The bizarre way Ancient Romans washed their clothes

Duke

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Walking Goose

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After reading this I wondered about the normal Romans and the regular farmers and soldiers who had no interest in visiting the expensive urine based cleaners, My reason for this is I am part Italian (Lombard) whose grandparents came here in the late 1800s. I remmeber grandma using moldy cheese for an antibiotic and her being a healer and very psychic. That woman could outwork any man she knew and was from farm and nobility ancestry. She told me stories about her village being without food and the noble who lived literally above them in a castle that laughed at all the poor people starving and threw his crusts of bread in the corner rather than share with others. She stated the nobleman started running out of food and went to his corner of crusts and of course they were moldy and he went to the peasant farmers who somehow got a hold of something to eat. Her description of the noblemans ending I dont remember but knowing how my ancestral tribe on moms side handled idiots makes me sure he learned his lesson. Anyway I looked up soap making and its about 8000 years old. I think. Maybe Granny just made up stories to entertain me. I can assure you she had a lot of real humdingers that are uncommon of people of today.
Here is the article
 

TexDanm

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A lot of things that we use now are made from chemicals that we refine and that were just not available in the times past. Urine has been used as a source of ammonia by many people in primitive places and still is in some places. Soap came from lye soap and that was originally made by mixing congealed animal fats with lye made from oak wood ashes. You mixed the fat, lye, and ash if you wanted it stronger and more abrasive. We used to make lye soap when I was a kid and it was the best soap that I have ever used. Made without the ash in it, it was a light white and very smooth. I washed my hair with it for years and if I could get it that I knew was made right I would use it today.

If you wanted whites to be white you had to have some sort of astringent and urine was a nearly sterile source. Urine from cattle was used in the old west to clean greasy hair and to bathe with. It is pretty amazing and often somewhat disgusting the many uses that people have put all sorts of body fluids and rotting things too. A lot of our favorite things are based on rotten things and made from things that are far from appetizing in the processes of making them.

The path from the fields and farms to the grocery shelves is often through places that most people would prefer not to know about. We don't use urine now but we still use the chemicals that are in urine for many things. The fertilizer that we use now is nothing more than artificial poop that was used for centuries in the fields. Primitive people wasted almost nothing and found a use for everything. Spoiled milk becomes cheese, buttermilk, and all manner of dairy products. Rotting grains end up as our favorite libations for parties. Rotting fruit makes wine...I often wonder what sort of person had this rotting stuff laying around and decided to eat or drink it the first time. YUKKKKK!
 

Paintman

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On a similar note , Victorian era sanitation, water supply, and the food industry in urban areas was pretty horrfic.
BBC documentaries on YouTube.
Lucy Worsley is one of my favorite British historians.
 
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Lynne

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I don’t care how white urine soaked laundry is, I would not want it lol. I’ll stay dirty rather than wear close soaked in pee.