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Life Hacks

15 Brilliant Uses for Toothpaste That Have Nothing To Do with Cleaning Your Teeth

Whisk away stains, tarnish, scratches, spills, odors and more!

Toothpaste: It’s one of those items you definitely can’t live without — and for so many more reasons than you may have realized! Not only does it clean your teeth and freshen your breath, it can also help you spiffy up your house, pretty up your fingernails and so much more. Read on for 15 genius uses for toothpaste — soon you’ll be stashing a tube in your purse, your car and every room of your house!

1. Uses for toothpaste: lift hair dye splatters

Dyeing your hair at home has saved you a bundle, but sometimes you end up with a few pesky dye spots around your hairline. To erase them, massage a bit of non-gel toothpaste into the affected areas until the pigment disappears, then wash away with warm water. The micro scrubbers in the paste will leave your skin free of color slipups. (Click through to discover how to get self-tanner off hands.)

2. It restores shine to chrome fixtures

“Toothpaste is a convenient and affordable household item that can restore the luster of your chrome fixtures,” explains cleaning expert Muffetta Krueger, founder of Muffetta’s Domestic Assistants, “Toothpaste contains mild abrasives and chemicals designed to clean and polish teeth, and these same properties make toothpaste useful for cleaning chrome fixtures,” she says. “The mild abrasive nature of toothpaste helps remove tarnish, water spots and grime without scratching the surface. Toothpaste can also help break down and dissolve stains or deposits on the chrome.”

The easy how-to: Spread the non-gel variety on the surface and let sit for 10 minutes. Then buff with a soft cloth. Detergents in the toothpaste will break down soap scum and watermarks. Plus, the coating left behind will prevent new fingerprints from sticking to the chrome surface.

Related: How To Clean Faucet Head Buildup + 3 Reasons Why You Don’t Want To Wait

3. It eliminates odors from reusable bottles

To banish lingering smells from a reusable plastic or metal water bottle, try this: Squirt a dime-size amount of non-gel toothpaste inside the bottle and swish with a scrubbing brush. Then rinse and wash. The deodorizing properties in the paste will eliminate the odor, so you can happily sip away.

4. Uses for toothpaste: It revives dull headlights

Uses for toothpaste: worker cleaning car headlights taped to protect paint rubbing with blue shop towel closeup on driveway of house outside

Dirty roads have left your car’s headlights covered in grime. To get them clean, use a paper towel to rub non-gel toothpaste in small circles on each headlight. Then, wipe clean with a damp cloth. The abrasive paste will lift dirt without leaving scratches.

5. It repairs scratches in a glass tabletop

Your bouquet adds a pop of color to the room, but the vase left behind a few nicks in your glass tabletop. The fix: Rub a dime-size dollop of non-gel toothpaste into the marks with your fingertips. Let sit for five minutes (or until dry), then wipe away with a soft cloth. The calcium phosphate in the paste will fill in the scratches, restoring your table to perfect condition.

6. Uses for toothpaste: remove ink from fabric

Eek! You fell asleep while journaling before bed, and now there’s an ink stain on your favorite pajamas. To the rescue: toothpaste! Apply a dab of non-gel, non-whitening paste on the spot and vigorously rub the shirt’s material together until the stain disappears. Then rinse with water and toss it in the washer as usual. Toothpaste’s detergents will help lift the smudge so it can come off in the wash. (Click through for how to remove permanent marker from plastic.)

7. It de-grimes an iron

If your trusty curling iron isn’t working as well as it used to, the steam holes may have become blocked with residue from synthetic fabrics or spray starch. To clear the buildup, unplug the iron and make sure it’s cool, then squirt a quarter-size amount of toothpaste onto a paper towel and gently scrub the iron’s metal plate. Toothpaste contains a mild abrasive that will gently buff off residue. Wipe any leftover paste with a damp paper towel. This work for hair-styling tools like curling irons and flat irons, too! (Click through for the best way to clean the bottom of an iron.)

