Did you know that because of the chemicals contained in our toothpaste, we can use for other stuff aside from cleaning our teeth?
Yes, but before we talk about unconventional uses of toothpaste, a few reminders first: It is strongly recommended that you use one of the more inexpensive toothpastes — not the gels, tartar controllers or whiteners. Look for a mild, abrasive stain fighter. Avoid toothpastes containing “triclosan.” Got it?
Okay, here are the unconventional uses of toothpaste other than cleaning the teeth!
General Cleaning (Other Than The Teeth)
Toothpaste can clean the following:
1. Baby Bottles. You can remove that sour-milk-smell in baby bottles by scrubbing them with a water-and-toothpaste mixture. Rinse very thoroughly or toss the bottles into the dishwasher.
2. Carpet Stains. Damn, cleaning stained carpets is a pain, right!? Well, not anymore, just squeeze toothpaste directly onto the carpet stain and scrub it with an old toothbrush. Then rinse and repeat the process until the stain disappears. For truly stubborn or large stains, like vomit from aging cats, you might need to go with a professional carpet-cleaning product.
3. Unprotected Cell Phone Screens. Does your cellphone screen have scratches already? It’s probably unprotected. No problem. Lightly rub the screen with a touch of toothpaste and your finger. Rinse with a damp cloth and dry, but be sure to not get your phone too wet.
4. Stains on Clothes. Remember how toothpaste does wonder with stains on carpets? Well, it can do the same magic with your clothes! Simply apply the toothpaste directly to the stained area with a bit of water and rub hard before popping in the washer. Note, however, that this may not work on all fabrics or stains. Toothpaste is only effective on ink and shirt-collar stains. Repeat this process if the stain is old. Use a basic toothpaste without bleaching agents for this.
5. Crayon on Painted Walls. If you have kids and they love crayons, you probably have colorful walls! Haha! No need to panic; just gently rub a damp cloth and some toothpaste on your child’s masterpiece, then rinse with a wet cloth and dry. Make sure you run a test on a small area of the wall before applying to a large area, especially for high-gloss paints. Why? You might end up smudging them even more.
6. Cleaning Leather Scuffs. Just put a dab on leather scuffs, rub in with a soft cloth, and rinse with a damp cloth. Works well on shoes, purses, coats or anything else made of leather. Again do not use a toothpaste with bleaching and whitening agents.
7. Linoleum Scuffs. Scrub scuff marks with toothpaste and a dry cloth until no residue remains. This also works for floorboards and drywall.
8. Piano Keys. Ivories can be tough to clean especially when they’re getting quite old. But don’t fret! Rub each key gently with a damp, cotton swab and a touch of paste. Wipe dry and buff with a clean cloth. It takes time, but you’ll be stunned by how nice your piano looks in the end.
9. Patio Furniture. Apply some elbow grease, a brush and a mixture of toothpaste and water on your outdoor furniture. Use a teeth-whitening paste on white furniture for the perfect shine.
10. Silver and Brass. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush to scrub lightly with just a dab of paste. Rinse thoroughly and polish with a dry, soft cloth. Dry again and polish. For heavy-duty grunge, apply paste and let it soak overnight. Caution: never apply toothpaste to pearls as the grit will remove the shiny finish.
11. Tennis Shoes. Use a brush to rub toothpaste onto the scuffed soles of athletic shoes. Wipe with a damp cloth and let dry. If the shoes are white, use a whitening toothpaste for added brightness. (Gosh, this saved me!)
In the Bathroom
12. Bathroom Sinks. Next time you drop a glob of toothpaste into the sink, don’t rinse it down, scrub it around (with an old toothbrush you don’t use). The natural abrasive works like other cleansers and deodorizes the drain at the same time.
13. Blemish Cream. Toothpaste helps reduce the redness and draws out infection that might originate from your blemish. Plain white toothpastes work best for this purpose.
To avoid everyone seeing you with a huge white dot on your face, apply right before bed and let it sit overnight.
14. Bruises. Before heading off to bed, apply a mixture of toothpaste and lotion to the bruise and wrap with an ace bandage or a Band-Aid to keep the sheets clean. Wash the paste off in the morning and reapply for two or three nights. Bruises that normally take a week or two to fade disappear much faster.
