Feel Fresh With These Homemade Toothpaste & Mouthwash Recipes

Read the labels of commercial brand toothpaste and mouthwash, and you’ll see plenty of ingredients that you may not like. Worse, many of these ingredients have been clinically proven to cause harm. Although you wouldn’t normally swallow toothpaste or mouthwash, why subject your body to potential health risks?

Pesticides in Commercial Toothpaste and Mouthwash

If you’re worried about a moth invasion inside your tube of toothpaste, you might not mind having a pesticide as an ingredient. Otherwise, not so much.

Triclosan is added to toothpaste and mouthwash as a purported germ-killer. It’s a pesticide that has been approved for use by the FDA in products like toothpaste and mouthwash. Yet, it’s efficacy for killing germs in humans has never been clinically proven. It has, however, been scientifically proven to be an endocrine disruptor. Young children are especially susceptible. That’s something to think about, right?

If you want to ensure only natural ingredients in your toothpaste and mouthwash, try these homemade toothpaste and mouthwash recipes. Ingredients for the following homemade toothpaste and mouthwash recipes are easy to find, and the instructions are simple to follow.

Homemade Toothpaste, Version 1

First off, this is more like tooth cleaner than toothpaste. You’ll be storing it in a sealed jar, which you can keep on your bathroom sink at room temperature.

Ingredients to make homemade toothpaste:

  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 5 drops tea tree oil
  • 1/8 cup filtered water, more or less

Put the baking soda in a sealable container. Stir in the tea tree oil with a spoon. Add the filtered water, a little at a time, until a paste is formed. Stir well.

Homemade Toothpaste, Version 2

This isn’t really a toothpaste recipe, so much as a tooth polishing trick. But it comes from Catherine Zeta Jones, whom I adore, so I’m including it here. According to one interview, Catherine said she polishes her teeth with crushed strawberries. Apparently, the malic acid in the strawberries helps to whiten teeth. I tried it, and by golly, it works! Just crush a strawberry in a little bowl and use your toothbrush to polish. Tastes great, too!

Homemade Mouthwash

Remember that mouthwash should never be swallowed. Just rinse, swoosh and spit out. Even though the following recipes use natural ingredients, you still shouldn’t drink mouthwash.

You can store this mouthwash in a Mason jar, re-use an old empty container of mouthwash or even use a used water bottle that’s been cleaned and sterilized.

Ingredients for Homemade Mouthwash:

  • 8 ounces of rum or vodka (for tincture)
  • 1 teaspoon dried cloves or clove powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried Peppermint Leaf
  • 2 tablespoons dried Plantain Leaf
  • 1 Tablespoon Rosemary Leaf
  • 15 drops of Cinnamon or Peppermint Essential Oil (or more to preference-optional)

Directions:

  1. Place herbs in a pint size mason jar. Pour enough boiling water over herbs to just dampen all of them. (this helps release the properties of the herbs).
  2. Pour the rum or vodka into the jar with the herbs and hot water.
  3. Cover tightly and put in a cool dark place for 2-3 weeks. Each day, shake the jar to help the herbs infuse into the alcohol mixture.
  4. After 2-3 weeks, use cheesecloth or a very fine mesh strainer to strain the herbs out of the tincture. Discard the herbs and pour the tincture into small dropper bottles or other glass jar to store.
  5. Add the essential oils, return lid and shake well.

Homemade mouthwash recipe sourced from WellnessMama.

 

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Worthy Ways To Upcycle Your Old Books

As a book lover, you probably have a collection that includes a few you know you won’t be reading again. If you love the look of all those books, and don’t necessarily want to give them away, why not try a few of these ideas to reuse your old books?

LIGHT UP YOUR LITERARY TOMES

Turn a stack of old books into a stunning table lamp with these instructions.

For this project, you’ll need:

  • Several hardcover books (the number will depend on their width and your lamp hardware)
  • Lamp kit (available at woodshop craft stores or online)
  • Lamp shade
  • Drill and bits
  • Box cutter
  • Clamps
  • Screwdriver and screws
  1. Stack your books on the work table. Measure the center rod from the lamp kit and subtract one inch. That’s the maximum height your stack of books can be. View your stack of books critically and determine the arrangement that is most appealing to you according to which one you want at the top, bottom, etc.
  2. Move the stack of books, keeping just the bottom one. Clamp the bottom book to the table. Use a ½ inch bit to drill into the center of the book (through the front cover), up to halfway through the book.

