10 Offbeat Uses For Toothpaste.

Posted by on Mar 29, 2015 in Common Products - Uncommon Uses, Frugal For Everyone, Green Living | 46 comments

toothpaste+toothbrushReaders tell me they enjoy these posts about uncommon uses of common household products so here is another one – 10 offbeat ways to use toothpaste. This can be carried it one step further by using an old toothbrush to apply the toothpaste since they are a natural combo.

Frugal Tip: Toothbrushes need to be replaced on a regular basis. When they do, don’t throw them out. They make the greatest small-scrub brushes for getting into those hard-to-get-at places such as:

  • Around knobs and hinges;
  • In nooks and crannies;

and for:

  • Cleaning small (unplugged) appliances;
  • Dusting the keyboard;
  • Scrubbing laundry stains;
  • And many more uses you’ll discover for yourself.

A couple of cautions: For most purposes, in order to avoid scratches, the toothbrush should be a fairly soft one. The toothpaste should be regular toothpaste. (unless otherwise stated). This means no gel or whitening toothpaste (unless otherwise stated) and NEVER one containing #microbeads.


10 Offbeat Ways to Use the Toothpaste – Toothbrush Combo:

  1. Upholstery and Carpet Stains. Apply toothpaste to the stain and scrub well with a toothbrush, then rinse immediately. This works well on hard-to-get-out stains like grass, ink and lipstick.
  2. Piano Keys. Oil from the skin transfers to the keys, making them sticky which then attracts dust and dirt. To clean the keys use a damp lint-free cloth and a small dab of toothpaste. Rub gently, then wipe with another clean, slightly damp, lint-free cloth. For hard-to reach spots, smear a small dab of toothpaste on a toothbrush and clean as above, finishing with the damp lint-free cloth.
  3. Sinks and Faucets. Cleaning the kitchen and bathroom sink with toothpaste will leave them shining.   A small dab of toothpaste on a toothbrush will easily remove the gunk around the bottom of the faucet and around the drain. A final wipe with a clean damp cloth to remove any toothpaste residue will leave everything sparkling and smelling great.
  4. Shower Doors. Apply a dab of toothpaste to a damp sponge or cloth. Clean the doors with a circular motion and let sit for a while to loosen all the soap scum. Wipe with a clean damp cloth and rinse thoroughly. Finish the job by dabbing toothpaste on a toothbrush and scrubbing the track and around the metal edge of the doors, then wiping with a clean, damp cloth to remove any remaining toothpaste.
  5. Refrigerator Door Seals. Here is where a whitening toothpaste is an advantage, but not necessary if it’s not available. Dab some toothpaste on the toothbrush and brush in and around the seal, removing all the gunk that seems to gather there. Finish off with a damp cloth. 
  6. Plastic Containers. Baby bottles, water bottles and storage tubs always pick up strange odours when sitting in the cupboard. Simply put a dab of toothpaste on a toothbrush, brush the containers, let sit for a while. Rinse, washing the smell and toothpaste right down the drain. Store open with the lids removed.
  7. Shoes, Boots and Purses. To remove scuffs from leather shoes, boots and purses, apply toothpaste to a wet toothbrush and gently brush the item, paying particular attention to the edge between the upper part and the sole.  Wipe with a clean damp cloth. This is a really good way to prepare winter boots for storage.
  8. Use a whitening toothpaste to clean the white part on sneakers.
  9. Gardeners’ fingernails. I always start out wearing gardening gloves but 2 minutes into the job and they’re gone – you need to touch the plants to take care of them. Of course, this means our fingernails always look atrocious. We can help them look a better by scrubbing them – tops and underneath – with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Since this can be drying, it is important to use a really good hand cream right afterwards.
  10. Eyebrows. To keep your eyebrows neat and tidy, rub in a small dab of toothpaste (gel type if you have it), then smooth and shape with a toothbrush. Toothpaste can be an irritant so this is not intended for daily use or for anyone with sensitive skin.

I don’t imagine anyone is going to trade their cleaning product for toothpaste, but isn’t it nice to know what to do in a pinch?

Talk to you again next week,


Image courtesy of Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


  1. There are such unique ideas here, Lenie! I didn’t realize toothpaste could be used to get the scuff off my leather shoes. I’m going to try that for my leather boots. They will smell minty fresh too 🙂 Thanks for the useful tips here, and I wish you a wonderful weekend ahead too.

    • Hi Christy – neat stuff, isn’t it. One other tip for your boots – if they are knee-high, roll up a magazine to place inside. this will help them keep their shape nicely. You have the best weekend too.

  2. Clever tips Lenin. Old tooth brushes can also be used for cleaning the detergent compartment within your washing machine. This is a hard to reach area which can only be cleaned with the help of an old brush.

