How to Break up Concrete

You may need to break up a segment of concrete to reach an underground utility in need of repair, or perhaps you’re ready to turn a paved area into a greenspace. These steps will teach you how to complete this task and to dispose of the waste afterward.

Removing the Whole Slab
Call the utility company. Always call the local utility company to make sure there are underground utilities beneath the concrete. Hire a professional if there are; digging above a utility line like gas or electric is very dangerous.

Use safety equipment. Concrete removal creates dangerous dust and sharp fragments, so protect yourself and anyone working with you using safety goggles, dust masks or respirators, steel toe or other heavy boots, thick gloves, and thick clothing that covers your arms and legs.[1] If you’re going to be using power tools, especially a jackhammer, use ear protection.

Cover the slab with plastic sheets to contain dust and debris if practical. This will cause a possible slipping and tripping hazard, and will make it difficult to see your work, but in some situations it could be worthwhile. If you don’t use plastic sheeting, protect any nearby windows and breakable objects with plywood sheets to protect against concrete fragments.

Obtain a large pry bar. Whether you’re using a sledgehammer or jackhammer, you may need to pry apart the pieces of concrete as you break them apart.[2] This job will be much quicker if you have one person breaking apart the concrete and one person to follow them prying the pieces apart.

Consider a sledgehammer for thin slabs. If your concrete is 4″ (10cm) thick or less, try using a sledgehammer.
Start at a corner or edge where possible, the lateral strength of concrete increases with wider cross sections. You may find that undermining, or removing soil from underneath a small area of the slab will make it break away more easily.

Use the pry bar to pull apart the chunks of concrete after you break them apart.

If after ten minutes you’ve failed to make significant cracks or you are exhausted, you may want to try a demolition hammer instead.

Use an electric demolition. An 60 pound breaker should be sufficient for most home jobs. Only rent a heavy duty pneumatic jackhammer for extremely difficult concrete.
Only use a chisel point bit to break up concrete. This concentrates force for the best results.

Let the weight of the machine do the job; it’s not necessary to add force by pushing down. Forcing the bit will cause damage to the machine and possibly wedge the bit.

If the concrete doesn’t crack immediately, stop hammering and move over a few inches. More hammering could get the drill bit stuck and you would have to waste a lot of time pulling it out again.

Break pieces 2–3 inches (5–8cm) away from each other to minimize chances of a stuck drill bit.

Use the pry bar to pull apart chunks of concrete after you crack them apart.

Deal with any mesh or reinforcing bars you encounter. You may encounter supports inside the concrete after you start cutting. Deal with them as you go to separate the chunks of concrete:
If the concrete is held together by wire mesh, you’ll need bolt cutters to snip it apart. Large welded wire fabric will require bolt cutters, but number 10 wire can be cut with side cutting pliers.

Metal reinforcing bars will take much longer to cut apart. Use a reciprocating saw or an angle grinder with a cutoff blade.

Pull apart stuck chunks with a mattock. If chunks of concrete remain locked together, making it hard to break the surrounding area, clear the surrounding rubble and use a heavy mattock to pry them apart:[3]
Swing the pointed end into the crack between the two chunks and pry it apart.

Once the crack is wide enough, switch to the larger flat end and pry fully apart.

Pry up the opposite side of each chunk if they still won’t budge.

Removing a Small Portion
Determine where you need to break the concrete. If you are looking for a broken water or drain line, and you can locate the general area you suspect the problem to be in, you can save a lot of work and expense. Here are some things to look for:
For plumbing problems, try to determine the location and depth of the underground pipes. Look for an outdoor faucet or sewer cap.

For water problems, look for areas where water is either bubbling up through cracks in the concrete, or seeping out around the edges of the slab.

For electrical lines, you may find you have to locate the conduit outside the slab area and dig up a length of it to determine where the rest of it runs.

For other types of repairs, or for installing new utilities that require excavating a ditch through an area paved with concrete, you may have to research construction plans to determine where to begin.

Mark the location of the portion of the slab you intend to remove. You may wish to measure distances from the slab’s edge to make an even, parallel hole for less visible repairs. Use a pencil or chalk to mark off the location.

Shut off any relevant utilities. If you are digging toward a specific line or pipe, shut off the power or water before you begin. You don’t want to risk electrocution or other dangers.
Always call the utility company to find out the location of power lines and other dangerous items before beginning projects that involve digging.

Saw cut the line as deeply as possible. Rent a cutoff or demolition saw for use on concrete. Cut the line evenly to create a clean edge when your work is complete. If you are searching for a broken water pipe,you may have to enlarge the hole after the initial break is done.
Be very cautious while sawing. These saws are powerful and can cause a fatal injury. Always wear a respirator or face mask to protect against dust and follow the instructions carefully. For any application where it is possible, use a wet cut saw and keep enough flow of water to prevent air born dust and damage to the saw blade.

Chip the concrete near the cut. Use a heavy duty hammer drill or a breaking chisel attachment in a rotary hammer to chip the concrete next to the line you sawed.
Tilt the chisel so the side you will be removing cracks loose, not the side you’re keeping.

Gradually deepen the hole. Using the same tool, work the area around the cut, penetrating deeper each time until you’ve reached the bottom of the slab. This is the hardest part of the job, since the pieces you break off cannot come free until there is a space for them to drop into.
You may need to leave tightly wedged pieces of concrete until the adjacent concrete is broken and removed.

Chip inward to make the gap wider. Once a gap has been created between the concrete you’re removing and the concrete that’s staying, chip further with the same tool to widen it to at least 3 inches (8 cm), or enough to fully remove the broken pieces.
Keep your chisel point slanted toward the beginning hole while you work around, so it doesn’t try to penetrate straight down without breaking a section of concrete free. If it is allowed to go too deep, the bit will become lodged in its hole and will be difficult to remove.

If a bit is truly stuck, you may need to use a new drill bit to break the concrete around it and free it.

