Human saliva as a cleaning agent for dirty surfaces.

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Publication Type:

Journal Article


Romão, Paula M.S.; Alarcão, Adília M.; Viana, César A. N.;


Studies in conservation, Volume 35, Number 3, p.153-155 (1990)


amylase, cleaning, human saliva, saliva, substitute


The use of human saliva to clean dirty surfaces has been an intuitive practice for many generations. The authors have established the scientific basis for this practice by means of qualitative tests and chromatographic techniques. The main constituent responsible for the cleaning power of saliva was found to be a-amylase and therefore amylasic preparations obtained from bread or from microorganisms were tested as saliva substitutes.