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How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent

Make your own homemade laundry detergent right in your own kitchen using common cleaning products. Save money, help the environment by reducing product packaging waste, and enjoy the pride of having made something useful all by yourself. Just think of it. From now on you can be free from ever having to buy commercial laundry detergent again.

How Are Commercial Laundry Detergents Formulated?

Commercial laundry detergents are formulated to get your clothes clean with a combination of a surfactant and a builder. The specific surfactants and builders used in commercial laundry detergents vary among manufacturers. Manufacturers choose which ingredients to use in their formulations according to their cost and availability, as well as the purpose for which the detergent is designed. For example, a detergent specifically made for fine cloths such as silk will be very different than a laundry detergent made for all-purpose use.

What Are Surfactants And What Do They Do?

Surfactants act on a molecular level to inhibit water beads from forming by breaking down surface tension in the water molecule. This both improves the fabric’s ability to absorb water, and also enables the surfactant to gain access to oil and dirt in the fabric. The effect of a water molecule’s surface tension can be understood with a simple experiment. If you place a completely dry sponge under running water, the water sits on the surface and simply runs off the top of the sponge. To get the sponge to absorb the water, you have to squeeze it and force the water into the fibers. Sodium tetraborate, sold under the brand name, Borax, is a common example of a surfactant.

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How to Make an Erhu

An Erhu is a Chinese instrument that dates back over 1,000 years. It has since been adopted by many composers, and the sound of the erhu can be heard in many orchestral music compositions. The erhu is a bowed string instrument that is traditionally constructed in China with farmed python skin. Travelers coming from China are permitted to export only two erhus per visit, so they are quite rare instruments. As such, many people choose to make an erhu themselves, using inexpensive, readily available materials. Though a homemade erhu won’t carry the official Chinese certification associated with a traditional Asian erhu, it can be a gratifying and unique instrument to enjoy playing for personal use.

Procure the Materials

First, procure the necessary materials to make an erhu and assemble them around a work surface, such as a large table or work bench. The materials needed will be

28-ounce aluminum can, such as a food can
20-inch long wooden dowel, 1” in diameter
4-inch long wooden dowel, 3/8” in diameter
Wood block (pine is ideal), measure 3” x ½” x ¼”
Metal guitar string, 0.10 gauge
Duct tape

Ready the Can

Open the can and remove the lid entirely. Empty the contents if necessary and wash and dry thoroughly. Remove any outside label. If the label doesn’t immediately come off because it’s glued on, melt the glue with a warm hair dryer, being careful to protect hands. Cover the sharp edges of the can with a thin strip of duct tape. Use an awl or drill with 1-inch bit to puncture the can. Locate the two punctures at the closed end of the can. Measure up about 1-1/2” from the bottom end of the can. The holes should be 1-inch in diameter when finished. Cover the sharp edges of the two holes with thin strips of duct tape.

 

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How to Replace Porch Columns

Porch columns are vertical posts that add interest and structural support to porches. They are connected at the top to a building’s awning or overhang. Many porch columns are made of wood that may or may not have been pressure treated. Over enough time, however, all wooden columns will show signs of wear and tear. In addition, wooden porch columns are subject to structural damage, such as wood rot, cracking or bowing. In any instance where the structural integrity of the porch column has been compromised, the porch columns should be replaced.

Before undertaking any kind of porch column replacement, do some due diligence to determine the cause of the damage. Certain causes of damage are obvious, such as cracking, termite damage or wood rot. Other causes, like bowing, or breaking away from the porch foundation are less evident, and should be inspected by a structural engineer. If there are other issues going on with the building, such as a sinking foundation, or collapsing roof, it’s best to take care of the primary condition before replacing the porch columns. Otherwise, the same fate will just happen to the new columns.

Install a Temporary Support

Since the existing columns are load bearing, a temporary support must be put in place while the column is being replaced. Next to the existing column, jack up a wooden post that has the same width dimensions of the column being replaced. This will ensure that the temporary post has sufficient strength to bear the load temporarily. The temporary support will need to be about five or so inches shorter than the column being replaced, so that the jack will fit underneath it.

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How to Rebuild a Cr250

Thousands of people of all ages enjoy racing dirt bikes for fun and competition. One of the most popular dirt bikes of all time is the Honda CR250. This dirt bike became for sale to the public beginning in 1973 and ending in 2007, for a span of 37 years. Since then, dirt bike racing devotees have enthusiastically hung on to their classic CR250 bikes, caring for them like an extended member of the family. Rather than give up on a CR250 bike that isn’t performing like it used to, many dirt bike aficionados find ways to rebuild and restore this beloved and classic bike.

