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How People were cleaning before soap and cleaning detergents were invented? 🧼 As per AI?




Before the invention of soap, people used various methods and natural materials to wash clothes. These methods varied depending on the region, resources available, and cultural practices. Here are some common methods used:


  1. Water and Agitation:

  • Rivers and Streams: People would take their clothes to rivers or streams. The flowing water helped to rinse out dirt. They would scrub the clothes against rocks or use wooden paddles to beat the dirt out.

  • Pounding: Clothes were pounded with stones or wooden implements to loosen dirt.

  1. Natural Detergents:

  • Clay and Soil: Certain types of clay or soil were used for their abrasive properties. Fuller’s earth, a type of clay, was particularly effective in absorbing oils and greases.

  • Ashes: Ashes from burnt wood, particularly hardwood, contain potassium carbonate, which acts as a mild alkali and helps in cleaning. The ashes were mixed with water to create a basic washing solution.

  1. Plants and Herbs:

  • Saponin-rich Plants: Some plants contain natural surfactants called saponins. Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis), soapberries (from the Sapindus species), and yucca were commonly used. The leaves, roots, or fruits of these plants would be crushed and mixed with water to create a lather.

  • Other Plants: Certain herbs and grasses were used for their mild abrasive qualities or pleasant scents.

  1. Animal Fats and Oils:

  • In some cultures, animal fats or oils were mixed with ash to create an early form of soap, although this practice was more advanced and led to the actual invention of soap later on.

  1. Fermented Urine:

  • Ancient Romans and Greeks used fermented urine, which contains ammonia, a natural cleaning agent. Clothes would be soaked in vats of urine and then rinsed out thoroughly.

  1. Stomping and Treading:

  • Clothes were sometimes placed in large containers filled with water and people would stomp on them to agitate and clean them.

These methods were often labor-intensive but effective given the materials and knowledge available at the time. The development and widespread use of soap represented a significant advancement in cleaning technology.


Happinass Comment:

It may be time for natural cleaning methods to be considered once again, but is there time and resources to do it again? We are moving forward, but at what cost? With all of the chemical products used and studies showing how dangerous those chemicals can be?

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