Spring Cleaning at MGHL

Now that it’s Spring, it’s time for all the fun and excitement that comes from spring cleaning.  Yes, spring cleaning is supposed to be fun– you will be smiling the entire time.  For those of you feeling skeptical about this and need proof, see below…

For all scrubbing all of your wooden items, you will need Old Dutch Cleanser, at only 10¢ a can.  Don’t worry: it comes with full instructions, so you can smile as you scrub.

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Advertisement in Ladies Home Journal, September 1913.

For the rest of the house, you can rely on Bon Ami.  It promises it will not scratch as it cleans, so you can happily wash the windows, the mirrors, the bathtub, and the woodwork.

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Advertisement in Ladies Home Journal, April 1911.

After you have cleaned your woodwork, you will need to continue to dust it.  With your free sample of Liquid Veneer, you will be one of millions of women around the world happily singing a dusting song.

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Advertisement in Ladies Home Journal, April 1911.

When it comes time to clean the floors, you will need an O’Cedar Polish Mop, which promises that mopping and polishing will be “just like play.” The mop costs between $1 – $1.50, and the polish only costs 25¢. You can try the mop risk-free for two days.

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Advertisement in Ladies Home Journal, December 1913.

After you’ve done all this work, you can’t forget to clean the carpets.  For that, have a Hoover representative come to your house to demonstrate a vacuum, ranging from $59.50 – $135.

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Advertisement in Delineator, April 1929.

Now that your Spring Cleaning is finished, you should have brightened your day (as well as your house.)  However, if you are still feeling sad, a handsome stranger could always approach you and say:

“You could wash all the floors you wanted to in my house.”

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All of the advertisements can be found in the MGHL’s Periodicals collection, which includes Ladies Home Journal, Delineator, and McCalls.  The Al Parker fiction illustration is part of the Charles Craver tearsheet collection.  Happy Spring Cleaning!

About the author

Andrea Degener is the Visual Materials Processing Archivist in the department of Special Collections at Washington University Libraries.