In ancient Rome, it was considered a sign…

In ancient Rome, it was considered a sign of wealth and sophistication to have one’s own private urine collection. Urine was collected and then sold to launderers, who used it to bleach clothing because it contained ammonia, a natural cleaning agent. Urine from men who ate a lot of vegetables was considered the most valuable because it was the most acidic, which made it more effective at bleaching cloth.

In fact, the demand for urine was so high that the Roman Empire established a tax on it, known as the “urinary tax,” which was collected by the government. The urine trade was so lucrative that some people even went so far as to fake their own urine collection in order to avoid paying the tax. It may seem bizarre to us today, but in ancient Rome, urine was an important commodity that was used in a variety of everyday products and processes.