Most people think of toothpaste simply as the most popular method to clean teeth. But did you know there are many other uses for toothpaste?
–Remove scuffs from shoes! Simply dab a little toothpaste on leather and your shoes will shine up like new.
–Polish jewelry! Using an old toothbrush, spread a bit of toothpaste on your diamond ring and it’ll clean up beautifully. Just be warned, however, that not all jewelry should get wet (pearls and opals to name two), let alone be polished with toothpaste. Research if the material you would like to clean is “toothpaste safe” before trying this at home.
–Clean piano keys! You can use toothpaste to clean both the older kind of piano keys (natural ivory) and the plastic keys found in newer pianos.
–Clean the house! You might be amazed by the range of household surfaces toothpaste can clean. Try using toothpaste to remove crayons from walls, lipstick from clothing, and watermarks from furniture. Be sure to test a small, non-visible area of the surface you want to clean with toothpaste before applying it to a large area to ensure it doesn’t cause damage.
–Defog mirrors! Coat your bathroom mirror with a thin layer of toothpaste, then wipe it down.
–Clean sinks! Run out of your favorite abrasive bathroom cleaner? In a pinch, toothpaste’s mild abrasive qualities work about as well as any other cleaner.
–Carpet cleaning and stain removal! Scrub carpet with any sort of cleaning brush and toothpaste, then rinse. Stains come right out!
–Deodorize baby bottles! If your baby bottles are getting a sour milk smell, clean them out with some toothpaste using a bottle scrubber, then rinse well with water.
–Acne cream! Toothpaste can reduce redness and dry out pimples when dabbed on and left overnight.
–Bee sting ointment/bug bite relief! A bit of toothpaste can take the edge off of pain from bug bites, and soothe the wound, while reducing itchiness and inflammation.
–Fill in nail holes! Out of spackle? You can use toothpaste to fill in the holes. For painted walls, you can let the toothpaste dry and it’s good to paint over within hours.
Note that you want to use plain, white toothpaste for all of the above.
—Dr. Shannon Norman-Kotre, Ann Arbor Dentist