Tag Archives: toothbrush handles

Swak – the vegan toothbrush has arrived –


Combining the brilliance of tree sticks with contemporary eco handle design – the dawn of a new era = fancy MISWAK toothbrush    SWAK from Germany

How to SWAK
Plaque is removed thoroughly and gently, even in places a conventional toothbrush can’t reach. Plaque removal with a conventional brush often causes damage to teeth and gums which doesn’t happen with SWAK.


When brushing your teeth with the SWAK toothbrush the moistened head is moved gently over the necks of your teeth. Thus plaque is gently removed from your teeth.

How often?
Once a day is more than enough; at the earliest it takes 24 hours before plaque bacteria produce acids which then start to attack the teeth.

How long?
You only need to clean until each tooth feels smooth; you can check with your tongue if there is still plaque on your teeth. Using the tip of your tongue you can check each individual tooth; plaque feels rough and furry, clean teeth feel smooth!


The SWAK toothbrush offers you the chance to brush your teeth whenever and wherever you want, even out of the house as you neither need water nor toothpaste. You’re no longer chained to the sink; the SWAK toothbrush is used flexibly in many situations: whilst watching television, or at the computer, in the car…actually anywhere and everywhere!

How to brush your teeth with SWAK
Teeth cleaning with the SWAK toothbrush is carried out using the “swing technique”. The bristle head is moved gently over each tooth’s surface close to the neck ensuring existing plaque bacteria colonies are removed (disorganised) and therefore rendered harmless: no toothpaste necessary!

Some Tips:
* To change the taste of the miswak wood, a drop of tooth oil can be dripped onto the SWAK head.
* Hard bristles can be softened by gently nibbling the tip.
Bristles that are too long can be moistened and then cut with regular scissors.
Children can use the SWAK toothbrush on their own at the earliest at age 7.
* The SWAK Tooth Salt contains the health-promoting components of the miswak wood and works on healing on inflamed gums.
* Like with conventional toothbrushes the SWAK should not be kept in an airtight container.


As with conventional nylon toothbrushes the SWAK should not be kept in an airtight container. When used with the “swing technique” the SWAK bristle head is very durable. A replacement of the bristle head only becomes necessary when a decreased cleaning action is noticed when checking your teeth with your tongue.


Handles: cellulose acetate/bioplastic


Acca Kappa: Cellular Acetate handle51b0fe0dfb04d661d30008f5._w.540_s.fit_

Italian brand Acca Kappa have been creating luxury bath and beauty products for over 50 years (most commonly seen in Four Seasons Hotel suites worldwide). But in celebration of their 140 year history, they’ve created a limited edition toothbrush that is hand cut, milled and handle shaped from biodegradable cellulose acetate with natural bristles. The cellulose is non-toxic and transparent, and biodegrades at the same rate as that of an oak leaf.We first saw this toothbrush at Anthropologie ($5.50), along with other biodegradable personal hygiene items like this body brush ($54), hair brush ($36), and comb ($15). After doing a little searching, we also found the toothbrush available through Amazon for $5.99.


and more from Shop Saison Aust

Made using traditional production methods, Acca Kappa’s Bio Hair Brush is made of biodegradable cellulose acetate, a non-toxic material derived from cotton. The degradation time is comparative to that of an oak leaf.

and more from Biome Aust

Acca Kappa are reknowned internationally for highakboarblk quality hair brushes and combs and are dedicated to using only the finest of sustainable raw materials.

Acca Kappa’s bio resin comb is transparent, glossy, very resilient and will glide through hair with ease.  Designed with both fine and medium  teeth for versatile styling.

Made of biodegradable cellulose acetate, a non-toxic material derived from cotton & wood by-products.The time taken for each comb to biodegrade is comparative to that of an oak leaf.

Measures 21cm L x 5cm W.

Acca Kappa boast over 140 years of experience, research and traditional craftsmanship in designing brushes that are both functional, beautiful and will stand the test of time. Turn daily grooming into pampering, enjoy a little self-indulgence and give your bath area a touch of elegance with Acca Kappa quality brushes and combs.

