What to do with an old toothbrush

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

toothbrush-311373_960_720Over the course of your life, you will buy things that are meant to last, like a home (if you are lucky enough to have the funds to do so), and others that are frequently replaced, like the humble toothbrush.

Speaking of the toothbrush, dentists recommend replacing your toothbrush every three months. If you adopt that schedule, four of your toothbrushes will hit landfills every year. If you are feeling resourceful, however, you can prolong your former toothbrush's landfill trip by putting it to further use after you are done using it on your teeth.

This may be seen, even by ardent reusers, as somewhat of a yuck subject but it is not and does not have to be.

You may want to give old brushes a good cleaning before taking on these projects. To do that I simply stick them in a small container with some hot water and chlorine bleach. After that, you are good to go.

I know that some people have a problem with bleach as not being environmentally friendly but as a disinfectant it is hard to beat and replace.

Get the dirt off veggies

Mushrooms often come with a bit of dirt, but they hate being cleaned with water. A soft-bristle brush will let you remove dirt easily and effectively. Don't stop at mushrooms, either. Other fruits and veggies can be cleaned just as thoroughly with a soft-bristle brush.

Cleaning pesky dishes and tile grout

The lids of sippy cups, stubborn Tupperware containers, and other hard-to-clean kitchen hardware are a perfect use for an old toothbrush. You can get right into the spots that a typical kitchen sponge or even dishwash brush cannot reach.

A toothbrush is wonderful for cleaning pesky kitchen grout and for certain cleaning jobs, including the tile grouts, in the bathroom.

In the bathroom

As already indicated an old toothbrush can serve very well as a cleaning brush for tile grout in the bathroom and is equally at home cleaning off gunk, limescale, and other stuff from around the taps at the sink and the bathtub.

Bicycle chains

A toothbrush is great for getting dirt and such out of bicycle chains and also the freewheel and crank wheel, as well as the gear cluster, if your bike has one, before it causes problems or builds up excessively.

Working with crafts

A toothbrush can be used to apply paint, glue, polish, and all manner of arts-and-crafts materials. It is a brush, after all.

Applicator brush for boot polish

As we have just established that the toothbrush is a brush, after all, it is quite natural to also consider using a retired toothbrush as an applicator brush for boot and shoe polish.

When your toothbrush is done cleaning your teeth, its life has only just begun, and with the above list we have only just about scratched the surface of all the tasks that an old toothbrush could be put to before finally putting it into the trash.

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