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My knowledge of the uses of toothpaste was severely limited for a long time, indeed rather singular. I knew of its uses to clean teeth, certainly. Remove plaque and polish the enamel, at most. It was only last year when I happened across a defunct piano from my childhood, that I discovered that there is much more to toothpaste.
I was advised by the mechanic who re-tuned the piano to try and use toothpaste in order to revive the keys. Skepticism gave way to grudging acquiescence and eventually, surprising delight. The toothpaste not just whitened previously yellowed keys but gave the keys a natural sheen that made them appear as good as new.
Having come upon the use of toothpaste which did not involve teeth, I went down the rabbit hole that is the Internet to find out more. I was not disappointed.
Is Toothpaste Safe?
A question that plagued me at the beginning of my adventures with toothpaste, toothpaste is, for the most part, safe. As far as dental health is concerned, dentists recommend fluoride-free toothpaste as the fluoride component in toothpaste is considered an over-the-counter-drug, and is thereby, best avoided. Artificial sweeteners are also best avoided.
When it comes to employing toothpaste to clean and deodorize the home, it is entirely safe for use. Care must be taken during the application. It is important to recognize surfaces that toothpaste may not be effective on certain surfaces like wood or plywood.
It is also advisable to make sure the toothpaste stays out of reach of pets, although it rarely is fatal.
Pro Tip: It is recommended to use a white toothpaste instead of colored gels for use inside the home. Colored toothpaste tends to have quite a high concentration of dye, which can cause considerable staining.
Following is a list of toothpaste uses around the home- that are both simple and effective.
21 Brilliant Cleaning Uses of Toothpaste around Home
1. Polishing Chrome Fixtures
A personal favorite, a dab of toothpaste is great for shining chrome fixtures in the bathroom and elsewhere. Chrome or other metallic fixtures are susceptible to water spots and staining. A quick swipe with toothpaste not only removes latent grime but also enables a natural shine.
Remember to rinse the remnants and then buff the surface with a dry cloth.
2. Clean the Sink
Sinks, in my experience, are easy to stain. And while chemical cleaners are easily available, it might be time to adopt a more eco-friendly procedure, one that does not involve toxic chemicals.
The answer is closer than you would think it is, it is toothpaste! Squirt a sizable amount into the sink, and use a soft brush to scrub away the dirt. Leave the toothpaste on for a few minutes before rinsing.
3. Removal of Soap Scum
Any mild soap scum that requires removal, toothpaste is here to do the deed. Soap scum has a way of making its presence known on the back of shower doors. Even if they happen to be the latest fiberglass shower enclosures.
Using a bit of toothpaste on the solidified suds removes them. Wipe down with a dry microfiber cloth to prevent any water spots.
4. Cleaning the Toilet Bowl
Cleaning the toilet bowl with toothpaste has a two-in-one effect- it cleans and it deodorizes. The toothpaste has a bleaching action that takes effect on the yellowing marble. It also leaves the toilet smelling clean and fresh.
Keep in mind, however, that a large amount of paste is required to ensure a thorough cleaning. A downside to this is that even though toothpaste cleans, it will not disinfect. In order to get rid of germs, another product will have to be used.
5. Defogging Mirrors
Bathroom mirrors tend to fog up quickly. And once the deed is done (frequent hot baths), the mirrors assume a perpetually misty appearance.
Use a dab of toothpaste to defog a mirror. Scrub gently in concentric circles, and then wipe the residue away with a damp cloth.
6. Cleaning a Curling Iron
This hack, in particular, is an absolute lifesaver. Anyone regularly using a hair straightener or a curling iron will know the propensity of said tools for acquiring dust and gunk. This buildup is also surprisingly hard to get rid of without damaging the appliance. And yet, it does not make sense to go about attending to one’s hair with dirty equipment.
This is where toothpaste comes to the rescue. Toothpaste dries quickly and is easily removable, and thereby does not cause any damage to the product. Additionally, it acts as a cohesive compound and sticks to the grime. It facilitates easy removal.
7. Refurbishing Dull Jewelry
Silver or metal jewelry that has lost its shine can be worked upon by toothpaste. Put a dab of it on the affected area and use a soft brush to gently scrub in a clockwise movement. Rinse well and buff to see the piece of jewelry regain its lost sparkle.
Pro Tip: Never use toothpaste to shine soft stones like pearls or opals. It is abrasive in nature and is liable to cause permanent scratching.
8. Eliminate Scuff Marks
Toothpaste is great for the removal of scuff marks from leather, vinyl, and patent leather. It is advisable to start with a small area and then expand, so as to test the effects of the paste before one proceeds. Buffing immediately is required. The residue should be rubbed away with the use of a soft cloth.
