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9 Things a Toothbrush Can Clean Besides Teeth

Spare your old toothbrush from the trash—use it for one of these cleaning ideas instead.


Use as all-purpose cleaners

Don’t throw out your old toothbrushes. Instead, use them to clean a host of diverse items and small or hard-to-reach areas and crevices. Use a toothbrush to clean artificial flowers and plants, costume jewelry, combs, shower tracks, crevices between tiles, and around faucets. Also clean computer keyboards, can-opener blades, and around stove burners. And don’t forget the seams on shoes where the leather meets the sole.


Brush your cheese grater

Give the teeth of a cheese grater a good brushing with an old toothbrush before you wash the grater or put it in the dishwasher. (Find out the surprising things you can clean in the dishwasher.) This will make it easier to wash and will prevent clogs in your dishwasher drain by getting rid of bits of cheese or any other item you may have grated.


Remove tough stains

Removing a stain can be a pain, especially one that has soaked deep down into soft fibers. To remove those deep stains, try using a soft-bristled nylon toothbrush, dabbing it gently to work in the stain-removing agent (bleach or vinegar, for example) until the stain is gone.


Clean silk from ears of corn

Before cooking shucked corn, take an old toothbrush and gently rub down the ear to brush away the remaining clingy strands of silk. Then you won’t have to brush them out from between your teeth after you eat the corn!


Clean and oil your waffle iron

A clean, soft toothbrush is just the right utensil to clean crumbs and burned batter from the nooks and crannies of a waffle iron. Use it to spread oil evenly on the waffle iron surface before the next use too.


Apply hair dye

Dyeing your hair at home? Use an old toothbrush as an applicator. It’s the perfect size.


Clean gunk from appliances

Dip an old toothbrush in soapy water and use it to clean between appliance knobs and buttons, and raised-letter nameplates. (Don’t miss these cleaning tips for the trickiest kitchen appliances.)


Scrub under your nails

It can sometimes be hard to remove the dirt and grime that builds up under your nails. Pump some soap onto an old toothbrush and use it to scrub your nails clean.


Tame flyaway hairs

Spray hairspray on a toothbrush that you don’t use and comb back the small hairs that always get in your face. This simple trick will give you a more put together and clean hairstyle.

Morgan Cutolo
Morgan is an Associate Editor at Reader’s Digest. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2016 where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. She writes for, helps lead the editorial relationship with our partners, manages our year-round interns, and keeps the hundreds of pieces of content our team produces every month organized. In her free time, she likes exploring the seacoast of Maine where she lives and works remotely full time and snuggling up on the couch with her corgi, Eggo, to watch HGTV or The Office.