Frances Gabe’s Self-Cleaning House

Frances Gabe had a vision of putting an end to housework. No more dusting or vacuuming. All a homeowner would have to do would be to push a button and the house would clean itself, as if the entire structure was a giant dishwasher.

Of course, this meant that everything in the house had to be waterproofed. But it also meant that the actual dishwasher and clothes washer became redundant. Just hang dirty clothes in the closet and stack dishes in a cabinet — they'd get washed along with the rest of the house.

Gabe offered two stories for how she came up with the concept of the self-cleaning house. The first was that, as a newly married young woman, she once noticed a jam stain on the wall. Instead of scrubbing it off she decided to get a hose and sprayed it off.

The second story involved divine inspiration. After divorcing her husband she said that she was sitting, feeling despondent, and praying to God to provide her with some purpose to keep her going. Suddenly two angels appeared on her shoulders. And then, she said, "I picked up a pencil and began scribbling. I thought I was just doodling. Then I stopped and looked, and there was the self-cleaning house."

She received a patent (No. 4,428,085) for the self-cleaning house in 1984. She also transformed her own house in Newberg, Oregon into a prototype. From what I can gather, she never managed to make the entire house self-cleaning, but the kitchen could clean itself.

When she was alive she would offer tours of the house, but she died in 2016, and the new owners of the house haven't maintained its self-cleaning features.

Incidentally, Gabe was an invented name, so it's not what appears on her patent. Her full name, when married, was Frances Grace Arnholtz Bateson. She constructed 'Gabe' out of her initials.

More info:, wikipedia

     Posted By: Alex - Wed Feb 09, 2022
     Category: Architecture | Inventions | Patents | Baths, Showers and Other Cleansing Methods

Also, you just streak thru the house naked to get your own shower. Great for when friends come to visit.

Your dog will love it, too, provided he's the right kind of dog. A Labrador would be a good choice.

Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 02/09/22 at 10:38 AM
Someone prototyped a public restroom that, after each visitor, would fill completely with a solution and be cleaned ultrasonically. iirc, they got it working perfectly. The only flies in the ointment were more than an hour between users (making it slightly unsuitable for stadiums) and insane costs of installation and cycling.
Posted by Phideaux on 02/09/22 at 11:24 AM
Phideaux--San Francisco has a flourishing self-cleaning toilet network:
Posted by Paul on 02/09/22 at 02:52 PM
The article doesn't mention where they were developed. The firs time I saw one was in Paris, France in the '80's. It used a tilting slab of porcelain set in the floor that was sprayed down to wash the waste into a cistern then tilted back into position to await the next customer. You didn't sit on the porcelain slab, you squatted over and aimed at it. To keep street people from using it as housing the door opened on a timer and stayed open between uses.

Very efficient but it required lots of maintenance and on my next visit some years later many of them did not work. A good idea but not followed through.
Posted by KDP on 02/10/22 at 09:17 AM
I wonder how those in San Francisco work. I admit I'm thoroughly jaded, but having seen some of San Francisco's 'less affluent' areas, I doubt I'd use one unless they were boiled in disinfectant.
Posted by Phideaux on 02/10/22 at 11:57 AM
"Boiled in disinfectant" is basically how the self-cleaning toilets work nowadays. I've seen those in Paris in 2008. After usage, when you close the door, the toilet bowl upends itself and the whole unit gets sprayed with cleaning products, then rinsed, then the toilet bowl comes back into place. That's why the toilet always looks wet. Of course, this system demands maintenance, so there was very few of them, even near the Eiffel tower.
Posted by Yudith on 02/10/22 at 07:45 PM
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.