Take Note of the Existing Assembly

Before disassembling the CR250, take note of the existing assembly. Once the engine is taken apart, it can be tricky to try to mentally recall how every little piece fits together again. Take advantage of a smart phone’s camera and photograph the bike before you begin. Take shots from several angles and include close ups of connections, bolts and screws. As work commences, take progress photographs of each piece being taken apart. If memory doesn’t serve well, the pictures will be a lifesaver for figuring out how to put everything back together again.

Organize the Work Area

When laying out the parts for the CR250 rebuild, be super organized. Use plastic tubs and small container to keep smaller pieces together that connect to the same engine part. Keep some masking tape and a marker handy to label parts as they are laid out. Not only will this help keep the work area organized, but it will make quick work of identifying the next part needed in the reassembly phase.

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How to Make a Crokinole Board

Crokinole is a board game where players push plastic or wooden discs across a round playing surface, attempting to have their discs stop in a high scoring area. At the same time, players hope to push their opponents’ pieces off the board. The history of Crokinole dates as far back as 1876, when it was invented by a Canadian named Eckhardt Wettlaufer. Those who want to make their own Crokinole board will be in good company, as the first boards were also handcrafted.

Make the Base

The base is the bottom level of the board. A homemade wooden board can be shaped as an octagon instead of circle, for simplification purposes. To ensure that the base is level, use MDF, which is pressed board. Plywood and other woods tend to bow and warp, but MDF will be straight and level. Choose a piece of MDF that measures 32” x 32.” Use a miter saw to cut 8 sides that are 13 – 1/4 “ long each.

Attach the Border

The border, or rails, of the Crokinole board prevent discs from sliding off the board and onto the floor. For this, use slats of wood measuring ½ inch thick. Use the miter saw to cut the ends so the rails join together at the corners. Use finish nails to attach the rails to the edge of the base, and wood glue to connect the corners of the rails.

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How to Make Culottes From a Skirt

Culottes are long, wide-leg shorts that are a fun and fashionable apparel item. By repurposing a women’s skirt, savvy sewers can make culottes and save the trouble of buying them from a retail store. Start with a wide circle skirt that is still in good condition, fabric-wise. For this project, it’s important to use a circle skirt so that enough leg room will be available for both legs. Make sure there are no stains, tears or worn areas on the skirt fabric. In addition, skirts with the waistband and zipper or buttons intact will make the best culottes project. Launder and iron the skirt ahead of time to ensure that no unexpected shrinkage occurs with the fabric, and that all wrinkles are smoothed out.

Gather the Materials

In addition to the skirt, this project requires sharp sewing scissors, a fabric marker, measuring tape, straight pins, and of course the skirt.

Measure for Length

Depending on how long you want the culottes, and the height of the person who will be wearing the culottes, measure for length. Start from the waist of the wearer, measure down to the length of the culottes, and add 1-1/2 inches. Starting from the bottom of the existing skirt, measure the distance that you got, remembering to add the 1-1/2 inches. Use the fabric marker to make a tick mark at that point. Measure again on the other side of the skirt, starting from the bottom, and make another tick mark with the marker. Draw a line across between the two tick marks and cut on the line with the scissors.

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How to Make a Cummerbund

A cummerbund is an apparel accessory that is worn by men to formal events like charity auctions, weddings, and anniversary dinners. It is worn along with a tuxedo, and helps to elevate a casual suit to formal attire. It consists of a pleated sash made of a fine fabric, such as silk. The fabric can be solid or printed, but it usually complements the fabric of the suit it is worn with. The cummerbund attaches in the back, under the jacket, with multiple hook and eye closures. Cummerbunds are available pre-made, but it can be fulfilling and fun to make a cummerbund with fabric available on hand.

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How to Make a Dankung Slingshot

A Dankung slingshot is a brand name slingshot that is popular with outdoor sports enthusiasts. Dankung slingshot fans even compete in slingshot tournaments to show off their shooting skills. These slingshots are used in the wild for hunting and gaming, and users often come home with animal trophies to show for their trouble. Constructed with heavy duty, durable materials, Dankung brand slingshots are the preferred slingshot for slingshot users. However, a similar handmade version can be made, using just a few readily available tools and materials.

Assemble the Materials

To make a Dankung slingshot or one that is very similar to it, assemble a flexible, heavy-duty rubber band, and if possible, a Dankung handle. If an authentic Dankung handle is not available, one can be fashioned with a heavy branch from a hardwood tree, such as an ash tree. Ash is a hardwood that is used for making walking canes. It’s used because of its strength and resistance to rot. With just these two materials, a slingshot can be fashioned.

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