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Hey . . We're out of urine !


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So, I'm watching TV and a Tide laundry detergent commercial comes on.

 

It says the ancient Romans washed their clothes in heated urine.

 

So I Googled, and sure enough, the commercial laundry used primarily urine and water to clean (!) clothes.

 

They would leave jars around town and folks could 'donate' . The jars were collected and used in the laundry business.

 

Ahh . . The good old days 

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Well, what'd you know!  That urine is mighty useful stuff:

 

Modern Science uses it for:

  • As a source of electric power. Urine-eating bacteria can create a strong enough current to power a cell phone.
  • Medicines derived from urine can help treat infertility and fight symptoms of menopause.
  • Stem cells harvested from urine have been reprogrammed into neurons and even used to grow human teeth.

The Ancients used it for:

  • Urea decays into ammonia, which breaks down organic material. Urine-soaked leather makes it soft and was useful in the tanning industry
  • Even though early Europeans knew about soap, many launderers preferred to use urine for its ammonia to get tough stains out of cloth.
  • Urine not only made your whites cleaner, but your colors brighter, because the ammonia acted like a mordant (helped to develop the color of dyes as well as to bind it to cloth).
  • Gunpowder - prior to the 20th century,  makers of gunpowder took advantage of the nitrogen naturally found in pee to make the key ingredient for ballistic firepower.
  • Urine gives you a whiter smile, and as a mouthwash - Romans again (urghhhh!) That's the ammonia again.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/from-gunpowder-to-teeth-whitener-the-science-behind-historic-uses-of-urine-442390/

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