Weird History

What Was Hygiene Like On Pirate Ships?

Pirate ships were dirty - there's no way around it. The life of a pirate was fraught with danger and disease, but the pirates themselves did find ways to clean themselves and their surroundings - at times. 

Maintaining hygienic practices on a pirate ship was an uphill battle. Lack of access to clean water, combined with confined living spaces, led to the rapid spread of disease. Harsh elements and inadequate nutrition further contributed to generally poor health. Baths, laundry, and oral hygiene were at a minimum, even with a somewhat surprising amount of medical resources. 

Life on a pirate ship wasn't for the faint of heart - or for those with a sharp sense of smell. Here are some of the gritty details of what life was like on a pirate ship.