Acca Kappa is an Italian company certified to ISO quality standards.

(International Organization for Standardization),

Cellulose Acetate/Bioplastic

According to Wikipedia, cotton produces the purest form known, of cellulose.


source:  http://green-plastics.net/posts/472/viable-recipe-strong-hemp-plastic/

Hemp plastic is probably not possible for you to make at home as a DIY project. However, I can explain to you what hemp plastic is and why it is hard to make! I can also tell you about how you CAN potentially include hemp in a home made bioplastic project if you really want to.

Let’s begin simple.

images 2

from cellular acetate or bioplastic

For something to be a plastic, it must contain at least two types of molecule: a polymer molecule and a plasticizer molecule.

Polymers are long chain molecules. They are important because the long chains of the molecule make the plastic strong. So, for example, in many of the recipes on this website the polymer is either starch or gelatin or in some cases agar (from seaweed).

Plasticizers are smaller molecules that get IN BETWEEN the polymers to make them able to slide around each other. This is what makes plastics flexible. In many of the recipes on this website, glycerine is used as a plasticizer.

Hemp contains cellulose, which is a polymer!!!! Specifically, cellulose is a long-chain polysaccharide with the chemical formula (C₆H₁₀O₅)n that consists of hundreds or thousands of linked glucose units.

Professional companies are able to extract the cellulose from the hemp, in order to combine it with a plasticizer and make cellulose-based plastics. Some common cellulose-based plastics include cellophane, rayon, and celluloid.

HOWEVER…. and this is the sad part… extracting the cellulose from hemp is complex and requires chemical professionals. So you won’t be able to do that on your own.

However, if you want to still include hemp in your home bioplastic project, there IS SOMETHING YOU CAN DO.

It is common for plastics — both bioplastics and regular plastics — to be combined with a “reinforcing matrix.” In other words, when the plastic is in the liquid phase other stuff can be mixed in so that when the plastic solidifies, it makes the plastic STRONGER.

You could potentially make bioplastic out of some other kind of polymer — such as starch or gelatin — that is easier for a home project, but mix in hemp fibers while you are making the bioplastic. You can experiment to see if the hemp fibers increase its strength!

That would be my best recommendation if you want to include hemp in your home DIY bioplastic project.









Cellulose Acetate

An every day bio-based material with a century of history

Cellulose Acetate has been at the cutting edge of innovation for over 100 years. It’s been part of aviation, cinema, synthetic fibres, plastics and many more fields.
The basic material for cellulose acetate, plant cellulose, is the most readily available renewable material on the planet. Solvay Acetow ensures that its production processes, from plant to finished product, are as environmentally friendly and as sustainable as possible. The wood pulp raw material is sourced exclusively from renewable and carefully managed forestry plantations, where there is systematic replanting after harvesting.
The manufacturing process itself is designed to minimise the use of chemicals and water at every stage, recovering and reusing them wherever possible and keeping quantities of chemicals to the lowest possible levels. And, at the end of its life the finished product, cellulose acetate is biodegradable.


from ukcia.org:        Traditional plastic manufacture involves the use and creation of many toxins. Some plastics themselves are even declared to be toxic to humans. These include PCBs which disrupt hormones, PCTs – endocrime disrupters (which have now been outlawed, but not removed from the environment), non biodegradable phylates found in childrens’ toys and PVC construction materials, and the hormonal disrupting Bisphenol a. Uugh!

The primary constituent (77%) of plastics is cellulose ….  What’s the highest cellulose content plant known to man? …. hemp! Cellulose can be extracted to produce non-toxic plastics!