Break larger pieces using a sledgehammer or electric jackhammer. Once there is a wide enough gap to avoid damaging the concrete you wish to keep, you can use the methods detailed for removing a whole slab.
Use a pry bar as you go for the quickest and most effective results.

Do not use a jackhammer or similar power tool if you are near a water pipe, electrical line, or similar item.

Remove the broken chunks and bits of concrete from the hole as it becomes larger, so subsequent pieces have plenty of room to drop in without becoming wedged. This will also make it easier to spot pipes and electrical wires.

Use bolt cutters to snip reinforcing mesh and an angle grinder to cut through rebar.

Clean up the walls of the hole. Once all the concrete is removed, chip the vertical walls of the hole to make them smooth and even. This will ensure a stronger repair (or a more attractive edge if you don’t plan on replacing the concrete).

Search for the damaged pipe (if applicable). If you’re trying to find a damage utility such as a water pipe, look for signs as you go to help you locate the pipe (such as water puddles or stains). Once you find the pipe, you may need to continue breaking concrete along its length to find the damaged section.
Avoid hitting cast iron or PVC pipes with the breaking hammer, as these are brittle and can easily sustain further damage.

Disposing of Broken Concrete
Use the rubble as fill. If you have a large hole in your yard, such as following a repair, use some of the rubble to fill it back again. Cover any pipes or other objects with soil first to avoid damaging them.

Use a heavy duty wheelbarrow. Move the rubble to a larger disposal container using only a very heavy duty wheelbarrow. Concrete is very heavy and will break light wheelbarrows.
Do not overload the wheelbarrow. Taking more trips with smaller loads is much more sustainable.

Consider renting a power wheelbarrow.[4]

Rent a dumpster from a disposal company. If you want to get rid of a large amount of concrete, this is your best bet. Many disposal companies have a reduced rate for disposing of clean broken concrete that can be recycled or used for rip rap.
Ask in advance how full you can load it, or you’ll be forced to take the excess out or pay them to do so.[5]

Drive it to the landfill. Be careful — your truck will not carry as much concrete as you think. Use a powerful pickup truck and do not fill the entire bed.
You can also use a utility trailer for your truck, but be especially cautious loading in that case. A too-heavy trailer will smash into your truck or spill when you attempt to stop.

In some locations, only landfills that accept “C&D” (Construction and Demolition) materials will accept concrete, and the fees may be pricey.

Building supply companies may take your old concrete for free if you call them in advance and agree to deliver it yourself.

Build a wall out of the broken pieces. Or reuse it to raise a flower bed, create a footpath, or even create urban grunge decoration.

Look for specialized concrete breaking tools and accessories at tool and equipment rental outlets if you will only need them for a single job, as these machines are very expensive.

For an area larger than 15-20 square feet, renting a jackhammer or contracting the job out to a qualified demolition person may be easier.

Use smaller tools for close work, near pipes and other fragile components of the structure.

Use the largest hammer drill or rotary hammer practical for your job. These are expensive tools, so if you only need them for one job, renting is more economical than purchasing them.

Avoid damaging reinforcing bars and mats if possible, so the patch will have similar strength to the adjacent concrete.

Wear heavy boots, gloves, and safety glasses while performing this work. For demolition hammers, breakers, or jack hammers, hearing protection is required.

Be careful when breaking concrete that may contain live electrical wiring or compressed gas lines. A call to your local utilities can save your life and a lot of money. Look in the yellow pages.

Rotary hammers have a lot of torque. Be sure to use any auxiliary handles that it is equipped with.

Read all manufacturer information on tools and follow safety rules. Do not use a piece of equipment until you fully understand how to operate it safely.

Wear a dust mask or respirator when dry cutting concrete and, if possible, use a wet cut system. Concrete contains silica and can harm your respiratory system. Older concrete can also contain asbestos; test before you start working if there is any doubt as to its makeup.

Broken concrete can have very sharp edges. Wear gloves.

Things You’ll Need
Safety goggles

Dust mask or respirator

Heavy duty gloves, boots, and clothing

Earplugs or ear muffs (if working with power tools)

Polyethylene sheets (optional)

Sledgehammer, electric jackhammer, or pneumatic jackhammer

Large pry bar

Bolt cutters (if there is wire mesh)

Reciprocating saw or angle grinder (if there are reinforcing bars)

Additionally, to remove one section:

Cutoff saw or demolition saw

Rotary hammer, hammer drill

Related wikiHows
How to Build a Concrete Driveway

How to Order Ready Mix Concrete

How to Repair a Concrete Floor

How to Safely Dismantle a Concrete Garage

Sources and Citations
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How to Stop Breakage and Damage to African Hair

Due to its molecular structure and small quantity of protective oils, African hair is the weakest kind of hair.[1] Give it some tender loving care to keep it healthy and strong. Don’t hesitate to throw out any product, styling treatment, or hair style that might be causing damage, no matter what the label says.

Washing, Drying, and Detangling
Search for products safe for your hair. You may need to try several varieties of shampoo or conditioner before your hair health improves. Products made for African hair are a good place to start, but your search doesn’t end there: Avoid products with sulfates, alcohol, or glycol, which strip oils or dry out hair.

Look for moisturizing shampoo or conditioner, or “leave in” options that don’t need to be washed out.

It can take several weeks to notice major changes. Give a product time to work before you give up on it, unless you notice drastic negative effects.

Figure out how often to wash your hair. Washing is required to remove dirt and old oil, but too much can leave your hair fragile. People with fragile, African hair may want to wash only once every one or two weeks. If your hair is relatively healthy and you’ve found products that don’t damage your hair, you can consider increasing this to twice a week.

Moisturize your hair before washing or styling. Rub coconut oil, jojoba oil, or another natural oil treatment into your hair, to restore and retain moisture. Leave the oil in for thirty minutes, then wash your hair as usual. This is especially important if you’re using a shampoo that leaves your hair dry. Follow the same treatment before exposing your hair to chemical relaxers, heat appliances such as blow dryers and flat irons, or other stressful styling treatments.
For easy application, fill a spray bottle with conditioner, natural oil, and water. Shake well and spray onto your hair before shampooing, or daily if your hair is extremely dry.

