Cleanliness

Just as there was no conventional toilet, the spacecraft contained no shower or basin. On a flight lasting less than two weeks, simpler regime. Washing was performed by just having a wipe with one of the available cleansing cloths. Two types were available: wet and dry; each about 10 by 10 centimetres, with the wet cloths containing a germicide. These were specifically intended for general cleansing after food and defecation. Afterwards, the skin was dried with tissues from one of seven dispensers available for the flight.

For cleaning teeth, crews had a choice of either chewing gum that personal hygiene had to be demoted to a personal hygiene had to be demoted to a

Ron Evans, Apollo 17's CMP, brushing his teeth.

could be swallowed, or using a brush and edible toothpaste to save them from having to rinse out their mouths. After Apollo 12, Pete Conrad spoke about brushing teeth en route to the Moon. "I guess everybody used his toothbrush to one degree or another. I didn't use it as much because my mouth doesn't get that bad in 100 per cent oxygen. I did use the dental floss. I guess we all did. We all used the toothpaste.''

"I liked the toothpaste,'' said Alan Bean.

"I don't know where the rest of the guys kept their toothbrushes,'' said Conrad, "but I just put mine back in my pocket after I cleaned it. I think everybody did.''

"We found that once a day we liked to strip down,'' said Dick Gordon. "We'd strip down completely and use the hot water with those towels that we did have on board. We'd completely sponge down and give ourselves a bath. I don't think enough can be said for this type of thing and for the way you feel. We wanted to shave and bathe daily, on a regular basis, but we simply didn't have the equipment on board to do it.''

One of the essentials missing on earlier flights was soap, as Conrad explained. "The potable water was used for personal hygiene, and I'd also like to have some soap along for personal hygiene and just to get clean after lunar surface operation - just to get the dirt off. That's another reason we wanted more towels. We all stripped down all the way and washed down with the water and our towels several times during the flight.''

Lunar soil was a pervasive substance that covered everything after a crew had been on the surface. As Jack Schmitt related, the soap taken on later flights helped washing arrangements to work well. "I washed several times with soap, and, postrendezvous, I actually washed [my] hair quite adequately by putting a lot of water on a towel and wetting the hair quite well. Then, just in a normal terrestrial way, I rubbed soap into it and then washed the soap out again with a couple of wet towels. The soap on board seemed to be quite good. It did a good job of cleaning but also was not overly sudsy and seemed to wipe off or wash off very well. It did not leave any noticeable residue that was uncomfortable.''

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