Are you regularly replacing your toothbrushes every 3 months as you should? If you are wondering what to do with old toothbrushes, rather than tossing them into the trash, read on for my best practical uses for these old toothbrushes.
If you are like me, environmentally conscious, you should know that plastics take 1000 years to disintegrate? Plastic, unike wood and food, is not biodegradable. Bacteria interacts with wood and food to break down and return these elements back to the soil.
But plastics do not decompose at all. The best they could do is to break down into millions of smaller pieces. They are present everywhere in the wrong places; the oceans, the beaches, and worse on landfills.
When Are Toothbrushes Ready To Be Discarded?
So how do you know when is the time to discard toothbrushes? One way is to observe if they start to fray. The bristles will begin to disperse into different directions and if you continue to use them, they do not clean effectively and may even injure your gums and cause bleeding.
2. Fade Line
Some toothbrushes come with some colour coded fade lines. For example, the toothbrush has blue bristles which will gradually fade to white with prolonged usage. These are clever tips for you to visually be reminded once you see the lines fading or wear off.
3. Illness or Cold
Another precaution is also to toss your toothbrush after a major illness, like a common cold and flu. The bacteria that was present in the toothbrushes may be lingering around in your toothbrushes. To play safe, it is best to have a new set of toothbrush. You can read here if you are undivided whether or not to stop using your toothbrushes after an illness.
So you have collected a bunch of toothbrushes to find alternative uses for them. It is always a good idea to wash them under running water and dry them under the sun. Label clearly in Bold letters, “DIRTY”, to mark them as your co-workers for cleaning.
I saw a lot of Youtube videos using old toothbrushes to make crafts. Personally, I am not a very artistic persons, but if you like to make creative artwork, you can watch below.
Below Are My Practical Ways Of What To Do With Old Toothbrushes – Personally Tried and Tested!
1. Dirty Sinks. I cook and wash at the sink every day. My sink at the day is a mess of plates and food bits, oil and left over sauces. Even after using tap water, some grout will still stay around the tap areas. So I put one toothbrush next to the sink, and is such a convenient tool to scrub them off. The brushes do a quick job of going around the edges of the round taps.
2. Pots and Pans. Pots and pans are usually heavily soiled after many cooking sessions. By using toothbrushes and some dish detergents, you can get them clean and shining again. Or simply make a paste with baking soda and water, apply to the bottoms of the pans, let them sit for 30 minutes or longer depending on the intensity of black stains. Wash under running water or a basin of water.
3. Frying Woks. I find that if I use small brushes that has hard bristles, they tend to create scratch lines on my wok. Why not use the softer bristles of a toothbrush to scrub off the food residue? Just soak in warm water and some dish detergent, then use a toothbrush to finish up the job.
4. Fruits and Vegetables. Do you know you can use your old toothbrush to help you clean your fruits and vegetables? Most common ones will be to scrub off dirt off from potatoes, carrots and hard surfaces fruits. Take note not to use on soft flesh types like the tomatoes.
5. Clean Collars of Shirts. My husband wears white shirts often, and often the collars have sweat marks, that are not often removed during laundry cycles. A trick I used is to rub some toothpaste on the collar, let it sit overnight, and then with a old toothbrush, scrub hard and you should be able to see white collar again. You can use baking soda which is effective too.
6. White shoes and sneakers. It is very easy to use an old toothbrush to gently clean the external fabric with some soap, if they are lighly soiled, without submerging the whole pair of shoes under water. Put them under the sun for air dry the external surfaces properly.
How many of you wear in-home slippers? It may be due to comfort or weather, or simply habit. In my home with marbe tiles, it is very cold to walk bare feet. Thus I will use a slipper and after some time, it gets dirty too. Again, a quick scrub with toothbrush and soap, does the job to get it clean for continual use.
8. Bathtub. All of us enjoy a good bath at the end of a tiring day. If you need to keep the grout out of sight after prolonged use, it is wise to keep an old toothbrush handy by the side of the bathtub. While not do a little cleaning while taking a shower? Saves time and reduces grime build up.
9. Basin Tap. We all love to see shiny taps like what they show in showrooms. Do you know that an old toothbrush does a good job to get the base of the tap clean with a just a few splash of water? Just scrub around the bottom edges of the tap where it sits on the counter top and use a cloth to wipe dry.
10. Computer Keyboard. Before I know about using old toothbrush to clean the keyboard, I have been using wet wipes. While they get the surfaces of the letter keys and the flat surfaces of the laptop, they are not able to get below and under each key. I used an old toothbrush and gently dust off below each individual keys before using the wet tissue. It is more effective.
11. Inside of cars. Do your children ride in your car? You won’t be surprised to find pen marks or food stains on the seats and even behind the driver seats. Simply use a toothbrush and gently rub with a dish detergent and water, this can remove ink stains on the vinyl of the seats.
Other areas such as steering wheels, glove compartments and the cup holder are places that you can clean with the old toothbrush as well.
12. Have some old coins and faded jewellery lying around? My husband is a collector of old coins. So I suggested to him to soak them in baking soda and vinegar overnight, then use a toothbrush to remove some of the rust and stains. They do look a bit more shiny! Works well for my jewellery too!
There are so many good ways to let your old toothbrushes have a second life, and help you in many areas of cleaning. Keeping old toothbrushes handy in every part of the house will make cleaning quick and effective.
Be sure to incorporate some of these practices into your home, at the same time reducing the number of toothbrushes sitting in the landfill, doing your part for the environment.
Let me know if you have other ways of using your old toothbrushes. I would love to hear from you!