Archive for Tanning Leather

You might think of urine as liquid gold – or just a little gross.

Posted in Health, History, Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2014 by urbannight

Urine is surprisingly useful.  The saying, “full of piss” once referred to having white teeth.  It was used to brush the teeth with to whiten and clean the teeth an mouth by Romans and Europeans used it to clean the house as it was better at cleaning and brightening objects than the soaps of the day were.  In fact, this is why Romans also used it at public laundry facilities.  Ammonia is a base and therefore good at neutralizing stains which were usually caused by things that were more acidic.

The dying and tanning industries were also collecting and using urine because of it’s cleaning and brightening properties and that it helped get other biological matter off leather while making it softer.  It was also used on and industrial scale to make explosives and gunpowder.

Modern science is using it to regrow teeth (China), make fuel (Nigeria) and create medications for use in hormone therapy, improved composting, and NASA filters it for drinking water in space.

I thought this would be longer, but a lot of the uses I remember being told turned out to be untrue.  Mostly the first aid related uses.  Such as peeing on injuries to clean them.  Which could be used if there were no water sources nearby.  It is only sterile inside the body, it becomes contaminated with bacteria on the way out.  But in swampy areas, polluted areas, and areas with no water source, it could still be used as it could be the cleanest water nearby.  Some water poor areas still use animal urine to wash up in because it does have cleaning properties and water for drinking is too valuable to use for bathing.

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