12 surprising household uses for toothpaste
If you don't feel
inspired when brushing your teeth, this might change that:
Toothpaste is a
master multitasker, capable of polishing gemstones, buffing bowls,
smoothing scratches and so much more. Here's what it can do for you!
scuffs from shoes
Don't you hate when your new kicks have fresh marks? "Toothpaste is
great for getting scuff marks off sneakers," says Barbara Reich, owner
of the organizing company Resourceful Consultants. "Just a little dot
will go a long way, so start small and add more if needed."
Remove crayons from walls
Got baby Banksy on your hands? Toothpaste will make crayon marks
disappear faster than Chardonnay at art gallery opening. "Spread over
the artwork, scrub, then rinse with water," says Reich. "The abrasives
in the toothpaste will easily get your wall back to normal."
Help you hang art
Now that your walls are crayon-free, use a dab of basic toothpaste
(no whiteners or fresh strips) on the back corners to press lightweight
posters, collages and other mementos into position. (Decent hold and no
holes!) And for frames backed by teeth hangers or picture hooks,
toothpaste can be used to determine where to position and pound the
Fill wall holes
In a pinch, plain white toothpaste can also be used in lieu of
Spackle to patch holes left by pins, nails, screws, etc. It's not really
a permanent solution, and will probably make real repairs trickier down
the line, so use this method only if you don't plan to stick around (and
your landlord deserves it). See a demonstration here.
If you've been a teenager, you've gone to bed with toothpaste on your
face. But have you tried blending it with crushed aspirin? Aspirin is
derived from willow bark, the same source for salicylic acid, a popular
So the former dries the pimple up, the latter fosters cellular
turnover and decreased inflammation.
Brighten your nails
Whitening peroxide toothpastes can help restore luster to nails
discolored and yellowed by dark polishes. Use a nailbrush or unused
toothbrush to scrub the stains away - really get in there, especially
under the nails. Follow up with a nice lemon juice soak.
Beautiful digits demand more beautiful bling, right? Make your best
friends shimmer by using toothpaste and a very soft toothbrush to clean
your diamonds. "After just a few minutes, the sparkle will be amazing,"
Polish the silver
From tarnished picture frames to dingy jewellery, a thorough tumble
with old-school white toothpaste (gel formulas don't really work) will
cause tarnish to literally rub off your hands, blacken your brush and
turn your polishing cloth gray. Follow with a good rinse and buff dry.
Clean your toilet
In less than 30 seconds, you can shine up the inside rim and bowl or
your porcelain throne, sans toxic chemicals. This is also a fantastic
way to use up your kids' barely-used toothpastes. Check out the blog "Binkies
& Briefcases" for the instructions.
"Toothpaste is magic," says Adriane Richardson, co-author of the blog
"One Lucky Pickle." She used it to return her blackened grout to its
original light gray color using sudsy, whitening paste and a toothbrush.
If you care about speed (and your arms, back, knees), consider using
an electric. Use a rag to wipe up the toothpaste muck as you go, since
it's way harder to clean once it dries all crusty.
Remove water rings
No coasters? No problem. Home expert Bob Vila recommends removing
water rings on wood furniture by a gentle rub of white, non-gel
toothpaste. Focus on the ring only, since toothpaste can potentially
damage a wood finish.
Toothpaste was made to help eliminate stinky food odors, and it can
do the same for baby bottles, thermoses and other containers that have
gone ripe. Simply scrub, using it in place of dish soap.
For the same reason, toothpaste can quickly eradicate garlic, onion,
curry and other potent food smells from your hands.