You find a tube of toothpaste next to the bathroom sink—left open—and it's dried out. Or, your kids' favorite paste flavor has become mega boring (their words), and you have to pick up something more interesting to ignite their curiosity. Sound familiar? Thankfully, those tubes don't have to go to waste.
Yes, there are ways to use toothpaste beyond brushing. Think about this: natural toothpaste is made with ingredients sourced and derived from nature that are not only gentle on our teeth but also on the environment. This means that it can be a creative, green alternative to artificial substances used for household tasks.
8 Unconventional Ways to Use Toothpaste
I'm a pro at upcycling and repurposing. I've shared tips on how to give new life to scraps of produce peelings, transform old tablecloths into reusable napkins, and use pantry oils to moisturize your skin. Similarly, I've learned that there are plenty of ways to reroute that unwanted tube of paste from landing in the trash. Instead, try these ideas around your home!
1. Polish Old Utensils
You know that cherished box of good silverware that only comes out for special dinners? I inherited that from my lovely grandmother and now use it for my daily utensils. Why? Every day is special, and using the silverware reminds me of cherished meals from the past. The knives, forks, and spoons now sparkle thanks to a recent polishing with toothpaste and a soft cloth, followed by a thorough wash.
2. Remove Sink Stains
Grab an old toothbrush, and load it up with a big bead of paste. Then, scrub it around the bathroom sink drain to lift any discoloration. I've also used toothpaste around the bathtub drain on a white porcelain-enamel finish with beautiful results. Rinse the area with water after scrubbing, and that's it!
3. Brighten White Sneakers
Say goodbye to dingy dirt stains on your favorite kicks. Using a paper towel or an old toothbrush, work a small amount of toothpaste into the stained area and watch your white sneakers come back to life. After scrubbing, wipe the shoes down with a water-moistened towel to remove the paste, and avoid getting the insides of the shoes wet. Let the shoes air dry for twenty minutes or longer before wearing.
4. Clean Piano Keys
If you have a piano, you probably routinely tidy and dust it, but when's the last time you actually removed grime from the keys? The cleansing and whitening action of toothpaste may help restore luster to those ivories in no time. Simply buff on the paste using a soft cloth, then wipe it off.
5. Fill Small Holes
As you declutter and incorporate feng shui into your home, you're bound to hang or move some wall decor. When you find old nail holes or wall dings, toothpaste comes to the rescue! Simply dab a bit into the holes, smooth it with your fingertip, and let the paste dry for a few hours. It will seamlessly blend with white walls, or it can work as primer to later accept a bit of touch-up paint. It worked for me in my bathroom!
6. Lighten Coffee Stains
Toothpaste can also help remove stubborn coffee marks, from brown rings on countertops to lingering residue in the bottom of your favorite mug. Give the surface a good scrub with the paste, then rinse it to reveal a fresh, clean area. For mugs, finish up with a run through the dishwasher or your usual washing routine to remove any lingering minty flavor.
7. Freshen Metal Jewelry
An old, soft-bristled toothbrush topped with paste can be carefully worked over gold or silver rings, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces to restore their natural luster. After sudsing, rinse the item immediately under cool water to avoid dried paste stains. Then, pat each piece of jewelry dry with a soft cloth.
Note: Avoid cleaning jewelry with precious stones, as they may become scratched or dried out from the paste. This cleaning method is best for all-metal pieces.
8. Lift Clothing Stains
If you have a whitening toothpaste handy, carefully dab it on stains on white garments. Rub the paste into the cloth with your fingertip, then toss the item into the washing machine. This method works like a pretreatment to help lift any discoloration and brighten the fabric.
Looking for more creative ways to reuse items around the house? Check out the DIY Naturally board from @tomsofmaine on Pinterest!
Image Source: Angela Tague
The views and opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Tom's of Maine.
Why It's Good
Toothpaste is one of those unexpected, versatile products that has multiple uses beyond dental care. From removing set-in stains to freshening surfaces, the cleaning and whitening power you enjoy on your teeth can also revive everyday things around the house. Never toss an unwanted tube again!