Toothpaste is one of the essential components of your daily oral hygiene routine. It can clean, strengthen, and brighten your teeth while keeping your mouth free of food debris and bacteria.
As it turns out, the ingredients that make toothpaste effective at cleaning your teeth are very similar to those found in many cleaning solutions. That’s why your toothpaste tube can also serve as a cleaning product.
So, if you’re wondering what toothpaste can be used for other than brushing your teeth, keep reading! In this article, we’ve curated a list of the top 11 unusual ways to use toothpaste around the house.
What Makes Toothpaste an Effective Cleaner?
Toothpaste must contain both active and inactive ingredients to be an effective cleaning agent. Such ingredients are also common in many all-purpose cleaners.
Almost all toothpaste tubes contain fluoride as the primary active ingredient. It has numerous dental benefits, including cavity prevention and tooth strengthening.
Fluoride is also an excellent cleaning agent. It can disinfect surfaces and remove tough stains like crayons.
Most toothpaste tubes contain at least 50% abrasives. They’re usually silica-based or chalk-based, but both can remove plaque from teeth. These abrasives can be equally effective at removing tough grime, stains, grease, and even rust from surfaces.
In general, surfactants are compounds that can break down the surface tension between two matters. That’s why they’re a primary component in many cleaning products.
In toothpaste, surfactants mainly serve as foaming agents. They allow the toothpaste to spread and foam in the mouth, allowing it to reach every nook and cranny.
With those two properties, surfactants in toothpaste can act as detergents to clean almost any surface.
Other ingredients in toothpaste vary according to brand and type. They’ll, however, primarily include antibacterial and bleaching agents.
These antibacterial agents are in charge of preventing bacterial buildup in the mouth. So, when you use toothpaste for cleaning, it’ll eliminate any bacteria stuck to the surface.
On the other hand, the bleaching agents remove any stains and discoloration from the teeth. That’s why toothpaste is often used to restore the whiteness of any yellowed surface.
11 Unusual Ways to Use Toothpaste Around the House
In the following applications, we’ve used non-gel toothpaste, which is typically a chalky white color. Gel toothpaste, however, contains colored dyes that can stain or damage the surface to which it’s applied. As a result, it’s not recommended that you use it.
1. Remove Scuff Marks From Shoes
The ingredients in toothpaste are effective at removing scuff marks and dirt. They can also be used to brighten the discolored rubber parts of your shoes.
Toothpaste can remove all kinds of stains and marks from your shoes. So, grab an old toothbrush and some toothpaste to scrub your shoes clean. You can add some water to foam up the toothpaste.
As for the fabric part of your shoes, you can add laundry detergent to the mix.
You can also clean scuffed-up leather shoes using this toothpaste method.
2. Shine Piano Keys
Whether your piano keys are made from ivory or plastic, they will acquire a yellow hue with time and use. That’s why it’s essential to clean them every now and then.
Apply a tiny amount of toothpaste on an old toothbrush and scrub the piano keys. Then, wipe them down with a damp cloth to reveal a shiny new set of keys.
Toothpaste may also work on piano keys that have already turned yellow. However, you may have to repeat this cleaning process a few times before the piano keys return to their original white color.
3. Clean Tea and Coffee Stains
Tea and coffee drinkers often have a favorite cup they use every time they enjoy their favorite beverage.
Unfortunately, tea and coffee contain tannins, which cling to the porous surfaces of cups. As a result, your favorite cup may eventually develop staining.
Still, those stains aren’t anything the bleaching agents in toothpaste can’t deal with. Just apply some toothpaste to your dish brush and scrub the stained cup. Then, as usual, wash it with water and dish detergent.
4. Polish Silver and Gold Jewelry
If you don’t have jewelry polish, you can use toothpaste instead. Gently buff your jewelry with a microfiber towel and a tiny amount of toothpaste.
Remember to only use this hack when necessary; toothpaste can be abrasive enough to damage your jewelry.
