Talcum powder, also known as magnesium silicate, is made from finely-ground stone particles. It is used in various types of applications, including beauty products, baby products and household deodorizing. It is most well-known for its absorbency and protective qualities as baby powder, a skin-drying product that is not only used on babies, but people of all ages.
Sprinkling talcum powder on stubborn knots and tangles — including tangled necklaces and shoestrings — can help them to come apart easier. This powder can be used to keep ants away from homes as well as fix squeaky floorboards. It also can be used to remove greasy carpet stains by sprinkling it on the stain and letting it absorb the grease for several hours. To remove fresh blood stains, talcum powder and water can be mixed to make a paste and applied to the stain. The paste should be allowed to dry, then be brushed away.
This mineral is also used in cosmetics, such as eye-shadow and lipstick. It is also used in other beauty processes, including freshening hair overdue for a wash. After using a cosmetic brush to dab the powder on the hair's roots, it should be brushed out. The powder will give hair a clean look by absorbing excess oil. The same treatment will also work on a dog's fur, but the ear, mouth and eye areas should be avoided.
Removing stubborn sand from feet, hair and clothing can be expedited with help from talcum powder. By rubbing it on the feet and into hair and sprinkling it on clothing and towels, the sand will typically fall away. Putting on rubber gloves also can be made easier by lightly dusting the hands with powder before inserting them into the gloves.
The smell inside moldy books can be eliminated by sprinkling the mineral between the pages and letting it set for several hours. Playing cards can also be freshened up with it. The cards can be placed in a bag with some powder and shaken up. This will absorb any oil from fingerprints on the cards.
Talcum powder is best known for its effectiveness in preventing skin from chaffing due to heat, moisture or friction. It is used successfully to prevent sores from developing on bed-ridden people by forming a thin barrier to keep skin from becoming raw from constant contact or rubbing on bed sheets. To make a bed seem cooler for sleeping, sheets can be sprinkled with powder.