Life Hacks: 10 New Uses for Toothpaste
Most of us think of toothpaste as a necessity for cleaning teeth and to help freshen breath, but there are countless other uses for toothpaste that have nothing to do with maintaining a healthy smile. Did you know toothpaste can be used to help get crayon off a painted wall and ease itching from insect bites?
Next time you find a great sale on toothpaste, pick up an extra tube or two and put toothpaste to work around the house!
Remove crayon marks from painted walls – Use a damp cloth and a dab of toothpaste to help remove your little ones creation from the wall. Gently rub the toothpaste onto the mark then wipe clean with a clean, wet cloth. Try this on a small test spot to ensure your particular paint can handle the mild abrasive.
Clean leather – Clean up scuffed leather by applying a small amount of toothpaste with a dry cloth. Follow up by wiping clean with a damp cloth. Give it a try on leather shoes and purses. This trick might just save you even more money since you won’t have to run out for a new pair of shoes.
Shine chrome – Does your bathroom faucet look a little dull? Rub a dab of toothpaste over the chrome surface and wipe clean. It will also help remove those stubborn watermarks.
Prevent fogged goggles – Skip the expensive defogging gel to keep your goggles from fogging up. Gently apply toothpaste to the inside of your goggles and rinse clean. The water should look clear and fog free during your next swim.
Defog bathroom mirrors – Just like you would use toothpaste to defog your swimming goggles, you can also use it on the bathroom mirror. Apply a small amount of toothpaste to a clean mirror then wipe clean. Now you can apply your makeup without streaks!
Deodorize your hands – Do your hands smell from slicing garlic or handling other smelly foods? Apply toothpaste to your hands and rubs together. Then wash your hands, as normal and the odor should be gone. You may need to repeat if you’ve been working with something extra stinky. I’ve heard of fisherman using this trick after a day of hauling and cleaning fish. Now THAT is stinky!
Clean bathroom sinks – If you (or your kids) drop a glob of toothpaste in the sink, rub it around the sink bowl before rinsing down the drain. The light abrasive quality of the toothpaste will help clean and deodorize the sink.
Ease itching from bug bites – Apply a little toothpaste to a bug bite and the itch will stop in 2 – 5 minutes. The mint varieties work best. Just be sure you don’t have an open bite that is already scratched as the toothpaste may burn. This tip works great when traveling if you forgot to pack the anti-itch cream!
Treat mild burns – If you receive a mild burn; use toothpaste to help eliminate the possibility of a blister. First, rinse the area under cold water. Then apply a thick amount of toothpaste (non-gel like Colgate brand) to the area. Once the area cools, gently clean off the toothpaste and apply a burn treatment such as Aloe to further heal the affected area. Please note this is only for mild burns. Do not attempt with second or third degree burns!
Remove watermarks – Remove a stubborn water ring from your coffee table with toothpaste! Use a soft cloth and rub non-gel toothpaste gently into the wood. Wipe with a damp cloth and allow to dry completely. Follow up with your favorite furniture polish and keep the coasters handy.
All of these tricks and more can be used around your home, in the garage and while traveling. Just remember that not all toothpastes are created equal. The other uses for toothpaste listed above work best with a non-gel, mint flavored, and mildly abrasive brand.
These are just a few of my favorite other uses for toothpaste. What toothpaste uses can you share?
Dana is currently living in the US with her husband and two children. When not reading and running after the kids, she can be found blogging about coupons and frugal living at www.thecouponchallenge.com and family friendly travel at www.thetalkingsuitcase.com.