8. Uses for toothpaste: make carpet stains disappear

uses for toothpaste: carpet cleaning

“Toothpaste can be a handy household remedy for cleaning certain carpet stains, thanks to its ability to break down and lift stains,” says Krueger. “The mild abrasives in toothpaste can help scrub and loosen surface stains on the carpet fiber.” What’s more, she adds, “The chemicals in toothpaste, such as hydrogen peroxide or baking soda, can react with organic stains (like food or beverage spills) and help break them down and remove the discoloration.”

To do: Make a cleaning solution by adding a small amount of non-whitening toothpaste (like the amount you’d use to brush your teeth) and ¾ cup water to a bowl. Mix well, then dip a sponge in the solution and blot at the stain until it disappears.

Related: How to Clean a Shag Rug — Cleaning Pro Reveals a Trick That Works Wonders

9. It soothes a bug bite

Next time you get bitten by a mosquito, reach for a tube of toothpaste! Toothpaste acts as an astringent to help draw fluids out from under the skin, so it helps with swelling,” Heather Bartos, MD, explains. “It also contains menthol, which relieves itching and swelling.” While Dr. Bartos prefers paste over gel, both work. “Just be sure to leave the paste be for a while,” she says. “I leave it on for at least a day before I wash it off with a warm washcloth.”

Related: Why Are Mosquitoes Attracted to Me? Tips for Getting Those Skeeters to Pass You By

10. Uses for toothpaste: brighten yellowed fingernails

The red nail polish you were wearing was gorgeous, but when you remove it to try a new color, your nails have a yellow tint. What can help: Squirt a bit of non-gel toothpaste onto a nailbrush and scrub nails. The paste’s detergent will nix the discoloration as you scrub away.

Related: Discover What Those Nail Dents Reveal About Your Thyroid

11. It cleans your phone screen

Oops! You spilled a blob of salad dressing on your cell phone. To mop up the mess and clean your phone, dab a small amount of toothpaste on your finger and rub it onto the screen. Use a damp cloth to wipe the toothpaste off, and voila! Clean screen.

Check out the video below to see Youtuber DroidTechID put this tip to the test

12. Uses for toothpaste: eliminate food odors on skin

You love your grandma’s garlic chicken recipe, but you’re not so fond of how your hands smell after you make it. The save: Squirt a dollop of toothpaste onto your palms and wash as you would with soap. Toothpaste’s strong cleansing agents will eliminate the odor. Bonus: The paste’s mildly abrasive granules will exfoliate and soften skin.

13. It restores tarnished jewelry

Uses for toothpaste: it can clean jewelry
Marc Bruxelle/Getty

The exfoliating properties of toothpaste help your jewelry shine like brand new. All you have to do is use a small amount of toothpaste on an old toothbrush and scrub the jewelry, then rinse or clean any excess paste off with a dry cloth. Micro scrubbers in the paste will quickly buff away dirt and grime but won’t damage the jewelry.

Related: Jewelry Dips Can Damage Rings, Cautions Pro — The Better Way to Clean Them

14. Uses for toothpaste: ensure frames hang perfectly

You’re excited to hang some updated photos on the gallery wall in your living room. To make sure you line up the frames perfectly, reach for some toothpaste. To do: Simply place a dollop of toothpaste on the hanging loop of each frame, level it, and gently press it against the wall. A small amount of the paste will be left behind, showing you where to place the nail.

15. It revives plastic patio furniture  

Good old-fashioned toothpaste works magic on plastic furniture. “Skip the gel formulas and look for a paste that includes baking soda, which makes it mildly abrasive, says cleaning expert and author Melissa Maker. “That’s what helps is gently scrub away dirt and grime without damaging the surface.” Squeeze about an inch of paste onto a clean rag, buff it into your furniture, and then spray it down with a garden hose. The toothpaste will lift everything from pollen to grass stains. (Click through for more on how to clean outdoor cushions.)

For more brilliant life hacks, keep reading!

17 Brilliant Uses for Used Dryer Sheets That Have Nothing To Do With Laundry

14 Brilliant Uses for Orphan Socks — From Dusting Floors to Stopping Umbrella Drips

15 Brilliant Uses for Paper Clips — They’re More Handy Than You Know

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