Alternatively, apply a leave-in deep conditioner in the evening. Leave in overnight and wash or style your hair the next morning. Conditioner is essentially a cream that smooths the cuticle, softens hair, add sheen, and restores moisture.

Take special care of your ends. The ends of your hair have gone through more tugging and tangling than the rest of your hair. Give them some tender, loving care with an extra application of oil. Shea butter is especially effective at sealing in moisture.

Apply shampoo carefully. Rub shampoo on the scalp only, lathering very gently. This will unclog your pores, and clean your hair with a minimal amount of lather dripping down your hair. Rubbing shampoo directly on the ends can make them brittle.
For an even gentler treatment, dilute one part shampoo with two or three parts water.

Consider replacing shampoo with conditioner. If your hair is still damaged after a few weeks, skip shampoo entirely and wash your hair with a cleansing conditioner instead. This will clean your hair without stripping it of moisture and protective oils.
Some people can wash as frequently as every other day with this treatment. Reduce frequency if you notice dry hair.

Some people prefer using a homemade conditioner for this purpose. You can use eggs, mayonnaise, yogurt, honey, olive oil, vinegar, or avocado. Rinse thoroughly after applying to remove any odor.

Dry gently. After washing your hair, never rub it with a towel. Just gently squeeze sections of your with the towel, almost as if you were scrunching. There should be no pulling or yanking.
Replace the towel with a cotton T-shirt instead of extra-gentle drying.

Detangle hair carefully. Lubricate the strands of your hair with oil before you begin detangling. With a wide-toothed comb, start detangling at the tip of the hair strand, working your way slowly to the root. Do not yank your hair. Slowly work out tangles and knots, or you will end up ripping your hair out.
After a certain thickness or length, it may help to section your hair and detangle each section separately.

Do not over-brush. Detangle slowly and only when necessary.

If detangling is painful, brush the outside of your hair with a wide brush first. Comb the lower layers of hair with a fine-toothed comb, if possible without tearing your hair.

Styling Safely
Minimize chemical treatments. Any chemical treatment that changes the color or structure of your hair weakens it and leads to breakage. Box dyes are especially damaging to African hair. Visit a salon instead for dyes that are less harmful, but still not completely safe.

Minimize heat exposure. Heat can dry out your hair, sometimes irreparably damaging individual strands. When you do use heat treatments, take the following precautions:
Apply heat protectant before you begin. Spray on, brush to distribute through the hair, and wait for it to dry.

When blow drying, pull the hair downward with a vented, round brush. Direct the heat downward to flatten the cuticle, instead of lifting and frizzing it.

Set your blow dry to blow cool air for a safer, but longer, drying process.

When visiting the salon, ask your stylist for low-heat options.

Minimize any styling that tugs at your hair. Limit the use of glued-in extensions, tight braids, tight cornrows, and hard, gel hairstyles. These place excessive amounts of stress on the hair. Loose braids and cornrows are fine.
Wear styles that keep your hair out of your face, so you’re not constantly moving it, tucking it behind your ears, or arranging it with pins. The less you have to handle your hair, the longer it will stay healthy.

Choose a protective style. Choose a style that keeps your hair ends tucked away where they won’t get damaged. You can do this with cornrows, braids, two-strand twists, bantu knots, or finger coils. Loose, larger braids and knots are less likely to break.
Remember, keep the style loose to minimize tension on your hair.

Even if you don’t like this as a permanent style, use it overnight to protect your hair in your sleep.

You may even be able to mist or wash with conditioner without removing the style.

Use relaxer sparingly. Relaxing and straightening treatments tend to contain harsh chemicals. Use them only when your hair is healthy, and stop if you notice damage. Here’s a rough guide to determine how often you can get away with relaxing:
For coarse hair — relax every 2-3 months.

For fine hair — relax every 3-5 months.

For super fine/soft hair —relax hair every 6 months

Ask for a keratin treatment at the salon. Keratin is the natural protein found in hair. In this treatment, the protein will penetrate the hair under the cuticle to make it strong and smooth.
Home-use products that contain keratin are more budget friendly, but may not be as effective.

General Care
Drink plenty of water. Stay hydrated to keep your hair supple and strong. Drink water or drinks without alcohol or caffeine whenever you feel thirsty.

Eat plenty of vitamins and protein. A healthy diet ensures that you hair has all the nutrients you need. Getting your daily supply of vitamins, minerals, and protein is especially important for healthy hair growth. Talk to your doctor before you consider supplements. Vitamin supplements or biotin may help in some cases, but they can have serious side effects. A doctor can check whether you’re deficient in these substances, and prescribe a safe, effective dosage.

Wrap your hair in a cloth or scarf at night. This will keep your hair smooth and reduce damage and tangling.
You can add a few drops of olive oil to the hair at night for extra conditioning. This makes your hair more manageable, shiny, and easy to comb.

Protect your hair from heavy clothing. Your clothes could be causing your hair to shed and break. In the winter, that cute wool cap and coat are rubbing against the ends of your hair, splitting and damaging them. Line your cap with a satin bonnet and tuck in the ends to protect them.

Sleep on a satin pillowcase. Cotton pillowcases can absorb moisture and dry the hair, or cause damage when you rub against it. Wrap a satin scarf around your pillow if you don’t have a satin pillowcase.

Make sure to buy hair care products that pertain towards your hair type, such as oily, dry, frizzy, permed, relaxed, etc.

The option to relax your hair is yours to make. Keep in mind that hair au naturel is much more painful to braid.

Install a water softener to your shower or bath if your water is hard.

Trim off ends about every three months, or whenever they look damaged.

Some silicones (ingredients ending in “-cone”) can cause damage, but others are fairly harmless. If the product doesn’t also contain sulfates, you’re probably safe.[2]
Do not brush your hair when wet.

