Did you know that the tube of toothpaste sitting by your bathroom sink can be used for much more than just keeping your teeth squeaky clean? Here are 10 amazing (and unexpected!) uses for this magical minty paste.
Shine chrome fixtures fast.
If your kitchen or bathroom faucet is looking a bit dull, enlist the help of toothpaste! To do: Spread the nongel variety on the surface and let sit for 10 minutes. Then buff off 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.
Nix 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.
Repair scratches in a glass tabletop.
Your bouquet adds a pop of color to the room, but the vase has 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.
Clean messy dog accidents.
Oops! Buster had an accident while you were out, and you are all out of cleaner. To the rescue: toothpaste! Put a small amount of non-gel paste on a toothbrush and scrub the area on the floor with enough water to make a soap-like consistency. The toothpaste’s cleaning properties will help break down the stain and odor. (Note: This works on hardwood floors as well as carpet. Just be sure to spot-test first!)
Rescue yellowed fingernails.
The red nail polish you were wearing was gorgeous, but when you remove it to try a new color, you find that your nails are left with a yellow tint. What can help: Squirt non-gel toothpaste onto a nailbrush and scrub nails. The paste’s detergent will nix the discoloration as you scrub away.
Help headlights shine brightly.
Slushy roads have caused your car’s headlights to become 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.
Lift hair dye splatters.
You’ve been more than happy to dye your hair at home lately, and it’s saved you a bundle too! If only you didn’t end up with some dye spots around your hairline. The solution: Massage a dab of non-gel toothpaste onto needed areas until the pigment disappears, then use warm water to wash it away. The tiny scrubbers in the paste will gently scour away the dye.
De-grime rubber trim on sneakers.
After wearing your favorite sneakers to run errands, you notice they’re marred with salt stains. To remove them, squirt a pea-size amount of non-gel toothpaste onto a clean, soft cloth and rub at the marks. Then finish by wiping with a damp cloth. The mildly abrasive toothpaste will help lift the salt without scratching the rubber, leaving them as good as new!
Remove ink from fabric.
Eek! You fell asleep while journaling before bed, and now there’s an ink stain on your favorite nightshirt. 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 starts to disappear. Then rinse it with water and toss in the washer as usual. Toothpaste’s detergent will help lift the smudge so it can come off in the wash.
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 the exact spot to place the nail.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.