Life Style

Unique Uses for Toothbrushes and Floss at Home

by Elizabeth Flaherty – updated by Jenny Stanley

While toothbrushes and floss are essential for dental hygiene, these brilliant uses for them have nothing to do with your teeth.

Clean Mud off Your Shoes

Get loose dirt off your shoes with a toothbrush. Dip it into a teaspoon of laundry detergent mixed with a cup of water. Use the solution on the fabric, mesh, and rubber areas, but don’t use it on foam or leather.

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Sew a Button Back On

If a button pops off of your shirt or pants, you can use floss to sew it back on. Even if you’re not an experienced sewer, replacing a button is simple to DIY. Just thread a needle with dental floss and cinch the button to the fabric.

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Clean Your Keyboard

Clean grease and dirt off the computer keyboards with an old toothbrush and a solution of alcohol and water

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Clean Grout Joints

No matter how careful you are, you’re bound to end up with some thin-set in the joints between tiles. And if you allow it to harden, it’ll interfere with your grout job. A toothbrush works great to clean excess thin-set from grout joints, especially for the skinny joints between mosaic tiles. Let the thin-set get firm, but not hard, before you start the cleanup process. If you try to clean up thin-set too soon, you risk disturbing the tiles.

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Cut Cake

Delicate desserts such as cake can be easily and precisely cut into even pieces using dental floss. Just stretch the floss tightly across the top and press it all the way through the dessert.

Deep-Clean Your Garbage Disposal

Dip an old toothbrush in antibacterial grease-cutting kitchen cleaner and lift up one corner of the splash guard. Scrub off the crud and rinse with cold water. Repeat with each flap until it’s totally clean and rinsed.

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Restore Your Jewelry

A slightly damp toothbrush is perfect for cleaning delicate jewelry. Clean your jewelry with a solution of water (almost hot) and dishwashing soap. Soak your jewelry for about 20 to 40 minutes, gently brush it with a very soft toothbrush, and then rinse under warm running water. If needed, repeat.

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Repair Wood Parts

It’s easy to coat narrow crevices with glue when you’re repairing a cracked board or tenon on a project. Pour a little carpenter’s glue on a scrap of wood, drag the unwaxed floss back and forth through the puddle, and floss the glue into the crack. Now clamp the crack closed and let it dry. Thanks to Phil Milhelich for this tip.

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Deep Clean Your Toilet

You know the hinges on your toilet seat? It seems like no matter how hard you try, you can never get the seat clean. It’s a grim place to clean but a toothbrush makes it easier to get shiny and clean.

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Plant support

There’s no need to purchase specially made plant ties for your garden, use dental floss instead. The sturdy string will support everything from heavy tomato plants to delicate tendrils of vining flowers. 

Toothbrush Glue Spreader

Old toothbrushes are great for gluing and avoiding a mess. When your toothbrush wears out, put it back into service as a glue spreader. I always use a toothbrush to apply glue to boards for edge-glueing. No more spreading glue with my fingers or chips of wood. The soft-but-not-mushy bristles of an old toothbrush apply glue evenly and quickly. One swipe along the edge usually does the trick, coating the surface smoothly and evenly. Store the brush in a glass of water.

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Quick Clothesline

Whether you’re camping or just taking advantage of a day of sunshine at home, you can hang dry your clothes outdoors using floss and a couple of sturdy trees or fence posts.

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