What do you see it the photo above? I see nonrecyclable waste. Tons of it. What does your family use? A tube a month? Twelve tubes a year, 600 tubes in a lifetime. And then floss... I know many people like those little flossers, but oh my! So much plastic. We will talk about that in a bit, but first, what can you do about all that toothpaste plastic?
If you want to make your own toothpaste alternative, here is the one we use. Of course, check with your dentist!
But, here is another. Toothpaste tablets! There are many brands you can use, and at least one is even available at local stores!
How do these work? Well, you grab a tablet, toss it in your mouth--I like a bit of water first--chew for a few seconds, and then brush. That simple!
So, how do you choose what to use? I have tried two brands. Etee makes a tablet called Chewpaste that foams up like traditional toothpaste. If you really like that foamy feel, this might be what you like. The downside is that Etee is a pretty new company, and is still working on keeping things in stock.
The other brand I have tried is Unpaste. This is available in both a flouride and nonflouride version from Hellobulk, in downtown Salt Lake. Instead of using SLS-A as a foaming agent and surfactant, like Etee's Chewpaste, Unpaste uses sodium lauryl glutamate, which I find much gentler and less foamy. I like it, but you may not.
Locally, you can also get Nelson Natural's Crush and Brush at Animalia on 9th South. This version contains no surfactant. I haven't tried it. If you do, share how you like it.
So how can you evaluate these without buying all the things?
Here is a list of ingredients you might find, and what they do in the product.
Baking soda--in almost every natural tooth cleaner
Silica--the most common in whitening toothpastes
Dicalcium phospate--may also help remineralize
Remineralizes teeth-this reduces sensitivity and cavities
Nano-hydroxyapatite--(nHAp)--what enamal is made of
Most other mineral, including the ones below, haven't been shown to be very effective on their own
calcium carbonate--also mild abrasive
Citric and tartaric acid help stimulate saliva which helps remineralize
5-carbon sweeteners--sweetens, promotes dental health by suppressing harmful bacteria or encouraging good bacteria
Preservatives--many makers feel that preservatives in toothcare inhibit beneficial bacteria. This includes the items below, as well as EOs such as peppermint, menthol and tea tree
Eugenol, or Clove oil
Foaming Agents, Surfactants provide foaminess, and help break down films.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate--in traditional toothpastes. SLS is strong, cheap, common, and an irritant for many people. Good to avoid.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate--SLS-A--a much gentler, but still foamy surfactant
Quillaja Saponaria (Soapbark, from South America)--a natural surfactant.
Sodium Lauryll Glutamate--mild, natural surfactant
Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate--mild, natural surfactant
All of these items are used to make tablets. None of them are thought to be problematic
Cream of Tartar
Adosonia Gregoril (Cream of Tartar source)
Natural Flavorings, Essential Oils and Menthol are often added to enhance the experience and freshen breath. Some people are concerned at the effect some of these products have on beneficial bacteria. Others appreciate the effect on harmful bacteria. I don't know how to evaluate these claims.
We know a handmade bar of soap isn't cheap, and since you have chosen to invest some of your self care dollars with us, we want to help you make the most of it! Keeping your handmade soap out of the water and allowing it to dry between uses will vastly improve the life of your bar. Thus, we offer several soap dish options that will allow you to do this. But there are other things you can do, too!
Here's a few ways to make your soap last!
1. Buy well cured soaps.
Here at Wild Waters, we always cure our soaps for 4-6 before they get into your hands, to make a perfect compromise between preserving scent and producing a long lasting bar.
2. Use a shower puff or washcloth.
This is particularly useful if you are a hairy guy. Rub the soap on your cloth or puff, and then use the lather you produced all over, instead of repeatedly abrading the soap on your body. This will really reduce wear on the bar
3. Don't set the soap where it will be wet while washing.
After you have soaped up your puff, set the soap where it will not be constantly sprayed by the shower or soaked by the tub. This will reduce the softening of the bar as well as the washing away of the soap.
4. Let it dry completely
If you have several people sharing a bar of handcrafted soap, it will last fewer showers than if only one person uses it, and it dries completely between uses. This is because handmade soaps soften when they are wet, and the second use removes much more of the soap than the first, dry use. So, drying each bar for a day will make it last longer.
5. Store the bar where it gets good air circulation.
This is primarily a continuation of the previous tip. A good dish that allows good air circulation will allow the bar to dry all over more thoroughly, and it will last even longer.
Did you know that drying out your handcrafted wooden soap dishes will also extend their life? Here's the tip. Use one dish for a couple weeks, then set it aside to thoroughly dry for a couple weeks, while using a second dish. Continue to swap them, especially if you use them someplace like a shower where they get really wet. You can double their life that way!
How do you make your handcrafted soaps last longer? Share your tips, and don't forget to join our newsletter!