leyva is the proud owner of MTO Janitorial LLC, and Prescott Maid to Order LLC, both local cleaning companies based out of Prescott Valley, serving Northern Arizona since 2005. For any cleaning inquiry, please contact us at 928-772-0004 and/or visit our website at mtojanitorial.com.