A Genius Hack that Makes Your Retired Toothbrush Better for Cleaning

published Feb 19, 2019
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

I went to the dentist today and you know what that means! Yep, another new toothbrush—which means I get to promote (demote?) the one I’m using to my cleaning arsenal.

Why Toothbrushes Are Great for Cleaning

Toothbrushes are the best little tools for cleaning small spaces like window tracks, shower tracks, around the faucets, the drains in the sink, the seams between the vertical and horizontal surfaces of the counter, grout, and so much more. You could buy special detail cleaning brushes for this, but toothbrushes are a perfect way to reuse and repurpose, and they’re in steady supply.

I put toothbrushes in every one of the cleaning caddies I have in the house: under each bathroom sink, and under the kitchen sink. I also have one or two handy with my general household cleaning supplies.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)
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Boil a pot of water and drop the toothbrush in for about ten minutes. (Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

A Smarter Way to Recycle Old Toothbrushes for Cleaning

It might seem like these little powerhouse tools can’t get any better, but there’s one small alteration you can make to your old toothbrushes to make them even more useful when you go to scrub those intricate spots. Bending the necks of your cleaning toothbrushes or a portion of their heads gives them a shape that enables them to reach even more spots.

Altering your toothbrush for cleaning is easy: Boil a pot of water and drop the toothbrush in for about 10 minutes. Once it’s ready, remove it and—carefully, with pliers or tweezers—bend the plastic to your desired shape. You could also use a lighter to warm and soften the plastic where you want to bend it.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

This small modification focuses your elbow grease and your toothbrush’s willing bristles right where you want to clean, precisely. Bending just below the bristles gives you a more ergonomic grip on your new cleaning brush, while bending the head of the brush right in the middle produces a corner-shaped brush perfect for getting into tight corners or small fits, like the bottom of a bottle.

Do you use toothbrushes to clean at home?