    • Hi Bola – that is a good one. For all those tricky spots you can’t reach otherwise, a toothbrush does the job.

  3. I am familiar with all of these things. I have been using tooth brushes and tooth paste for non-traditional things for many years. Great ideas!

  4. This is great. I didn’t know you could use toothpaste for all of those things.

  5. I always knew tooth brushes are meant for multiple activities. I often clean a number of difficult-to-reach parts of various equipments.

    Your post has given me some great ideas to add to my list. I never knew toothpastes can be that useful. However I have used toothpaste in a few occasions during minor burns. It gives momentary relief and protection against burn-spots

    Thank you for writing this

  6. I do love these uncommon uses posts! Toothpaste is such a handy product. I used to dab a bit on a pimple overnight. I’m not sure if it worked, but it sure was cheaper than any other product I could find. I like tip #9. I can never keep my gardening gloves on for very long!

    • Hi Meredith, it makes sense that toothpaste works on a pimple – it would dry it up for sure. I like the gardening one too. I try so hard to be a lady when I garden, I go out with a large hat and my gloves, determined to stay neat looking and before you know it, the hat’s on the ground and the gloves can’t be found and I’m up to my elbows in dirt. Of course when that’s finished a quick wipe of the hands down the front of the jeans and there you have the real gardening me so I really need the scrubbing. LOL

  7. Great trips, Lenie! A friend had come over to help me clean one day and I noticed her using a toothbrush to clean the faucets. It did indeed work like a charm! It’s great to be able to use natural products we already have around the home vs buying expensive chemical-laden cleaners.

    • Hi Doreen, I really like using the toothbrush, especially in the bathroom, around the toilet – the seat hinges, flush handle, bottom bolts and even where the toilet meets the floor. The trusty toothbrush does the job.

  8. OMG I can’t believe toothpaste cleans piano keys. I don’t know if that’s great or scary. Now that’s all I’ll be thinking about when I brush my teeth. I like the refrigerator tip, I’ll use that one. I use it to clean silver jewelry. Was that up there?

    • Hi Pamela, I love your reaction to the toothpaste cleaning piano keys. It stands to reason, they’re both made from enamel. (Are you picturing the piano keys smiling back at you yet?) Cleaning the refrigerator gasket with a toothbrush works a lot better than trying to get a cloth in those grooves. I didn’t include jewelry, I think it was Jacquie who first told me about that but I can well believe that works.

  9. About the only thing I’ve used toothpaste for over the years (other than my teeth) would be for cleaning jewelry. Oddly enough I really like the idea of using it to tame unruly eyebrows 😉 I should give that tip to my dad.

    • Hi Jeri, quite a few people have told me about the one I missed – cleaning jewelry. The eyebrow one works but don’t do it too often or it may burn. Your dad will probably think you’re crazy when you tell him to brush his eyebrows the next time he brushes his teeth.

  10. Lenie – I love your posts.

    Very good uses for toothpaste. I have been told that it’s also good to apply on a minor burn – eg. cooking in the kitchen and accidently touch a hot surface or edge of a hot pan – then toothpaste helps cool it down. an another one- if your watch face has minor scratches – rib a bit of toothpaste and wipe it off removes them.

    • Thanks for the kind words Mina – I really enjoy writing my blog. Thanks for the great tip about the watch, they always get scratched so nice to know you can do something about it. I’ll have to add it to my list for sure.

  11. I’m going to try it on leather and maybe some whitening for my sneakers. Hopefully it will work better at whitening my shoes than it does on my teeth! Great list!

    • Isn’t it funny Beth how some simple things work so well. I can see the whitening toothpaste working on the shoes, I’ve never found a purchased product that does a really good job. Good luck.

  12. Hi Lenie, i love all your offbeat uses for regular household products. I should save them all together, then no matter what needed to be cleaned id probably have some common household item from your list that would do the trick quite nicely.

    • Right Susan, you’d never have to leave the house. Some of them are pretty wacky but they are fun to do. Actually though, any of them would work in a pinch.

  13. Great post and still scratching my head in surprise. I was never aware such things like a toothpaste and brush could be used to do awesome things. Thanks for sharing Lenie

    • Hi Ikechi – keep watching…….there are more wacky posts like these in the future. They make up the lighter side of blogging. By the way, thanks for the share.

  14. Toothbrushes can be used for shaping your eyebrows? I now know something new!

    You have given us some great ideas. Keep them coming!

