Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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make balls and improve hygiene with them
  [vote for,

There was a short time when little plastic balls were part of many soaps, shampoos, and other like products. They are useful for exfoliation and add a certain luxurious charm. Unfortunately they're no good for the environment. The idea is to bring back something like them.

Amorphous calcium phosphate is just the thing. It's reasonably stable, environmentally friendly, and not too expensive. Form it into little balls and put it into soap, skin care products, and toothpaste.

Voice, Nov 10 2020


       // calcium phosphate //   

       Hydroxyapatite ? Bone mineral ?   

       Sounds like a good idea. What are the other by-products of the process ? Glycerine ? Soap ? Lampshades, spectacles, shoes, suitcases ... gold teeth ?   

       Will Sir be placing a fresh order for Zyklon-B ... ?
8th of 7, Nov 10 2020

       You have some nerve saying that. The last batch was contaminated with so much iron my entire stock turned blue. There are only so many blue scaled shoes you can sell. I want a refund.
Voice, Nov 10 2020

       Don't worry, we're changing to environmentally-friendly waxed cardboard packaging instead of the original tin cans, so no problems there; you can even burn the empty packets for fuel. Completely "green" !   

       No refunds. Didn't you read the small print in the contract ... ?
8th of 7, Nov 10 2020

       Heh heh. Balls.
doctorremulac3, Nov 10 2020

       The Universe is just full of these little disappointments, isn't it ?   

       Well, can hydroxyapatite be suitably ground to produce a useful abrasive similar to the amorphous form ? It would be another step in the process, but hopefully not an expensive one.
8th of 7, Nov 10 2020

       We're NOT pouting, just suffering a bit from dry lips in this weather ... NOT pouting ...   

       <Turns aside and looks for something to surreptitiously kick/>
8th of 7, Nov 10 2020

       I suggest a naturally renewable resource, little curled up woodbugs/woodlice/roly-polys or whatever you call them in your country. You can breed them and allow them to reach the end of their natural lifespan when they'll considerately roll themselves up into the appropriate shape.
AusCan531, Nov 11 2020

       [+] but... sand ?
FlyingToaster, Nov 11 2020

       Sand grains are too big, but silica dust would work. Don't worry about silicosis ...   

       // whatever you call them in your country //   

       What they call just about everything that swims, crawls, or grows in Australia is "venomous" ...   

       There are birds that clean crocodile teeth and gums for them; the crocodiles obligingly gape their jaws, and do not eat the birds. Presumably birds could be trained to clean human teeth, though it would need a species with strong neck muscles and a sturdy beak so that they could grasp the brush firmly ...   

       Parrots ?
8th of 7, Nov 11 2020

       Woodpeckers. They could also de-plaque, drill-and-fill (and bill), and remove any grubs.
spidermother, Nov 11 2020

       Woodpeckers, yes. Or Toucans ... or Hornbills.
8th of 7, Nov 11 2020

       Maggots, mebbe. And, when they're done, swallow them whole. Mmmmm, maggots.
FlyingToaster, Nov 11 2020

       Depending on the pH, some of the calcium will ionize and then immediately re-precipitate with the soap anion to form a lot of soap scum and no soluble soap to do the cleaning.   

       There's plenty of exfoliating particles that are used that aren't plastic, I've seen charcoal walnut shell fragments and peach pit fragments, they all work just fine.
bs0u0155, Nov 11 2020

       It would be nicely symmetric if some component of cocoa pods could be processed into such an abrasive, thus after ruining your health by ingesting unreasonably massive amounts of fat and sugar ("Hear that tiny, sad little crinkling noise ? That was your pancreas, that was ...") you could at least clean the residue off your teeth ...
8th of 7, Nov 11 2020

       I never heard of a soap anion. How does that interact with a water anion?
Voice, Nov 11 2020

       //AMORPHOUS calcium phosphate. Which may be industrially produced, or exist (perhaps only briefly) in teeth and bones on its way to becoming hydroxyapatite.//   

       It exists in all sorts of interesting hydrated/granular forms inside mitochondria.   

       //I never heard of a soap anion. How does that interact with a water anion//   

       Water isn't an anion, well, a bit of an anion if you squint and look from a specific direction. Soap is pretty simple stuff, you start with your triglyceride of choice, add in sodium/potassium hydroxide and some water and the triglyceride is broken up, leaving you with 1 glycerol and 3 fatty acid chains, palmitic acid say, which at high pH take on a negative charge, becoming palmitate, and float around associated with the positive sodium/potassium ion.   

       Now, if there's a lot of calcium around, like in hard water, then you will have a lot of calcium in it's divalent cation state (Ca2+, something I spend an extraordinary amount of time on) where it will very likely run into two of your palmitate anions and form a stable precipitate, Calcium palmitate, which is soap scum and.....   

       //That was your pancreas, that was//   

       ...a major component of gall stones which are a very good way of making your pancreas self-destruct.
bs0u0155, Nov 11 2020


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