As a cleaning company, we’re fascinated by the history of cleaning products and innovations that lead to the materials we use every day in our professional house and office cleaning. The first cleaning chemical to ever be used by humans was water, and it’s something everyone uses to wash their hands, dishes, clothes, and more every single day. Luckily, we live in a time where we have access to soaps and detergents as well as water.

A well-cleaned space and body is vital to our health and wellness as humans. And when we work with business owners, we like to remind them that a clean office means happier, healthier, and more productive employees! Here at Best Clean Ever in Raleigh, we pride ourselves on the thoroughness of our office cleaning services and our attention to detail. Office cleaning services are well worth the investment. If you’d like to learn more or get a quote for your business, get in touch today!

And now on to the history of cleaning products! We hope you learn something new. And we’re very grateful to live in a time of soap, detergent, hot water, and paper towels. It would be hard to provide our customers with the Best Clean Ever without them!


Soap has been around for a while — since 2800 B.C.E. to be specific! The ancient Egyptians liked to take baths and they figured out how to add alkaline salts to animal and vegetable oils to create a soap-like material. Along with bathing and washing, they used their soap for treating skin diseases.

Soap got its name from an Roman legend about Mount Sapo. When it would rain, the water would wash down the mountain, mix with animal fat and ashes and creating a clay-like mixture. While it seems counter-intuitive to clean with clay, it worked quite well and made cleaning much easier. After the fall of Rome in 467 C.E., though, Europeans decided that bathing wasn’t as big a priority. The middle ages were a time of dirt and grime.

In the East, though, cleanliness and daily bathing was an important part of the culture. And Chinese cultures have valued cleanliness for a long time and developed sophisticated soaps. They learned to use ashes from particular plants mixed with alkalines to remove grease. Later, they learned to extract saponin — a compound which is used in detergents and fire extinguishers — from the ashes of knotweed and wormwood to clean light colored fabrics. Honey locust powder was kneaded into balls to clean other types of laundry, and the Chinese word for these balls “feizao” means “soap” and is still used today!

20th Century Cleaning Products

The first formula for liquid soap — that we use every day in house cleaning and office cleaning in Raleigh — was created in 1898. The creator, B.J. Johnson named his liquid soap “Palmolive” and it eventually lead to “Pine-Sol,” a cleaner that you can still find on shelves today!

The 20th century brought a revolution in cleaning products and chemical cleaners. Animal fats were in short supply during World War I, and this lead to the development of detergents made from synthetic materials. And by the 1950s detergents became the primary cleaning product in homes across America, replacing soap.

The first electric washer was made in 1908, and detergents rose in popularity with washing machines and other cleaning appliances like dishwashers. Detergents could be rinsed more easily and didn’t leave a residue like soaps did. Here at Best Clean Ever in Raleigh, we can’t imagine using anything but detergent in house cleaning or office cleaning!

Environmental Impact

Today, many cleaners have petroleum solvents, especially commercial cleaning products for industries like automotive, aerospace, bio medical, and other manufacturing industries. Studies are showing that these chemicals are toxic enough to increase the risk of cancer in people that are using them. They are also highly flammable and cause problems with disposal. Many businesses are switching to water-based cleaning solutions, like the kind Best Clean Ever uses in our office cleaning services. Water-based solutions require heat and agitation, like using a mop or a power washer (we also offer power washing services to our Raleigh clients, which are great for office cleaning exteriors).

While synthetic detergents are very effective cleaning products and have been used for the past century, we’re at another turning point in the development of cleaning products. More and more cleaning companies, like Best Clean Ever are looking to add more environmentally-friendly products to their business. If you’re concerned about the environmental impact of hiring a cleaning company, particularly for house cleaning services, we’re happy to talk with you about the cleaning products we use — and you’re also welcome to provide cleaning products for us when our maid service comes to your home!

Best Clean Ever Office Cleaning Services

Our cleaning company is committed to using best practices in every cleaning job we do — from house cleaning to one-time deep cleaning to commercial office cleaning. Browse the services we offer our Raleigh community and contact us today to get started.When you contact us we can discuss the specifics of your office space and how our services can fit your unique needs. We provide office cleaning in Raleigh and will give you a fair quote for the office cleaning services you need and we promise to give you the Best Clean Ever!