Tips for Cleaning the 19th Century for the Modern Era

Do you want to live like a Bridgerton, the British British family in the hit Netflix series? Do you walk with beautiful dukes and gossip with a queen about macarons?

Well, you probably can not live like an aristocrat from the 19th century. But you can clean like a scullery.

English Heritage, an organization in Swindon, England, which cares for centuries-old palaces, houses, castles and monasteries, tips for cleaning the spring released Friday would have felt familiar in the Regency and Victorian eras.

Skip the glass cleaner for dusty mirrors and wipe it off with grind.

Scrub it with skim milk to make your stone floors shine.

Dirty wallpaper? A piece of sponge white bread is all you need to make it look new.

“While we may not recommend the strangest historical cleaning tips, such as using a potato to clean an oil painting, housekeepers of the past were often uncomfortable with their methods, despite relatively little scientific knowledge,” said Amber Xavier-Rowe. , head of the collection of collections at the English heritage, reads a statement.

The proposals of English Heritage, which cleaned up many of its properties in the winter before reopening on May 17, came just in time for spring cleaning – and amid renewed interest in the use of natural and non-chemical materials to clean the house.

“The old ideas come into their own again, don’t they?” has Lucy Lethbridge, author of “Pay attention to your gentlemen: British British household cleaning tips.”

People are increasingly concerned that their cleaning habits could harm the environment, and they are looking for ways to use plastic bottles or chemical products that can aggravate asthma or cause other health problems, she said.

The old methods also work, said me. Lethbridge added.

During the pandemic, she said, her kitchen pipe repeatedly became clogged. She relies on a simple solution of baking soda, hot water and vinegar or lemon juice that she pours into the sink until ‘there is a wonderful, fantastic glug.’

“It’s better than any drain cleaner I’ve ever bought,” she said. Lethbridge said.

The methods described by the English heritage probably existed for centuries, but it is difficult to know when they originated because there are so few historical records of early housekeeping, according to Ruth Goodman, a writer in Wales who has been researching the work and lives of servants for 30 years.

Mrs. Goodman said the idea of ​​using bread to clean wallpaper probably originated in the 1600s, when England used wood for coal to heat homes and businesses.

The soot made houses dirty, especially the walls. Bread would have worked as an effective sponge without damaging the paper like water can, she said.

That kind of realization had to come from the women who cleaned the house, whose creativity and ingenuity are often overlooked by history, Ms. Goodman said.

“We were a little taken aback by the great men of history,” she said. There is not much talk about cleaning. It is not widely explored, and yet it is the basis of survival and the basis of women’s lives and working women’s lives. ”

Andrew Neborak, owner of Luxury cleaning NY in New York City said he was not surprised to hear that skim milk could be used to clean stone floors. He said he recently used a milk-based cleaning product to wash an unfinished floor in a SoHo furniture showroom. He regularly uses vinegar and lemon to wipe plates.

“It’s actually even better than any detergent,” he said. Neborak said about the mixture.

Me. Lethbridge said that even if some contemporary chemical products are based, we need to remember how natural cleaners would make us smell 200 years ago.

Urine, for example, was a popular ingredient for washing clothes in the early 1800s, Ms. Lethbridge said.

“In the early 19th century,” she thought, “perhaps the smell of clean was the smell of urine.”

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