​What can I do with old toothbrushes?

Recently we wrote about alternatives to plastic toothbrushes(ie. biodegradable ones!), but if you're still left with some old plastic ones, what can you do with them to keep them out of landfill?

1. Clean even the tiniest of nooks and crannies

If you're a clean freak like me, you've probably faced the frustration of trying to clean around a tap, between tiles or in a tight spot. Toothbrush to the rescue! Use vinegar or bi-carb soda with a little water to spot-treat the area, then get scrubbing with your handy toothbrush.

2. Remove mud and dirt from shoes

Toothbrushes are an essential item in the toolkit for shoe-lovers. A little cleaning fluid (such as vinegar or even just some soapy water) on a toothbrush and you've got everything you need to get between stitching, tread and grooves in your shoes. This works especially well for sneakers, which require regular maintenance to stay white and shiny.

3. De-gunk your fingernails

Using a full-sized nailbrush can be annoying because they're so big that you can't see where the dirt under your nails actually is. Using a toothbrush, you can accurately and precisely extract whatever's become caught under your nails. In fact, they're a handy item to keep with your gardening gloves to quickly remove dirt before it can become stuck under your nails.

4. Spring-clean your desk

The size of a toothbrush makes it perfect for cleaning around your laptop ports and keyboard tiles. Use in combination with a micro-fibre cloth to remove dirt, dust and grime from all of your tech accessories.

5. Clean your other beauty supplies

I recently horrified myself by closely examining my hairbrush and combs: the build-up of dead skin, oil and hair was truly gruesome, so I got out my old toothbrush and some hot, soapy water to thoroughly clean the lot until they looked good as new. Pro tip: do this in the shower to save water, plus you can get on to de-moulding your shower tiles while you're there.

6. Spot-treat stains on clothes

My mother is an expert when it comes to spot-treating clothes, so I've gotten into the habit of keeping an old toothbrush on hand for removing marks on jumpers and skirts such as make-up residue, dirt and food spills. Most stains will come off (if treated early!) with a little water and soap, but be sure to look up the best remedies for hard-to-shift stains such as red wine and chocolate.

7. Vehicle/bike maintenance

Cars, bicycles and motorbikes all have hard-to-reach spots such as bike chains, wiper blades and window edges that can be a real challenge to clean. Keep an old toothbrush or two with your car-wash/bike maintenance kit to keep your ride looking shiny.

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Some other ideas...

8. Cleaning out a fish tank and de-griming tank accessories

9. Comb your eyebrows (dampen your brush slightly and brush up and out)

10. Retouch your regrowth (dyed hair) or spot-treat a part of your hair with conditioner to repair damage

11. Clean out kitchen implements such as graters, peelers etc.

What are your great ideas for reusing toothbrushes? Let us know in the comments below!

Images: Pixabay

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