I understand caveman didn't use soap, but is it possible that he did more than just rinse? Using mud for cleaning purposes is one thing that comes to mind. I see animals do it, while others lick themselves. I'd be interested to know more about the way ancient human stayed clean.
The next part of the question is for those with experience with using no soap and is NSFW, you've been warned:
How do you keep it clean and odorless around the anal region? I find myself using soap only there because it just doesn't feel right to simply rinse. A notice animals like cats and dogs don't seem to get dirty there, probably mostly because it's always exposed and isn't hidden between two buttocks.
So is it possible that caveman naturally had some odors down there or did he simply rinse it and was fine or is there something that I might be missing?
Not everything that was used/invented post-Paleolithic is a bad thing. My mother in law makes all natural soaps out of animal fats and essential oils. There's nothing wrong with wanting to use soap, just because Grok may not have. He also didn't drive a car, utilize electricity, or shop at farmers markets. We have the advantage of having modern things and research and even, in some cases, modern medicine, at our fingertips. We have to use good judgement as to whether or not the things are healthy for us. All natural, homemade soaps? I see nothing wrong with that. Plus, I don't have to worry that I smell :). Just my 2 cents.
I've been washing with only water for some time now (4 months or so). I've been using a washcloth for the first time in my life (I'd always wondered what they were for) :) I've not had any issues with odor since using the cloth.
Water is a good cleaner in itself. Just rubbing any area of your body while cascading water over it in the shower will get 99% of all NATURAL soil off. Usually, the result is you will just smell like a human which to other humans is no smell at all. My theory is soaps for the body were developed to wash off all the other artificial petroleum based products people put on their skin; suntan oil, make-up, etc. They are designed to stay on in a moist environment. Anyway I haven't used soap or shampoo in a long time and I don't smell (verified by my hypersensitive wife!)
For your NSFW: If the anus is closing properly that area is no different than any other. If scrubbed by hand with water it will be fine. The skin around there doesn't hold the stinky any more than other areas and fecal matter will wash right off.
Re the NSFW bits: cleanliness in the taint area is largely a matter of producing poops that don't need any wipe-up afterwards. Healthy dogs and cats usually have clean bums* and healthy humans shouldn't need toilet paper. Pets with crusty bungs and messy poop aren't that healthy or are being fed low-quality foods. Humans too, I guess :)
Out of habit I use TP and I also use soap -- no shampoo other than maybe twice a month -- but let's just say I haven't needed TP in ages.
*of course we all know that they can groom their own butts, but I wonder how much of that goes on in wild cats and canines.
Water and a Washcloth make cleaning easy. If your nethers are harder to clean... learn to squat. The idea behind squatting is that you will have a clear straight path for waste, which doesnt happen when youre doubled over sitting.
Washing with just water is fine, it's very "Paleo" and if you're eating and sleeping great it's all your skin needs. There are a ton of natural cleaning methods that work great, some lean towards Neolithic but they're all safe and healthy - no harmful ingredients.
Brushing's about as caveman as it gets, dry or wet. You're scrubbing off dirt and skin cells (exfoliating) with bristles, natural or animal. Works great, just don't brush too hard and give your skin time to rest in between.
Mud masks and clays in general are 100% natural, and effective. Not so much for washing/scrubbing, but great for tightening up pores and drawing out dirt/oil in your skin (as opposed to on it). Rolling around in mud has probably been done since the dawn of time.
Oil cleansing is great, just don't do it more than twice a week (I don't shower much more than twice a week, for that matter). Look up the OCM online, the devil's in the details but overall it's a safe, effective method. As someone said already, it's what the Romans did.
Cleaning with soap is about as old as cleaning with oil, and technically it's a form of cleaning with oil (saponified vs. in its natural state). Soap dries out my skin too much so I don't use it, but as long as it's a natural soap I don't see anything wrong with it.
After that there are a ton of foods you can use to exfoliate/scrub/clean up. Salt, Sugar, Honey, Cider Vinegar, Oats, and Yogurt come to mind. Like I said above, washing with water is all you really "need," but you can take your skin from good to great with natural methods that wouldn't have been available to a caveman.
In ancient Roman baths, supposedly they would rub olive oil all over, then scrape the oil (and the dirt) off with a piece of wood or some other implement, then hop into the bath! I have not tried this personally.
As for keeping the nether regions clean - shower toilet/washlet/bidet. Seriously brilliant devices and absolutely worth getting one. Living in Japan the world leader in toilet tech; these things are ubitiquous - toto washlet is the most common one. Awesome devices that really do a great job of washing up after you go. The latest ones are very advanced. I am so used to them now that the thought of just using toilet paper is quite disgusting.
The only time I don't use them is public toilets where I always go for the squat toilet (even if there is an option), which is by far the most natural way to go and you dont have to "touch" anything and the squat position open up the 'trajectory area' while going, so much less need to wipe. My dream combo would be a squat toilet with a washlet toilet beside it.
I have been without soap, shampoo, etc for over a year now. I've used wash cloths in the past, but what works for me is a skin brush. It can be used wet or dry (I prefer wet). You just gently run it over your skin. It gets rid of the dead skin cells and such leaving your skin clean and smooth. No soap needed. I've done this for a while and I've yet to have problems with odor.
As far as the other question, I second what "42" said.
Earwax and cleaning 13 Answers