Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Toothpaste for Zits & Stains: How I Fought a Zit, but Attracted Ants: A Tuesday Tip


Toothpaste does more than whiten teeth. Other uses include zit-zapping powers and stain removal. In this week's Tuesday Tip post, I'm reporting on unusual applications for toothpaste, including the money-saving suggestions that I have personally tested.

Stain Removal: I was a bit skeptical when I read about this use of toothpaste in First for Women magazine. Here's the tip from the magazine:

"Brush away ink stains

The mild abrasives in toothpaste can remove permanent marker stains on cloth, wood or linoleum. Squeeze a dab on a soft cloth and gently rub in a circular motion on the stain. Let dry, then rinse with cool water." --First For Women magazine

My experience: I was interested in this tip because as a writer who traffics in pens and markers, I'm always getting ink on my clothing. I call it my Murphy's Pen Law: The more expensive the garment, the more indelible the ink.

So I wanted to try this tip in order to save money and clothes. As a test, I marked up my son's white school uniform shirt. (Just two small blue pen marks at near the bottom hem.) Next, I rubbed out the mark with toothpaste on my finger. I did three things wrong:

1) I used my finger to rub out the stain instead of the soft cloth recommendation. I switched to the cloth, which worked better.

2) I rubbed out the stain, but a flyer for Dell computers was on the table top surface. The ink stain faded, but the underside of the shirt was filled with newspaper ink. Fortunately, that mark also washed out.

3) I used pink toothpaste because I did not have white paste. Unfortunately, the directions also state:

"Be sure to use white paste --blue or green gels may cause discoloration."
That's true-- the stain faded, but the shirt had a little pale pink spot from the paste.

The Good News:
The pink spot (100% removed) and the blue ink (95% removed) faded from the shirt when I rinsed the area with cool water. I think I would have had better results if I had completely followed the directions and let the paste/ ink mark dry before the cool rinse. Also, I agree that white paste is best for stain removal.

2. The Zit Zapper. I have read that models love to treat pimples and blemishes with a dab of toothpaste. The rationale: the cavity-fighting, cleansing formula in toothpaste also fights zits. So I tried it.

My experience: As a day treatment, my skin seemed to improve from a dab of toothpaste on a random pimple. My face tingled and I enjoyed using a Super Model beauty tip.

But as a night treatment, I will never again apply toothpaste to my face!!! That's a recipe for disaster in a warm climate, where smalls pests like ants are attracted to the sweet flavor of toothpaste.
I woke up in the middle of the night, when I felt an ant (maybe ants!!) crawling on my face. I washed my face and slept much better.

This report from CBSNews.com features the use of toothpaste to clean gold and silver. The information from the CBS report came from WackyUses.com

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3 comments:

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barnschop said...

another use for toothpaste that I added to www.gardeningdatabase.co.uk/forum is to use it to clean the gaps in double glazed UPVC window beading.

mapgirl said...

Pure white Colgate paste is the way to go for cleaning things. Save your old soft bristle toothbrushes for cleaning too.