    • Hi Phoenicia – didn’t know that you only need a toothbrush and toothpaste for your morning grooming ——and bathroom cleaning——-did you? LOL

  15. Woww for eyebrows as well! Who knew!
    I always look forward to your posts Lenie.
    I will be trying a few tips on the list.
    Thanks Lenie

  16. And as an added benefit, your whole house will smell minty. Couldn’t help thinking how important it would be to keep that toothbrush out of the bathroom after you’ve used it to clean gardeners’ fingernails.

  17. Haha. A smoothie spilled into my car last month. I though I was being really novel by using a toothbrush to scrub out the stains with soap and water. It was your number one use! Oh well, at least I have good instincts. I’ve also used a toothbrush to scrub the grout in the tiles on my kitchen counters. I certainly had never thought of using toothpaste on my eyebrows. Having said that, I’ve used brow gel on my eyebrows and I imagine toothpaste works in the same way but cheaper. Thanks for the list!

    • Hi Erica – glad you found out how useful an old toothbrush can be – I love that you used it to scrub out the stain in your car. I have three in a basket under the sink in my bathroom and I use those all the time in all those hard to reach places and small places (like the grout in your tiles).

  18. Such interesting post about toothpaste. Although simple yet intriguing. Thanks for posting this.

  19. I agree that these posts are terrific Lenie! One of my favorite DIY books is Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things. This list for toothpaste fits right in so I’ve added a few notes to the back of the book. Thanks!

    • Marquita – that sounds like an interesting book – I’ll have to see if it’s available a the library. These are such fun posts to do and I’m rather surprised at the positive response I’ve been getting about them. I already have a few other topics lined up but they’ll have to wait a while – other things to write about first.

  20. I look forward to your posts each and every Monday … Love you Aunt Lena !!!!!!

    • Andie, so nice to hear you like my posts. I have so much fun researching and writing them. Love to family.

  21. The shower door had me laughing Lenie! I don’t imagine I’ll be using that one. But I have one to add! Very often, on the road, I use toothpaste and an olf toothbrush to clean my jewelry! I used to take my good jewelry on trips where we had to attend formal n=banquets, etc. It does an amazing job! Now that I use an electronic toothbrush, I actually buy soft toothbrushes for cleaning. LOVE these tips!

    • Thanks for the tip on the jewelry – that one makes good sense and is one where you can actually save money because jewelry cleaners are very expensive (probably a form of toothpaste, just with a fancier name). There will be more tips to come. It’s amazing once you start looking into this how many odd uses there are for common products – some, like the shower door, are totally wacky while others make good sense.

  22. I think if ever my toothpaste got expired, I will try few of mentioned tips.
    In our home, we use toothpaste and brush for few purposes that are as follows;
    If we burn or remove tooth brush bristles then it can be used to put elastic in tights of kids or adults :).
    If we burn our hand with heat and there is heat in the burnt part we can apply paste on it… it will relief the pain and burn. Above all the mark will not be left afterwards of burning…. we use this tip extensively in our family.
    WE can also apply paste on pimple( Not sensitive skin) it does magic on it.

    Thank you for a great share.

    • Hi Andleeb, thanks for those great tips – especially like the one on burns. With a burn you have to act fast and everyone has toothpaste in the house. I’ll bet teenagers would love the one for pimples – the toothpaste would dry up the pimple real fast – Super tip, thanks.

  23. Love your ideas of how to use toothpaste.

    But don’t you think it’s much more expensive to use toothpaste to clean for instance sinks? Detergent is much cheaper and come in larger containers:-) We would need a lot of toothpaste to clean a bath tub.

    Just being the devil’s advocate. Love how you find new ways of using all kinds of products.

    • Totally agree with you that using toothpaste in place of detergent would be horribly expensive but it’s fun to find different ways to use these products. Some make sense like using whitening toothpaste to clean the white part of sneakers, nothing else really works. I also got a real charge out of using toothpaste and toothbrush to tame your eyebrows – might work on mine when they start getting bushy, LOL.

  24. This is great! I like the tip about using an old toothbrush to clean off boots before storing away. I will definitely be doing that one soon. Thanks for sharing!

    • I like that one too. Actually, I don’t use the toothpaste one for too much but I definitely use an old toothbrush for many things, especially in the bathroom – Makes a great little scrub brush that works where nothing else does.

  25. Neat. Thanks, Lenie – I will have to try some of this out.

    • Hi Leora – I would be interested in knowing which one you would use – I really don’t think you’ll be cleaning your shower door with it, right? But it is fun to list these, even if some are a bit wacky.

  26. The one for keeping your eyebrows straight is a hoot Lenie. Who knew that toothpaste could be used for your face as well as your mouth. 🙂

    • I know Tim – you go in to wash up and all you need is toothpaste and a toothbrush – Readers like these little fun tips but I get a real charge out of finding them. Watch for it, there’s more to come. 🙂

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