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Listerine: Practical Uses that go Beyond Mouthwash

Listerine:  Practical Uses that go Beyond Mouthwash

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Listerine is a powerful germ-fighting mouthwash that is either loved or hated by dentists.  On one hand, it does a phenomenal job of sanitizing the mouth, but it can be caustic enough to erode enamel and irritate sensitive tissues.  Whether or not you like to use it as part of your oral care regimen,  you may be surprised to know that it’s useful for a wide-range of household applications as well.  Let’s look at a few reasons why you want to keep a supply on hand in your stockpile and survival kit.

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Sanitizer

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Listerine is a very powerful sanitizer, and you can use it for almost any household cleaning project.  It can clean and disinfect surfaces such as cooking areas and counter tops.  It can kill germs in the toilet, and you can use Listerine to sanitize door knobs, phones and a wide-range of gear, tools and equipment.  It is also known to be powerful enough to knock back mildew and mold, and can be used to clean and disinfect grout between tiles. 

You can probably use it to clean shoes, boots, jackets and bug-out-bags as well.  In a pinch, try using it to sanitize dishes and silverware.  It may not be the perfect solution, but helpful nonetheless if you don’t have any other options available.

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Topical Uses

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The same ingredients that fight germs on surfaces can also be used on the skin.  Listerine can be a suitable alternative to betadine or hydrogen peroxide when cleaning minor cuts and scrapes.  Simply dab a small amount to the affected area and gently clean.  Add some ointment and a bandage when you are finished. 

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Listerine is also known to soothe irritation and reduce swelling associated with insect bites and stings.  Dab enough on the affected area to moisten the wound site, and signs of relief should begin to emerge in a few seconds.  It is also thought that Listerine can help make bruises heal faster.  Some people have also reported that sore muscles stopped hurting as much after applying some Listerine to the affected area. 

Listerine can also be used as an alternative to vapor therapy for congestion.  Simply mix a small amount of the liquid with some ointment and apply it to the chest.  Rinse after an hour or two and repeat as necessary.

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Try adding a cap full of Listerine to a load of laundry to knock out strong odors and kill off microorganisms that may be on soiled clothing. 

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You can use it to wipe down old television screens as well as for cleaning windows and mirrors.  It is thought that Listerine can also be used to control lice.  Treat hair by applying Listerine until it is moist.  Gently scrub the head and scalp before putting on a shower cap.  Let it rest for two hours before removing the cap and rinsing the hair.  Repeat as necessary.   You can sanitize combs and brushes in Listerine after use in order to prevent lice from spreading. 

These are just a few examples of the limitless benefits of Listerine.  Consider stocking up on some now, or the generic equivalent today.  Remember, that good sanitation during a post-SHTF situation is essential, and having some Listerine on hand can turn out to be surprisingly beneficial.

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The Basic and Simple Principles of Water Distillation

The Basic and Simple Principles of Water Distillation

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Water distillation is one of the most effective ways to get fresh water from multiple sources that are otherwise not suitable for human consumption.  It is also one of the most simple, as long as you have a few key components available.  The biggest drawback is that distillation requires energy, and sometimes the energy needed may exceed the amount of the finished product.  As long as you can work around this limitation, you can essentially give yourself an endless supply of fresh and safe water to drink.

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What is Distillation?

Distillation is when you heat non-potable water to the point where it begins to evaporate and steam.  The steam is what contains the pure water as the contaminants or impurities are left behind at the source.  The trick is to capture and channel the steam into another container that will catch it as it returns to a liquid from a gaseous state.  Generally speaking, you need some fire to heat the water to boiling, some tubing to transport the steam to the other container, and a clean container that can contain the newly-formed drinking water.

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Rudimentary Distillation System

There are a million and one different distillation systems out there, and you can either build your own or purchase a product that is designed to be as efficient and user-friendly as possible.  Let’s take a look at a basic example of one that you can create out of some common items you probably have around the house.

Take a large glass bottle or container, preferably one with a tapered neck and lid.  You will also need some aquarium tubing, duct tape and a plastic container to catch the distilled water.  You will also need some source of heat that you can place below the glass container.  You can also take a tea kettle or similar product for holding the impure water over the flame as well.

Fill the “dirty” container about halfway up with the water that needs to be distilled.  The next step is to attach the aquarium tubing and seal it around the container with duct tape.  You want to make the seal as airtight as possible so the steam escapes through the tubing and not out into the ambient air.  The next step is to put the other end of the tubing into the “clean” water container.  This does not need to be sealed.  However, you may want to seal it just in case steam is still traveling through the tubing before turning into water as it reaches the container. 

One way to ensure that the steam cools and returns to water is to use longer tubing and coil it to condense space.  There is plenty of room for improvisation, and feel free to tinker until you find the most efficient way to distill your water. 

Place the dirty container over flame and turn up the heat.  Reduce the heat as the water starts to boil gently.  All you need to do now is wait for the water to evaporate and transfer steam through the tubing.  It will turn back to water and start to drip into the clean water container.  That’s it.  You now have distilled water that is generally contaminant-free and safe to drink.

Keep in mind that this process can take longer than using a filter, but you can scale up or down based on your needs and space limitations.  However, the amount of water that you can process is directly related to the size of the unit.  Therefore, building one with large containers and thick tubing will give you more water in a shorter period of time. 

One final note:  Never use PET or soft-plastic containers for heating the dirty water.  Not only will these containers stand a good chance of melting, but heating them also releases carcinogenic gases that can contaminate your new water supply.  Use glass or appropriate cookware in order to prevent melting and ensure that your distilled water is safe to drink.

Take a closer look at distillation, and see how easy it is to build a rudimentary system to get you started.  You can improve on the design over time and develop a system that will be tailored to your needs.  In any case, you can use water from almost any source, including salt water, and give yourself a virtually-limitless supply of drinking water as long as you have a source of heat for boiling.  Nothing could be easier or more affordable.  This is a skill that all of us should develop now so we can put it into practice if we are ever in a real survival situation.

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