5 Cleaning Uses for an Old Toothbrush

old toothbrushWhen you think about the tools used in cleaning the house, what comes to mind? Most people probably picture microfiber cloths, the vacuum cleaner and a toilet brush. Well, you might be surprised to learn that there are several chores you can tackle with an old toothbrush, too.

Like its counterpart toothpaste, the toothbrush also has some pretty nifty cleaning roles. Check out some of the following old toothbrush uses.

But First, How Do You Clean an Old Toothbrush?

Before you start scrubbing parts of your home with an old toothbrush, you should probably clean the toothbrush itself. Keep in mind that this isn’t going to kill every single germ or make the toothbrush sterile, but it might be cleaner than it was when you last took it out of your mouth.

  • Mouthwash or vinegar. Soak the toothbrush overnight in antibacterial mouthwash or distilled white vinegar. Rinse well with water before using it to clean. (If you’ll be cleaning stone with the toothbrush, you should avoid vinegar.)
  • The dishwasher. Run the toothbrush through a dishwashing cycle. Do note that this could damage the toothbrush.
  • Dish soap and water. Scrub the toothbrush clean using dishwashing liquid and some warm water.

Once your toothbrush has been cleaned, it’s ready to be used as a housekeeping tool.

Clean Grout

One of the many uses for an old toothbrush is cleaning the grout in your bathroom. If you don’t have a special grout-cleaning tool, you can use a toothbrush instead. Doing so can make the job a lot easier and can spare your fingernails, too­­­.

Clear Gunk from a Cheese Grater

Cheese graters and lemon zesters probably rank pretty high on the list of kitchen tools that people hate to clean. And with good reason, as their many small blades often get caked with crud or blocked with muck. Clearing these blades is another of the great uses for an old toothbrush because it’s an effective tool that also keeps you from cutting your fingertips and knuckles into ribbons.

Scour Shower Door, Sliding Glass Door or Window Tracks

Window tracks and sliding glass or shower door tracks can be really tough to clean because it’s hard to get all the grime out of those tiny spaces. An old toothbrush can really come in handy here, as it’s slim enough to fit in those narrow tracks and offers scrubbing power to boot.

Polish Silverware

Does your silverware or silver serving set have intricate details that need to be cleaned with more than a microfiber cloth? An old toothbrush can oftentimes get down in those delicate engravings to remove the tarnish. Just make sure you’re using a soft toothbrush and not scrubbing. After all, you want to clean the silver, not scratch it to bits or remove silver plating. Additionally, keep in mind that antiques, family heirlooms and especially valuable pieces of silver should be taken to a professional for cleaning.

Tend to Miscellaneous Kitchen Surfaces

A discarded toothbrush can serve quite a few purposes in the kitchen. For starters, you can use it to gently scrub around the area where your sink meets the countertop. You can also use a toothbrush if you need a little scouring power when cleaning your stove’s drip pans, burners or oven racks.

As you can see, a toothbrush can be used for much more than making your smile sparkle, so you might want to think twice before tossing yours out the next time you buy a new one.

Looking for more housekeeping hacks? Check out these tips on removing rust from metal kitchen items, and then learn how to reduce food waste through organization.

Next > Tips and Tricks - What is the Best Way to Clean a Dishwasher?