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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

How to of the Day

How to of the Day

How to Clean Headlights with Toothpaste

Posted: 25 Feb 2020 04:00 PM PST

You might not know it, but toothpaste is good for cleaning other things besides teeth. In fact, if your vehicle's headlights are starting to look a little foggy, one of the simplest solutions is to polish the plastic outer covers using a dab of ordinary toothpaste and a soft cloth or brush. In just a few minutes, the gentle abrasives in the toothpaste will help remove dust, dirt, grime, and light-dimming oxidation, making your headlights shine brighter and clearer.


[Edit]Washing and Taping off Your Headlights

  1. Wash the headlights thoroughly with glass cleaner or soapy water. Spray your cleaner of choice liberally onto both headlights. Then, use a microfiber cloth or soft automobile sponge to wipe away as much dust, dirt, and stuck-on debris as possible.[1]
    Clean Headlights with Toothpaste Step 1 Version 2.jpg
    • Giving your headlights a quick preliminary wipedown will get rid of the worst of the mess, allowing the toothpaste to work more effectively on what's left.
  2. Dry the headlights using an absorbent towel or chamois. Once your headlights are clean, dab them with your towel or chamois to soak up any standing streaks or droplets of moisture. Be sure to dry off the edges of the covers, as well.[2]
    Clean Headlights with Toothpaste Step 2 Version 2.jpg
    • If you're using a towel, make sure it's of the lint-free variety. Otherwise, you could end up leaving behind small fibers, which can easily become stuck on the headlight covers.
    • Alternatively, you can apply the toothpaste while the headlights are still wet to produce a bubbly lather similar to soap.[3]
  3. Tape off the area around your headlights. Stick strips of automotive masking tape or painter's tape over the paint at the top, bottom, and sides of both lights. Afterwards, inspect your work closely to make sure that there's no exposed paint visible near the portion of the lights you'll be cleaning.[4]
    Clean Headlights with Toothpaste Step 3 Version 2.jpg
    • The gritty toothpaste, combined with the pressure of polishing, could potentially damage any paint that's not covered with tape.

[Edit]Polishing Your Headlights

  1. Apply a dime-sized blob of toothpaste to each headlight. Squeeze the toothpaste directly onto the center of the plastic covers, or apply it to the cloth or sponge you'll be using to do your polishing. Spread the toothpaste outwards in widening circles until it covers the entire surface of the headlights.[5]
    Clean Headlights with Toothpaste Step 4 Version 2.jpg
    • Try not to smear the toothpaste on too thick—it's best to start with a small amount and add more later as needed.
    • It's important to use an ordinary type of toothpaste rather than a gel. Gel toothpastes don't contain abrasives, which are what is actually responsible for chipping away at the dingy layer of oxidation making the lights appear foggy.[6]
  2. Polish the headlights vigorously using a microfiber cloth or sponge. Scrub every inch of the covers from top to bottom, moving your cloth or sponge in tight, circular motions to wear down stubborn buildup. You should notice even the heaviest gunk and grime begin to disappear within seconds.[7]
    Clean Headlights with Toothpaste Step 5.jpg
    • If your headlights don't look any cleaner after your first few passes, switch to a soft-bristled brush to increase your coverage and really work the toothpaste into the plastic. An old toothbrush is perfectly suited for the task (who would've thought?).[8]
    • Getting your headlights looking like-new may require a little bit of elbow grease. Take your time, and don't be afraid to really dig in.
  3. Rinse both headlights with warm water. Spray the lights with a hose or spray bottle, or douse them with water from a bucket or similar container if you don't have either of the aforementioned tools. Continue rinsing until the water runs clear to ensure that you've flushed away every last trace of toothpaste.[9]
    Clean Headlights with Toothpaste Step 6.jpg
    • Don't forget to remove the tape from around your headlights when you're finished.
    • Any toothpaste you miss will dry to a cloudy film, leaving you right back where you started.

[Edit]Applying a Sealant

  1. Apply a coat of UV-resistant sealant to shield your headlights from the sun. Wet a folded paper towel with the sealant solution and wipe it onto both headlight covers. Use long, sweeping strokes and aim for full coverage. Unless otherwise specified, apply only a single coat of sealant.[10]
    Clean Headlights with Toothpaste Step 7.jpg
    • You can pick up a bottle of UV-resistant headlight sealant for just a few dollars at any automotive supply store, as well as most supercenters, gas stations, and convenience stores.[11]
    • A good UV sealant will slow the formation of oxidation on your headlight covers as a result of exposure to the sun's rays.
  2. Allow the sealant to cure in the sun for 10-45 minutes. Park your vehicle someplace outdoors where it can receive direct or partial sunlight. Most headlight sealants dry to the touch in a few minutes and cure to full strength within about half an hour. Exact cure times can vary somewhat, however, depending on humidity levels and the amount of sunlight available.[12]
    Clean Headlights with Toothpaste Step 8.jpg
    • If you happen to have a UV lamp, you can speed up the process by shining it directly on your headlights for 10-15 minutes, or until they're completely dry.[13]
    • Hold off on washing your vehicle for at least 8 hours after applying headlight sealant.
  3. Repeat the process every 2-4 months, or as needed. Using toothpaste to polish your car's headlights is a great way to restore their original shine, but it's not a permanent fix. In order to ensure that they stay bright and clear and provide maximum visibility, you'll want to get in the habit of cleaning and sealing them every couple of months.
    Clean Headlights with Toothpaste Step 9.jpg
    • You may need to up the frequency of your cleanings if you do a lot of driving.


  • If you don't like the idea of cleaning your headlights with toothpaste, it may be worth it to spend a little more on a commercial headlight restoration kit. These come with re-finishing polishes and pads that work in much the same way, but are formulated specially for use on automobiles.


  • Steer clear of toothpastes containing flavor crystals, deep-cleaning beads, or other add-ins. Oversized abrasives can scratch the plastic surface of your headlight covers, causing them to show dirt more plainly and making them harder to clean in the future.

[Edit]Things You'll Need

  • Glass cleaner or soapy water
  • Microfiber cloth or soft automobile sponge
  • Lint-free towel or chamois
  • Automotive masking tape or painter's tape
  • Regular non-gel toothpaste
  • Garden hose or spray bottle
  • Bucket or similar large container (optional)
  • Toothbrush or similar soft-bristled brush (optional)
  • UV-resistant headlight sealant
  • Paper towel
  • UV lamp (optional)


[Edit]Quick Summary

How to Store Cashmere

Posted: 25 Feb 2020 08:00 AM PST

While cashmere is beloved for its softness and warmth, it's also notoriously difficult to care for and maintain. Thankfully, there are a few easy steps you can take to ensure your cashmere remains in good condition when storing it away. Whether you're storing cashmere for a few days, months, or even years, you can keep the fabric fresh and intact by cleaning it after your last wear, choosing the right kind of storage container, and putting it away in a clean and sanitized area.


[Edit]Cleaning Your Cashmere for Storage

  1. Wash your cashmere before storing it to help keep bugs away. While insects like moths are attracted to cashmere fabric on its own, they'll be even more attracted to your cashmere if it has any residual body oil, products, or perfume on it from wear. Therefore, it's important that you wash the cashmere before storing it to make it somewhat less attractive to fabric-eating insects.[1]
    Store Cashmere Step 1.jpg
    • Make sure your cashmere is completely dry before you put it in storage.
  2. Remove pilling from your cashmere to keep it in good condition. Using a sweater comb or a small de-pilling razor, gently scrape off any pills that have formed on the cashmere's surface. This will not only leave your cashmere in better shape and ready to wear when you take it out of storage, it will allow the fabric to soften while it's being stored.[2]
    Store Cashmere Step 2.jpg
    • Regardless of how you choose to remove pilling from cashmere, make sure that you work slowly and carefully to avoid ripping or cutting the fabric.
  3. Steam your cashmere to sanitize it and remove wrinkles. First, put your fabric steamer on the cashmere or low-heat setting. Then, run the steamer over the fabric to both sanitize and de-wrinkle it so it'll be fresh and ready to use when you get it out of storage.[3]
    Store Cashmere Step 3.jpg
    • If you don't have a steamer, you can also use an iron by putting it on the lowest heat setting and placing a damp cloth between the cashmere and the iron as you gently and carefully run it over the fabric.
    • If the cashmere feels damp after you steam it, let it dry completely before putting it in storage.

[Edit]Choosing a Storage Container

  1. Keep your cashmere in a chest or closet for short-term storage. If you're storing your cashmere in between wears, keeping it in a wooden chest or folded in a closet will suffice. While a chest or closet alone won't completely keep insects at bay for long periods of time, both of these options usually allow you to fold the cashmere and lay it flat, keeping it from getting crumpled or damaged.[4]
    Store Cashmere Step 4.jpg
    • If you plan to store your cashmere in a chest or closet long term, make sure that you use moth balls or liners to keep moths from eating the fabric.
  2. Store cashmere in plastic garment bags for up to 3 months. If you're storing cashmere for a short period of time and want to protect it from insects, plastic garment bags are a great option. However, only store cashmere in plastic for up to 3 months because the change in seasonal weather and temperature can cause condensation to form in the bags, which can cause the cashmere to mildew or turn yellow.[5]
    Store Cashmere Step 5.jpg
    • Make sure that plastic garment bags are airtight to keep moths and other insects away from your cashmere.[6]
    • You can also use plastic storage containers to store your cashmere as long as it is airtight.
  3. Put cashmere in cotton canvas garment bags for long-term storage. If you plan on storing your cashmere for more than 3 months, cotton canvas garment bags are likely your best bet. Unlike plastic or wooden containers, cotton bags are both insect and moisture resistant, and will allow the fabric to breath so it won't get musky over time.[7]
    Store Cashmere Step 6.jpg
    • Canvas garment bags that are made out of cotton are available widely online and at many storage and home improvement retailers.
  4. Avoid storing cashmere in cardboard boxes. While they are cheap and convenient for storage, cardboard boxes do not have a neutral pH. Therefore, the chemicals in the cashmere fabric could react with the acid or alkaline in the cardboard, which can discolor or disintegrate the fabric.[8]
    Store Cashmere Step 7.jpg

[Edit]Putting Cashmere in Storage

  1. Vacuum and wipe-down the storage area to keep the cashmere clean. When storing cashmere, it's important that you clean the storage area to keep it from attracting insects or damaging the fabric. Therefore, before placing your cashmere in storage, use a vacuum to remove dust, as well as a sanitizing wipe to sanitize the storage area.[9]
    Store Cashmere Step 8.jpg
    • If you wipe it down with a wet cloth or wipe, make sure that the area is completely dry before placing your cashmere inside.
  2. Line the storage area with anti-moth paper or balls. Unfortunately, moths love to eat holes in cashmere fabric. As a result, it's helpful to line your storage area with anti-moth paper liners before laying the cashmere inside, or placing moth balls on and around the cashmere to keep moths at bay.[10]
    Store Cashmere Step 9.jpg
    • Paper liners can also help protect the fabric from catching and snagging on wood, plastic, or anything else stored in the same container.
    • You can also put cedar balls or chips in the storage area to repel these cashmere-eating insects.[11]
  3. Wrap your cashmere in acid-free tissue to preserve the color. If you want to take an extra precaution to protect your cashmere, you can wrap it in acid-free tissue paper. This will help preserve the color by protecting the fabric from anything acidic or alkaline, while also protecting the cashmere against moisture and dust.[12]
    Store Cashmere Step 10.jpg
    • Acid-free tissue paper is widely available online and at most craft and storage stores.
  4. Fold your cashmere to minimize wrinkles. First, fold the arms of your cashmere in over top of the front of the sweater. Then fold the bottom up over the arms to meet the top.[13] This will allow the cashmere to lay as flat as possible in the storage container.
    Store Cashmere Step 11.jpg
    • If you need to fold the cashmere smaller, you can fold it in half one more time. Try to fold it as little as possible, however, to avoid wrinkles.
  5. Lay your cashmere in the storage container. Place the cashmere in storage container, laying it as flat as possible. This will keep the fabric from wrinkling and will help prevent it from getting and snags or tears.[14]
    Store Cashmere Step 12.jpg
    • Never keep cashmere in hanging storage, as hangers can cause the material to stretch and distort.[15]
  6. Store your cashmere away from sunlight to avoid discoloration. Regardless of what storage container you choose, make sure that your cashmere is stored in a dark, concealed location away from sunlight. Prolonged exposure to sunlight, and even some strong indoor lighting, can cause your cashmere to discolor permanently.[16]
    Store Cashmere Step 13.jpg
    • This is particularly important for bright colors, as they tend to fade quicker and more drastically.



How to Celebrate Mardi Gras

Posted: 25 Feb 2020 12:00 AM PST

Mardi Gras is a festival known by many names around the world, including Carnival, Fasching, and Fat Tuesday. Among Christians, this joyful holiday is an occasion to cut loose and celebrate before the more somber season of Lent begins. No matter what your beliefs or cultural background, you can celebrate Mardi Gras by eating delicious foods, dressing up in colorful attire, and attending fun parades and festivities. Whatever you choose to do, just make sure to have a good time!


[Edit]Getting into the Mardi Gras Spirit

  1. Wear purple, green, and gold to symbolize justice, faith, and power. The classic colors of Mardi Gras were first popularized by the Rex Organization, one of several secret societies, or krewes, that help define the way Mardi Gras is celebrated in the U.S.[1] Embrace the spirit of the holiday by dressing up in your flashiest purple, green, and gold clothes.
    Celebrate Mardi Gras Step 7 Version 2.jpg
    • For example, you might wear an emerald green dress with a purple shawl and gold shoes. Or, you could accessorize a suit with a purple tie, green socks, and a gold pocket square!
    • The Rex Organization debuted this color scheme at their 1892 "Symbolism of Colors" parade.
  2. Make a colorful Mardi Gras mask. Masks and costumes are a long-standing Mardi Gras tradition, going back to medieval European Shrove Tuesday celebrations. Buy a colorful mask, or make your own and decorate it with gold, green, and purple beads, glitter, and feathers.[2]
    Celebrate Mardi Gras Step 8 Version 2.jpg
    • Print out a mask template online or buy one from a craft store, then paint it and decorate it however you like.
    • Today, you can only legally wear masks in public in Louisiana on Mardi Gras!
  3. Decorate yourself with beads. Mardi Gras has become synonymous with colorful plastic beads, which are thrown out to revelers during parades.[3] Even if you can't attend a parade, get into the Mardi Gras spirit by putting on a few strings of shiny gold, green, and purple beads.
    Celebrate Mardi Gras Step 9 Version 2.jpg
    • You can also decorate your home with beads and Mardi Gras doubloons (fake coins).
  4. Listen to festive, upbeat music like zydeco, jazz, or Samba. Music is an important part of any celebration, and Mardi Gras is no exception! New Orleans has many musical genres associated with it, and you can't go wrong with listening to some classic jazz, blues, or zydeco. If you're feeling a little more international, you can listen to Mardi Gras-themed music from cultures around the world, like Brazil or Italy. [4]
    Celebrate Mardi Gras Step 10 Version 2.jpg
    • If you're hosting a party, put together an upbeat Mardi Gras playlist. You can even celebrate the rich variety of Mardi Gras traditions by including tunes from the many different countries where Mardi Gras or Carnival is celebrated.
  5. Have a food fight with your friends. Mardi Gras is a time to cut loose and do things you normally couldn't get away with (as long as it's all in good fun). In some countries, like Italy and Belgium, festival-goers celebrate by pelting each other with oranges.[5] If your friends are okay with it, take the opportunity to blow off some steam by flinging oranges or other food at each other.
    Celebrate Mardi Gras Step 11 Version 2.jpg
    • The biggest Fat Tuesday food fight is the annual Battle of the Oranges in Ivrea, Italy. This fun event is said to date back to the 12th century.[6]

[Edit]Eating Mardi Gras Foods

  1. Feast on tasty po-boy sandwiches for lunch. The po-boy is a quick and easy Mardi Gras sandwich that you can make with almost any ingredients. The only rules are that you should have them on crusty, fresh-baked French bread and smother them in gravy. Fill up your sandwich with breaded shrimp, catfish, oysters, roast beef, ham and cheese, or even French fries.[7]
    Celebrate Mardi Gras Step 1 Version 2.jpg
  2. Make a jambalaya. Jambalaya is a classic Mardi Gras dish that combines shrimp, chicken, sausage, rice, and veggies in a spicy sauce made with garlic, onions, and tomatoes.[8] Get together with friends and family to cook jambalaya from scratch, or purchase a ready-made rice and seasoning mix and add a few of your own fresh ingredients.
    Celebrate Mardi Gras Step 2 Version 2.jpg
    • Other popular Mardi Gras shrimp dishes include gumbo, shrimp etouffee, and shrimp and grits.
    • If you love shellfish, but shrimp isn't your crustacean of choice, you could cook crab cakes or have a crawfish boil instead![9]
  3. Whip up some red beans and rice. Red beans and rice is an old New Orleans staple.[10] To make a quick and easy version, simmer some canned or pre-cooked red kidney beans with chicken stock along with onions, garlic, bell peppers, bay leaves, thyme, parsley, and cayenne and black pepper sautéed in oil. Throw in some smoked pork sausage and serve the mixture on top of long-grain white rice.[11]
    Celebrate Mardi Gras Step 3 Version 2.jpg
    • As an alternative to pork sausage, you can use ham hocks, bacon, or pickled pork.
  4. Serve a sweet king cake for dessert. This traditional Mardi Gras dessert looks like giant, colorful donut and contains a surprising secret ingredient: a tiny plastic baby. Bake your own king cake or buy a pre-made one at your local bakery. Whoever gets the piece with the baby inside wins good luck—and hosting duties for next year's Mardi Gras party![12]
    Celebrate Mardi Gras Step 4 Version 2.jpg
    • If you make your own king cake, decorate it with a sweet glaze and sprinkles in the traditional Mardi Gras colors of green, purple, and gold. Put the baby in after you bake the cake so that it doesn't melt or burn during cooking.
    • According to some versions of Mardi Gras lore, the king cake traditionally had a ring or bean inside rather than a toy baby. The baby is thought to symbolize the baby Jesus, a nod to the Mardi Gras festival's religious roots.[13]
  5. Fry some crispy beignets for another traditional dessert option. Beignets donuts are another classic staple of New Orleans Mardi Gras cuisine. After you make your dough, let it chill in the fridge overnight before you fry it for best results. Dust the beignets with powdered sugar and serve them warm and fresh.[14]
    Celebrate Mardi Gras Step 5 Version 2.jpg
    • As an easy alternative to the classic beignet recipe, which involves yeast, eggs, sugar, flour, shortening, and evaporated milk, you can use pancake or biscuit mix. Combine the mix with enough milk to make a thick dough, then roll it out, cut it into squares, and fry it until it's golden-brown.
    • Other popular dessert options include pecan pralines, Bananas Foster, and monkey bread.
  6. Try a festive milk punch. Milk punch is a creamy dessert drink that's reminiscent of eggnog. To make it, combine milk, sugar, bourbon, and vanilla to taste. Shake it up with crushed ice and top it off with a sprinkling of nutmeg.[15]
    Celebrate Mardi Gras Step 6 Version 2.jpg
    • Other traditional Mardi Gras cocktails include Sazerac, Vieux Carré, and mint juleps.

