A Brief History of Carpet Cleaning & Invention of the Vacuum Cleaner

Carpet cleaning wasn’t always as easy as plugging in the vacuum cleaner and pushing the on button. A mere hundred or so years ago, carpet cleaning was still considered a radical new concept, but the trend caught on, and look where carpet cleaning is today.

Vacuum CleanerHistoric evidence suggests carpet cleaning originated sometime during the eighteenth century. It is believed that the onslaught of the industrial revolution inspired new ideas and concepts of cleaning and domestic hygiene, mainly throughout the industrialised countries of Western Europe, as well as North America. Before that, carpets weren’t actually cleaned, but rather kept clean by spreading thick woollen fabrics and canvases over them in order to protect from spills and stains. As one can imagine thick woollen fabrics and canvases generated a lot of dust, soot, dirt and bacteria – especially with the lack of indoor ventilation in those days. This prompted people to look for new ways to keep their homes’ interior clean and fresh – carpet cleaning was emerging. In result, beating the rugs and carpets with brooms was adopted as a way to get rid of dust, sand and other hard particles, however this did not deal with stains.

The first effective stain removal methods emerged circa the eighteen thirties, when a group of innovative housewives began scrubbing carpet stains with lemon juice and hot bread loafs. This worked well on ink, soot and oil stains which were common issues at the time. The ladies elaborated on their cleaning strategies and slowly refined the method. In result, carpets were treated using lemon juice, rinsed with fresh water, and left outside to dry. Essentially, this is the way carpets are cleaned today. Around the same time, it was established and decided that carpets also needed regular sweeping to prevent run out and tearing.

The next advent in carpet cleaning came circa the eighteen seventies or eighties with the invention of the first manually operated vacuum cleaner, known as the Whirlwind. The new invention made housekeeping more manageable and efficient. The first example of a vacuum cleaner though was hard to use, in result optimised, more effective designs began appearing in North America and Western Europe.

The year was nineteen hundred, and the world saw the unveiling of the first electric floor sweeper – the brainchild of Corrine Dufour. The first carpet cleaning machine to use vacuum came next year, in nineteen o one. Interestingly enough, one of the first working vacuum cleaners was powered by heating oil and was called The Puffing Billy.

The first vacuum cleaner to be put into mass production and widely available to the public was done by Walter Griffiths Manufacturer in nineteen oh five. The thing even resembled a modern day vacuum cleaner! A few years later, the first electric vacuum cleaner was put into mass production by James Spangler. The appliance was known as Model 0.

In the nineteen twenties and thirties, carpets went out of fashion and the vacuum cleaning industry went silent for a while. Since the nineteen forties, advancements in chemistry have resulted in the invention and implementation of specialised carpet cleaning chemicals, along with vacuum cleaning systems.

Thanks to: Cleaners Waybridge

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