I absolutely hate noisy machines…. especially lawn blowers, vacuum cleaners and anything that pierces the tranquility of the Urban Homestead.   Guess it was growing up in the country with peace and quiet, I really, REALLY get annoyed with any loud mechanical sounds.I think that part of  my dislike for machines was growing up hearing my dad say “If it goes “brrrrr’ I don’t want it.” He hated noisy machines, too.

Although we do have an electric vacuum, I rarely use it.  Instead  I opt to sweep the carpets or use this much quieter non electric “carpet sweeper.”  It does a pretty good job.   Our home is decorated/furnished in typical old fashion manner, We only have area rugs on wood floors which makes cleaning much easier  – no need for all those chemicals to keep wall to wall carpets clean. *Shudder*

A friend of ours gave us a 1908 copy of HOUSEHOLD DISCOVERIES AND MRS CURTIS COOKBOOK

What a plethora of households tips … my kind of tips showing  how one can do with without electricity and products from the supermarket

I especially love the chapter about cleaning… they have a WHOLE entire chapter on how to sweep properly!

“To sweep well with a broom is an art that calls for quite a little skill and intelligence.  There are wrong ways in sweeping as well as the right way…”

People often  say “I can’t do all that you do.”  True, but you can do something.  Change ONE thing.   Everyone has to clean so take stock of your cleaning .  Are they more helpful or harmful.  You’d be surprised that just  pairing down to simple basics like vinegar and baking soda can do the cleaning chores very well.

Here are some advantages to a carpet sweeper: noiseless, lightweight, inexpensive, easy storage and ease of use, no cords to tangle, no disposable bags,  gets under furniture and beds easier,no cords to plug in and unplug which makes it faster so you use it more and keek a cleaner home. Disadvantages:… hmmmm, can’t think of any?

:: Resources ::

Non toxic household cleaning kit



  1. Heather says:

    I’m so glad you said change ONE thing. So many people have an all or nothing attitude. I started with just one thing, homemade laundry soap, then I got a clothes line, then I made my own multi cleaner, then I stopped using my vacuum ( I have hardwood). Any way….my point, I started with just one thing and it snowballed. If everyone did one small thing it would make a big difference. Thanks for making that a point. 🙂

  2. Susanna Winters says:

    I was intrigued and found the 1874 version of household discoveries available in various electronic formats (free) at http://www.archive.org/details/newhouseholddisc00mors

    • Monica says:

      That was cool, thanks for the share. ;0)

  3. yusimi barrios says:

    I agree with Susanna. I love archive.org! I have been reading some of the public domain books about housekeeping etc and I’m really enjoying this one. Thanks for posting about it.

  4. Cindie K. says:

    What brand is your sweeper?

  5. Elise says:

    My very first home came with wall to wall carpeting. When we moved, I knew that I never wanted wall to wall carpeting again! It was too high maintenance, the use of too many chemicals to keep clean, and a breeding ground for germs and dirt. Today, we have hardwood floors and area and throw rugs. For our area rugs I use a vacuum cleaner, but the throw rugs are washed. I also sweep rugs upon in between times. I use baking soda as a “cleaner.”

    My grandmother, born in 1892, would describe to me the hard work of beating rugs outside. She loved loved lover her Bissell carpet sweeper.

    I once read an auto-biographical account of a post WW2 European family. The mother describes cleaning a carpet with sauerkraut. This person drained the kraut and sprinkled it evenly on the carpet. She then moved it around the carpet with a broom. The dirt stuck to the moist sauerkraut. She describes the room having a clean carpet and a clean smelling room. I like sauerkraut, especially the home made type with all those probiotics. I can see how it can deodorize the carpet/room.

  6. Bev says:

    I agree. You can start off with baby steps. I started making my own laundry liquid, then it followed on with using a soap shaker (for dish washing) and also making my own home cleaning products. I’ve also gone further in reducing waste within the home and making a lot of a things I used to previously buy.

    The “net” is also a really good source (including your own site where I stop by regularly) for ideas on frugality and making life simple.

    We have a real neat little website in NZ called http://www.oilyrag.co.nz which has a plethora of ideas for saving money.

    Blessings to you all.

    Keep it up.

    I love what you do.

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