25 Incredibly Gross And Surprising Hygiene Practices From History

Since the beginning of time people have tried to stay clean (which is probably why our cleaning hack list has been so popular). Of course, this meant different things at different times. For example, not every culture had sinks or bathtubs. What’s worse, not long ago the world didn’t even know about germs or infections (so they took some liberties that today we frown upon).

Things that we take for granted today, like showers, hand washing, toilets, trash cans, and sewers looked radically different and indoor plumbing was practically non-existent (for some cultures). People couldn’t just use the bathroom in the house and flush out the waste. If they lived in the countryside they would have to go outdoors and cover up the waste somehow.

The exact methods varied from culture to culture but things like toilet paper and running water certainly weren’t part of the solution. If they lived in the city, they couldn’t even go in the woods. They had to do their business in a bedpan that they kept-big surprise-under the bed.

In the morning the bedpan had to be emptied, but you couldn’t just empty it in the house (no sewer system remember?), it went to the only logical place left…the street. That’s right if you lived in London hundreds of years ago you would have human excrement being flung out of windows early in the morning. At any rate, you are about to see how hygiene has changed over the centuries. These are 25 incredibly gross and surprising hygiene practices from history.

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25

Clothes

ClothesSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

You’ve probably wondered about this, and the answer is no, people did not change their clothes. Not even royalty. They usually only had 4 outfits, 1 for each season.

24

Birth

BirthSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

During labor, women were usually given oil and vinegar along with eagle dung (all meant to ease their pain).

23

Sickness

SicknessSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

If you were sick in the past, the solution usually involved a leech. Why? To get rid of the “bad blood”.

22

Wigs

WigsSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

As you may suspect, they were usually infested with lice. What’s more, they were shaped with animal fat so they smelled bad and often caught fire.

21

Face washing

Face washingSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

Nobility often washed their face everyday…with urine. Don’t be too surprised though, it is still suggested by some people today as a face wash.



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