Thursday, January 7, 2016

A 1950's Daily Cleaning Routine

From The 50's Housewife:
Once mom returned from delivering the children to school, she’d often settle any younger children then she’d take a small break for tea and maybe listen to a morning radio show (usually heavily slanted toward wives and mothers because career women were almost unheard of).

Then the busy work of cleaning would begin.   The entire cleaning routine involved about three hours each day.   The beds were made and bedrooms tidied even before leaving for school, so now it was on to bathrooms, kitchen, living room, laundry, and floors.   Most cleaning was done with simple cleaning products such as baking soda, vinegar, ammonia, lemon, castile soap, and borax.   There were also some commercial cleaning products like Simoniz floor cleaner, Spick N Span, Brillo pads, and Windex, but most women used the basics and a lot of elbow grease.

Bathrooms were cleaned daily so it was a fast chore–no scrubbing required.   A few swishes with the brush in the toilet, a wipe down of all surfaces and mirror, empty trash, shake out carpets, sweep, then a quick mopping.   There was usually only one bathroom, so with just ten minutes, the bathroom duties were done.

This 1955 washer/dryer commercial shows that by the mid 1950s doing the laundry was significantly easier than in the days when it took an entire day to wash by hand, so the habit of washing and drying at least one load of laundry per day was born. (Read more.)

1 comment:

julygirl said...

All those advances, for better or worse, freed women to work 'outside' the home. I am all in favor of stay-at-home moms, but housekeeping on a daily basis is boring, tiresome and certainly not self actualizing. There is also a sense of futility when other members of the household have tromped, splashed, spilled and trashed the house after one has just completed cleaning. I knew a mother who once asked me, "Don't you get a sense of accomplishment after mopping the kitchen floor?" On one rare occasion my husband wiped down the counters and asked me the same thing. I said, "Wait until someone comes in, pours a glass of grape juice, splashes it on the counter where it drips inside the drawer and down the side of the cabinet onto the floor just after you have mopped."