Pro Tip: Not appropriate for use on suede shoes or jackets.
9. Whiten Grout
Grout is ignored until it finally is not. And that is never for the right reasons.
Grout is susceptible to darkening and crumbling if left unattended for too long. Frequently cleaning the grout lines in one’s home is a wise decision. Special attention should be paid to the kitchen and bathroom.
Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub gently, taking care to reach every nook and cranny. Buff the residue away with a dry cloth.
10. Cleaning the Rubber Trim on Sports Shoes
Of course, there are many ways to accomplish the above. Most of which do actually work. But, in my opinion, nothing is as quick or easy as treating a soiled trim with a bit of toothpaste.
Use the toothpaste to rub toward the grain and scrub clean. Wipe the remnant toothpaste residue away with a damp cloth.
One should take care to ensure that the scrubbing is not too harsh. Harsh strokes are likely to cause the rubber to crumble.
11. Removal of Crayon Marks
Toothpaste and a damp cloth have been proven to work wonders on the crayon marks that mar every wall in a home with children. Gentle scrubbing is recommended so as to avoid any scratching.
Wipe down with a dampened towel and allow the area to air dry.
12. Polishing Silverware
As with silver jewelry, silverware also can be polished to perfection. All with the help of white toothpaste and a soft cloth. Toothpaste has properties that cleanse and purge, removing dirt so effectively that it brings with it a remarkable sheen.
Use a cotton swab or a q-tip to tackle the corners cloth will not reach. Rinse well with lukewarm water.
This technique can also be used for copper crockery.
13. Get Rid of Pungent Odors
I like to cook with garlic and onion- in fact, they might even be my favorite vegetables when I want to inject as much flavor as possible. What they leave, however, is a pungent odor. That refuses to budge.
Use a small dab of toothpaste when rinsing your hands to completely eliminate traces of the odor garlic and onions generate. This can also be used to clean cutting boards, and the utensils employed during cooking.
14. Keep Your Headlights Scratch-free
Not only does toothpaste succeed in removing gunk and grime( insect carcasses, mostly) from headlights, it also removes small scratches when buffed gently with a clean cloth.
When satisfied with the results, remember to wipe down with a damp cloth to prevent any residual buildup.
15. Polish Piano Keys
A throwback to the anecdote I began the article with, toothpaste polishing does work on piano keys. Remarkably well, if I were to offer a personal opinion.
Polish each individual key, taking care to not push too hard or scrub too fast. It is imperative to ensure that the keys remain free from blemishes. Use a damp cloth to wipe the keys clean, and follow up by wiping them dry.
16. Refurbish a Phone Screen
Screen guards, in their absence, are sorely missed. However, toothpaste can salvage a scratched phone screen and restore at least part of its former glory.
Use a minuscule amount to spread over the surface, and buff gently with a soft cloth. Use a mildly damp cloth to wipe away any residual toothpaste bits. Allow the surface to air dry.
17. Getting Rid of Coffee Stains
Rescue a favorite coffee mug by using toothpaste to get rid of stubborn staining. The toothpaste both cleans and bleaches. Rinse well.
18. Eliminating Carpet Stains
Few things are as bad as a stubborn stain on a carpet. Toothpaste, though, seems to accomplish the seemingly impossible. Apply a sizable amount on the affected area, and scrub hard using a firm brush. Wash the toothpaste remains away and let the carpet air dry.
Toothpaste has been shown to work on stains of different sources- mud, ink, and grass.
19. De-scuff Linoleum
Lino, though inexpensive and sturdy, is rather susceptible to scuffs. Toothpaste can be used to de-scuff linoleum. Dab it onto a dry cloth, and apply it to the affected area. Scrub hard in concentric circles until the scuffing fades and disappears.
20. Refresh Drains
Squeeze a line of the paste around the opening of the drain and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Use water to wash down the paste, taking care to ensure the flow of water down the drain is not too rapid.
The paste purges the drain of any stagnant odors and leaves it smelling fresh and minty.
21. Clean Refrigerator Seals
I like to end my articles with a strong point, and there is none as strong or as useful as this. Refrigerator seals are inhumanly hard to clean. And they ought to be, owing to their direct relevance in ensuring sanitation and hygiene.
The inner folds of refrigerator seals are near impossible to navigate with cloths. Try a toothpaste dab instead, and scrub the seals with an old or spare toothbrush. Wipe down with a damp cloth after the seals are adequately clean.
And there you have it, 21 uses of toothpaste aside from the maintenance of dental hygiene.