Ten Ways to Reuse Toothbrushes

toothbrushphoto by theogeo

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I love to use coupons to get toothbrushes for free so I can spend my money on things I really want to – like organic milk.

But, conventional toothbrushes aren’t the most environmentally friendly objects. Think about it. Toothbrushes need to be replaced at least once every three months or more often – like right after you get over a cold. That means for my family of 4, at the least 16 toothbrushes are used by my family in a year. Sure, there are recyclable toothbrushes – but they cost the same as a pound of grass fed beef!

So what is an eco-friendly girl to do? First, before tossing that toothbrush, sterilize it, then reuse it and put it to another good use! Here’s 10 ways to repurpose those toothbrushes:

1. Wash Window Screens – Use warm water, castille soap, and a toothbrush to scrub screens clean. Give them a good rinse and enjoy the clean view!

2. Dust Your Wicker – A toothbrush is just the right size for cleaning wicker baskets or furniture.

3. Scrub Potatoes – No need for a special scrub brush – a sterilized toothbrush works great.

4. Brush Dirt and Salt Off Suede Boots – Emus? Uggs? Other suede boots? Lightly brush dirt and salt off with a soft bristled toothbrush.

5. Dust Your Keyboard – Get rid of the dust, hair and pet fur that lurks between the keys on your keyboard!

6. Emergency Car Kit – Keep a toothbrush with your jumper cables. If you ever need a jump – or need to give someone else a jump – they work great for cleaning any corrosion off the battery terminals.

7. Grout Cleaner – Toothbrushes are perfectly suited to help scrub the grout between the tile of your shower.

8. Nail Cleaner – Gardener? Use an old toothbrush to help scrub the dirt out from under fingernails.

9. Distress Paint – An old toothbrush can add a distressed look to painted crafts. You can also use them to create a splattered paint look.

10. Bottle Washer – Bend a toothbrush head slightly and it makes an awesome bottle cleaner. Toothbrushes can be bent after soaking in boiling water for 8 to 12 minutes. The toothbrush head is also excellent for cleaning the threads of the screw on bottle top.

Those are the ways I reuse or repurpose toothbrushes around my house. Do you reuse toothbrushes? Please add any other ways you’ve found to use them so we all can benefit!

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  1. Great ideas! Especially keeping one with the jumper cables…I never thought of that.

  2. I admit it, I’ve never reused a toothbrush. It just never occurred to me that I could. However, I’m thinking I would like to clean my keyboard or nails with the next one. Maybe this is a dumb question, but how exactly to you sterilize a toothbrush?

  3. Hi Lindsay! To sterilze your toothbrush, drop it in boiling water for 5 minutes – watching it to make sure it doesn’t melt. (cheaper ones will melt quickly) OR, you can put it in the top rack of the dishwasher. Thanks for asking!

  4. awesome tip! i’ve only just started reusing them for crafts, alhtough i’ve seen my artist girlfriend reuse them for years.
    THANKS for more ideas for reuse!

  5. Great suggestions!

  6. Love this (and I stumbled it too)! I will think twice before chucking my next toothbrush.

  7. Wow, great list. Now I know what to do with ALL of those free toothbrushes. THanks for the tips.

  8. This a great list. You’ve really got me thinking. I’ve always used old toothbrushes for scrubbing tight, but icky spots like grout, but I never really thought outside that tiny box.

  9. Rachel Oldham says:

    You can also use recycled toothbrushes to
    scrub laundry, scrub the soles of shoes, your dogs teeth, dog nails, get the extra lint out of the dryer…etc, etc

  10. My stockpile of tooth brushes may never get half used now lol (j/k!) Thanks for the tips.

  11. Yeah, I keep old toothbrushes all over the place. πŸ™‚ Until they totally fall apart, they are used.

  12. I always use our old toothbrushes for some sort of cleaning.. Between sneakers, wall/floor board area and windows we can’t go through them quick enough.. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Love this list Andrea! Totally sharing with my Facebook readers! πŸ™‚

  14. ConnieFoggles says:

    I use them to clean around faucets and the round metal pieces on the mounting of our toilet bowls (of course not the same one!). Great suggestions!

  15. Thank you for the great tips!


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