15. Bug Bites. For mosquito, ant and other small bug bites, apply toothpaste to sooth itching and cool the skin (I really thought my mum was simply trying to be Dr. Quack when she’d use toothpaste to heal mosquito bites).
You can also apply paste to bee stings, but seek medical assistance if you experience shortness of breath or other serious symptoms.
16. Burns. Next time you burn yourself on the stove or a hot pan, plunge the affected area under cold water to rapidly bring down the skin temperature.
After the acute phase is over, smear non-gel toothpaste thickly over the burn until the skin cools permanently and the sting is gone.
Finally, apply a healing agent, such as aloe vera.
17. Chrome. Do those pesky water spots on your bathroom faucets and mirror bug you while brushing your teeth? Apply a dab of paste, rub it in and rinse. Now you can admire your reflection while making those strange brushing faces.
18. Diamonds. Take your toothbrush and run it over your diamond ring to make it sparkle. Clean off any residue with a damp cloth.
19. Hair Gel. What? Well, toothpaste contains the same water-soluble polymers found in many hair gels. Technically, you can use it as a hair gel. That is if you don’t mind smelling a little minty.
20. Hand Deodorizer. Remove the stench of onions, fish, garlic and other odoriferous foods from your skin by scrubbing briefly with toothpaste. Apply lotion after to moisten hands. (Life saver!)
21. Mirror Defogger. Smear a bit of toothpaste on the mirror before shaving and wipe it dry. It’ll keep the mirror from fogging so you can see your face clearly.
22. Nails. Use toothpaste to scrub up those finger and toe nails (oh well, you can try cleaning those nails used by carpenters using toothpaste as well).
A whitening toothpaste with peroxide also will remove the orange or yellow tinge created by extensive use of nail polish. Again, make sure you buff lightly.
23. Skin Rashes. For closed-skin rashes, avoid itching and apply toothpaste to allow it to cool down the skin. Please note toothpaste should not be applied to skin rashes that have open sores.
24. Shower Doors. Dampen a sponge and smear it with a bit of whitening toothpaste. Clean the shower doors with a circular swipe and rinse thoroughly and you’ll be able to see through them again.
In the Living Room
25. Coffee Table Water Rings. This is an oldie but goody: Simply rub some toothpaste into the irritating ring with a soft cloth and wipe dry with a clean, damp cloth. Apply a finishing shine with a touch of furniture polish or oil (olive oil works, too). Then break out the coasters and make sure they get used.
26. DVDs and CDs. Remove shallow scratches and smudges from discs by applying a thin coating of toothpaste and rubbing gently. Rinse thoroughly and buff with a soft cotton cloth. The mild abrasive evens out the playing surface but too much grit will make things worse, so make sure you’re gentle.
27. Nail Holes. Toothpaste has long been known as the poor-man’s caulking agent for unsightly nail holes. If your walls are painted, you can tint the paste with food coloring or eye shadow to better match the wall. This method also works well in holes left by hanging-plant or speaker hooks, particularly on textured ceilings.
Wow! This list literally saved me lots and lots of time! Get your notepad and take these life hacks down!
Gizmodo.com. (2017). 11 Other Uses of Toothpaste [online] Available at: http://gizmodo.com/5903500/11-other-uses-for-toothpaste [Accessed 30 Apr. 2017].
Instructables.com. (2017). 9 Unusual Uses for Toothpaste [online] Available at: http://www.instructables.com/id/9-Unusual-Uses-for-Toothpaste/ [Accessed 30 Apr. 2017].
Care2.com. (2017). 15 Brilliant Uses For Toothpaste | Care2 Healthy Living. [online] Available at: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/15-brilliant-uses-for-toothpaste-slideshow.html [Accessed 30 Apr. 2017].
Cutolo, M. and Barber, T. (2017). Unexpected Ways Toothpaste Can Solve Your Problems | Reader’s Digest. [online] Reader’s Digest. Available at: http://www.rd.com/home/cleaning-organizing/unexpected-uses-for-toothpaste/ [Accessed 30 Apr. 2017].