October 14, 2019
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Double duty tools: toothbrush and floss

By: George Malkemus
December 14, 2018

Toothbrush uses

Toothbrushes make excellent cleaning tools. And you don’t even have to buy them for that purpose; just use your old one when it’s too worn out for its intended use! It is best to replace your toothbrush every three months or whenever you have been sick. Here are some places to use your old toothbrush as an indispensable cleaning tool. 

Taking the grime out of your bathroom. A little elbow grease and an old toothbrush can clean hard-to-reach spots, shower corners, bathtubs and sink drains. The area around your bathtub and sink drains is a terrible place for collecting mold, a toothbrush will remove the mess with ease. 

Grout lines. If you have any tiled areas in your home (floors, backsplashes, tub surrounds, etc.) nothing cleans the grout lines as well as a toothbrush. Just spray on some cleaner and brush the surface thoroughly, then wipe away the gunk. While in the process of grouting new tiles, a toothbrush is an excellent way to remove wet grout before curing. 

Carpet stains. If you have a tough stain in your carpet, there’s only so much carpet cleaner can do alone. A quick scrub with your toothbrush will work out even the toughest stains from carpeted areas. 

Laundry stains. Similar to carpet stains, fabric stains in laundry sometimes needs a good scrub to really get removed. Use your toothbrush to gently work laundry spot remover into the stain before washing for a better chance of full removal. 

Gum on clothing: Use egg whites to remove gum on clothing. Brush egg whites onto gum with a toothbrush. Let it sit for 15 minutes and then launder the items normally. 

Corners and seams. Corners and seams throughout your house, such as where your countertops meet your wall, or where the parts of your bathtub surround come together, can get really nasty over time. Your cleaning toothbrush does an excellent job of removing even the smallest dirt particles from these areas. 

Light switches. Light switches are constantly touched by greasy human hands and over time can acquire a dirty build-up that’s difficult to remove. Toothbrushes will help remove the grime. 

Telephone receiver. Telephones are notorious for harboring bacteria and other icky things. A regular wipe down with a disinfecting wipe will help, but for serious cleaning, enlist your trusty toothbrush. 

Jewelry items, especially rings, often have small intricate designs that are very difficult to clean. Toothbrushes do a great job of bringing back sparkle to your favorite accessories. Clean silver and jewelry by putting a small amount of toothpaste on a toothbrush, scrub gently and you have silver, fine jewelry and diamonds shining brightly. 

Eyeglasses. If you wear eyeglasses on a regular basis you know how gross the nose and earpieces can get after a while. A toothbrush will get into the smallest grooves and get your glasses looking like new again. 

Old toothbrushes have many uses in the garage, from shining chrome car wheels to detailing and cleaning small auto parts, like spark plugs. 

Taking care of your furry friends. Use a toothbrush to brush small pets like guinea pigs. Toothbrushes are also great for scrubbing turtle shells and aquariums. 

Keep your bicycle looking new. The spokes on your bike and other small, hard-to-reach areas can be kept clean with an old toothbrush and some soap and water. 

A shoeshine substitute. Use an old clean toothbrush coupled with shoe polish to keep your shoes looking as good as new. Running shoes or golf shoes can also be cleaned with a toothbrush and cleaning solution. 

Finger and toenails. A final great place to clean with your toothbrush is under dirty toe and fingernails. These areas are impossible to get really clean with soap alone. Also when cooking, use a toothbrush to wash and freshen your hands after smelly activities such as handling garlic or fish. 

A toothbrush is a truly remarkable and free cleaning tool that no household should be without! 

Floss Uses

How about some uses for floss! Most things can be temporary fixed with duct tape, baling wire or dental floss. I recently temporarily fixed a loose computer connection in the office by tying the connection to the computer with dental floss. 

No sewing kit? Dental floss is a great alternative to sewing thread if you need to secure buttons. It is durable like thread and barely visible. 

Calling all chefs! If you need to slice soft, delicate foods like cheesecake then use dental floss. Floss can serve as a versatile cutting tool in the kitchen. Dental floss also works well to tie foods together like sewing the Thanksgiving turkey closed to keep that juicy stuffing inside. 

There have been numerous prison escape stories over the years using dental floss. Some have woven hundreds of feet of floss together, producing a floss rope to scale over the prison walls. One inmate actually weaved a floss ladder to climb out of prison. There are also stories of inmates escaping by sawing through prison bars with floss. This seems unbelievable, but was recently confirmed by Myth Busters, but it took almost a year of daily floss sawing to break through the bar. Using an abrasive toothpaste with the floss sawing helped speed up the process. Wow, floss is strong stuff. 

O Christmas tree. Christmas is almost here. Dental floss, especially green, mint flavored floss, is perfect for hanging ornaments on your tree. 

Have a Great Holiday and keep flossing your teeth. That is the best use for floss, even in prison. 

Enjoy Life and Keep Smiling! 

George Malkemus has a Family and Cosmetic Dental Practice in Rohnert Park at 2 Padre Parkway, Suite 200. Call 585-8595, or email info@ Visit Dr. Malkemus’ Web site at