Cellulose acetate is one of the most important esters of cellulose. Depending on the way it has been processed cellulose acetate can be used for great varies of applications (e.g. for films, membranes or fibers). The properties of the applied cellulose acetates are very important for these applications. A special field for using cellulose acetate is the synthesis of porous, spherical particles, so called cellulose beads. Different types of technical cellulose acetates were used and their ability to form such cellulose beads was characterized. First the different types of cellulose acetates were characterized by means of solubility; turbidity and degree of substitution. In addition the molar mass and the distribution of substituents along the polymeric chain were analyzed. Next, the cellulose beads were synthesized within an emulsion process using these different cellulose acetates. Then the properties (particle size, porosity, morphology) of the cellulose beads were determined. Finally, the relationship between the characteristic of cellulose acetates and properties of cellulose beads was investigated.

from encyclopedia brittanica:

cellulose acetate, synthetic compound derived from the acetylation of the plant substance cellulose. Cellulose acetate is spun into textile fibres known variously as acetate rayon, acetate, or triacetate. It can also be molded into solid plastic parts such as tool handles or cast into film for photography or food wrapping, though its use in these applications has diminished.

Cellulose is a naturally occurring polymer obtained from wood fibres or the short fibres (linters) adhering to cotton seeds. It is made up of repeating glucose units that have the chemical formula C6H7O2 (OH)3 and the following molecular structure:

In unaltered cellulose, the X in the molecular structure represents hydrogen (H), indicating the presence in the molecule of three hydroxyl (OH) groups. The OH groups form strong hydrogen bonds between cellulose molecules, with the result that cellulose structures cannot be loosened by heat or solvents without causing chemical decomposition. However, upon acetylation, the hydrogen in the hydroxyl groups is replaced by acetyl groups (CH3-CO). The resultant cellulose acetate compound can be dissolved in certain solvents or softened or melted under heat, allowing the material to be spun into fibres, molded into solid objects, or cast as a film.

Cellulose acetate is most commonly prepared by treating cellulose with acetic acid and then with acetic anhydride in the presence of a catalyst such as sulfuric acid. When the resultant reactions are allowed to proceed to completion, the product is a fully acetylated compound known as primary cellulose acetate, or, more properly, cellulose triacetate. Triacetate is a high-melting (300 °C [570 °F]), highly crystalline substance that is soluble only in a limited range of solvents (usually methylene chloride). From solution, triacetate can be dry-spun into fibres or, with the aid of plasticizers, cast as a film. If the primary acetate is treated with water, a hydrolization reaction can occur in which the acetylation reaction is partially reversed, producing a secondary cellulose acetate, or cellulose diacetate. Diacetate can be dissolved by cheaper solvents such as acetone for dry-spinning into fibres. With a lower melting temperature (230 °C [445 °F]) than triacetate, diacetate in flake form can be mixed with appropriate plasticizers into powders for molding solid objects, and it can also be cast as a film.

Cellulose acetate was developed in the late 19th century as part of an effort to design industrially produced fibres based on cellulose. Treatment of cellulose with nitric acid had produced cellulose nitrate (also known as nitrocellulose), but the difficulties of working with this highly flammable compound encouraged research in other areas. In 1865 Paul Schützenberger and Laurent Naudin of the Collège de France in Paris discovered the acetylation of cellulose by acetic anhydride, and in 1894 Charles F. Cross and Edward J. Bevan, working in England, patented a process for preparing chloroform-soluble cellulose triacetate. An important commercial contribution was made by British chemist George Miles in 1903–05 with the discovery that, when the fully acetylated cellulose was subjected to hydrolysis, it transformed into a less highly acetylated compound (cellulose diacetate) that was soluble in cheap organic solvents such as acetone.

from A to Z of Materials

Cellulose acetate was first prepared by Paul Schützenberger in 1865. It took another 29 years before Charles Cross and Edward Bevan patented a process for its manufacture.
At about the same time, Little in the US and Bronnert in Germany simultaneously produced cellulose acetate filaments, which were in actual fact cellulose triacetate, which differs in that it is does not easily dissolve on common solvents.
In 1904 George Miles found that partially hydrolyse cellulose acetate would dissolve in acetone. Brothers Henri and Camille Dreyfus exploited this fact to make cellulose acetate films and lacquers in 1910. During World War 1, the technology was used for waterproofing and stiffening the fabrics covering aeroplane wings.
In 1919, they introduced the first cellulose based yarn to the market, called Celanese.
Commercially, cellulose acetate is made from processed wood pulp. The pulp is processed using acetic anhydride to form acetate flake from which products are made.
Coming from wood pulp, means that unlike most man-made fibres, it comes from a renewable resource and is biodegradable.
Another technique for producing cellulose acetate involved treating cotton with acetic acid, using sulfuric acid as a catalyst.

