Brief History of Bathroom Hygiene | Etiquette May 15, 2015 18:13

Here at Etiquette we support the historic trend toward better personal hygiene with our unique little one-of-a-kind bathroom wipe dispenser and adult bathroom hygiene solution all in one, but did you know good hygiene is relatively new to the scene?

As the 20th century progressed, there was a notable change in the way people viewed personal cleanliness, and now that we are well into the 21st century, those who are clean, are viewed as smarter, happier, wealthier...and in our opinion, a whole lot sexier.

Although we pay better attention to our personal hygiene these days, the roots of good hygiene can be traced back to ancient Greece. The Greek goddess, Hygieia represented cleanliness and hygiene. 

Hygieia was worshiped as the giver of health to all who followed a balanced set of positive, beneficial physical routines, like using the Etiquette bathroom wipe dispenser to maintain a clean bottom after going number two, for example.

The ancient Greeks believed health came from maintaining both the internal harmony of the body and a balance between one's body and the environment. Here at Etiquette, we understand a dirty bottom is not good for the environment so we wholeheartedly support Hygieia and believe there is no better way to confidently interface and interact with the environment than with a clean backside. Just because you don't see it, doesn't mean it's not there. Are you impacting the environment for better or for worse?

Evolving Ideas of Bathroom Hygiene

History took its time before good personal bathroom hygiene became commonly accepted as appropriate. There was concern for public sanitation throughout human history, but not distinct personal health routines. Public sanitation was typically carried out in the context of religious rituals, like the Hebrew traditions of ritual baths, which were meant to purify the soul, not the body. 

Better personal care and hygiene started to take hold in the eighteenth century among Western Europeans who began to increasingly think about proper etiquette and manners by way of one's physical appearance, self-control, and personal discretion when referring to bodily functions.

French aristocrats developed rules of etiquette restricting public spitting, using handkerchiefs, and strict toilet practices. We especially like the good toilet practices part and highly encourage the use of the Etiquette biodegradable moist bum wipe dispenser along with not spitting and using tissue paper to blow your nose...polite is sexy.

By the end of the eighteenth century, members of the middle classes were following the standards of cleanliness already used by the wealthy to distinguish themselves from the common and vulgar folk who had no desire to strive for maxed out sex appeal. Good manners started to become a social obligation and were not necessarily associated with health. They had not yet come to the realization that polite is sexy.

Good hygiene reduces spread of disease

It was also in the latter part of the eighteenth century that theories about how disease was spread began to emphasize the role of being dirty. During this time, visible dirt became linked to infection. We now know that a dirty bottom can be a source of a number of nasty infection-causing bacteria and parasites...infections are not sexy.

Even though we were beginning to understand the role of invisible germs as the cause of disease, people continued to associate visible filth with the spread of disease well into the twentieth century, although they increasingly became concerned with eliminating unseen germs such as bacteria, viruses, fungus and parasites contamination as well.

The understanding of living germs as a cause of disease made people realize there was a link between a person's health and the cleanliness of their body and living environment. We wrote about the bacteria germs found in poop elsewhere.

More people began to pay extra attention to cleaning themselves and their homes as well as thinking about clean water and careful waste disposal. Early public health measures for improving the cleanliness and health of the masses were developed as well. 

Kind of like our mission here at Etiquette with the use of our bathroom hygiene solution. Oh, and did we mention it comes in a cool little dispenser that you can easily place on the wall near your toilet paper holder so it is right there for conveniently applying moisture to your toilet paper prior to wiping your derriere?

By the early to mid-twentieth century an awareness of the importance of hygiene became an obsession, however the adult wet wipe for cleaning one's behind after going to the bathroom did not come upon the scene until the last quarter of the twentieth century with the advent of sewer clogging wipes.

And It wasn't until the 21st century that we saw the eventual evolution of a toilet paper moistening bathroom fixture brought to market by Etiquette to revolutionize bathroom hygiene. With just a little ingenuity, Etiquette developed an adult wipe solution for a toilet paper moistener and wall dispenser to moisten toilet paper for best personal care and bathroom hygiene.

Even though we have come this far, even in the United States, where grooming practices encourage daily changing of clothes and bathing at least once each day, hygiene routines that are less visible are often neglected such as washing one's hands after using the restroom, and the use of moist wiping after going number two...We aim to change that...

The main reference for this post was from a History of Washing which nicely discussed ithis topic in a much more sophisticated way. Check it out here