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used toothbrush

Your humble old toothbrush has retired from duty in your mouth. But when it comes to home cleaning, there is life after dental duties. Here are 12 jobs your former toothbrush can help you with.

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Looking for the best way to clean various areas and objects around your home? The answer may be right in your own mouth every morning. The toothbrush is one of the most underrated cleaning supplies ever, and since you’re supposed to get a new one every few months, why not put your old ones to good use? Check out the marvelous ways toothbrushes can spruce up your home.

1. Tile Stain Remover

When tile stains have you down, your trusty toothbrush can come to the rescue. Stains that get into the porous tile surface can often be scrubbed away with a cleaning solution, a toothbrush, and a bit of elbow grease.

Bleach or hydrogen peroxide is usually sufficient, even for tough stains. For deep, difficult stains, you might need to use diluted muriatic acid. It’s often used by professionals, but be careful — you must ventilate the area and wear a mask, eye protection, and heavy gloves when using this harsh chemical.

2. Grout Scrubber

Speaking of tile, what about that pesky grout buildup? Scrubbing away dirt, mildew, and other grime from your grout can instantly give a room a refreshed look. With grout, a thick paste works best for getting into every groove between the tiles.

Combine hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to make a powerful combination. Apply it to the grout and let it sit for a few minutes before you take up your toothbrush for some serious scrubbing action.

3. Bathroom Buddy

The bathroom is full of those hard-to-reach places that can drive you crazy when you’re trying to clean. Keep an old toothbrush handy to clean up faucets, drains, toilet seat hinges, and other small spots. Apply your usual bathroom cleaning products to scrub away built-up grime. Or, you can use a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide on especially tricky areas.

4. Kitchen Helper

Like the bathroom, the kitchen also has several tight areas where it’s difficult to clean with rags or sponges. Use a toothbrush to keep these areas spotless, whether it’s the seals on your refrigerator doors, the taps on the sink, or the vents of your microwave. You may also want to keep a toothbrush by the sink to aid in cleaning certain dishes — just make sure it’s reserved for dishes only.

5. Wall Cleaner

When your kids take crayons to the walls, it’s time to bust out a toothbrush. This handy cleaning tool can erase crayon marks from the wall with the help of a little shaving cream. Make sure to use cream (not gel) for the best results.

two toothbrushes close up

6. Dust Buster

For most spots around the house, a feather duster or a microfiber cloth will get the job done when it comes to removing dust. But maneuvering these tools into tight spots can be time-consuming and frustrating. That’s where your toothbrush comes in. Use one to free dust from shelf corners, lampshade pleats, wall sockets, and other small spots where dust can accumulate.

7. Wood Stripper

For a clean, fresh look on older wood pieces, you can spruce things up with the help of a toothbrush. Before you start stripping wood, you’ll want to wipe down the piece you’re working on. Use a toothbrush to get dirt and dust out of the nooks and crannies.

After applying stripper with a paint brush, you’ll use a scraper to get off most of the finish. But when the wood has tiny, intricate details, a toothbrush should be your weapon of choice. It gets the finish off in places where a scraper might otherwise cause nicks and cuts.

8. Filter Cleaner

If any of your appliances have filters, you can use a toothbrush to help keep them clean. Use the bristles to get dust and dirt out of all those filter grooves, then follow the manufacturer’s instructions for further cleaning tips. You can also use a toothbrush to give your dryer’s lint trap a once-over; it fits perfectly in those pesky corners where the lint often builds up.

9. Shoe Shiner

Getting your shoes to sparkle again is easy with a toothbrush. The bristles fit perfectly into the tread on the soles of your shoes to release trapped dirt. Meanwhile, a toothbrush can also be used to spruce up other areas, like the holes for your laces or the rubber around the bottom of your sneaker.

If you’re removing dust with a toothbrush before giving leather shoes a shine, make sure you use a clean toothbrush.

10. Silver Polisher

Silver polish is a bit pricey, not to mention smelly. If you want your silver to sparkle at a fraction of the cost, go with toothpaste. For larger silver pieces, like a serving tray, you could use a soft cloth to get the job done.

But for small pieces like silver forks, spoons, and knives, a toothbrush pairs perfectly with your toothpaste scrub. Use a whitening toothpaste for the best results when polishing your silverware on the cheap.

11. Jewelry Brightener

Skip a trip to the jeweler by cleaning your own gems at home. Your toothbrush can be used to brighten up everything from gold necklaces to diamond rings. Make sure the toothbrush you use has soft bristles to prevent scratching.

Then, buy a commercial jewelry cleaner or combine warm water with a gentle detergent (like dish soap) to get the job done. Soak the jewelry in the solution for a few minutes, then scrub gently with a toothbrush. Give your jewelry a rinse before letting it air dry on a soft, lint-free cloth.

12. Fingernail Finisher

After all those “micro cleaning” projects around the house, it’s time to give yourself a scrub down. Keep a toothbrush by the sink or in the shower to help get at dirt and grime that’s gotten under your fingernails. Just a little soap and water will do the trick.

Whether you want to hold on to your old toothbrushes or stock up on cheap ones at the store, it’s clear that this item is a must-have tool for cleaning around the house. To make sure every surface in your home sparkles (not just your teeth), hang on to a few toothbrushes that are dedicated solely to scrubbing.

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Resources:

https://www.builddirect.com/learning-center/flooring/remove-stains-from-ceramic-porcelain-tile/

http://www.builddirect.com/learning-center/home-improvement-info/how-to-strip-wood/

http://www.kimberfire.com/how-to-clean-diamond-jewelry-at-home/

http://www.almanac.com/content/uses-old-toothbrush

 

 

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.