Related wikiHows
How to Moisturize African American Hair

How to Properly Maintain African Hair

How to Grow African American Hair

How to Nourish and Manage African American Hair

How to Control Afro Style Hair

How to Protect Your Hair in the Winter (African American Hair Types)

Sources and Citations
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How to Get a Tracking Number

The majority of shipping companies offer package tracking. When you purchase postage that includes tracking, you will get a unique number that you can use to track your package online, by text or by phone. You can request a tracking number from an online retailer if they are using any major shipping companies.

Getting a USPS Tracking Number
Mail your package with a type of postage that includes tracking. For USPS, the following postage types include a tracking number: Certified Mail, Collect on Delivery, Global Express Guaranteed, Priority Mail, Registered Mail, Signature Confirmation and UPS Tracking. If you are purchasing a product online, make sure that one of these postage types is included in your shipping information.
USPS First Class Mail, Media Mail or Parcel Post do not include tracking. In some cases, you can add USPS Tracking to the products at the time of your postage purchase.

Save your receipt. It will include the tracking number. Ask the postal clerk to highlight the tracking number on the slip.

Wait several hours to one day for the tracking number to be recorded.

Email the company you ordered from online if you do not receive a confirmation of shipment with a tracking number. If you have chosen Priority Mail or any of the other postage products above, they should have a tracking number to give you.

Go to and type in the tracking number on your email or receipt. Press the “Find” button to track your package.

Text your tracking number to “28777” to get a text update of your package status.[1]

Getting a FedEx Tracking Number
Purchase any FedEx postage to receive a tracking number. FedEx includes tracking numbers on Express, Ground, Home Delivery, Freight, office orders and Custom Critical shipments. This means that track almost all of their packages using this method.

Find the tracking number on your receipt or in an email confirmation. You can also track using reference numbers related to your package that can be obtained on the receipt, door tag or email confirmation.

Wait approximately one day for the tracking information to show up.

Go to to track the package by tracking number or by reference number.

Call 1.800.GoFedEx to track a package by phone or to get the tracking number using the reference information at your disposal. If you are able to provide essential reference information, the operator may be able to give you the tracking number.[2]

Getting a UPS Tracking Number
Purchase any shipment services by UPS and you will receive a tracking number. If you purchase an item online, choosing the UPS shipment option will ensure your package can be tracked by you and/or the sender.

Keep the receipt or confirmation email to get the tracking number. If you have purchased an item that is shipped via UPS, you will usually receive a shipment confirmation with a tracking email. In some cases, you may need to call or email the retailer to get the tracking number.

Consider creating a reference number for easy tracking if you are purchasing services from UPS. You can create a 35-character reference number that can be used for tracking.[3]

Go to one day after your package has shipped to track it.

Email with your tracking number to track the package by email.

Getting a DHL Tracking Number
Purchase any DHL shipping product. Note that DHL only offers international shipments in the US.

Save the waybill number. This is the copy of the original shipping slip that you used when shipping the product. If you have purchased a product, ask the company for the waybill number.

Enter your phone number when you purchase an item online that will use DHL services. Most DHL shipments text to this number when the item is one to two days from delivery. The retailer will add this number at the time of shipment.

Email the waybill number to to get tracking information on your shipment.

Send a text message to “+44 7720 33 44 55” with your waybill number to get SMS tracking updates. International text message rates will apply.[4]

Things You’ll Need
Postage receipt/waybill

Smart phone/computer

Related wikiHows
How to Track a Package

How to Trace a Money Order

How to Recover a Package Lost in the Mail

How to Track a USPS Package

Sources and Citations
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How to Redefine Yourself

If your life has gotten off track, you may need to redefine yourself before you can start moving forward in the right direction again. Figure out who you currently are and how that person differs from who you want to be, then work on transforming yourself into that improved version.

Part One: Defining Your Current Self
Determine what defines the current you. Look at your life objectively and ask yourself which aspects are currently being prioritized, regardless of whether you believe those aspects should be important.
These features can be internal (your work ethic, a desire to remain busy) or external (your job, your family, your pets).

Make sure that you identify your current priorities based on your actions and not based on your beliefs. For example, you might believe that your family should be your first priority, but you may consume yourself with work so much that, in reality, it takes priority over your family. In that case, your job is the real priority demonstrated by the current you, even though you may not want it to be.

Explore your relationship with yourself.[1] It can be easy to define yourself solely or primarily through external sources. After you’ve analyzed who you are overall, take some time to think about who you are when you’re by yourself.
Think about the things you value, including both principles and personality traits. You may value your time management skills or your faith in a particular religion. List all of the things you value, even if you don’t put these qualities into action as much as you would like to do.

Think about the things you love and enjoy, too. This can include other living beings—family, friends, pets—and things like hobbies or activities. You should list all of these things, too, even if you don’t spend as much time on them as you’d prefer.

Talk to yourself about yourself. When analyzing who you currently are, it might be helpful to talk to yourself about yourself using third person speech. Doing so can switch your mind into a more objective way of thinking, thereby allowing you to perceive yourself more accurately.
Third person speech includes pronouns like, “he,” “she,” and “they.” Your name is also included in third person speech.

This means that instead of saying, “Family time is very important to me,” you would say, “Family time is very important to (insert your name here).”

Part Two: Moving Away from the Old
Let go of the past.[2] Ask yourself which aspects of your life are being influenced by past hurts, insecurities, and regrets. Once you identify those issues, commit to letting them go so that they no longer control who you are. Be thorough as you examine your past. You might realize that you have lingering guilt about the end of a relationship or lingering pain from the way that relationship ended, and those feelings may prevent you from fully embracing current and future relationships. Similarly, your family may have struggled financially when you were growing up, and that insecurity might be making you more work-obsessed in your adult life than you need to be.

Learn from past mistakes. You shouldn’t let your past mistakes and traumas hold you back, but oftentimes, there are lessons you can take away from the past that can improve who you are in the present.
Learning from past mistakes can help you prevent repeating them.

