The Incredible History of Cleaning

Boys and girls learn the value of cleanliness as early as they learn how to talk—perhaps earlier. People everywhere have always carried the concept of being clean and staying clean that it is already part of their system. Even if some lifestyles are not up to the standards of your average neat freak folk, the need to bathe, to free oneself from dirt does not die.

Even you must have grown accustomed to having a regular house cleaning session with your feather dusters and vacuum cleaners at least once a week, especially if your house is too beautiful to be covered in dust. You might be so caught up in the everyday cleaning rituals that you do not pause, think about the history of cleaning and wonder, “Hey. I wonder how my ancestors do it.”

Of course, your ancestors might have done it the same way you do it now. However, they would seriously be at a definite disadvantage since they did not have the cleaning technology you enjoy now. It is interesting to wonder and to take a peek at the lifestyle of your predecessors. It just so happens that when people look back, they tend to gaze past the mundane subjects like the history of cleaning. They always want to focus on wars, royalty, and, heck, even fashion.

If you are the curious type though, you can’t help but be interested even in the most ordinary lesson like this one you are checking out right now, the history of cleaning. Actually, when you care to look deeper, to immerse yourself in the facts and imagine the actual history as it happened years or centuries before, you will find that the subject is not at all that ordinary. It is as incredible as any piece of history man has discovered over the years.

Cleaning—Old Testament Style (Egyptian edition)

Ancient Egyptians are popular for their pyramids, hieroglyphics, and mummified royalties. The families who can afford them have slaves to do the cleaning for them. Aside from that, their slaves would also help them with their primping and other kinds of vanity they had at that time. They value cleanliness both with their environment and with their personal grooming. You can even see that almost obsessive-compulsive quality with the way they treat their dead. They would free the body of its organs and go on with their mummification. They would go with all that trouble. Some cultures just lay their dead underground or in caves.

Cleaning—Old Testament Style (Babylonian edition)

Now, rack your brains and think of a thing Babylonians were famous for. Yes, the hanging garden would be one. It must have been a magnificent sight. However, this is not about the history of gardening but the history of cleaning. They might be one of the earliest people to discover the dangers of contaminated water. They found out that it could bring disease, and so, they made it a point to bring in freshwater every day for their household activities. This is more on the subject of sanitation. However, sanitation is still the reason why you clean, right? So this account is still very much welcome in the history of cleaning.

The Rumored Origin of Spring Cleaning

Ah, spring—the season of new beginnings. It is the time when everything is sweet and fresh. It is also a perfect time to get rid of those cobwebs and the gathering soot on the fireplace. You can check our fireplace cleaning guide if you need help. Some say that one of the ceremonies in Ancient Persia called “shaking the house” inspired the concept spring-cleaning, a New Year’s celebration of some kind. However, there are no clear connections found in the history of cleaning. Although, it is interesting to consider the idea of spring-cleaning came from a country that does not even have the spring season to begin with!

For the Greeks!

The Greeks were praised as a very enlightened civilization. Even though their city-states were always at war, each one contributed much in the knowledge of the modern world, be it in literature, warfare, or politics. Like the other civilizations of olden times, the Greeks also had slaves who were in charge of the cleaning. Water was already known as an effective cleaning agent at this time. Well off families had more grand possessions like statues and murals that need a more precise cleaning. Once again, it was the slaves’ duty to keep them as good as new.

When in Rome, Do As The Romans Do

This is a popular saying usually used by tourists. However, it seems that the saying fits for everyone everywhere when it comes to sanitation. The ancient Romans found a way to bring in freshwater in the form of aqueducts and dispose of used or unclean water in the form of sewer systems. They even went out of their way to promote good personal hygiene by building public baths.

The Dark Ages

The title totally fits the period, especially when it comes to cleanliness. When you ask around, perhaps only a very few people will want to go back and live in the Dark Ages. According to accounts, the towns everywhere were filthy and so were the people. The diseases that plagued those times attest to this unclean lifestyle. Cholera, smallpox, and yellow fever were just a few of the diseases that caused the death of countless lives. It was an era that even the harmless subject of the history of cleaning can’t give a single pleasing account.

When Bacteria Was First Discovered

Perhaps the first germophobes first existed when Antony Van Leeuwenhoek first discovered bacteria and protozoa. However, it is amazing to think that, throughout the history of cleaning, people looked after themselves, keeping their bodies and their environment clean, even when they were still clueless about bacteria and its dangers. Perhaps this discovery just made some people more paranoid than the others. What is more, is that it led to other significant discoveries related to cleaning and sanitation. This brings you to the next thing of interest in this particular history of cleaning.

