According to Aurora Dental Group, the life expectancy of a regular toothbrush is three months. If you’re concerned about your oral hygiene, you should replace it with a new one after 90 days. However, don’t just throw away your old toothbrush. At least, don’t throw it away right away. First, use it to brush the hard-to-clean areas of your home. Here are five ways to put your old toothbrush to good use before sending it to the landfill.
Clean every nook and cranny of your car
Washing and vacuuming the inside of your car is the most common way to clean it, but the smallest nooks and crannies of your car are surprisingly overlooked. Reader’s Digest magazine recommends using a toothbrush to clean car vents. The crevices of the vents are difficult to clean with just a rag, but a toothbrush can easily get in and remove dirt and dust.
The home services website One Good Thing also recommends using a toothbrush to clean car vinyl seat covers and other plastic surfaces. When used in a circular motion, the bristles of a small brush can remove deep-rooted dirt in the same way that bristles loosen plaque on teeth.
Cleaning Faucets and Drains
The area around faucets in bathrooms (including kitchens) is prone to mold and grime, which is sometimes difficult to wipe off with a rag or sponge. Brushing the faucet with a toothbrush can help release stubborn mold and hair buildup. The small head gently removes dirt from between the faucet fitting and the rubber joint.
The need to replace the toothbrush is also a reminder to clean the grout in the bathroom. I’ve used countless brushes in my search for the perfect brush to scrub between bathroom tiles, but the perfect solution is right under my nose. Using an old toothbrush is a messy but effective way to deep clean grout on bathroom walls and floors, and it lasts until you replace it with the next toothbrush.
Small kitchen tools such as dishwasher filters, washing machine seals, cheese graters and garlic presses are effective at collecting small food and dirt particles in crevices that are hard to reach with sponges and paper towels.
Use in the home office
According to the New York Post, 30 percent of Americans eat lunch at work. Now that office desks and chairs are also couches and armchairs, lunchtime accidents are bound to happen. I’ve tried using OxiClean in a spray bottle or scrubbing with a sponge, but nothing targets the dirt like the small head of a toothbrush.
A toothbrush can be used to gently clean a computer keyboard faster than a Q-tip and more effectively than a traditional duster between the keys.
Keep your surroundings beautiful.
Sportsmen and women have long understood the practical uses of discarded toothbrushes. Not only can you use a toothbrush to clean rubber and leather parts, but you can also simply scrub your shoelaces by removing them and using a toothbrush dipped in soap and water to coat both sides. The New York Times notes that “the best tool for cleaning leather uppers, midsoles and outsoles is an old, soft-bristled toothbrush.”
A worn brush is also a fine choice for cleaning jewelry. A toothbrush is perfect for the small nooks and crannies and delicate work on pearl earrings and gemstone rings, allowing you to go to a jeweler without spending a fortune.