- Vacuums pick up dust and dirt from carpets and hard flooring. The traditional versions of vacuum cleaners. dating to when it was invented in 1865, include the upright vacuum, which you move the machine with you while cleaning; the canister vacuum, which you move only the hose and not the machine as you clean; and handheld vacuums, which small, cordless, electric models used for quick surface cleaning.
- Brooms in the United States have been used since 1797, when brooms in the country were still being made by hand. Brooms were made with wooden handles and the bristles from broom corn, which are tassels of a variety of grain called sorghum. Since the broom was invented, different materials, such as plastic and metal, and styles, from rectangular heads and synthetic fiber bristles, have been utilized. Brooms are used with an aluminum or plastic dustpan.
- Thomas Steward from Kalamazoo, Michigan, patented the wet mop in 1893, which has since been improved and is still used today. Wet mops are used with a bucket of cleaning solution, are usually made of cotton or a cotton-rayon blend and are primarily used for cleaning dirt from hard flooring. By 1950, the sponge mop was being used for everyday household cleaning. Sponge mops are also used with a bucket of cleaning solution, are used to clean dust and debris on hard flooring and use a lever system to wring out the liquid.
- The traditional method of dusting surfaces is by using a feather duster, made using the outer layers of bird feathers and patented in 1876 by Susan Hibbard. Another dusting method is simply to use a cotton cloth or rag to wipe down surfaces. Walls, furniture, accessories and almost any hard surface can be dusted with a feather duster or damp cloth to pick up dust and dirt smudges. Sometimes, a cloth is used with furniture polish, which in 1958 was produced in spray form by the SC Johnson Co.