Say Hello to The First Antiseptic

Yep, the antiseptic is next. If the existence of bacteria and protozoa were not discovered, then Joseph Lister would not have thought of using the carbolic acid chemical solution as a form of antisepsis. With Lister’s pioneering development, people were more aware that dirty stuff could bring in diseases and that cleaning after tools (especially medical instruments) is a necessity. Since this pioneering act, scientists have been improving on the strength of antiseptics to destroy germs and bacteria. You have to admit, they are getting more and more successful.

Modern-Day Cleaning

Finally, this is the discussion on the history of cleaning that you are most familiar with. As with other aspects of present-day society, technology also influences modern-day cleaning. In fact, people are completely dependent on technology (from vacuum cleaners to washing machines and dishwashers) when it comes to cleaning. There are also environmental influences in today’s cleaning methods. Threats of global warming and the thinning of the ozone layer are some of the reasons that trigger this movement. Various green cleaning movements encourage households and offices to be mindful of the environment when cleaning. They also encourage people to embrace green practices such as tree planting and waste segregation.

Fast Forward To The Future

Now, this is probably the most exciting prospect in the history of cleaning. This is not only a matter of vacuum cleaners anymore. Ponder on this one word—robotics. With today’s fast running technology, robot house cleaners in every household are a great possibility. In fact, Japan has been filling the news with innovations in robotics for years! You do not even have to break a sweat in order to keep your house clean. And, unlike your ancient ancestors that use slaves for such purposes, you will not abuse human rights.

Fight Night: The Ultimate Viewing Party Plan

It’s almost fight night! The Mayans were indeed early in their prediction of the apocalypse – exactly three years too early. The world will end tomorrow night as it witnesses the most important battle of all time. On Saturday, May 2nd, at 10:30 pm (EST), the undefeated Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. (47-0) will take on the not-so-undefeated Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (57-5).

If you’re not a boxing fan (don’t worry, very few people actually are), it’s still worth knowing the finer details because the fight will be broadly syndicated to millions of viewers (including your co-workers). This will is, after all, one of the most anticipated boxing matches of all time: despite the $100 price tag for pay-per-view ordering (yes, pay-per-view still exists), the fight is still expected to generate over $300 million in proceeds. This will also be the first time a fighter is paid over $100 million to take a beat-down; said differently, Mayweather and Pacquiao will split the total purse 60% and 40% (respectively). Do you really want to miss the chance to see a cocky, filthy rich, undefeated fighter finally lose?

Make this a memorable experience for you and your friends. Organizing a viewing party won’t be expensive if you split the cost of the PPV bill. Especially when compared to the alternative of buying a ticket for $30+ to view the fight at a crowded, “bro-infested” bar. We’ll show you how to prepare your place properly. And afterward, you can call Maid Sailors to knock out any remaining cleaning challenges.

Select Snacks Strategically

If you’re hosting your party on the east coast, chances are many attendees will show up after they’ve eaten dinner. Thus, no need to emulate a Super Bowl set-up; focus on lighter snacks that minimize crumbs and potential garbage. Vegetables with dip (e.g. hummus, blue cheese), cheese plates, and Tostito’s “Scoop” Tortilla chips are solid options that will minimize mini-messes across your home (you’ll also decrease napkin usage).

Pro Tip: Don’t place the snacks in front of the television.

Label Your Trash Bags

Read this before you snicker. If the only trash-receiving-entity in your home will be the trashcan in your kitchen, you’re asking for a Round 6 disaster. Make things easy for yourself (and your guests) by placing 2-3 evenly spaced trash throughout your living room (e.g. corners). Further, feel free to label the bags with “recycling”, “cans only”, “food/other”, etc. In order to provide your guests with some direction and ultimately lessen the cleaning burden on Sunday morning.

There’s nothing more satisfying than resting your eyes on an unnaturally organized pile of garbage bags. The alternative? Get ready for a mosaic of food trays, aluminum cans of Bud Light, Solo Cups and half-eaten Pizza (let’s be real, you’ll order Dominos at some point against our recommendations).

Bulk Up on Toilet Paper and Paper Towels

You need these anyway, so why not use the party as an opportunity to stock-up? Place excess rolls of toilet paper in the bathroom and paper towels in the kitchen. Keep them visible and unleash your inner Chief Executive Officer – people will most-likely take it upon themselves to clean a mess or wipe a spill they’ve made if the tools are in the open. Don’t miss a knock-out because someone couldn’t find the Bounty Paper Towels you stowed away.

Your Sink is a Cooler Version of a Regular Cooler

Unless you have an industrial-sized cooler that you’ve consistently used, you should empty a couple bags of ice into your sink and throw a couple of cans on it. This avoids any potential spills that could arise from a standalone cooler and eliminates the imminent task of dumping excess water. This also disqualifies the sink as a de-facto storage area for solo cups, empty cans, and other trash (trust us, even the most familiar guests are often unpredictable creatures).

