08 March 2012
Do you know your 'hygiene'?
Have you ever wondered where our current focus on hygiene comes from? Is it a modern concept or does it have a longer heritage?
In the first of a series of articles published by the European Cleaning Journal, the evolution and development of hygiene is put under closer scrutiny. Here are some snippets from the longer article which can be read here.
Unsurprisingly water always played a key role in personal hygiene. The ancient Greeks for example pioneered the concept of the public bath and much later the Romans made the bathhouse the centre of their social existence, with olive oil being used as soap.
In these early times cleaning clothes wasn’t taken seriously. When clothes were laundered, this was by means of soaking and scrubbing clothes in vats of urine that acted as ammonia!
By the Renaissance, public baths had more or less died out in western Europe, and in the early Middle Ages, it was actually considered bad for your health to wash off dirt and grime!
Not until much later did the cleaning habit start to take properly hold in Europe, with the introduction of shampoo in the early 1800s. While turkish baths became popular during the Victorian era in the UK, the concept of the family bathroom was not generally present until well after the second world war.