Evolution of House Cleaning Services
Posted by: Maid in Your Hometown on: January 21, 2020

House cleaning services have evolved in a few different ways and examining the evolution of house cleaning services can evaluated through various lens. One can examine the changes through the methods used or by who is doing the house cleaning service itself. Traditionally, the role has been filled by women of the lower classes, whether or not these women were of a racial minority or low income varies for different time periods. Therefore evaluating the evolution of house cleaning services, through the scope of who performs said services, will reveal that the subjects doing the services are traditionally lower class females but who comprises that class varies.

Courtesy iStock

Recreating Domestic Service

Gabrielle Meagher’s “Recreating ‘Domestic Service’: Institutional Cultures and the Evolution of Paid Household Work,” states that “feminist accounts of household work stress that it is an occupation at the bottom of the social division of labor… middle- class women exploit working-class women” (Gabrielle Meagher 1997: 2). In support of Meagher’s analysis, Evelyn Nakano Glenn writes that “white women are viewed solely in terms of gender, while women of color are thought to be ‘doubly’ subordinated” (Evelyn Nakano Glenn 1992: 1). In times of indentured servitude, it was not uncommon for white women to take part in the household service but these women were often immigrants, therefore the minority. The progression of household services changes with the class system that is designed to keep the working class down. Those in the working class were more likely to be women of color, like Glenn and Meagher wrote. In essence, the people performing these jobs are the working-class and racial minorities.

The evolution of house cleaning services can be addressed from different standpoints but examining from the workers’ standpoint is quite telling of the evolution. The worker is more than likely a woman of color and of the working class. This lends itself to the idea that this job is lowly and therefore should be worked by the lower class.

Increased Awareness Leads to Shift Towards Greener Cleaning

Cleaning is a task in which (hopefully) all of us partake. However, how many of us take the time to consider what kinds of products we are using and how they are affecting our bodies and the environment? An increasing number of people in the United States and around the world are shifting their attitude about the cleaning products they use towards more environmentally friendly options. This shift is due to an increase in awareness about what is in our cleaning products and the potentially harmful effects of those ingredients. The awareness of improving green cleaning methods is taking place on a government, professional, and personal level.

Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Products

            The shift towards more environmentally friendly cleaning products is seen most clearly at the government level. One example is Senate Bill 258, passed in California in 2017. This law, “encourages informed purchasing decisions and reduces public health impacts from exposure to potentially harmful chemicals in designated products” (SB 258, 2017). With increased regulations requiring more visibility to cleaning product ingredients, the government is affecting a shift in the public attitude. Thanks to this law, cleaning product companies are required to disclose any harmful ingredients, therefore increasing the chances that consumers will purchase the product that is more environmentally friendly. The increase in government awareness plays a huge role in the shift towards more environmentally friendly cleaning products.

Increased awareness at the workplace is another reason for the shift towards more environmentally friendly cleaning products. Employers are becoming increasingly concerned with keeping their workers happy and healthy. According to The Wilburn Company, Inc, “Not only is green cleaning eco-friendly, but it also has huge health benefits as well. Green cleaning


Folk, E. (2018, April 20). Are millennials ruining the environment – or saving it? Retrieved July 23, 2019, from https://theecologist.org/2018/apr/20/are-millennials-ruining-environment-or-saving-it

Greening Your Purchase of Cleaning Products: A Guide For Federal Purchasers. (2018, November 28). Retrieved July 23, 2019, from https://www.epa.gov/greenerproducts/

Lally, M. (2017, June 01). How green cleaning changed my life and family. Retrieved July 23, 2019, from https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/body/how-green-cleaning-changed-my-life-and-family/

SB-258 Cleaning Product Right to Know Act of 2017. (2017, October 16). Retrieved July 23, 2019, from https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=

Top Three Commercial Cleaning Trends in 2019. (2018, December 13). Retrieved July 23, 2019 from https://www.wilburncompany.com/top-three-commercial-cleaning-trends-in-2019/

Meagher, G. (1997). Recreating “Domestic Service”: Institutional Cultures and the Evolution of

Paid Household Work. ?Feminist Economics?, 3 (2), 1-27.
Glenn Nakano, E. (1992). From Servitude to Service Work: Historical Continuities in the Racial

Division of Paid Reproductive Labor. ?Signs:Journal of Women in Culture and Society?, 18 (1), 1-43. doi: 10.1086/494777.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *