Wait! What? You read that right. Today, I'm going to show 10 ideas for for utilizing antacids tablets other than for heartburn. This product has a chemical composition that lends itself to fixing all sorts of problems about the house. After much research and many days of "experimenting", I have compiled a list of "fixes" that are created by antacid tablets.
This product, which is made of calcium carbonate, is so versatile and prevalent in many of our everyday surroundings such as:
Agriculture – Soil Stabilization
Building & Construction
Electrical & Electronics
Energy, Oil & Gas
Foundry & Castings
Iron and Steel
Paint & Coatings
Paper & Chemical
Rubber & Plastics
Do you know calcium carbonate is found in disposable baby diapers? What about in concrete? This stuff is everywhere! Literally. Four percent of the earth's crust is made from this beneficial substance. So, it makes sense that it can be used in a domestic setting with a slight bit of tweaking and elbow grease.
"Natural calcium carbonate rocks are found throughout the world, the most typical forms are marble, limestone and chalk."-http://www.gccpresources.com/what-is-calcium-carbonate/
Step 1: Antacid Powder
For this Instructable, I purchased one bottle of generic over-the-counter antacids that have 1,000 mg of calcium carbonate. They are also sold as calcium supplements and can be found at the grocery store in the antacid section.
For many of the following uses I will refer to antacid powder. In order to turn tablets into powder, I placed a few tablets in a ziplock bag, sealed it, and used a rolling pin to crush the tablets into a powder. It is very easy to do and doesn't take much effort.
Step 2: Remove Tarnish From Silver
With a slight bit of effort, you can give some long forgotten piece of silver a hearty cleaning and bring back a glorious shine.
Take for instance, this sugar bowl that sat in my garage for the last decade without any protection. It has become very tarnished and looks a mess!
For this fix, I combined:
3 tablespoons antacid powder
2 tablespoons water
I then created a paste and rubbed it all over the silver piece with a soft dishcloth. The tarnish instantly rubs off and the silver becomes bright and shiny again. I used water to rinse off any remaining paste and buffed the silver with a dry cloth. It was amazingly easy and super effective! Check out the before and after photos to see the wonderful transformation.
Step 3: Wash Dishes in the Dishwasher
Have you ever finished loading the dishwasher and realized you have no more dish tabs? That happens to me all the time. It is so frustrating because I just want to finish job and start the machine but instead, it means another trip to the grocery store.
No worries! Just add:
1 tablespoon antacid powder
2-3 drops liquid dish soap
1 tablespoon table salt
Add these three ingredients to the dishwasher soap repository and run your dishwasher as normal. Your dishes will be cleaned as normal and you will have a little extra time to get to the store to buy some new dish tabs.
Step 4: Make Your Own Molded Chalk
Need teacher gifts or stocking stuffers for kids? What about chalk in their favorite shapes? Calcium carbonate is what chalk is made out of and therefore, another use for antacids.
To make my molded chalk, I made an antacid paste with water and added food coloring and flour. I then placed the mixture in a silicone mold and let it dry overnight. I removed it from the mold and voila! Darth Vader shaped chalk! So cool!
For the chalk:
3 tablespoons antacid powder
1 1/2 teaspoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons water
2-3 drops food coloring
Step 5: Grow Giant Tomato Plants With Lots of Fruit
Did you know that eggshells are made completely of calcium carbonate? That's right! How many times have you read to add eggshells to the hole before you bury your tomato plants? Tomatoes love calcium and eggshells are a cheap easily obtainable source. For the same reason, antacids are an amazing addition to your tomatoes' soil. You don't even have to make a powder first, just toss in 2-3 antacid tablets in the hole that you prepare for your plant. Bury the plant as usual, and you are on your way to a marvelous bumper crop.
Step 6: Make Chalk Paint
Well, it makes sense. If you can use antacids to make molded chalk, you can use it to make chalk paint. It's so popular right now and such a good "fixer" for something old that needs a bit of updating.
For this project, I went to Home Depot and purchased a 50 cent jar of "oops" paint. It was a sample container that only had about a cup of paint in it. It looked like someone changed their mind about the color and decided not to purchase it. Their loss was my gain. It was perfect for my small project: I just wanted to repaint a wooden picture frame that had a shabby chic finish. I even liked the color; it was a very vintage blue that would look really great as a chalk paint. Here's how I made the paint:
To make your own chalk paint, combine and mix thoroughly:
1/3 cup antacid powder crushed very finely (you don't want lumps in your paint)
1/3 cup cool water
1 cup latex paint
To use: paint as usual.
I loved the final outcome. It took two coats but I was able to achieve the lovely chalk paint look without the expensive price tag.
Step 7: Make Toothpaste
Want to know exactly what's in your toothpaste? Make it yourself and take comfort in the recipe. You can even choose your own flavors! Neato! It's easy to do and comes together in a flash!
Here's what you need:
3 tablespoons antacid powder*
4 tablespoons coconut oil
20 drops peppermint essential oil (food grade), (or flavor of your choice)
Stir together until you have created a thick paste. Store in a container with a lid.
Use this in combination with a fluoride mouthwash and your smile will be picture perfect!
*some antacids are flavored therefore, you may not need flavoring or you may want to purchase unflavored antacids so that you can create your own wonderful tasting toothpaste
Step 8: Make Acid Free Paper
Why would you want acid free paper? Easy! Acid in paper causes it to turn yellow as it ages. It makes the paper unsuitable for scrapbooking and photos or anything else that you want to stand up to the test of time.
By reusing some old paper, we are recycling and creating something new out of something old. Best of all, the new paper won't change colors over time.
Here's what you need:
Old paper like newspapers
*You can make your own liquid starch by using water and cornstarch. Mix 2 1/2 cups tap water with 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch in a small saucepan. Break up any lumps. Making a slurry first will help to reduce lumps. Boil for 1 minute. Let cool and use as intended.
1. Add 3 cups of torn up paper to your blender. Shredded paper is a great choice for this project. Add enough water to cover the paper. Blend on the lowest setting and work up to the actual "blend" setting.
2. Add 1 teaspoon of liquid starch and 1 teaspoon of antacid powder to the pulp mixture. Blend again until incorporated.
3. Lay cheesecloth in a colander over the sink. Pour pulp mixture into cheesecloth and allow to drain for 10 minutes.
4. Gather the cheesecloth into a bundle and squeeze out as much water as you can.
5. Prepare a cookie sheet by laying out a sheet of felt. Put pulp on felt and spread out into a square or a rectangle. Lay a piece of wax paper on top and then another cookie sheet.
6. Press down hard on the cookie sheet and then remove the cookie sheet and the wax paper.
7. Allow the pulp to dry completely and peel off felt. Woo hoo! You now have acid free paper!
Note: I included a photo with a sample use of the paper in which I stamped a paisley design with ink.
Step 9: Calcium Fortified Artisan Bread
Don't like or can't tolerate milk? No worries! You can get your calcium from your bread. With this easy recipe, you can create calcium fortified bread with your favorite seasonings. Ever noticed that antacids are sold as calcium supplements? Let's put that feature to good use. Here's how:
1 cup warm water (110 degrees Fahrenheit)
1 teaspoon yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon dried seasonings of your choice (I used Italian seasoning but you could use basil, oregano, garlic, onion, etc.)
2 teaspoons antacid powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
1. In a Dutch oven, sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of all purpose flour on the bottom. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add water, yeast and sugar. Allow mixture to stand for 5 minutes so that the yeast can bloom. You should see bubbles on the surface.
3. In a medium bowl, combine salt, flour, seasoning, and the antacid powder. Stir thoroughly.
4. Add flour mixture to water mixture and run mixer on low until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
5. Coat dough in olive oil and place in prepared Dutch oven. Cover and keep in a warm place for 6-8 hours or even overnight. Dough should double in size.
6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place cover on Dutch oven a place on middle rack of oven. Bake for 30 minutes.
7. Remove cover and bake for 15-20 minutes more. Bread should be golden brown.
Step 10: DIY Plaster of Paris for Filling Holes in the Wall
This fix is super neat. Since calcium carbonate is the ingredient of antacids and plaster of Paris has lime in it, I thought it would be interesting to see if I could make my own version.
This is not an exact duplicate but it certainly serves my purpose and fixed the hole in the wall. It took longer (about an hour in total) to dry than traditional plaster of Paris. But, it was easily sanded and and paintable.
For a hole filler, use 2 parts antacid powder and 1 part Elmer's School Glue. For mine, I mixed:
2 teaspoons antacid powder
1 teaspoon Elmer's School Glue.
The hole was about a 1/2 inch in length so I didn't need a bunch. If the hole was bigger, I might have used less glue and more powder to create a more viscous paste. (Big holes need a specialty tape or screen for repairs.) If I was trying to make molds of my child's handprint (everybody remember that craft?), I would also increase the viscosity of the paste by using a 3:1 ratio (antacid powder/glue).
The last picture shows the filled hole before painting but after sanding and texturing.
Step 11: Remove Grease Stains From Garments
Have you ever had a favorite shirt and been sadly disappointed to find it with a huge grease stain? Usually, that means the end of your beloved garment.
Fret no more! Just sprinkle some antacid powder on the fabric and wait about two hours while the super absorbing abilities of antacids go to work.
Launder as usual and bam! That favorite shirt has been returned to its former glory.
Prepare to smile as you remove your newly rejuvenated shirt from the laundry. Guess what? It also works on suede! Wow! Just wow!
Take a look at my results shown in the pictures above.
Step 12: I Love Calcium Carbonate!
There you have it, fellow Instructables fans. Who would have thought that a simple household item could be so beneficial in so many ways. I wanted to bring something to the table that the majority of readers could benefit from. I think alternate uses for antacid tablets offers something for everyone.
There are countless other uses for antacid tablets but there's really too much for one Instructable. I hoped I hit on the ones that would benefit the most readers. These were also the ones that I could use most at my house.
If you enjoyed my Instructable, great! I'm glad that you took the time to read my ideas. Thank you very much for your interest.
Keep on creating!