And all because in the Middle Ages, any contact with the body was considered a sin, so people tried to do it as rarely as possible. In general, they were not up to trivia. But did our ancestors bathe somehow? Of course, washed. Otherwise, mankind would long ago have died out from infectious diseases or would have been eaten alive by insects. But who than what is another question.
The first entries on the cuneiform tablets told about how ancient people washed 4000–3500 years ago. The poor used dirt and fine river sand to remove dirt, and the rich disposed of it with a wooden or bronze scraper. In ancient Rome and Greece, adhering dirt was scraped off with a special crescent-shaped tool called the "strigil". The scrapers were ivory, crocodile teeth, wood or metal.
The inhabitants of the Mediterranean used the local natural sponge. After processing, only a porous skeleton remained of it, which was used as a bast. In the era of great geographical discoveries, along with other overseas gizmos, Europe brought a Caribbean sponge, which is tougher and better than the Mediterranean. In the twentieth century, there were many different devices for soaping. Washcloths were made from hemp ropes, various fibrous woody structures.
Foam rubber, which was used for the manufacture of sponges, invented in the 1930s. Rubber sponges, imitating natural pores, appeared after the Second World War. In the 1960s, massage brushes for the shower of various configurations became fashionable. At first they were made of natural hair, and then began to supply nylon bristles. Look into your bathroom, what do you have there, so shaggy, on a cute hook? That's right - washcloth. Although some in that place you can find the hoses from the old washing machine, dirty towels and torn sneakers.
It always seemed to me that the color and quality of things for intimate hygiene can tell a lot about the owner. Someone is insanely bright "fluffy", connected from acrylic fiber, and someone "retired", wiped to holes. Now fashionable washcloths-mittens from sisal - natural fiber from the Mexican agave, and also from the loofah - grass of the pumpkin family.
The fact that the teeth also need to be cleaned sometimes, even children know. Otherwise, after a while, those around you within a radius of three meters will drop dead. And so what to clean, everyone decides for himself. Some scientists claim that the ancient Romans used dried human urine as toothpaste. For its "production" special young slaves were used, who were respectively fed and did not bother with hard work.
When and where first appeared the means for cleaning the teeth, history is silent. It is only known that humanity began to brush its teeth much later than to wash with a washcloth. At least, Neanderthals had no such concerns.
But the ancient Egyptians (and regardless of caste and class) successfully fought with bad breath. For this purpose, knead the paste from the ashes and eggshell with the addition of myrrh. And since then they had not yet thought of toothbrushes, the composition was rubbed into the teeth and gums with a finger. Residents of India, Ancient Greece and Rome, as well as pre-Columbian America used the resin of coniferous trees. And among the pagan Slavic tribes in everyday life was birch coal, which was chewed in a mixture with mint leaves and spruce needles.
The Dutch scientist Anthony van Leeuwenhoek, the discoverer of red blood cells and male germ cells, was distinguished by the fact that he used a microscope to find so-called anima pulses ("little animals") everywhere: in dirty water, in human secretions, and even on his own teeth. It was he who at the end of the seventeenth century offered to brush his teeth with table salt. What all Europe did for the next 200 years.
Tooth powder containing calcium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate, began to use around 1850. But with the appearance in the 30s of toothpaste in tubes abroad, he was quickly abandoned. Can not be said about the Russian citizens. Despite the appearance of the legendary Pearl Paste in the Soviet Union in the post-war years, our compatriots stubbornly used tooth powder right up to the end of the 80s.
What is only now not added to the paste - and fluoride, and pearl powder, and extracts of exotic plants, to make our smiles more radiant. And dental clinics, meanwhile, are flourishing. Unwittingly think, maybe back to the dry urine and resin of coniferous trees?