Ashes have been used for cleaning from ancient times. Detergents are among the modern era inventions and supposedly the Bangladeshi refrain from applying them in their homes.
Ashes are produced indoors as most households still have home-made ovens. Thus ashes are ready-made and easily available to any home baking its own bread. Detergents came later but the local residents do not seem giving up the use of their old well-known domestic cleaner.
A maid currently cleaning homes around Mirpur reveals the exact application of ashes for cleaning purposes. She says that ashes are good for cleaning kitchen utensils. One of the ways for discovering the cleaning properties of ashes is that they are involved as an indispensable ingredient in cooking any kind of fish especially when chopping it.
For most Bangladeshi domestic detergents will never be as good as ashes when it comes to home cleaning. What is more, ashes are healthy and natural, and can be used for a handful of purposes. Farmers, for example, use ashes for fertilizing the soil when seeding the yearly crops.
As the Bangladesh government has recently forbidden firewood usage, the price of commercially sold ashes has risen significantly. Ash selling retailers claim that they make a living out of this very trade, enough to support a family.
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