A Cleaning Wonder Worth Smiling About
Toothpaste cleans your teeth and brightens your smile, but did you know it can do the same for many products around your house? Non-gel toothpaste, which is usually a chalky-white color, can double as a cleaning product for shining, deodorizing, and cleaning up household messes. Gel toothpaste often contains colored dyes, so it’s not the best cleanser for the job.
Click through our online gallery to learn about unusual uses for toothpaste that can freshen up your day—and your home.
Clean the Sink
Come Out of the Fog
A foggy mirror can be a big hassle when you need it to get ready after taking a shower. Rubbing a non-gel toothpaste on the mirror and then wiping it off just before using the shower will prevent fog from clinging to it, so you don’t need to waste precious time waiting for the bathroom to air out.
RELATED: The Best Bathroom Mirrors of 2022
Iron it Out
Nothing is worse than ironing a clean shirt only to dirty it from the gunky build-up on the bottom of the iron. Luckily, a filthy iron can be cleared up with toothpaste. With the iron cool and unplugged, scrub the bottom with toothpaste on a rag and wipe the surface clean. Simple but effective!
Erase Crayon from the Wall
Are your kids a little too creative with their artwork? A scrub brush and a little toothpaste is the perfect way to remove waxy crayon stains from the walls without hurting the paint. And because the process is simple and non-toxic, you can even have your little ones scrub away the mess themselves.
Remove Water Rings
A misplaced beverage at a party can leave ugly water rings on hardwood furniture. Combat this by gently rubbing non-gel toothpaste over the stain until it lightens or disappears. Just don’t rub the area for too long or you may discolor the rest of the wood.
RELATED: How to Clean Wood Furniture
A scratched DVD doesn't have to mean the end of movie night. It is possible to save your favorite flick by dabbing a tiny bit of toothpaste onto the scratch and rubbing it all over the disk in circles with a soft towel. Wipe away the excess with a slightly wet towel and you are ready to press play.
Remove the Stench
Toothpaste has a magical way of zapping tough odors out of plastic food storage containers. Get rid of that sour smell by spreading on some toothpaste, scrubbing, and washing the residue down the drain.
Remove Tea and Coffee Stains
When you use your favorite coffee mug every day, it can eventually develop staining from the tea or coffee it’s filled with. While it would be easy to assume that these stains are permanent, toothpaste can often remove them with ease. Squirt a small amount of toothpaste onto your dish brush and scrub at the affected area before washing the mug as usual and watch the stains virtually disappear.
Remove Scratches from Touchscreens
Smartphones and tablets have delicate screens that are prone to being scratched if they’re not covered with a screen protector. While toothpaste won’t be able to help with major scratches or cracks, it can help buff away minor scratches. Use your fingertip to apply toothpaste to the scratch and remove any residue using a damp cloth.
Eliminate Makeup Smudges
Clean Hair Tools
People who regularly use a hair straightener or curling iron may notice that the surface of these tools can become grimy over time due to the buildup of hair products. Toothpaste is gentle enough to remove this residue without damaging the delicate surface of the iron. To shoo away hair spray, apply toothpaste and rub it in with a microfiber cloth before wiping the area clean.
While there are products that are specially formulated to polish fine jewelry, you may not always have them on hand when your favorite pieces begin to look dull. Instead, grab a tube of toothpaste and use it to shine your silver, gold, and diamond jewelry to make it look brand new. Toothpaste shouldn’t be used to clean soft gemstones like pearls and opals because they can easily be scratched.
Remove Carpet Stains
A stained carpet can be cause for concern, and while toothpaste may not be the best solution for large spills, it’s perfect for removing the evidence of a drop of red wine or pasta sauce from your living room rug. Use a toothbrush to rub toothpaste into the stain before rinsing the area with a damp cloth.
RELATED: The Best Area Rugs for the Home
Eliminate Cooking Odors from Your Hands
Whether you’ve been mincing garlic, dicing onions, or deboning fish, unpleasant food odors can cling to your hands and can’t always be removed with soap and water. Luckily, toothpaste can come to the rescue when stubborn smells persist. Apply toothpaste to damp hands, then wash and rinse your hands to banish odors for good.
Clean Piano Keys
Traditionally piano keys were made from ivory, though modern keys are made with plastic. Both materials can yellow over time and benefit from being cleaned with toothpaste at regular intervals. Apply a small amount of toothpaste to a toothbrush and scrub each key to reveal its original bright white hue.
Have you ever been tempted to buy one of those products you see advertised on TV infomercials? Sure, the spokesperson swears it does everything (and more!) but can it really live up to the hype? Sometimes, yes! Click through now to see some of our favorites.