You really don’t need much — just enough for the tips of all your toothpicks to be in the liquid. You may think you need to cover the whole toothpick, but it acts as a straw, sucking the liquid up into itself over the course of a day or two. Seal your jars – as it really locks in and concentrates all those vapors.
The dish that I didn’t cover (see below) made my whole office smell strongly of oranges. While not unpleasant, it was quite potent after a few hours. Remember, these are concentrated oils (with the exception of the whiskey, of course), so they’re strong. I had seen elsewhere that you could just use a shallow, uncovered dish for “marinating” your toothpicks with full coverage versus just the tips. While it provides a fine end product, it’s far messier (you are dealing with oil, remember) and uses much more of a fairly expensive product to begin with. With the dish, I had to use almost half the bottle in order to completely cover the toothpicks, versus just a quarter of the bottle when soaking the tips in small jars.
I used three layers of paper towels, and a rag underneath it all, just in case. On the right are the toothpicks from the dish – you can see it had a lot more oil, and it soaked through to the rag. On the left are the Jameson toothpicks, and in the middle are the cinnamon ones. Be sure to keep the oil, as you can use it again and again as long as it lasts (eventually it will all be soaked up by the toothpicks). I used an old Mentos Gum case and mixed up the flavors (except for the cinnamon — that sucker burned the second it touched my lips!) so that I’d have a nice little surprise flavor every time. The Jameson was actually the weakest flavor of the bunch. For any non-concentrated liquid, I think you’ll have to let it soak for a while longer. I was closer to 24 hours than 48, so maybe that extra day would have made a difference. As I already noted, the cinnamon flavor actually burned quite a bit, almost the instant it hit my lips. I even let them dry longer to get more of the oil off, but it was no different, and I ended up discarding them. The peppermint was definitely my favorite, and the orange was good too, albeit a little more subtle. Go crazy with flavors — you can get tea tree, clove, apple, etc. At the end of a hearty meal, what more could you ask for than a no-calorie, delicious treat that also doubles as a crud-picker? (I am not ashamed of my lack of finesse with words, when it comes to oral hygiene. How else are you going to show off your shiny white choppers?) Homemade flavored toothpicks are ridiculously easy to make, and not only will you want to keep a bunch around for yourself, but they also make adorable little gift additions. Or you could carry a few batches in your purse to hand to people with offensive breath. You just say, “You HAVE to see these adorable flavored toothpicks I made? Aren’t they awesome?” And who wouldn’t want something that looked like this? This is, for some odd reason, an incredibly photo intense tutorial. Do not let the over-abundance of pictures fool you: Making homemade flavored toothpicks is so easy, even a caveman could do it. That joke is funny again?) Anyway, it goes like this: Soak toothpicks in oil. The first thing you’ll want to do is choose an essential oil. And it is VERY important that you choose an essential oil that is GRAS (or, in long form, “generally recognized as safe”) to ingest (and that just means in VERY, VERY small quantities – don’t drink your essential oils). Here’s a quick list of some GRAS essential oils that you could use: Peppermint Cinnamon Tea tree Anise Fennel Clove Nutmeg Orange (or sweet orange) Lemon, lime, or grapefruit Vanilla (but this would be HORRIBLY expensive, so only do this if you’re Melinda Gates) NOTE: One, in particular, that you might be tempted to use that you absolutely, 100% should AVOID is wintergreen – never put wintergreen essential oil in, on, or near your mouth. I used a bottle of anise essential oil (which tastes like black jellybeans, which I know so many people hate, but I love them, so there). I’ve had this oil for a year and a half, and it never seems “right” for anything I make for my body. And you will, most likely, need at least an ounce of essential oil for this, in order to cover the entire layer of toothpicks that you’re flavoring.
Mix a couple of essential oils together to achieve something like … say … CINMAMINT?
In other words, this: Toothpicks Your favorite oil A jar with a lid. (Later, you will need paper towels and tongs or tweezers, as well as something to keep the toothpicks in.) By the way, please make sure your jar is very clean (you can sanitize it in boiling water or with a squirt of hydrogen peroxide, to make things even cleaner). Really, all you have to do at this point is drop a handful of toothpicks into your jar and shake them around until they form a single-ish layer over the bottom of the jar.