While science has evolved in order to find other solutions to the whitening of teeth, the cleaning of clothes and the production of gun powder, back in the past urine was used in all these cases to get the best set of results.
The Perfect White Smile
Urine was used as mouthwash back in the old days, and people who have tried it swear it works.
How? Ammonia, which is perfect in removing stains, as you’ll see in the examples beneath for other uses in urine. In ancient Rome, the phrase of morning breath took on a completely different meaning (and smell) with many using urine in order to make their teeth look pearly white.
The Ultimate Cleaer
As a base, ammonia is a useful cleanser because dirt and grease get neutralized by it. Even after soap became something of common knowledge to Europeans, many preferred using urine to get tough stains out of cloth.
It wasn’t only about cleaning though – it was about making colors much brighter on your clothes. According to the Smithsonianmag, Urine was so important to the textile industry of 16th century England that casks of it–an estimated amount equivalent to the urine stream of 1000 people for an entire year–were shipped from across the country to Yorkshire, where it was mixed with alum to form an even stronger mordant than urine alone.
Stale urine thanks to the Ammonia in it is excellent in keeping the natural dyes from seeds, leaves, flowers, lichens, roots, bark and berries from leaching out and causing the color of clothes to fade away.
Urine is a rich source for urea, a nitrogen-based organic compound. It decays into Ammonia when stored for a long period of time. Its high pH breaks down organic material, making it a perfect substance to soften up animal hides. It also made things a lot easier for leather workers to remove hair and bits of flesh from the skin.
Pee & Gunpowder
Gunpowder needs charcoal, sulfur and also potassium nitrate, which was only synthesized on a large-scale in the early 20th century. Before that, makes of gunpowder used the nitrogen that’s in pee as their key ingredient for their ballistic firepower. Ammonia from stagnant pee reacts with with oxygen. These nitrates, thanks to the ash in the mix used to make the whole thing work, help create the potassium nitrate.
Urine has its modern day uses as well, like recharging your cellphone battery.