For example, you can analyze a relationship that ended painfully to determine what went wrong and what you can do to prevent the same thing from happening in your next relationship. You can look at which decisions led you or your family to financial ruin in the past and develop a financial plan for the future that corrects these errors.

Break one bad habit.[3] Correcting bad habits and personality flaws is an important part of leaving the old you behind, but it is also one of the most intimidating aspects. Instead of changing yourself all at once, focus on breaking one bad habit at a time.
Doing too much at the same time can exhaust you. When a person becomes exhausted on the road to self-improvement, he or she is more likely to quit and turn back.

On the other hand, making small improvements little by little is easier to accomplish. When you complete one goal, it can also encourage you and make it easier to press forward with the rest.

Start small with tangible goals. Quit smoking or stop cyber-stalking your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend. As you get further along in the process, you can start to discuss problems that don’t exist in a physical form.

Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. As soon as a negative thought about yourself or your life pops into your mind, try replacing it with a positive one. Doing so trains your mind to focus on possibilities instead of difficulties.
For instance, a bad date might cause you to think something like, “I’ll never find someone. There must be something wrong with me.”

When a thought like that springs forward, shut it down by correcting yourself with, “This date went poorly, but that doesn’t mean the right person isn’t out there waiting for me. I won’t find that person unless I keep looking.” It may also be helpful to reaffirm your self-worth by listing a few of your most positive personality traits worth admiration.

Stop worrying about others’ opinions. So much of what a person does and doesn’t do is often controlled via social pressure, and this pressure might be part of the reason you find yourself in the position you’re currently in. If you really want to redefine yourself, you’ll need to become the person you want yourself to be, not the person someone else expects you to be. Social pressure may come from the people in your life. Everyone from your parents to your boss to your best friend may expect you to be someone you’re not in some form or another.

You also need to identify and step away from social pressure that comes from society itself. Society may hold certain expectations of you based on your race, gender, economic class, or religion, and these expectations can be just as restricting.

Part Three: Moving Ahead
Evaluate your priorities. This time, ask yourself which aspects of your life should be treated with the most care regardless of whether those aspects actually receive the care they deserve.
Commit to rearranging the way you act out your priorities so that it matches the way you view those priorities in your mind.

If the current you is a workaholic but you believe that family should be a bigger priority than financial success, commit to changing the way you organize your time. Come home from work on time instead of staying late. Schedule specific times to spend with your family and don’t break that commitment unless a real emergency comes up.

Ask yourself which qualities you’d like to develop. Decide who you want to be at your core and identify the personality traits that version of yourself possesses in excess. These personality traits can be ones you already have or ones you’ve never demonstrated.
For example, one of your ideal qualities might be an ability to manage your time wisely. You may have had good time management skills when you started your career, but the monotony of everyday life may have encouraged you to slack off. On the other had, you may have always struggled with wise time management. Either way, if it is one of your ideal qualities, list it as such and work on developing it.

Put hope into action by setting goals. Optimism and hope are important, but no one every changed just by wishing it would happen. Redefining yourself takes time and hard work.
Instead of wishing that you had more time to pursue your creative side, actually schedule time for it. Set a goal for the amount of time you want to dedicate each month to creative pursuits. Alternatively, set a goal for how much creative work you want to get done within a month regardless of the amount of time you spend on it.

Spend a little time each day pursuing your goals. Once you set a goal, you actually have to make time to pursue it. Start immediately and consistently pursue your goal a little each day.
For instance, you may plan to improve your health through exercise. Instead of telling yourself, “I’ll start tomorrow” or “I’ll start next week,” start today. Do a little exercise each day, even when you don’t feel like it, so that working toward your goal becomes an ingrained habit.

Part Four: Re-writing Your Self-Definition
Step out of your comfort zone.[4] A quick way to change yourself is to do something you ordinarily wouldn’t feel comfortable trying.
The step you take should move you closer to your ideal self, not further away from it.

If you’re somewhat reclusive but you want to be more sociable, consider joining a hobby group or social club. Make sure that you mix into a good crowd instead of a bad one, though.

If you want to become more adventurous, go skydiving or plan a brief trip to a foreign country. Being adventurous doesn’t mean being stupid, though, so you don’t need to do something reckless like drag racing or getting involved in a relationship with someone dangerous.

Pursue an old passion. Ask yourself if there are any dreams or passions you stopped making time for. If there are, start making time for those old interests again. You may rediscover a positive part of yourself that is worth keeping in the process.
If you once dreamed of becoming a chef, try taking cooking lessons, even if you no longer have any intention of switching careers now.

If you loved playing baseball when you were in high school, find an adult sports league you can join. You may make friends and rekindle some appreciation for dedication, fitness, and teamwork.

Make time for things you currently love. You may have a current interest in a certain hobby or activity that you don’t nurture much. Stop making excuses and start making plans to pursue this interest more actively. Take a class or join a club. Doing so can provide the activity with just enough structure to help you plan for it.

Meet new people and make new friends. The people in your life now are familiar with the current you and may or may not assist you as you redefine yourself into someone new. As you meet new people, tell them about the person you’re trying to become so that they can help you stay accountable to your ideal.
Make sure that the new people in your life have positive attitudes. It is much easier to pursue a new you when you’re surrounded by positivity instead of negativity.

This does not mean that you should remove your old friends and family from your life. Only step away from a relationship if it is toxic to your well-being. If the relationship is a healthy one, you should still maintain it, even if it won’t necessarily push you forward in your current goal.

Create visual reminders. Instead of merely thinking about who you want to become and what your goals are, write that information down. Write a list of the steps you’ll need to take to reach that point.
Keep this list in an easy-to-access place where you can view it each day. The constant visual reminder will make it harder to forget.

Take a moment to reconnect each morning. Before you begin your day, spend a few minutes to reflect on who you are and who you want to become. As soon as you are awake enough to think straight, ask yourself if you are the same person today as you were the day before. Reflect on which parts of your self-definition are transforming into something better and which aspects still need a little work.

Doing this in the morning can make you more mindful throughout the rest of the day.

