12 Clever Uses for Old Toothbrushes


Buying a new toothbrush every three months may be dentist recommended, but it sure isn’t eco approved. Yeah, strict oral hygiene is important, but it still seems a bit wasteful to us green gals who rack our brains for ways to reuse things before tossing them in the trash. To spare you the headache, here are some ideas.

PhotobucketDusting my keyboard has never been easier than with the help of an old toothbrush. This precise tool makes it a cinch to clean between the keys.

PhotobucketScour the small spaces between the tiles on your bathroom and kitchen floors. (To paraphrase David Sedaris, you can have a clean floor or you can have a mop, but you can’t have both.)

PhotobucketEliminate stains from your carpet or upholstery. The toughened bristles can provide some serious scrubbing action to targeted areas.

PhotobucketGroom unruly brows with an old toothbrush. And to think, some people actually invest in an unnecessary eyebrow comb when a used toothbrush works just the same! Ah, the satisfaction of resourceful thinking.

PhotobucketIf you dye your hair at home, touch up your roots. (Another tip: stick to henna or herbal coloring and forego the harsh chemicals.)

PhotobucketIf banging your shoes together won’t remove the mud caked in their soles, then use an old toothbrush to clean out the treads.

PhotobucketAfter a day in the garden, your nails look like you gave yourself a French manicure using soil instead of polish. A toothbrush is the perfect tool to scrub dirt from underneath your fingernails.

PhotobucketIt never ceases to amaze me how quickly dust gathers in between the grates on my air conditioner. Keep them clean with a toothbrush.

PhotobucketI’m a stickler for spotless faucets, but my handy rag is no match for those hard-to-reach spots in between the knobs. Make every millimeter of your faucets sparkle with your recycled mini scrub brush.

PhotobucketDo you end up looking like you worked a full day as a mechanic every time you try to clean the chains on your bike? Get rid of grease the clean way with an old toothbrush.

PhotobucketClean bits of food encrusted between the tines of your forks.

PhotobucketIf you’re a fan of intricate jewelry, then you’re obviously aware of how difficult it is to polish. No problem! Just use an old toothbrush to get in between all the tiny nooks and crannies of filigree and beading.

For more ideas, visit our pals at Apartment Therapy Re-Nest and Green Daily. By the way, to cut down on virgin plastic use and waste, consider buying an eco-friendly toothbrush made from recycled materials.

Image: Anderson Mancini