Key Properties
Typical properties of cellulose acetate polymers include:

•         Good toughness

•         Deep gloss

•         High transparency

•         A feel that can be described as ‘natural’

Textiles and Fibres

Cellulose acetate fibres are used for textiles and clothing by many of the top designers in the world. Factors making this material suitable for this application include the fact that it is comfortable, breathable and absorbent. They can also be dyed in many different colours and combined with a range of other fibres such as rayon, cotton, wool, silk etc.
Spectacle Frames
Early frames for spectacles were cut from sheets of cellulose acetate. While use of cellulose acetate has largely been superseded by injection moulding with more modern thermoplastics, some up-market spectacles are still made in this way. This is most often the case when colour blends/effect cannot be produced by injection moulding. A popular example is the imitation tortoise shell effect.
Handles for tools have often been made with cellulose acetate. This materials has been used for this application due to its natural feel and toughness.
Film Media
Cellulose triacetate has been the material of favour for photographic film since about 1940. A product called “safety film” exists that has been popular due to its resistance to combustion.
Other Applications
Other applications of cellulose acetate include:

•         Wound dressings

•         Personal hygiene products

•         Absorbent cloths and wipes

•         Specialty papers

•         Filter media, including cigarette filters. Such materials are often referred to as “tow”.

from History of Plastics:


Cellulose acetate was first prepared in 1865 by Schützenberger, and a manufacturing process developed by Cross and Bevan in 1894. An acetone-soluble polymer was developed by Miles in 1904, employed for ‘safety film’ in 1909, and extensively used for aircraft dope during the First World War. The dope factories were later converted for the spinning of fibres – Celanese.

Cellulose acetate was produced commercially as sheet and rod material in about 1927 and as moulding powder in about 1930. It is a tough thermoplastic available in a full colour range, including transparent. It has a good gloss and was widely used for toys until ABS plastics were developed. Attractive and with a ‘natural feel’ it is still used for tool handles and spectacle frames.

In more detail

Although cellulose acetate was first prepared in 1865 by the French chemist Paul Schützenberger, it was not until 1894 that the first industrial process for its manufacture was patented in the UK by Charles Cross and Edward Bevan. At about the same time, Little in the US made cellulose acetate filaments experimentally, as did Bronnert in Germany. However, this material was essentially cellulose triacetate, a rather intractable polymer, not readily soluble in commonly available solvents. In 1904 George Miles, an American chemist, discovered that if the polymer was partially hydrolysed, it became soluble in acetone.

The Swiss brothers Henri and Camille Dreyfus used this procedure for lacquer and film production at Basle in 1910, and at the outbreak of World War I set up a factory in Spondon, Derbyshire, England to make acetate ‘dope’ for waterproofing and stiffening fabric covered aeroplane wings. They set up a similar plant at Cumberland, Md., for the US army in 1917.

After the war they concentrated their efforts in England, and in 1919 introduced the first acetate yarn Celanese. In 1924, they switched entirely to the US where acetone and acetic anhydride were cheaply available. In the same year, rayon became adopted as a generic term for all ‘artificial silk’.

Cellulose acetate (CA) in combination with plasticizers, such as diethyl and dimethyl phthalate, produces a plastics material which can be heat softened and forced under pressure into a cool mould. This injection moulding process was developed by Dr Arthur Eichengrün of Celonwerke to exploit the moulding properties of the plasticized CA moulding materials he had produced. His first injection moulding machine had a maximum shot weight of about 8 gm provided by a hand-operated plunger mechanism, a far cry from today’s machines, some of which have a maximum moulding size in excess of 100 kg.

