Hvað er sápa?

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„Sápa er yfirborðsvirkt efni sem er notað með vatni til þvotta og hreinsunar og er fáanleg í föstu formi sem stykkjasápa (sbr. handsápa), og einnig í duft- eða vökviformi . Efnafræðin útskýrir sápu sem salt úr fitusýrum , en sápa er yfirleitt framleidd með efnahvarfi fitu og sterks basa eins og lúts (natríumhýdroxíð ), pottösku (kalíumhýdroxíð ) eða vatnssnauðu natríumkarbónati . Venjulega er basin fenginn úr ösku harðviðar .“

Um Víkingana og þeirra hreinlæti

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„The image of wild-haired, dirty savages sometimes associated with the Vikings in popular culture[who?] is a distorted picture of reality.[1] Non-Scandinavian Christians are responsible for most surviving accounts of the Vikings and, consequently, a strong possibility for bias exists. This attitude is likely attributed to Christian misunderstandings regarding paganism. Viking tendencies were often misreported and the work of Adam of Bremen, among others, told largely disputable tales of Viking savagery and uncleanliness.[31]
However, it is now known that the Vikings used a variety of tools for personal grooming such as combs, tweezers, razors or specialized "ear spoons". In particular, combs are among the most frequent artifacts from Viking Age excavations. The Vikings also made soap, which they used to bleach their hair as well as for cleaning, as blonde hair was ideal in the Viking culture.
The Vikings in England even had a particular reputation for excessive cleanliness, due to their custom of bathing once a week, on Saturdays (unlike the local Anglo-Saxons). To this day, Saturday is referred to as laugardagur / laurdag / lørdag / lördag, "washing day" in the Scandinavian languages, though the original meaning is lost in modern speech in most of the Scandinavian languages ("laug" still means "bath" or "pool" in Icelandic).
As for the Vikings in the east, Ibn Rustah explicitly notes their cleanliness, while Ibn Fadlan is disgusted by all of the men sharing the same, used vessel to wash their faces and blow their noses in the morning. Ibn Fadlan's disgust is probably motivated by his ideas of personal hygiene particular to the Muslim world, such as running water and clean vessels. While the example intended to convey his disgust about the customs of the Rus', at the same time it recorded that they did wash every morning.“