Lastly…

The finer details of your fiesta are up to you. If you’re planning on having a beer, avoid glass bottles and opt for aluminum cans. These are safer and easier to clean (also no stray bottle caps will be hiding inside your couch). Generally speaking, solo cups, paper plates, napkins and paper towels should be considered “must-haves”.

If you’re having food delivered or catered, opt for disposable forks and knives as well. The next morning, despite how the fight goes, feel free to call Maid Sailors if you decided to disregard all of this advice ( a cleaning might even be cheaper than ordering the fight itself) .

Roommates You Don’t Know You Have (Until Now)

Whether you’ve been living in your studio / 2-bedroom apartment / multi-bedroom house for a while or the movers just pulled away from your street, here’s some bad news: you have roommates you don’t know about.

They are shamelessly snickering and hooting while you’re rolling out of bed (after hitting that snooze button twice), struggling to cook “Quaker Quick Oats” (saving money on breakfast means you can hit up Chipotle for lunch AND get guacamole, nah mean?) and/or pleading helplessly with your children to get in the car.

Moreover, these roommates are not helpful; they will not shine the counter-tops, rinse the dishes or disinfect the bathroom while you’re out. Instead, they will (continue to) party very, very hard, engage in unspeakable acts all over your sacred living space and sadly, won’t be showing any signs of slowing down upon your return.

Amongst amateurs, these infidels will remain dominant. They will effectively conduct guerrilla warfare by hiding in the hills and crevices of your bedroom(s), bathroom(s) and kitchen(s), striking opportunistically. While you may venture into a Duane Reade once a month, purchase some “Wet Wipes” and cause your tenacious tenants some slight distress, they will ultimately overcome your anemic assaults and continue to fester within your homeland (read: near your kids/pets / you).

The Good News

With proper, professional assistance, you can win this war in nuclear fashion. An experienced and well-equipped service (Maid Sailors) will arrive at war with an arsenal appropriate for fully sanitizing every major chamber of your home. Thereby eradicating your unwelcome guests. You don’t need to buy supplies beforehand and you certainly won’t need to store anything afterward. Maid Sailors come equipped with what amounts to a mini-Rite Aid in their duffel bags, allowing them to effectively and efficiently sterilize every square inch of your habitat.

So, exactly who are these roommates? The researchers at Maid Sailors have profiled two prominent squatters that are probably reading this article alongside you right now. (Pro-tip: if you book your cleaning now, you can probably finish reading this at a Starbuck’s while your home is secured in the meantime.)

1. Donnie the Dust Mite

Last check-in: Your bed (jumping), sheets (lounging) and pillows (napping real quick).

Hobbies: Donnie doesn’t bite but you might be allergic to him. If so, he’ll be busy posting statuses on your laptop (while you’re away) about how he made you sneeze, gave you a stuffy nose and made you cry (that itchiness of the eyes, tho).

Relationship status: Donnie isn’t a player, but he interacts a lot (if you know what I mean). Normally, Donnie might only be around for 20 days. But if he links up with his main chick (Diane the Dust Mite), she can live up to 70 days and lay 60–100 eggs during the last month of her life.

Fun-fact: Donnie is a real “sneakerhead.” He has eight legs, which means he has to buy 4 pairs of Jordans in order to remain the envy of his other microscopic friends.

Eviction solution: A professional can evict Donnie by thoroughly washing and drying your bedding (sheets, pillowcases, comforters, etc.) and exhaustively vacuuming your floors and carpets; additionally, these vacuums should have “high-efficiency particle air filters (HEPA)”, which will collect Donnie’s waste and his girl’s eggs.

2. Elizabeth Coli (Elizabeth often goes by “E. coli”)

Last check-in: As the Notorious B.I.G. line goes, “…she be sittin’ in your kitchen, waiting to start hittin’.” Your sink (her personal pool), food-ridden dishes (her beach chairs), cutting board (doing pilates) and countertop (tanning, obvi).

Hobbies: This chick can be a femme fatale as they come. If you’re not careful, she’ll make you anxious, have you sitting on a toilet seat for hours. And literally make you sick to your stomach.

Relationship status: Like Kanye West, Liz loves herself more than she can ever love another being. She will clone herself multiple times and her appetite (for herself) is sadly insatiable; within a 12 hour period, there can potentially be up to 17 million versions of Liz. Maybe having an all-out lovefest in your kitchen.

Fun-fact: This single-celled Cinderella is quite the social butterfly. In addition to her common hangouts, she’ll also be attending happy hours in your blender. And rubbing shoulders with other microbial bad girls in a litany of additional kitchen appliances.

Eviction solution: Having a professional conduct a thorough sanitary-onslaught on both your bathroom and kitchen will do the trick. A Maid Sailor will have the time and tools to disinfect your cutting boards, countertops, dishes, utensils and table surfaces. In the bathroom, anti-bacterial soaps and wipes will be used to cleanse your toilet, floors, tubs and even the handles.