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December 2017

Treat My Teeth The Way I Treat My House

By | Cleaning Tips | No Comments

 

I figure I clean my house eco-friendly, why not my mouth?

Over the holidays, I was sitting with plenty of family member and we were discussing everything. My uncle asked if I still do the “eco-friendly thing”. I guess he thought it was a phase. Something the cool kids do. I said “yep, still doing it, saves me a ton of money”. So, the discussion at the table turned to natural ways to clean.  I feel I’ve had this discussion with them a dozen times before, but wine being poured during conversation mixed with these people aren’t getting any younger, or most of them just don’t know what to chat with me about. I’ll just go with they are just getting old (haha).

I explained baking soda mixed with distilled white vinegar makes the toilet clean itself with a chemical reaction, to where I was saying baking soda this, and baking soda that. That a hundred years ago people were brushing their teeth with baking soda and crust from bread.

That’s when it hit me. I never actually looked into eco-friendly ways to brush my teeth, but I guarantee others have, so time for a little research.

I started with the toothbrush. I read that 4.7 billion plastic toothbrushes are bought every year. That is a lot of non-biodegradable product being thrown away. The plastic brush can be recycled, but I’m guessing most just toss in the bathroom trash can.

The most popular substitution I found is a Bamboo Toothbrush.

An ecological bamboo toothbrush will last just as long as a conventional plastic toothbrush. The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every 3 months, or when the bristles have frayed. Not to mention the bamboo toothbrush looks pretty cool. I found a bunch of different ones over at Amazon. So, I just looked for one that was right for me. The bristols aren’t biodegradable, but they are recyclable. The brush itself is said to return to soil with 6 months. There it is, an eco-friendly toothbrush. Off to a good start I’d say.

Which brought me to Toothpaste. Now, the easy solution is the old school solution: 

The Easy Toothpaste

-½ a cup of Baking Soda

-¼ cup of Hydrogen Peroxide

-¼ cup of warm water

Stir these ingredients together to form a paste and brush your teeth as normal.

I ran into a problem with this one. I just didn’t want a bunch of hydrogen peroxide in my mouth. I read you don’t have to use it, you can just use baking soda and water.

Which brought to looking for another Do-It-Yourself solution. I found a pretty cool natural toothpaste recipe.

Natural Toothpaste Recipe

 

  1. Melt or slightly soften coconut oil. I did it on the stove, but a microwave would work too.
  2. Mix in other ingredients and stir well. If using semi-hard coconut oil, use a fork, if not, use a spoon. If you are using completely melted coconut oil, you will need to stir several times while the mixture cools to keep the baking soda incorporated.
  3. Pour the mixture into small glass jar.
  4. Let cool completely.
  5. To use: dip toothbrush in and scrape small amount onto bristles. You can also use a small spoon to put the mixture onto the toothbrush.

This is actually a winner in my book. It’s easy to make, works well, and tastes great.

This brought me to one I wasn’t sure if I was going to find a solution to: Natural Teeth Whitener.

Now, back in the old glory days of Hollywood, the movie stars would swish hydrogen peroxide in their mouths like it was mouthwash. And yes it works. With smoking being almost a necessity back in the 1940’s and 50’s, the actors and actresses had to keep the teeth pearly white removing tobacco stains, especially when black and white film turned to color and their teeth were now a few feet wide.

Turns out there is really cool and simple solution: CHARCOAL.

“Um, What?” That was my first reaction. So, taking one of the darkest, dirtiest, messiest things on the planet and use it to whiten my teeth?

Yep.

There a quite a few products for this solution. Including a charcoal bristle bamboo toothbrush. It’s as if my research was coming full circle. That is a good sign.

Activated charcoal is a highly absorbent substance. It removes toxins when they adhere to the surface of the charcoal. It is not absorbed by the body, but passes through the GI system, so chemicals and toxins adhere to it, which then pass through the body and are expelled by the digestive system.

That’s a bit too scientific for me, but it’s the reason why it works.

Whitening Your Teeth With Charcoal

  • Dip a clean, wet toothbrush into the powdered charcoal. Lean over the container of charcoal and quickly put the charcoal covered toothbrush in your mouth (this is to protect your sink). Brush in small, gentle circles for 2 minutes, spit carefully and rinse really well.

It’s recommended to do this twice a week

Which has me at my final part of my morning brushing routine. Mouthwash.

I actually didn’t research this one. This my own solution. When I was a kid and had a toothache my mom would put some salt in a small glass of warm water and have me swish it around in my mouth and then rinse. It temporarily would solve the problem until a dentist appointment was made. So I incorporated this into my solution.

Natural Mouthwash

  • 3 Tablespoons of Warm Water
  • 1 Tablespoon of Salt
  • 15 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
  1. Combine the ingredients in a glass and stir.
  2. Swish the concoction in your mouth as you would normal mouthwash and spit.

