Julies Blog

Toothbrush holders

by Julie Finch-Scally

Ask any cleaner what is the worst thing to clean in a home and they will tell you the toothbrush holder. The reason is the scum that gets caught up around where the toothbrushes sit.

I’ve seen cups holding several toothbrushes with green slime at the bottom of the cup. This is caused by the excess toothpaste that is caught in the bristles dripping down into the cup after use. After a while the build up is quite repulsive.

It doesn’t seem to matter how much a person rinses their toothbrush they never manage to remove all the toothpaste caught in the bristle. As the toothbrush sits upright in the cup the wet toothpaste slowly drains down out of the brush to the bottom of the storage cup.

The same problem occurs with those special toothbrush holders that are set into the tiles above the vanity unit. Even electric toothbrushes have the same problem. No amount of rinsing seems to completely remove the paste in the brush.

What is the answer? One could soak the brush head in some water for half an hour then rinse it out under the running water from the tap. There is more chance the toothpaste will have dissolved in the water. But this of course requires another visit to the bathroom to check when the brush is clean and by that time one has usually gone to bed and is fast asleep.

The other answer is to wash out the cup or tumbler that houses the tooth brushes, or wipe across the toothbrush holder when the bathroom is cleaned. There is only one thing wrong with that concept. The head of the toothbrush sits directly on the holder.

If the holder or the cup is cleaned with a fresh clean sponge or cloth, contamination on the toothbrush is not a problem, but most people I have seen who give the toothbrush holder or cup a wipe out usually do it with the cloth they are using to clean the top of the vanity unit. Considering a toothbrush is placed in the mouth this is somewhat unhygienic.

Actually the best answers are 1) Not use a toothbrush holder 2) change the cup or tumbler that holds the brushes every time the bathroom is cleaned (the old one is put through the washing up) and 3) if the brush is electric, purchase two bases for each toothbrush so they can be used alternatively while the other is being cleaned.

Encouraging the family to clean their teeth is a must, but having the implements sitting in filth and dirt is not hygienic, so make a point of keeping the toothbrushes in clean containers, that way the hygiene of the mouth will be protected.


Recycling jewelry

by Julie Finch-Scally

A couple of years ago I went looking in an antique shop just to see what they had to sell. I purchased a couple of odd things that worked well for Christmas presents that year. While the owner of the shop was wrapping up the items we got talking about the antique rings she was selling.

It would seem that antique jewelry had gone out of fashion. As one can now buy such great looking items of jewelry at a reasonable price the young ladies of society now make statements with large ornate pieces.

Many years ago the more diamonds and gems you wore the larger the status of the wearer. Now it seems having decorative and matching accessories gives a bigger impact.

I was remembering this conversation the other day when I pulled out a sapphire ring given to me by my mother. I cannot wear the ring anymore because my fingers have swollen due to arthritis. The ring is quite pretty and should be worn regularly to keep the sapphire in good condition. Gem stones keep their quality if regularly worn.

I like to pass on family antiques when younger members of the family turn 18 and 21. I’ve also used this system for other important birthdays, such as a 40th. Of course I get the item cleaned and make it look impressive to present it to them on the day.

Luckily I have a young member of the family who is turning 18 and I realised instantly that the sapphire ring would be perfect for her finger. I just had to have it cleaned and find a ring box to sit it in.

I took the ring to a local jewelry store and they cleaned the ring removing all the dust that had got caught under the stone. I then searched through my collection of old jewelry boxes and wouldn’t you know I discovered the box that had originally come with the ring.

Only problem was the ring box looked grubby. It needed a clean. As the box was made of plastic I put a drop of cream cleanser on a damp sponge and rubbed over the outside of the box until the ingrained dust had been removed. The box looked brighter and cleaner when I wiped it dry with a clean cloth.

The next thing was the velvet on the inside into which the ring would be placed. That didn’t look too clean either; so I found an old toothbrush and rubbed the bristles backwards and forwards over the material. It ended up looking splendid.

Now I have an antique ring in a box to give for a special occasion. A ring with history: a ring that has been handed down; something to be kept and handed on to that person’s daughter when they reach the right age.

Recycling jewelry can not only keep the item in the family but can make the piece very special as it is handed down through the generations.

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