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20 Handy Uses for Toothpaste That Have Nothing to Do with Your Teeth

Thought it was just for maintaining a healthy smile? Guess again! Toothpaste has a host of uses around the house.

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Remove scuffs from shoes

A little toothpaste does an amazing job of removing scuffs from leather shoes. Just squirt a dab on the scuffed area and rub with a soft cloth. Wipe clean with a damp cloth. The leather will look like new. As for your other shoes, follow these clever cleaning hacks.

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Clean your piano keys

Has tickling the ivories left them a bit dingy? Clean them up with toothpaste and a toothbrush, then wipe them down with a damp cloth. Makes sense, since ivory is essentially elephant teeth. However, toothpaste will work just as well on modern pianos that usually have keys covered with plastic rather than real ivory. Here’s a secret: this is why toothpaste is mint-flavored.

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Clean your sneakers

Want to clean and whiten the rubber part of your sneakers? Get out the non-gel toothpaste and an old toothbrush. After scrubbing, clean off the toothpaste with a damp cloth.

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Clean your clothes iron

The mild abrasive in non-gel toothpaste is just the ticket for scrubbing the gunk off the bottom plate of your clothes iron. Apply the toothpaste to the cool iron, scrub with a rag, then rinse clean. Try out these extraordinary uses for objects in the kitchen.

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Polish a diamond ring

Put a little toothpaste on an old toothbrush and use it to make your diamond ring sparkle instead of your teeth. Clean off the residue with a damp cloth. Here’s more about how to polish silver and jewelry using toothpaste (and 12 other household staples).

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Deodorize baby bottles

Baby bottles inevitably pick up a sour-milk smell. Toothpaste will remove the odor in a jiffy. Just put some on your bottle brush and scrub away. Be sure to rinse thoroughly.

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Prevent fogged goggles

Whether you are doing woodworking or going skiing or scuba diving, nothing is more frustrating (and sometimes dangerous) than fogged goggles. Prevent the problem by coating the goggles with toothpaste and then wiping them off. Also, test these extraordinary uses for everyday foods.

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Prevent bathroom mirrors from fogging

Ouch! You cut yourself shaving and it’s no wonder—you can’t see your face clearly in that fogged-up bathroom mirror. Next time, coat the mirror with non-gel toothpaste and wipe it off before you get in the shower. When you get out, the mirror won’t be fogged.

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Shine bathroom and kitchen chrome

They make commercial cleaners with a very fine abrasive designed to shine up chrome, but if you don’t have any handy, the fine abrasive in non-gel toothpaste works just as well. Just smear on the toothpaste and polish with a soft, dry cloth.

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Clean the bathroom sink

Non-gel toothpaste works as well as anything else to clean the bathroom sink. The tube’s sitting right there, so just squirt some in, scrub with a sponge, and rinse it out. Bonus: The toothpaste will kill any odors emanating from the drain trap. Find out seven ways you’re cleaning your bathroom wrong.

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Remove crayon from walls

Did crayon-toting kids get creative on your wall? Roll up your sleeves and grab a tube of non-gel toothpaste and a rag or—better yet—a scrub brush. Squirt the toothpaste on the wall and start scrubbing. The fine abrasive in the toothpaste will rub away the crayon every time. Rinse the wall with water. Here are other speedy solutions to getting crayon off the wall.

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Remove ink or lipstick stains from fabric

Oh no, a pen opened up in the pocket of your favorite shirt! This may or may not work, depending on the fabric and the ink, but it is certainly worth a try before consigning the shirt to the scrap bin. Put non-gel toothpaste on the stain and rub the fabric vigorously together. Rinse with water. Did some of the ink come out? Great! Repeat the process a few more times until you get rid of all the ink. The same process works for lipstick. Got a coffee stain? These solutions work like a charm.

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Remove watermarks from furniture

You leave coasters around. But some people just won’t use them. To get rid of those telltale watermark rings left by sweating beverages, gently rub some non-gel toothpaste on the wood with a soft cloth. Then wipe it off with a damp cloth and let it dry before applying furniture polish.

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Remove beach tar

Getting that black beach tar on your feet can put a small crimp in your vacation, but it is easy enough to remove. Just rub it with some non-gel toothpaste and rinse. Try out these things you can use nail polish remover for.

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Clear up pimples

Dab a bit of non-gel, non-whitening toothpaste on the offending spot, and it should be dried up by morning. The toothpaste dehydrates the pimple and absorbs the oil. This remedy works best on pimples that have come to a head. Caution: This remedy may be irritating to sensitive skin.

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Clean smells from hands

The ingredients in toothpaste that deodorize your mouth will work on your hands as well. If you’ve gotten into something stinky, wash your hands with toothpaste, and they’ll smell great. Try out these uses for the junk leftover in your garage.

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Stop bug bites from itching

Put toothpaste on your bug bite to keep it from itching. Dab a dime-sized amount onto your bug bite. This method also helps to cool down burns on your skin.

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Remove a stain from the carpet

Rub toothpaste into the stain on the carpet with a toothbrush or sponge. Rinse with water and repeat until the stain comes up.

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Clean your foggy headlights

Make the headlights on your car shine like new. Put toothpaste onto a sponge and scrub your headlight in circular motions. Wipe the toothpaste off with a damp cloth.

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Remove small scratches from your phone screen

Rub toothpaste on the front or back of your phone (wherever there are scratches). The toothpaste will work to reduce the look of the scratches and make your phone screen look much better. Now, try these alternate uses for household staples you already own.

Morgan Cutolo
Morgan is the Assistant Digital Managing Editor at Reader’s Digest. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2016 where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. When she’s not writing for rd.com or keeping the 650+ pieces of content our team produces every month organized, she likes watching HGTV, going on Target runs, and searching through Instagram to find new corgi accounts to follow.