Clever Ways to Use Old Toothbrushes

clever ways to use old toothbrushes

What happens to your old toothbrush when it’s ready for grazing?

The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles start to look frayed. And if you’ve had a cold or the flu, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences advises ditching the brush in favor of a new one.

That means you’re sending at least three or four brushes to landfill every year—unless, of course, you find another use for them.

Here are a few ways to get a little more life out of those discarded bristles.

If you’re concerned about transferring germs to other items, soak your old toothbrush in your disinfectant of choice before using it again. Diluted bleach or 70% alcohol will also kill coronavirus germs.

Remove stains from laundry

I use old toothbrushes to work the stain remover into that shirt sleeve stain.

Remember that the stain remover does not necessarily have to be one of the commercial products. The homemade versions can be very effective. You must check “7 Stains You Can Remove With Inexpensive Household Products.”

Scrape the soles of your shoes

Use an old toothbrush to scrape mud—or worse—from the bottom of your shoes. It is especially good for transitioning between treads.

Adjust yourself

The toothbrush also has a variety of personal care applications. To name a few:

Clean your nails after gardening.

Apply hair color.

Brush your beard, goatee, or “hair”.

Tame unruly eyebrows.

We tease small sections of hair.

Make your jewelry shine

Soak the bling in jewelry cleaner, then use a toothbrush – gently – to remove any remaining grime.

By the way, you can make your own jewelry cleaner. The three options that Good Housekeeping suggests are:

Soap and warm water

Toothpaste with white paste (not gel).

Baking soda and water

Clean the car battery

A clean battery can help prevent lockups. And cleaning a car battery is a fairly simple process that requires a toothbrush and baking soda or cola. NAPA’s Know How Blog guides you through it.

Clean up all kinds of other stuff

A toothbrush can clean a lot of things – tile grout, garlic presses, cheese graters, tight spots around faucets, in the crevices of your car’s dashboard, and the corners of your fish tank, among others. You can also use a toothbrush to loosen dirt on a waffle maker or an opener.

Be crafty

Have you ever thought of turning a discarded toothbrush into a rug-making tool? Me neither, but I was intrigued by this and other tips from

For example, you can use the brush to clean the nibs of calligraphy pens, apply foil to a detailed surface, create a paint “splash” effect, or add texture to clay work. Who knows?

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