As we approach the annual Thanksgiving Day holiday, our thoughts often turn to things in our lives that we are thankful for. Cleaning may feel like a thankless chore, but we really have it so much better than the folks of previous eras. Even as recently as the last couple of decades, cleaning technology has improved dramatically at a cost that’s well within reach of the average home or business owner.
So without further ado, here are 5 modern cleaning inventions or products we are thankful for!
The Vacuum Cleaner – The first powered vacuum cleaner was invented in 1901, and the first portable one marketed for home use was produced in 1905 by Walter Griffiths. Manual vacuum cleaners were actually around since the mid 1800’s, but they were cumbersome things – requiring a hand crank or bellows for suction. Maybe its still not your favorite chore, but today’s lightweight, user-friendly vacuum cleaners make vacuuming a breeze!
The Washing Machine – no matter how much you gripe about your machine’s quirks and features, any modern washing machine is a hands-down winner over scrubbing each piece of clothing on a washboard and wringing it out with a hand-cranked wash wringer! The first electrically-powered washer was the Thor – introduced in 1908 by the Hurley Machine Co. of Chicago, IL, but automatic, electric washing machines weren’t around yet and they didn’t become popular until the 1940’s.
Swiffer ™ - Easily one of, and possibly THE best cleaning tool invented in the last few decades. The entire Swiffer line makes it so easy to clean up dust and dirt efficiently, without scattering it around like a feather duster or traditional dust mop. It’s hard to believe these go-to cleaning standbys have only been around since 1997. What would we do without them?
Oven Cleaner – Food, grease and cooking residue has been getting baked onto ovens since the beginning of time. It takes an awful lot of “elbow grease” to accomplish even close to the same amount of cleaning as a little spray of “Easy Off ™” or some other modern oven cleaner! Easy Off was actually the first oven cleaner to become commercially available - invented in 1932 by Herbert McCool.
Windex ™ - Invented by the Drackett Company in 1933, Windex is still the best product for cleaning glass. The solution, originally ammonia with some other solvents, has changed through the years, but you’d never know it. However where the original just smelled like a cleaning product, the newest offerings are available in several colors and more pleasant fragrances.
Of course some cleaning products, like baking soda and white vinegar have been around forever and just never go out of style!
If you’d like to see specific products we like, check out our list of recommended cleaning products.
Still not feeling too thankful about all the cleaning you need to do before and after the holiday? If you’re in NYC, give us a call! We offer home and office cleaning in NYC, with customized cleaning schedules or one-time “deep housecleaning” visits. Get a free cleaning estimate today.