Cleaning through the ages: Discover timeless methods and modern day hacks.

Almost a third of people (29%) still clean their windows with newspaper according to a survey by leading concentrated disinfectant, Zoflora.
Furthermore one in 10 clean them with tea, while one in 20 wash their dishes with egg shells and one in 10 with lemon juice.
The survey, which was released today (10 March) is timed to coincide with the 180th birthday of Mrs Beeton, author of housekeeping bible, Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management.
From 1,135 parents polled, it was revealed that a large percentage still used her infamous Victorian methods of cleaning in their households.

  • 155 years ago the classic British housekeeping bible ‘Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management’ was published
  • Fast forward to 2016, new research looks at how many of her old-school housekeeping tips are still followed
  • From cleaning the dishes with egg shells and washing windows with tea, to using baking soda for almost everything – the research looks at some of Mrs Beeton’s best known advice and how valid it is today
  • It also reveals the more modern but out the ordinary methods we use such as cleaning the toilet with coca cola, washing toys in the dishwasher and steam cleaning the microwave with a cup of water

The research for Zoflora was conducted between: 22/02/2016 and 25/02/2016

Sample: 1,135 UK Parents
All research conducted adheres to the MRS Codes of Conduct (2010) in the UK and ICC/ESOMAR World Research Guidelines.


Victorian inspired cleaning methods

  • 29% clean windows with newspaper.
  • 8% use tea to clean your windows.
  • 11% clean the dishes in lemon juice.
  • 6% clean the dishes with egg shells.
  • 11% use baking soda in cleaning.
  • 50% of Brits use Victorian styles of cleaning such as beating the carpets and using baking soda in cleaning.

Modern cleaning tips

  • 12% clean the toilet/drains with coca cola.
  • 24% steam clean the microwave with a cup of water.
  • 25% baby wipe the bathroom/other surfaces.
  • 14% clean toys in the dishwasher.
  • 20% deep clean shower head with baking soda and vinegar.
  • Living rooms are the dirtiest in the house as Brits reveal they only clean them every 6 months!
  • Brits are untidy folk as 1 in 10 only clean their homes when guests are coming round.
  • 1 in 5 (20%) embarrassed dads have cleaned the home by hiding clutter under cushions and behind sofas when guests have visited.
  • 55% of Brits feel that more help from their family would enable them to manage them home more easily.


180 years ago (12th March 1836), the infamous Mrs Beeton was born and 155 years ago, the now controversial, ‘Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management’ was published. 

Although much of her book focused on culinary advice for the day, a significant part of it referred to caring for the home and how it should be gone about in middle class England.
Fast forward to 2016 years, and a new study looks at whether her classic household tips are still being used in households around the country today.
According to the research by Zoflora, a surprising number of us still use her tips and techniques with around 30% cleaning their windows with newspaper while one in 10 clean them with tea. One in 20 admit to washing dishes with egg shells and one in 10 with lemon juice.

A similar number clean the bath with salt and lemon juice, almost 40% beat the rug or carpet, while one in ten regularly use the old stand-by of baking soda as a general cleaning product.

Household management has come of age however with new and quirky methods revealed to help us wade through the chores at home – perhaps providing light relief to the 51% of parents that say their cleaning duties have increased in frequency since having children. More than one in ten state that they have cleaned the toilet or drains with coca cola, a quarter use baby wipes to clean the bathroom and one in seven clean toys in the dishwasher.

But what of Mrs Beeton’s tips? Do they stand up to modern cleaning standards and would you use them? Are you more of a cleaning must-doer or a that’ll doer?


About Mrs Beeton 

“Beeton was a Victorian writer whose 'Book of Household Management' is one of the most famous cookery books ever published.

Isabella Mayson was born on 12 March 1836 in London. She was educated in Germany. In 1856, she married Samuel Beeton, a wealthy publisher and began to write articles on cooking and household management for her husband's publications.

In 1861, the first instalment of her famous 'The Book of Household Management' was published. It was an immediate success, selling over 60,000 copies in its first year of publication and nearly two million by 1868. As well as recipes the book contained advice regarding household management, childcare, etiquette, entertaining and the employment of servants. It was illustrated with coloured engravings on nearly every page and was the first to format recipes in the layout still used today.

Beeton died on 6 February 1865 of an infection following the birth of her fourth child.”

Source: BBC



Posted by Zoflora (10/03/2016)