Raleigh-Durham is a historic region with many old homes here bearing testament to centuries gone by. Whether you live in one of these historic residences or prefer everything around you is modern, you probably have carpets or rugs under your feet. In fact, antique rugs are very popular these days. This makes it clear that people have taken good care of their rugs for them to endure for decades or even centuries. What is the history of carpet cleaning companies?
Progreen Carpet of Durham takes a brief look at the history of carpet cleaning companies. We also examine how they have helped Raleigh-Durham area floors look great for centuries.
Before Carpet Cleaning Companies
According to historical records, carpet cleaning companies first came into being during the 1900s. North Americans, like their European counterparts, wanted cleaner homes than ever before. Before the Industrial Revolution, the only way to keep your rugs looking great was to cover them with woolen druggets, coverings that protected the rug from spills and stains.
Prior to the 1800s, to reduce dust and other debris from damaging carpets, homeowners used canvas drop cloths to cover their floors while away from home. Some also used these coverings to protect their rugs during big social events. Homes had little to no ventilation in the past, so floors and other surfaces quickly accumulated dust and dirt. But as cleanliness at home became a sign of greater wealth and prosperity, more people wanted their floors kept clean. They needed solutions that could work better than taking rugs outside and beating them with brooms.
Carpet Cleaning in the 1830s
Housewives eager to share their helpful hints published the first books providing tips for stain removal. These included methods like using lemon juice to scrub textiles. After scrubbing the stain, the process involved hanging the carpet out to dry after rinsing it with water. A common suggestion for everyday dust and dirt removal before carpet cleaning companies involved using a straw broom and dust pan. A straw broom helped preserve the rug’s color. Sweeping was also advised to prevent carpets from developing tears or runs.
Vacuuming in the 1870s
The first vacuum cleaners came into being during the 1860s. By the 1870s, people with substantial homes and many carpets had one of these devices in their households. Called the “Whirlwind,” the first vacuum cleaner was compact and lightweight. But it was very hard to operate, relying on manual power in these days before electricity. The first vacuum was invented by Ives W. McGaffey, but other inventors scrambled to improve upon his ideas.
Before Carpet Cleaning Companies in the 1880s
After the Civil War in America and even overseas in Europe, there was a boom in published professional cleaning tips. One such tip involved mixing a bull’s internal fluids from the gall bladder with water. Housecleaners rubbed this solution into a rug with a flannel cloth, then rinsing using clean water. Another stain removal method involved mixing clay with water and applying this to rugs, then leaving it overnight before sweeping it away. Others used chloroform to clean their rugs, despite it causing problems with the central nervous system.
Carpet Cleaning Companies of the Early 1900s
As in the mid-to-late 1800s, carpet cleaning of the early 1900s focused on building residential vacuum cleaners. Through this time, the only real carpet cleaning companies performing the work for housewives and housekeepers were individuals offering labor assistance on a local basis. There were also rug repairmen who could dye carpets, remove stains and fix tears in rugs.
The first electrical carpet cleaner was a sweeper invented by Corrine Dufour in 1900. But a true vacuum came into being in 1901, thanks to Hubert Cecil Booth’s innovations. Booth’s vacuum was called the Puffing Billy. It was first oil-operated, then later converted to electric.
Walter Griffiths Manufacturing of England created one of the first vacuums to operate much like our modern ones in 1905. In 1907, James Spangler further innovated the electric-powered vacuum with a rotating brush that helped lift debris and a fan that blew the dirt into a pillowcase. Spangler patented his work before selling the patent to a relative only a year later.
Carpet cleaning innovators grew quiet in the 1920s and 1930s, not inventing any new machines or changing existing vacuum technology. They did not advance during this time because of the Great Depression’s focus on basic survival needs. Having rugs in this timeframe also became unfashionable.
Chemical-Based Carpet Cleaning Companies of the WWII Era
During World War II, using chemicals for many purposes became widely accepted. The chemicals industry tested new ways to use these materials throughout daily life, such as in development of plastics and even for modern-style carpet cleaning companies. With the onset of chemical-based carpet cleaning solutions, these companies started providing carpet cleaning and stain removal services from door-to-door.
Today’s carpet cleaning companies use many of the same methods developed during WWII and in the few years after troops returned home. Of course, chemicals have improved since and today’s carpet cleaning companies use more advanced equipment.
The Most Trusted of Carpet Cleaning Companies in the Raleigh-Durham Area
Wherever you live in the Raleigh-Durham area, cleaning your carpets and rugs is made easier than ever through the services of trusted carpet cleaning companies. Progreen Carpet uses the most advanced techniques, chemicals and green methods available to local residents. Schedule your free quote by calling Progreen Carpet at 919-332-3039 today.