Here Are 24 Of The Most Bizarre Things That Were Once Considered Good Hygiene

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Let”s be real: putting blood-sucking leeches all over your body is gross. However, this practice was once accepted and encouraged in olden times. When you see what kinds of things people back then would do in the name of hygiene, the fact that disease ran rampant in these times will not come as a surprise to you.

1. Bloodletting


Draining a sick person”s blood with the help of leeches was considered a useful treatment for many illnesses at one point.

2. Pulling Teeth

Pulling Teeth

In the Middle Ages, a barber would not hesitate to pull your tooth with their archaic equipment if it showed any signs of a cavity or caused pain. That”s right, dentists and barbers were practically one in the same. And they were also responsible for cutting hair, pulling teeth, and administering crazy treatments like bloodletting to ailing people.

3. Moss Tampons

Moss Tampons

Before we had anything close to today”s sanitary pads, women would have to utilize moss and other things they could find to use as tampons.

4. Eagle Dung

Eagle Dung

Eagle excrement was once considered to be a pain reliever.

5. Urine as a Face Wash

Urine as a Face Wash

People used to think urine was good for washing their faces with because of its antiseptic qualities.

6. Wigs


Despite their elegant look, most wigs were quick to become infested with lice.

7. Sulphur


To get rid of undesirable freckles, people would rub sulphur onto their face. Ouch.

8. Red-hot Pokers

Red-hot Pokers

To try and prevent infections, red-hot pokers were used to cauterize wounds.

9. Lead Water Tanks

Lead Water Tanks

Many of the first water tanks were built with poisonous lead materials.

10. Public Baths

Public Baths

Back when only the extremely wealthy could afford to have their own bathtubs, people would have to go to a public bath to wash up…if they washed up at all.

11. Chicken Dung

Chicken Dung

Consuming a blend of chicken dung and potassium used to be thought of as a cure for baldness in men.

12. Lead-based Makeup

Lead-based Makeup

Women in Elizabethan times were particularly fond of a toxic lead-based powder that would mask any skin imperfections.

13. Smoke in the Mouth

Smoke in the Mouth

15th century physicians would often attempt to cure toothaches by filling an ailing person”s mouth with smoke from a candle. The idea was that this would force the tooth worms they believed to be responsible for the pain to leave the patient”s mouth. Yes, tooth worms.

14. Mouse Skin

Mouse Skin

Mouse skin was often used by women to help give their eyebrows whatever shape they desired.

15. Lye and Urine Detergent

Lye and Urine Detergent

On the rare occasion that someone did was their clothes, a mixture of poisonous lye and urine was used as a detergent.

16. Not Using Utensils

Not Using Utensils

In the 16th century, some particularly religious people felt that using utensils to eat was an affront to God.

17. Yearly Baths

Yearly Baths

Most people took their yearly baths, if at all, in May. Who wouldn”t want to smell fresh for the springtime?

18. Sleeping on Bird Dung

Sleeping on Bird Dung

Roofs were not what they are now. It was next to impossible to avoid birds and other animals messing up your sleeping quarters.

19. Cesspools


Before sewage systems, people would have to dump their waste into pits in their backyards.

20. Not Wearing Underpants

Not Wearing Underpants

While men sometimes wore linen underpants, it was rare for women to wear any.

21. Not Changing Clothes

Not Changing Clothes

Even the richest of people in the Middle Ages would have, at most, four different outfits (one for each season).

22. Wiping with Leaves

Wiping with Leaves

Before there was toilet paper, people would have to use leaves to tidy up after using the bathroom. It makes a lot more sense when you think about how they were probably going to the bathroom outside.

23. Chamber Pot

Chamber Pot

This is a pot people would keep under their beds. They would use it when they had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and did not feel like leaving the house to use the outhouse.

24. Groom of the King”s Close Stool

Groom of the King

There used to be a position in a king”s inner circle that involved carrying the royal portable toilet around. It also required cleaning their backside when they were through sitting on the throne.

(via HubPages, LittleThings)

I don”t know about you, but I could go for nine hours of uninterrupted showering right about now. I”m sure glad for modern society after these revelations.