CA plastics are tough with deep gloss and high transparency. They possess a ‘feel’ which is different to other plastics and which is often described as more ‘natural’. This may explain why CA has retained its popularity for making items which are handled frequently such as spectacle frames and tool handles, many transparent tool handles are still made from cellulose acetate and its sister material cellulose butyrate. Other items made from CA included combs, fashion accessories, pen barrels and toys, but these are now more likely to be moulded from more modern thermoplastics.

Early spectacle frames were cut from sheet material, mostly in imitation tortoiseshell which was often referred to as ‘optical shell’. Reinforcing nickel wires for the side arms were forced into heat-softened strips of CA sheet. Nowadays, frames are generally moulded into shape – a more economic process. However, certain high-class frames are still made using the old process, especially to achieve special colour effects not possible using injection moulding.

Despite being much less flammable than cellulose nitrate, acetate film did not become established for photographic use until after World War II because of the technical excellence of celluloid and the vested interests of film manufacturers. There was, however, a demand for transparent sheet material in laminated safety glass, especially car windscreens before toughened glass became available for this purpose.

Ironically, cellulose triacetate which was unsuccessful initially, returned to favour when a suitable, relatively non-toxic solvent (dichloromethane ) became available in the 1940s. Since then photographic film has been almost entirely based on cellulose triacetate and Tricel cellulose triacetate fibres were introduced in 1954.

Few plastics can boast such a long pedigree as cellulose acetate and, being made entirely from renewable resources, CA may yet have a long way to run.

Bristles: nylon 4 and nylon 6


I am not liking nylon for bristles. nylon scratches enamel on teeth. does nylon 4 and nylon 6 scratch teeth?  Other nylton bristles do.  If I am going to use a toothbrush, I prefer humanely harvested pig bristle, as it does not wear away the enamel. And importantly, NYLON IS MADE FROM PETROLEUM.

Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a bristle from a used toothbrush. It is covered in dental plaque. used toothbrush microscopePlaque consists of a film of bacteria embedded in a glycoprotein matrix. The matrix is formed from bacterial secretions and saliva. Plaque is the main cause of tooth decay. The bacteria feed on sugars in food, producing acid as a waste product. This acid corrodes the teeth’s enamel coating, resulting in dental caries. A build-up of dental plaque can also lead to inflamed and infected gums. Severe gum disease can lead to teeth falling out.

from Red Ice investigations and research:

Wallace Hume Carothers was an American chemist, inventor and the leader of organic chemistry at DuPont, credited with the invention of nylon. In 1938, DuPont manufactured the first nylon bristle toothbrushes. As of the turn of the Twenty-First Century, nylon had come to be widely used for the bristles. The handles were usually molded from thermoplastic materials.

Nylon is a toxic plastic made from petroleum. What nature provided for humans to clean their teeth with for thousands of years before nylon bristles worked just fine. In fact, many people find their gums bleed brushing with nylon bristles. If you have a cavity or sensitive gums, the last thing you should be doing is scrubbing nylon bristles against your teeth and gums.

 Some eco toothbrushes with nylon bristles:

Nylon 4:   Environmental Toothbrush Aust.       Total Clean Eco Toothbrush    Hemp Embassy Melting Pot

Nylon 6:   Brush With Bamboo 62% Castor Bean Oil, 38% nylon

Nylon:   Preserve     Environmental Toothbrush Aust          Bogobrush

Nylon 4 Bristles:

In activated sludge (sewage) or compost, nylon 4 breaks down in about 3-4 months.

ok, they are biodegradable, what does that mean?

Do they degrade into the soil without harming the soil etc within in reasonably short amount of time.

This article talks about biodegradability of plastics


Is Nylon 4 biodegradable?:

Nylon 4 is a synthetic polymer, that has been shown to be vulnerable to bacterial activity specifically Pseudomonas strain ND-11. In activated sludge (sewage) or compost, nylon 4 breaks down in about 3-4 months.

