14 October 2010

the amazing cleaning powers of the toothbrush

Yesterday I promised to show you my favorite multi-purpose tool in my house. Here it is–the old toothbrush. I cannot clean my house without one (at least one), and I find more ways to use old toothbrushes all the time.
  • I keep one by each sink. They're great for scrubbing the gunk that builds up around the faucets. (Equally effective in the shower for the same gunk.)
  • I keep one in the laundry room for scrubbing stain remover into stains.
  • I use them dry to dust grooved and/or carved surfaces–the piping on the couch cushions, keyboards, moulding and trim pieces.
  • They're great for cleaning mud and other, uh, foreign objects from shoes.
  • They're the only tool I've found to easily clean window tracks.
  • Boredom buster–give kids an old toothbrush and a bucket full of suds so they can "clean" their toys, piggy bank coins or even rocks from the yard. Hours of fun, I tell you.
  • I keep one of the kids' old toothbrushes (with a suction cup on the bottom) on the side of the tub. The kids use it to scrub under their nails during bathtime.

Of course, all this heavy duty work takes a toll on the bristles. But we're pretty good about using new toothbrushes every three months, so we just rotate them through the cycle. The new ones are for brushing teeth, the recently used ones are for cleaning and playing, the heavily used ones get tossed or recycled, if possible.

(Note: the adult toothbrushes in the photos are recyclable. They're from Preserve, and not only are they recyclable when you're done with them, they're made from recycled yogurt containers. Love that.)

What do you use your old toothbrushes for?


Simply Mel said...

Toothbrushes for cleaning are my favorite little teeny tiny tool of spic-and-span shine! However, I frequently have nightmares of using the 'cleaning' one by accident!

Blanca said...

I have the same nightmare. Where do you find the kids toothbrushes w/ the suction cup on bottom?


Marisa said...

Oh, Mel, that would be horrible! I keep my cleaning toothbrushes completely separate from my "tooth brushing" toothbrush, so I've never had that worry. :)

Blanca--I believe I found the suction cup toothbrush at Target. Might have been Walmart. It came in a pack with a pink penguin toothbrush and they were really inexpensive!

Anonymous said...

WOW you really put your toothbrushes to work. I like it.

I use toothbrushes to clean the grout in between our tiles in the kitchen and the sunroom. We are blessed with red clay here and GA and the dogs track in red mud in the sunroom. A little diluted bleach and a toothbrush and that grout is cleans as all get out. :)

p.s. the sip-n-see went really good and I think it turned out cute. I'll have to email you some pics later this week after I get them uploaded.

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