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Toothpaste: The Magic Elixir

Toothpaste: The Magic Elixir

May 22 marks the birthday of the toothpaste tube, and while this may not seem like such a milestone at first glance, life without it would certainly be different.

Before there was a handy tube, toothpaste was actually tooth powder, often made from items such brick dust and crushed china. Prior to that, earliest efforts to cleanse one’s mouth may have taken the form of tooth sticks, or from 23 to 79 A.D. drinking goats’ milk to sweeten the breath. According to Toothpaste World, ashes from burnt mouse heads, rabbits’ heads, wolf heads, ox heels and goats’ feet were seen as breath enhancers. In the early 19th century, glycerin was added to tooth powder turning it into an early incarnation of the now familiar paste.

Reportedly inspired during an 1892 trip to Paris by the collapsible metal tubes artists used for paint, the son of Dr. Washington Sheffield, a New London, Connecticut dentist, suggested his father use the packaging for his own brand of toothpaste: Crème Dentifrice. According to sources, until that point toothpaste was sold in a porcelain jar into which each family member dipped his or her brush. Talk about a personal hygiene no-no! Four years later, Colgate began using tubes and the official toothpaste delivery system was born.

Tube or otherwise, in addition to oral hygiene and 1,000-watt smiles, toothpaste’s multi-purpose uses include its other shine properties when cleaning tarnish from silver items and most jewelry (especially diamonds).

It also provides relief from burns, itching, and insect bites (be sure to use paste and not gel and let dry).

Toothpaste helps clear up breakouts – dot and let dry – and whitens nails (use a nail brush and scrub).

Made of the same polymers as hair gel, toothpaste (use the gel form here) can be used in a pinch in its place, and savvy moms and dads use it to keep baby barrettes from slipping.

Remove water rings from furniture by rubbing in toothpaste with a damp cloth.

The fine abrasive in toothpaste (not gel) will shine chrome fixtures in bathroom and kitchen.

Sour milk smells in baby bottles are eradicated using toothpaste and a bottle scrubber, as are garlic, fish, onion and other seemingly impermeable odors on the hands.

Carpet stains can often be removed by applying toothpaste and scrubbing with a brush, and clothing stains are said to come out by applying toothpaste directly, rubbing, and then laundering, although whitening products can sometimes bleach the fabric.

Is a budding Brueghel branding your walls? Toothpaste on a damp cloth should remove crayon marks.

Beach tar stuck on feet? Non-gel toothpaste and a little elbow grease should get it off.

Coat bathroom mirrors and swim goggles with non-gel toothpaste and wipe off to prevent fogging.

15 Responses

  1. Tooth paste is also good for filling in nail holes and minor holes and cracks in your walls! Let it dry. I have done this many times!

    by Donna on Apr 27, 2014 at 3:43 pm

  2. Toothpaste is the best “medicine” for bee stings. Gel paste seems to work best.

    by Susan on Apr 27, 2014 at 12:10 pm

  3. @Kathi Corbett ants in your compost are not necessarily bad. They help the decomp, however they usually will go away if you keep your compost pile moist and turn it more frequently.

    by tricia on Apr 27, 2014 at 12:05 pm

  4. it also gets rid of blackheads on the nose. look it up. it works

    by Brian on Apr 27, 2014 at 11:42 am

  5. thanks

    by larry on Jun 16, 2013 at 9:56 pm

  6. I can remember when my grandmother brought home our first tube of toothpaste. I not only used it for my teeth but gram actually did use it for other things. Soda was the top product in the household. We used it for everything, including brushing teeth, paste toothpaste can be used for almost everything but do be careful with the “brush” if the bristles are not soft they could scratch the silver or other items. I keep tooth PASTE in my cabinet, bathroom, in my extras shelf, don’t want to run out of it this summer for bug bites, scratches and other terribly painful oww-ies. Toothpaste and a kiss always makes it better

    by Patty in Montana on Jun 8, 2013 at 12:29 pm

  7. Someone told me to look on this site for info about how to get rid of ants in your compost bin.I cant find it anywhere.Thank You

    by kathi corbett on May 24, 2013 at 3:41 pm

  8. 30 some years ago,me too. Hickey removal

    by Randall on May 23, 2013 at 5:55 pm

  9. Great suggestions. I have read about using toothpast as a way to clear yellowing headlights back to almost new. Haven’t tried it yet but will add to this list of must-do’s.

    by Steve Braun on May 23, 2013 at 1:33 am

  10. Am a retired janitor ,I volunteer my services to older folk. and give some hints when asked!

    by Don Adams on May 22, 2013 at 11:57 pm

  11. Make your own toothpaste using baking soda (or salt) mixed with coconut oil, Add flavoring to your taste using vanilla, coconut, peppermint, etc. No fluoride, or lauryl sulfate, ingredients that irritate my mouth

    by Marge on May 22, 2013 at 7:25 pm

  12. Hickey removal? I don’t believe it! Come on over & prove it to me, lol……

    by Tom on May 22, 2013 at 5:34 pm

  13. I read the whole thing twice and there’s no mention of a classic alternate use for toothpaste, i.e., hickey removal! *tsk*

    by Scarlett on May 22, 2013 at 12:37 pm

  14. It isn’t just toothpaste anymore! How clever these ideas are!

    by Kathleen M. Smith on May 22, 2013 at 11:01 am

  15. Love these ideas!

    by Marilyn Jones on May 22, 2013 at 9:26 am

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