 

That sums it up. You can clean your mouth eco-friendly. It may seem like a lot, but it really isn’t. The solution isn’t terribly expensive. The funny thing is you can clean your home with most these ingredients. Well, I’d skip the charcoal on that one. Bad joke, I know. Have a great day!

 

Can I Clean My Computer Eco-Friendly?

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I clean so many things in an eco-friendly way. I use lemons for pretty much any surface. I can tell tales of how many things distilled white vinegar can clean. Though when it comes to my laptop computer, something I use everyday, I don’t clean it in a eco-friendly manor. Why?

I haven’t got a clue. I guess just because we are always told this is how to clean them, than that is the way to go. I mean I can’t imagine trying to clean my computer with a lemon, but I guarantee there is a solution out there. These are my thoughts as I researched this. I found some good ideas, some good products, and some good suggestions. Also, things I thought that were okay that simple were not.

Alcohol Swabs.

You know the kind the doctor wipes on your arm before giving you a needle? I’ve seen plenty of colleagues use them to clean their keyboards. I even seen some use them to clean their screens. I learned THIS IS NOT A GOOD IDEA. Some sites swear by it, but after doing some digging. The alcohol can eventually break down the letters on your keyboard. They may fade or completely disappear. As far as the screen goes, the alcohol can break down the coating on the screen. Also, this means stay away from Windex like products, and nail polish remover. You get the idea.

Instead, I found some natural spray cleaners for screens. I’m not endorsing any of these products; I’m just going to talk about a couple of alternate options for eco-friendly cleaning.

 EcoMoist.

It’s a natural organic screen cleaner sold on Amazon. It comes with it’s own micro-fiber cloth. It’s runs just under ten dollars. I ordered it to give it a try. For being eco-friendly, I thought it did just as good of a job as any of the major products out there that don’t boast about being natural.

 TechTonic 2.

It is non toxic, alcohol, and ammonia free. You can pick this up at Staples. Complete with a antibacterial fiber cloth. It runs for just under fifteen dollars. I bought a bottle and tried it on my work computer. Once again, I can’t say it works any different than the major brands. It did exactly what it was suppose to do.

There are quite a few more eco-friendly screen sprays on the market, but at this point I already found what I was looking for. I had run my small experiment, and was happy with the results.

As far as a comparison between the two I tried. It’s kind of a wash. I liked them both for the same reasons. They both did their job, and were both eco-friendly. If I was forced to give an answer, I’d say EcoMoist, but that’s like comparing an apple to an apple.

 Keyboard.

I solved the screen problem, but the keyboard is just as important. Now, for those of you who have a touchscreen keyboard, then the above already solved that problem. I admit, it’s on purpose, I haven’t switched to touchscreen.just because I’m so used to using a keyboard. Though, this is coming from a person who has no problem using a touchscreen phone. Anyway, the keyboard can be wiped down with the screen cleaner, but in my opinion that’s like washing your hair with soap, when shampoo exists. The screen gets attention, why not it’s friend the keyboard?

My first thought was the duster. Obviously, the aerosol air duster we’ve used all these years to clear our keyboards of daily debris isn’t eco-friendly, just based on the aerosol alone. That’s not mentioning the countless other chemicals and gases in those products.

 O2 Hurricane Canless Air System.

This thing looks pretty cool, however, I can’t give a review from using this product. The Hurricane costs between eighty to one hundred and fifty dollars. Thus, I would have loved to buy it and try it out, but just price wise I couldn’t. Now, with that said, if I owned an office building and this thing did what it says it does, then I’d have one on every floor. The way is works is like a reverse vacuum. It doesn’t have to be used just on keyboards. You can blow the dust off things in your home, or even inflate balloons with it. No chemicals. It’s all just the natural air you breathe. It runs on electricity, but I couldn’t tell if you charge it, or have to use it while plugged in, and I couldn’t find that information on the site. Good news is, there is an eco-friendly keyboard duster out there.

 E-cloth.

A general purpose cloth. Also eco-friendly. The company makes many e-cloths for different cleaning needs. I found the electronics version of the product on Amazon. I was able to purchase it for around seven dollars. It claims it will clean the debris off your electronics and give it a shine. It did what it said. My keyboard did look better. Cool thing is is that to clean the cloth all you need to do is toss it in the washing machine. Nice thing is it cleans the dust off the screen as well. I still think the sprays worked better on screens, but you can be the judge.

There were a ton of products I came across as I researched. There really is a demand out there for eco-friendly products like these. These were just a few examples. Look around and see what is your best fit.

The best part about all of this, for me, is I see other people have an environmentally friendly conscience like myself, and are creating new and inventive ways to keep the world we live in as clean as possible with more and more harsh things coming onto the market everyday.

Take Care.

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