Move along at a steady pace.[5] Don’t procrastinate, but don’t rush yourself. Doing a little to redefine yourself each day is often enough to help you from procrastinating. If you reach a point where you feel stuck, do something big to build up a little momentum again.

Understand that redefining yourself doesn’t happen overnight. Try not to change everything all at once since doing so can overwhelm you and make you want to quit.

Related wikiHows
How to Recreate Your Life

How to Reinvent Yourself

How to Develop and Build Intuition

How to Define Your Personal Values

Sources and Citations
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How to Dehydrate Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a nutritious form of carbohydrates. They are low in sodium, fat and cholesterol, but high in fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Potassium and Manganese.[1] For a healthy alternative to potato chips, you can dehydrate sweet potatoes into chips using your oven or a dehydrator.

Dehydrating Sweet Potatoes in a Dehydrator
Purchase a dehydrator. One sweet potato can fill up a small dehydrator; on the other hand, it may take two to four potatoes to fill a large dehydrator.

Wash the skin of your sweet potato. You don’t need to peel it, unless desired, since the peel is filled with nutrients.

Grab a sharp knife or a mandolin slicer. The mandolin slicer is ideal for even dehydration, because you can set it to slice the potatoes at the same width. Set your slicer to one-eighth inch (0.3cm).

Press the top of the sweet potato to the mandolin slicer and move in a downward motion, slicing in one-eighth inch rounds until you reach the end of your potato. Use the vegetable holder to ensure you don’t cut your hands on the sharp mandolin.

Soak the potatoes in a bowl of water for one hour. Change the water halfway through. This process will remove some of the starch from the potatoes and help them be crispier.
You can also blanche the sweet potato slices for two minutes in boiling water to make them bright and to preserve the nutrients.

Set the sweet potato slices on a towel and pat them. They should be thoroughly dry.

Drizzle approximately two tbsp. of melted coconut oil per potato. You can also use olive oil.

Sprinkle the chips with sea salt and other seasonings of your choice, like onion powder, chili pepper or cumin.[2]

Set your dehydrator to 145 degrees Fahrenheit (63 Celsius). If your dehydrator is older, you may want to set it to 155 degrees (68 Celsius). Older models tend to run slightly cooler.

Place the slices in an even layer on the trays. Dehydrate them for 12 hours.[3]

Remove them from the dehydrator and set them on a wire rack to cool. Store them in a sealable plastic bag.

Dehydrating Sweet Potatoes in an Oven
Wash your sweet potatoes with a peel scrubber. Use one potato per batch.

Slice your sweet potatoes with a mandolin slicer. Make them between one-sixteenth and one-eighth inch (0.15 to 0.3cm) thick.

Set them on some paper towels and sprinkle them with sea salt. Cover them with paper towels. Let them sit for 15 minutes.
If the paper towels soak through, replace them and blot them again to remove more moisture.

Preheat your oven to the lowest setting. to 145 degrees Fahrenheit (52 to 63 Celsius) is ideal.

Set a cooling rack over a baking tray to use as a makeshift dehydrator.

Coat the chips in a thin layer of olive oil or coconut oil. Sprinkle with more sea salt and other seasonings of your choice. Stack the chips in a single layer on the cooling rack.

Place the tray in the oven. Crack the door to the oven.

Dehydrate the sweet potatoes for 12 hours. Remove them and allow them to cool on the counter. Store them in an airtight plastic bag.[4]


You can also shred the sweet potatoes if you want to use them in hash. Shred them and place them in a dehydrator tray for approximately 12 hours, in a similar process as dehydrating chips. Rehydrate them by soaking them in water before cooking.

Things You’ll Need
Sweet potatoes

Mandolin slicer

Potato scrubber




Sea salt

Olive oil/coconut oil



Baking sheet

Cooling rack

Paper towels

Sources and Citations
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How to Bathe an Infant

Bathing a newborn for the first time can be a little daunting. It is important to keep babies safe and cozy, especially during their first few months, and that’s tricky to do during bath time. With the right supplies and a bit of practice, bathing your child can be a fun, playful experience, and the perfect time to bond. Read on to learn how to prepare for the bath, wash your baby safely, and make him or her comfortable after you’re finished.

Prepare for Bath Time
Get everything ready in advance. Once the baby’s in the bath, you won’t be able to leave him or her for even a moment, so it’s important to set out everything you need before you begin.
Gather what you need for the bath itself, including the tub, a cup for pouring water, gentle baby soap, two washcloths, and cotton balls for cleaning the baby’s eyes and ears.

Optionally, collect a few bath toys for the baby to play with.

Lay out what you’ll need after the bath, including a towel, a brush or comb, lotion or oil, a diaper, diaper ointment and a clean set of clothes nearby.

Have rubbing alcohol on hand to clean the baby’s umbilical cord area if it is still attached.

Dress in appropriate clothes. Wear something you don’t mind getting wet and soapy. Roll up long sleeves, and remove jewelery like watches, rings, and bracelets. Make sure your clothes don’t have zippers or pins that could scratch the baby’s skin. Many caregivers like wearing a terrycloth bathrobe while bathing a baby.

Set up the tub. Most baby tubs available are shaped so as to support the infant’s neck and head. They usually have a mat or sling that prevents the baby from being completely submerged in water. Place the baby tub in a clean sink, bathtub, or on the bathroom floor, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions.
If you do not have a baby bathtub, you may use a clean kitchen sink instead. Just make sure the faucet does not come near the baby’s head. Faucet covers are available for baby-proofing your sink.

Do not use a full-size adult bathtub to bathe an infant. They are too deep, and it’s difficult to make sure the baby doesn’t slip during the bath.

If your baby bathtub doesn’t have a tread on the bottom to keep the baby from slipping, line it with a washcloth or separate bathtub tread.

Fill the tub with a few inches of warm water. Run the water and test the temperature. You may use your elbow, wrist or a special bath thermometer to make sure the water isn’t too hot or cold. The water should be comfortably warm to the touch, but not as hot as you’d prefer for your own bath or shower.
If the baby still has his or her umbilical cord, simply fill a bowl with water so you can administer a sponge bath instead.