Below are some links to research and articles, relating to the ability of nylon 4 to biodegrade:




International Journal of Molecular Sciences, which states that Nylon 4 — the material from which the bristles happen to be made — is also biodegradable in soil:

9.2. Nylon 4
It has been reported that nylon 4 was degraded in the soil [88] and in the activated sludge [89]. The results confirmed that Nylon 4 is readily degradable in the environment. Furthermore, the biodegradability of nylon 4 and nylon 6 blends was investigated in compost and activated sludge. The nylon 4 in the blend was completely degraded in 4 months while nylon 6 was not degraded [90]. Recently, Yamano et al. was able to isolate polyamide 4 degrading microorganisms (ND-10 and ND-11) from activated sludge. The strains were identified as Pseudomonas sp. The supernatant from the culture broth of strain ND-11 degraded completely the emulsified nylon 4 in 24 h and produced γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) as degradation product [91].

– See more at: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2011/05/eco-friendly-toothbrush-review-and-giveaway/#sthash.egIHXxqb.dpuf

and from International Journal of Molecular Sciences, on Nylon 4 and Nyton 6:

9. Polyamide (Nylon)

9.1. Nylon 6

Polyamide (nylon) has excellent mechanical and thermal properties, good chemical resistance and low permeability to gases, but it is known to be resistant to degradation in the natural environment. The poor biodegradability of nylon in comparison with aliphatic polyesters is probably due to its strong interchain interactions caused by the hydrogen bonds between molecular chains of nylon. Some microorganisms such as Flavobacterium sp. [85] and Pseudomonas sp. (NK87) [86] have been reported to degrade oligomers of nylon 6, but they cannot degrade nylon 6 polymers. Moreover, some white rot fungal strains were reported to degrade nylon 66 through oxidation processes [87].

9.2. Nylon 4

It has been reported that nylon 4 was degraded in the soil [88] and in the activated sludge [89]. The results confirmed that Nylon 4 is readily degradable in the environment. Furthermore, the biodegradability of nylon 4 and nylon 6 blends was investigated in compost and activated sludge. The nylon 4 in the blend was completely degraded in 4 months while nylon 6 was not degraded [90]. Recently, Yamano et al. was able to isolate polyamide 4 degrading microorganisms (ND-10 and ND-11) from activated sludge. The strains were identified as Pseudomonas sp. The supernatant from the culture broth of strain ND-11 degraded completely the emulsified nylon 4 in 24 h and produced γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) as degradation product [91].

Generally speaking, degradation of polyamides is still unclear. Thus further investigations on the pathways of degradation are necessary.


Brush With Bamboo

aboutbrush2FROM THE WEBISTE:

Brush with Bamboo is the world’s first plant-based toothbrush.

Every component of our product is plant-based: bristles, handle, wrapper, and box.

Brush with Bamboo is a USDA Certified Biobased Product by United States Government’s Biopreferred Program. A purchase of our toothbrush is a vote for biobased products that are not fossil fuel-based!

Our product is BPA-Free, Vegan, and Verified Non-toxic.

Plant-based bristles

This special SOFT bristle is composed of 62% Castor Bean Oil, 38% plastic. (EDITORS ITALICS) This is the latest and most advanced biobased bristle in the world today. It’s biobased, but still not biodegradable. You may have seen Dasani brand plastic water bottles made form 30% plants – our bristle is a similar concept. Prior to the invention of nylon in the 1930s, pig hair was used for toothbrush bristles worldwide. Today, pig hair remains the only biodegradable option – and it is a very controversial material. We hope you’ll support our brand as we “vote” with our supply chain. We’re pushing bristle manufacturers to develop better alternatives to nylon. This new bristle that we are now using is the best available option. t’s not perfect, but it’s a step in the right direction. Our bristles can be recycled – please read further details in the Proper Disposal Section of this website.


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