[Edit]Attending Parades and Festivities

  1. Check when Mardi Gras celebrations will be happening this year. Mardi Gras takes place on the day before Ash Wednesday, in late February or early March. Since this holiday falls on a different day each year, check your calendar ahead of time to make sure you don't miss it.[16]
    Celebrate Mardi Gras Step 12 Version 2.jpg
    • In 2020, Mardi Gras will take place on February 25.
    • You can easily check the date by doing an online search for "Mardi Gras date this year."
    • In some areas, the Mardi Gras or Carnival season lasts for several days. For example, the Carnival festivities in Brazil last from the Friday before Ash Wednesday to the midday on Ash Wednesday.
  2. Search online to find parades and parties in your area. Even if you don't live in an area where Mardi Gras is a major holiday, there's a good chance that some events will be happening nearby. Go online and do a search using terms like "Mardi Gras festival near me," or check the arts and entertainment section of your local newspaper for information.
    Celebrate Mardi Gras Step 13 Version 2.jpg
    • For example, many towns and cities throughout the U.S. celebrate with parties, parades, food tasting events, and pub crawls on Mardi Gras.
  3. Travel to NOLA or Mobile, Alabama to attend major celebrations in the U.S. Most people in the U.S. associate Mardi Gras with New Orleans, LA. However, the first major celebrations in the U.S. took place in Mobile, AL.[17] If you live in the U.S. and want to participate in one of the country's biggest Mardi Gras festivals, make plans to travel to one of these southern cities.
    Celebrate Mardi Gras Step 14.jpg
    • Since these celebrations are immensely popular, it's a good idea to book tickets and hotel accommodations as far in advance as popular.
    • Other major celebrations around the world take place in Venice, Italy; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Basel, Switzerland; Cologne, Germany; Trinidad and Tobago; and Martinique.
  4. Attend a parade and catch "throws". Parades are a big part of Fat Tuesday celebrations all over the world. Whether you're traveling or celebrating in your hometown, try to attend one of these exciting events. These parades involve colorful floats with Mardi Gras "royalty" dressed in elaborate costumes. People on the floats throw treats and trinkets such as beads, cups, and plastic coins to the onlookers.[18]
    Celebrate Mardi Gras Step 15.jpg
  5. Expect big crowds and rowdy celebrations. Mardi Gras festivities are crowded, loud, and high-energy events. If you attend one of the major festivals, be prepared for lots of noise and excitement! You can make the best of the festivities by taking a few common-sense steps and precautions, such as:[19]
    Celebrate Mardi Gras Step 16.jpg
    • Arriving a few hours early for parades in order to get a good viewing spot
    • Choosing a designated meet-up spot if you're going to be meeting family or friends
    • Bringing ladder box seats for kids or small adults for better viewing
    • Carrying a bag to stash your throws
    • Walking or taking a bike to avoid festival traffic
    • Avoiding rowdier areas, such as the NOLA French Quarter, if you have kids with you
    • Wearing comfy shoes
    • Carrying your valuables in a front-facing belt-bag rather than in your purse or a back pocket

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