Always test the water before placing baby in the tub.

When in doubt, err on the cooler side; your hands are rougher than a baby’s sensitive skin, so he or she will feel heat more acutely than you.

Do not fill the tub more than a couple of inches. Babies should never be submerged in water. As your baby gets a little bigger, you can add a bit more water, but never enough to come close to submerging the baby.

Bathe Your Baby
Lay your baby in the tub feet first. Keep one hand supporting the baby’s back, neck and head as you carefully lower him or her into the tub. Continue supporting the baby throughout the bath with one hand, and use the other hand to wash him or her.
Babies can be very wriggly and slippery, so be very careful once he or she becomes wet.

Begin washing the baby. Use a cup, or your cupped hand, to get the baby’s body wet. Use a soft washcloth to gently wash the baby’s face, body, arms and legs.
Use cotton balls to wipe the baby’s eyes and ears.

If you wish, you can use a safe baby soap that is very neutral, but it isn’t necessary; a gentle scrub and wash down are adequate to keep babies clean. Don’t forget to get between all the little creases and behind the ears and under the neck, where spit-up and moisture tend to collect.

Use a little baby soap on a washcloth to wash the baby’s hands and feet.

Clean the baby’s genitals last, using a dab of baby soap if you wish. If you have a baby boy who is circumcised, gently wipe him with the wet washcloth. Wash girls from front to back to prevent infection.

Wash the hair. If it is necessary to wash the baby’s hair, lean him or her back and gently massage water into the hair and scalp. Use the cup to pour clean water over the baby’s head. You can use baby shampoo if desired, but there is really no need. Babies are born with all the natural oils needed to keep the scalp healthy, and shampoos can easily spoil this balance. If you use baby shampoo, use your hand to create a “visor” to protect the baby’s eyes from the soap.

Before rinsing, check again to make sure that the temperature of the running water is not too hot.

Lift the baby from the tub. Support the baby’s head, neck, and back with one arm, and hold his or her bottom and thigh with the other. Place baby in a towel, being careful to cover his or her head.

After the Bath
Towel the baby dry. Dry the baby’s body first, making sure to dry gently behind the ears and in the skin folds, so that no excess moisture is left there. Towel-dry the hair as much as possible.
Remember that the fine hair of a baby will dry quickly. Do not use a hairdryer, as it is unnecessary and potentially dangerous.

Apply ointments if necessary. Dab a little ointment on the baby’s diaper rash or circumcision wound if you’ve been advised to by a doctor. It’s OK to apply baby creams, lotions, or oils if you’d like, but these aren’t necessary.

If the baby still has his or her umbilical cord, use a cotton ball to lightly dab the area with rubbing alcohol.

Diaper and clothe the baby. If you’re about to put your little one down to rest, choose an outfit that’s easy to to fit on him or her, preferably with snaps instead of buttons. You may also choose to swaddle the baby (see How to Swaddle a Baby for more information).

A bath before bedtime helps make the transition to sleep easier.

Babies who still have their umbilical cords should be sponge-bathed until it falls off.

Bath time is more than a utilitarian chore – it’s a wonderful opportunity to bond and play. Relax, take your time when possible, and let everyone enjoy the experience. It’s a great time to sing to your child. The baby will enjoy a great sensory experience, some attention, splashing, and more.

Try castile soaps, which are commonly available in natural foods or camping supply stores. These soaps are great for parents, too, are gentle on the skin, often organic, use all natural ingredients, and are useful for all sorts of household tasks.

For a real indulgence, warm the towels in the dryer.

Do not scrub the baby’s back with a scrubber or with your hand veryroughly. Instead of this, gently massage for 2 minutes. This will keep the baby’s skin soft and supple.

Babies only need to be bathed three or four times a week, but it can be an excellent nighttime ritual if you’d like to do it daily.

Never use adult bar soap on a baby; it is too drying.

Never leave a baby unattended in any amount of water.

Be careful with the products you choose to use on the baby. Although there are a lot of “Baby Bath” and “Baby Shampoos” commercially available, these can still be very harsh on delicate baby skin and even cause rashes. Use soothing, soft and harsh chemical-free products only. This means read the label – if the product is one you do not understand, do not use it on the baby.

Make sure room in which you are bathing baby is warm.

Things You’ll Need
Baby tub or clean sink

Several clean towels

Hooded towel (optional)

Clean washcloths

Clean diaper

Clean set of baby clothes

Cup (optional)

Comfortably warm water

Gentle baby shampoo (Optional–see Tips & Warnings)

Terrycloth bathrobe or clothes you can get wet

Related wikiHows
How to Dress an Infant

How to Use a Baby Bath Tub

How to Change a Diaper

How to Soothe a Teething Baby

How to Put Shoes on a Baby

How to Get a Newborn to Sleep Through the Night

How to Easily Clean Baby’s Cradle Cap Dandruff Without Hurting the Baby

How to Give a Baby a Bath in the Sink

How to Give a Baby a Sponge Bath

How to Make Baby Soap

Sources and Citations


How to Grow Beetroot

Beetroot (also known by its colloquial name, “beets,” or beta vulgaris) is a sweet, healthy vegetable loaded with antioxidants. It’s actually these antioxidants, packed inside beetroot’s red pigments, that contain cancer-preventing and heart-protecting properties. Beetroot is generally easy to grow and is consistently ranked as one of the top 10 vegetables grown in home gardens.[1]
Planting Your Seeds
Select either seeds or seedlings. These should be readily available from your local nursery or garden center. Don’t shy away from seeds – beetroot is notoriously easy to take care of.[2]The “Boltardy” variety of beetroot is best if you’re sowing early. White and golden varieties take about half as long to grow and don’t bleed in salads (the downside being they don’t have that beautiful carmine color). Apart from these things, the variety you choose will depend on the look and flavor that appeals to you most.[3]

Select a suitable space for growing. Beetroot likes neutral, moist, fertile soil without too much lime or acidity (pH 6.5-7.0). The soil should be soft and not have too much clay or too much sand; however, since the root develops at the surface, a clay soil can be tolerated if the top has been loosened by the addition of lots of well-rotted organic matter (don’t add this unless the soil has much clay). The position needs to be sunny and open but it will tolerate part shade.
If you have the foresight in late autumn or early spring, it’s a good idea to use a general granular fertilizer a few weeks before sowing and rake it into the soil to let the nutrients absorb.

