The Chinese people have many inventions that are considered the turning point of mankind, and one of them is toilet paper.
We must be too familiar with the presence of toilet paper, and also many times fall into “danger”, after taking out the sadness, the paper is out. But for those who do not know, it was not until the 14th century that toilet paper was mass produced in China, and it was not until the mid-19th century that it began to appear in the Western world.
So before the toilet paper, what do people do with the pile of “consequences” left after each time according to nature’s needs?
1. Use the cob
In the early 18th century, the Native Americans and the white invaders had to use the corncobs to … clean.
This is actually a not bad solution at all. At that time, corn was a very popular food, but the cob was soft and very absorbent. Although not comparable to today’s soft toilet paper, it is still a much more comfortable safety than many other options you will know below.
2. Use snow
For residents living in cold regions (such as the Eskimos), they have to use snow to clean and dispose of waste after going to the toilet.
This is almost the only way, given that they have to live year round in the snow. This method also has a very clear disadvantage – imagine putting an ice cube in … the back gate gets you covered. However, scientists believe that the human body can fully adapt to exposure to cold snow on a daily basis. Furthermore in terms of hygiene, this is also a method for very impressive effectiveness.
3. Use ice
Using ice to “wipe” is one of the oldest methods of hygiene. The ancients would basically go for whatever is the easiest and easiest to find and use around, including stone and other natural materials.
This is not necessarily a pleasant method, but nonetheless quite convenient and has been used by ancient people for centuries.
4. Use a wooden stick
About 2000 years ago, the ancient Chinese had a rather special method of cleaning. They use a stick made of bamboo or wood, shaped like a spoon (spoon). One end is covered with extra fabric, and they use it for more comfortable cleaning.
5. Porcelain / ceramic pieces
This is the ancient Greeks’ solution to clear the consequences. They used a piece of broken pottery – which was very common in the Mediterranean at that time.
Ceramic pieces do not have a fixed size, 3 – 11cm radius, and are usually cut from broken ceramic fragments. Each time “practice” is done, they will use about 3 pieces like that to clean.
Unlike the ancient Greeks, the Romans had a somewhat more relaxed solution: the use of a sponge covered stick. This method has been mentioned in some ancient documents, but how they used it is still controversial.
According to the documents mentioned, the stick will be cleaned with vinegar or salt water after wiping, and then reused. But for comparison, it looks a bit like … today’s toilet brush is more correct.
It sounds hard to believe, but the truth is that islanders and coastal areas used to use shells to clean after heavy walks. Even if there’s no shell available, they have to use … coconut shells.
In general, whatever you use is an uncomfortable method, because the shells have a pretty sharp edge. But the ancients probably have no other choice either.
8. Use a rag
In the Americas and Europe, before toilet paper, people often used rags made of old cloth to clean. These rags are washable and reusable, but fate often floats under the drain and clog drains.
Leaving aside the potential for sewer clogging, this method feels quite comfortable. However, washing and reuse causes a lot of concerns.
9. Grass, flowers and leaves
Many people will wonder where the leaves are, the answer is here. In fact, for centuries, people have used leaves or weeds in place of paper. They are everywhere, quite soft and safe after use. Overall a pretty good solution, until you mistake the wrong leaves for itching.
In India, Africa and some Arab countries, people often use their left hand to do everything that is deemed “unclean”, including cleaning. They use a little water to put on their left hand and wipe it clean after each exercise.
In fact, this method is also quite popular in some parts of the world. Many historians believe this is the reason why people shake hands with their right hand, but rarely with their left hand.
11. Last Boss: use … soil and sand
Each location, and different climatic conditions, will lead to different cleaning methods.
In arid lands, where everything is not available, ancient people used sand and soil to remove waste. This is probably the least comfortable, least clean method in history. But apparently they also have no other choice.
So we know how great toilet paper is.
Source: BS, VT.co