You should also avoid using toothpaste on gemstones with soft hardness, such as pearls and opals. Toothpaste can be too abrasive and thus scratch the gem’s surface.
5. Clean Scorched or Gunky Iron Soleplate
Hydrogen peroxide is one of the best and simplest ways to clean a scorched or gunky iron soleplate. You don’t need to buy hydrogen peroxide specifically for this purpose.
The main bleaching agent in most toothpaste is hydrogen peroxide. So, apply a layer of toothpaste to the cool iron, scrub with a rag, and wipe the soleplate clean with a damp towel.
6. Brighten Car Headlights and Taillights
Dirt and grime can accumulate on your car’s headlights and taillights.
To restore the luster of your head and tail lights, rub them in a circular motion with toothpaste and a sponge.
When finished, wipe the toothpaste away with a damp cloth.
7. Remove Crayon Marks and Permanent Markers
There’s no need to panic if your kids got a little too creative on your walls. Apply a small amount of toothpaste to the crayon or permanent marker marks and buff the stain with an old rag.
The abrasiveness of the toothpaste will remove even the most stubborn marks without damaging the wall paint.
You can even have your children clean up the mess themselves. It’ll teach them in a fun way to take responsibility for their actions.
8. Defog Goggles
One of the most effective but little-known toothpaste hacks is using it to keep surfaces from fogging.
When you apply toothpaste to a surface, it forms a protective layer that keeps the surface from fogging up. Apply a thin layer of toothpaste and then wipe it clean. You can use this method for swimming, skiing, woodworking, and scuba goggles.
Just be sure to use a mildly abrasive toothpaste and apply it gently to avoid scratching the surface.
You can also use this method to defog your bathroom mirror before taking a steamy shower. Simply coat the mirror with toothpaste and wipe it clean before entering the shower. The mirror won’t be fogged when you get out of the shower.
9. Buff Out Scratches From CDs
You don’t always have to throw away an old CD or DVD just because it’s scratched. With a little toothpaste, you can return the CD to its original shape and make it work again.
Here’s how to buff out minor scratches:
Apply a tiny bit of toothpaste to the scratched surface
Rub the toothpaste with a microfiber towel in a circular motion
Wipe away any toothpaste residue with a slightly damp microfiber towel
You can use this method to buff out scratches on car paint jobs, phone screens, and watches as well.
10. Get Rid of Unpleasant Smells From Your Hands
Mincing garlic, dicing onions, deboning fish, and handling cheese all have one thing in common: their smells can cling to your hands even after a thorough wash with water and detergent.
Luckily, toothpaste can come to the rescue in this situation. The same ingredients that deodorize your mouth can also neutralize any cooking smells stuck to your hands.
Instead of hand soap, wash your hands with toothpaste. Its minty-fresh smell should remove any trace of an unpleasant odor.
You can also use toothpaste to remove any funky smells from Tupperware. Just make sure to rinse off the toothpaste thoroughly. Baby bottles also inevitably pick up a sour-milk smell, but toothpaste can remove the odor.
11. Stop Bug Bites From Itching
To conclude our unusual list, did you know you can use toothpaste to relieve the itching and swelling caused by a bug bite?
As we’ve seen, toothpaste is a powerful disinfectant. As a result, it can fight bacteria and keep the bite clean. Moreover, menthol or peppermint-flavored toothpaste contains cooling agents that can relieve the itchy sensation caused by a bug bite.
Other ingredients in toothpaste, such as baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, are drying. That’s why applying toothpaste to a bug bite can prevent fluid buildup and thus reduce swelling.
There you have it: 11 unusual ways to use toothpaste around the house. Who says a tube of toothpaste can’t be a cost-effective cleaning product?
Non-gel toothpaste contains active and inactive ingredients that work in the same way that many household cleaning products do. As a result, toothpaste can remove grease, rust, tarnish, stains, and grime.
So, instead of spending money on multiple cleaning products, you can reap the benefits of the ingredients in a toothpaste tube around your home.