Know that you can also grow beetroot in pots. If you’re dealing with the round variety (which you probably are – the long, cylindrical varieties are rarely grown), a pot can work just as well, so long as it’s at least 20cm (8in) in diameter and at least 20cm (8in) deep.
Fill the pot up to the top with loose, multi-purpose compost. The seeds should then be sown thinly across the surface and covered with 2cm (0.75in) of compost. Then, when the seedlings reach 2 cm (about an inch) in height, remove the weaker of the seedlings to give the vigorous plants room to grow – aim for about 12cm (5 inches) between seeds.

Till the soil to prepare it. Remove weeds and any other debris, as well as any stones that might impede root growth. The soil only needs tilling to one spade blade of depth. Roughly level the area and rake over the top to loosen. If you have heavy soil, it’s best prepared in late autumn. If it’s lighter, aim for early spring.[4] If you’re planting in autumn, leave the top of the soil rough so the winter weather can break it down.

In the northern hemisphere, sow seeds after the last frost. In the southern hemisphere, sow seeds from September through February.

Sow the seeds or plant the seedlings. Sow your beetroot seeds 2cm (3/4″-1″) deep. Keep seeds or seedlings apart at a distance of at least 5 to 10cm (2-4″). It’ll be easiest to plant them in rows.
If you’re succession planting, sow beetroot every 14 days for a continuous harvest. This is an easy alternative to succession harvesting.

Caring for Your Seeds
Water daily until the leaves begin to sprout. At the beginning, your seeds need plenty of water to start the germination process. The roots will take moisture from the soil once they’re established.
That being said, avoid over-watering. This causes beetroot to produce more leaves and less root, risking them “bolting” (flowering and not producing a vegetable). What’s more, under-watering creates woody roots.

Once you have sprouts, only water them every 10-14 days in dry spells.[5] Other than when the weather is unnaturally dry, normal rainfall should be fine.

Thin them out. Once your beetroots have about 2cm (1 inch) of leaves sprouting, spread them out to at least 10 cm (4 inches) apart. Do this by removing the weakest of the seedlings, leaving only the more vigorous of leaves.[6]
Some people recommend a bit more space than 10 cm. If you have the space, you may want to be a bit more generous.[7]
Some people also recommend thinning them out twice – once now and once when they’re a few centimeters taller. This stage is up to you.[8]

Fertilise your plants. Add of complete organic fertiliser per 10 square metres of bed. Add a thin layer of compost or well-rotted manure. You may also want to use 30g of high nitrogen fertiliser per square metre if your plants aren’t growing well.
Watch our for birds and weeds. Depending on your area, you may need to devise some sort of cover for your plants to keep them away from animals. As for weeds, you’ll have to take care of those by hand. As soon as you see one cropping up, get rid of it. However, be careful weeding. Avoid using hoes or other sharp objects near the roots or you might cut them. Hand weeding is best.

Harvesting and Storing Your Plants
Harvest (some of) your plants. When you can start seeing the root, you will have a good idea of its size. The beetroots are ready to harvest when they are approximately the size of a small orange; too large and they won’t be as tasty. Do this by holding the top and leveraging the root up with a fork-like tool or spade.
Generally they’re ready around 8 weeks after sowing, or when the veggie reaches 2.5cm (1 inch) in diameter. Many people harvest alternately, picking out some of the beetroots now and leaving others to develop to full maturity. This allows the others to grow bigger more quickly. The ones with a diameter of about 7.5cm (3 inches) usually have the best flavor.

Leave some in the soil for the season. If desired, you can leave some beetroot in the soil until next spring, but you will need to protect it. Cover it in a heavy mulch of hay or straw. Provided the winter cold doesn’t go below -18ºC/0ºF, this should allow you to remove the protective layer of straw and dig up more roots through winter.[9]
Be aware that this can cause the beetroots to develop a woody texture.

Be careful with the tops. Do not cut off the leaves; instead, remove them by twisting about 5cm (2″) above the crown. This will help prevent bleeding, which takes away from the flavour and colour of the beet.
This doesn’t mean you should throw them away, however. The tops can be saved, cooked, and eaten like spinach. Believe it or not, they usually have loads of flavour.[10]

Store them for later consumption. Root vegetables store well, making them ideal for winter stocking up. Beetroots can be stored layered in sand in wooden boxes in a frost-free, dry environment.
To do this, take a container and line the bottom with 5 cm (2 inches) of sand. Place in a layer of beets. Then, repeat until the container is full. The sand keeps them from sprouting and keeps their flavours fresh.

Beetroot is a cool weather crop and is hardy in relation to frost.

The best growth is obtained from moderate temperatures and warm soils.

Each beetroot “seed” usually produces three to four seedlings. That’s because the “seeds” you sow are actually dried seed cases, each of which contains several seeds. These don’t all develop at the same rate; once you are able to identify a dominant seedling, cut the non-dominant ones at ground level. Don’t pull them out, as this will disturb the roots of the dominant seedling.

Soaking the seeds in water for 24 hours before sowing will help them germinate faster.

A spell of cold or heat can produce stress-induced white-coloured rings on beetroot (“zoning”). However, the flavour will be unaffected.

Things You’ll Need
Beetroot seeds or seedlings


Neutral, fertile soil

Gardening tools

Related wikiHows
How to Grow Beets

How to Remove Beetroot Stains

How to Make Beetroot Soup

How to Choose Beetroot

How to Prepare Beetroot

How to Cook Beetroot

How to Make Cold Beetroot Soup

Sources and Citations
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