This post is brought to you by S.O.S. to celebrate their 100th Birthday! All opinions are our own.
When you look back at the history of housekeeping, we’ve really come a long way. A century ago, our great-great-grandparents were still doing all their laundry by hand with a washboard and dragging their dishes outside after every meal to scrub them down with cheesecloth! Considering that I can barely remember to put my laundry in the dryer or rinse my dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, I don’t think I would have survived in 1917!
On the other hand, there are many great vintage housekeeping tips that really have stood the test of time. S.O.S. Pads, for example, were first introduced in 1917 and remain a cleaning staple for millions of us today! In honor of their 100th birthday, I’ve rounded up a few tried (and tried and tried and tried) and true vintage housekeeping tips that have really stood the test of time.
5 Vintage Housekeeping Tips We’re Still Using Today
S.O.S Steel Wool Pads
Let’s start with the guest of honor, shall we? After all, it is their birthday celebration! As I mentioned above, S.O.S first debuted back in 1917, replacing the cheesecloth as the preferred way for scrubbing grease and grime off of everything from pots and pans to shower walls. Okay, so the shower walls came later. I’m pretty sure our great-greats were still showering in that same bucket they used for washing clothes back then! Indoor plumbing was a luxury in 1917!
Today, we still use S.O.S Steel Wool Pads for degunking tons of surfaces. They’re one item that lives on under just about every sink!
Using Shades to Keep Your Home Cooler
Remember, air conditioners weren’t a thing back in 1917, so our great-greats had to get a little clever when it came to keeping the house cool. They used to draw the shades during the day to block out the sun (and keep it from heating up a room even more), then draw them back at night to let in the cooler air. If you read tips on how to save energy, this is still one of the most widely used methods of keeping a house cool!
Reusing cooking water
Our grandparents were masters of reusing and repurposing long before it became an eco-friendly thing to do. They did it out of necessity. One super idea that still works well today is reusing your cooking water to flavor other foods. For example, if you steam veggies, use that same water to boil rice!
Hanging clothes out to dry
People have been hanging clothes out to dry since the very first person thought to themselves “gee, my clothes are a little stinky and could use a good washing!” Today, we usually rely on increasingly fancy dryers (my gran actually had one with 37 buttons and didn’t know what 36 of them did, because my grandfather was a great lover of all things techno), but a good old-fashioned drying line in the sun still makes clothes smell as fresh as a summer day! Literally.
Did you know that spring cleaning actually stems from ancient rituals? While scholars are still debating which ancient culture started it (some say it originated in Japan, others say it began with a Jewish Passover ritual), let’s just say it’s definitely older than our grandparents! In 1917, spring cleaning was a time to open up the house again after a long winter, air out the feather mattresses and do all the other chores that they couldn’t really do when the temperatures were frigid.
You don’t need to step back in time to try out these housekeeping tips! While some of them are certainly more time-consuming than others, they’re still great ways to help save money and keep your home clean! Of course, stocking up on S.O.S. pads doesn’t take much time at all, and even after a century they still remain super affordable!
Check out the S.O.S website for fabulous cleaning tips (including plenty of more modern tips) and product information! Follow S.O.S. on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with news, and on Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube for inspiration.
We’re helping you stock up with an S.O.S. Prize Pack! Two winners will receive 3 boxes of traditional soap pads and 3 packs of Non-Scratch Scrubbers. Giveaway is open to US residents and ends April 17. Enter below for your chance to win!
What are some of your favorite vintage housekeeping tips? How do you use S.O.S pads? Tell us below!