10 Toothpaste Hacks for More than Just a Pretty Smile
When it comes to dental health, toothpaste is the first line of defense. It contains a variety of active ingredients that help to clean and protect the teeth against harmful acids and the accumulation of decay-causing bacteria. (Ingredients may vary from brand-to-brand.) Brushing your teeth twice a day with an ADA-approved brand of toothpaste is the best way to safeguard against common dental problems like cavities, gingivitis, gum disease and tooth loss.
This should hardly come as a surprise to you. We all learn about the benefits of toothpaste at an early age and have it continually reinforced by dentists at our twice-yearly visits. But did you know that cleaning your teeth and protecting oral health aren’t the only use for toothpaste?
Here are 10 nifty uses for non-gel based toothpastes that just might surprise you:
It’s time to dust off those scuffed leather shoes or stained white sneakers. A bit of toothpaste can help restore them to their former glory and return them to your wardrobe.
For leather shoes, apply a small dab of toothpaste to the trouble spots and gently wipe until clean using a soft cloth. To restore that “out-of-the-box” white to your sneakers, attack the trouble spots with a small amount of toothpaste and a toothbrush. Start small and apply more as needed. You’ll be surprised with the results.
Treat Scrapes & Bug Bites
Got a minor scratch or scrape, or dealing with an itchy bug bite? You may not always have some first aid cream or calamine lotion handy to offset the discomfort. Try applying a small dab of toothpaste to the trouble areas. It can help to reduce inflammation, stop bleeding and relieve the itching sensation.
Prevent Fogging of Bathroom Mirrors & Swim Goggles
Are you sick of having to wipe down your bathroom mirrors after showering in order to be able to see yourself and continue getting ready for your day? Try coating the mirror with a bit of toothpaste and wipe it clean before getting in the shower. This can prevent fogging.
This trick can be similarly used with swim goggles to prevent them from fogging up and impairing vision.
Remove Crayon from Walls
Kids will be kids, and we love them for it. But did they really have to draw with crayon all over that freshly painted wall? Before you grab the paint can for a new coat, try going at the adorable graffiti with a couple squirts of toothpaste and a scrub brush. The abrasive nature of toothpaste helps to lift the crayon right off without damaging the wall. Wipe down with a damp cloth after and invest in a few more coloring books for the next playtime.
De-rust Your Iron
Messy, rusted irons can interfere with your laundry regimen. Stop rust in its tracks with a bit of toothpaste applied to the bottom of your iron. Wipe clean with a towel or cloth and it should be good as new.
Note: Do NOT apply to a hot iron.
Clean Foggy Car Headlights
Are your car headlights starting to look a little worse for wear? Headlight fogging is extremely common as ultra-violet sunlight causes changes with the plastic. Before you rush out to your nearest hardware store to buy expensive cleaner, try using a bit of toothpaste with a sponge. Wipe circularly then wipe clean with a damp cloth.
Fogging may also be caused by water vapor building up inside the headlight. If this is the cause, no exterior treatment will help.
Remove Tea & Coffee Stains from Mugs
Don’t throw away those old mugs because you’re embarrassed by the coffee and tea stains that have built up inside. A little bit of toothpaste goes a long way. Give the stains a good scrub, rinse any toothpaste residue clean, and wash the mug(s) as usual.
Restore the Bling
Toothpaste can be an effective method for cleaning old jewelry such as gold rings and diamonds. Use a small toothbrush to gentle scrub your bling, then wipe away with a damp cloth to really bring out the best in your favorite pieces.
Get Rid of the Fish Smell
Anyone who has fished and/or cleaned their catch can attest to how stubborn the smell can be, regardless of how much soap and water you use to rinse your hands. If the stench lingers, try washing your hands with toothpaste instead.
This same trick can be used for other lingering smells that soap can’t tackle.
Treat Mild Motion Sickness / Headaches
Motion sickness and headaches often strike at the most inopportune of times. Medication to counter their effects may not always be readily available. If you’re dealing with mild motion sickness or a headache, try rubbing a small amount of toothpaste on your temples. The mint may help to naturally soothe away the discomfort.