How to Reuse Old Waste Toothbrush at home | Best out of waste | Artkala 473
How to Reuse Old Toothbrushes
Your toothbrush should be replaced every 3-4 months, or when the bristles get frayed. Following these guidelines, you might find yourself with a large pile of old toothbrushes. Happily, all of those brushes don’t have to go straight to the garbage can; there are several things you can do to reuse and upcycle your old toothbrushes, ranging from repurposing your toothbrush to fulfill another job to creating something entirely new using old toothbrush handles and bristles. Not only will you get more bang for your buck, but you'll also be helping the environment.
Preparing Old Toothbrushes
Check for fraying.If your toothbrush is beginning to fray at the edges, it is no longer fit to brush teeth, and is ready for a new life. Fraying means that the outer edges of the bristles have splayed outward. If the bristles have only a slight outward curve, your toothbrush probably still has some life as a toothbrush left in it.
Check your brush’s fade line.Some toothbrushes are equipped with a small line (usually blue) that will gradually fade and disappear as the lifespan of your toothbrush deteriorates. If your toothbrush has a fading line to indicate when it is time to be replaced, pay attention and set it aside for other uses once this line has disappeared.
Sanitize before repurposing.While reusing old toothbrushes is wonderful, your mouth is known for harboring quite a lot of bacteria. Before reusing a toothbrush, make sure you submerge it in boiling water for 3-5 minutes to sanitize it.
- Stick around while your toothbrush boils; plastic can break down quickly, and you don’t want to come back to a mess of melted plastic.
- If you are not comfortable boiling your toothbrush, you can also run it through a dishwashing cycle.
Dry thoroughly.Just as you would with a toothbrush for your teeth, make sure your old toothbrushes are dry before giving them a new purpose; if they are left wet, mold and bacteria are invited to grow. Drying a toothbrush is simple. All you have to do is store it in an upright position and allow the water to drain from the bristles.
- Because you are not using the toothbrush on your teeth, you could expedite the process by first drying the bristles with a towel or cloth.
Label your toothbrush.To avoid mixing up your cleaning toothbrush with one you are currently using for oral health, label your toothbrush. You can make a mark with a permanent marker on the back of it, or place it inside of your cleaning supply bucket--just make sure it is clear that the brush should not be used in your mouth.
Cleaning Household Items
Clean dirty sinks.Whether it is the grout surrounding your kitchen sink or the metal stopper in your bathroom sink, toothbrushes are excellent for cleaning small, hard-to-reach areas such as grout lines, seals, and the crevices of sinks and faucets.
- When you clean grout and sealant, take care not to press down too hard; toothbrush bristles can be extremely coarse, so pressing down too hard risks removing sealant and grout. Aim for firm but gentle pressure.
Clean laundry.Toothbrushes are a great way to scrub stains and spots with a bit of spray cleaner or detergent. Simply spray or pour your cleaner onto the spot, and gently scrub in circular motions with your toothbrush.
- It is particularly important that you make sure your toothbrush is clean before taking on this particular reuse, as depositing any debris onto a stain will make the stain worse. Before using, make sure no dirt or debris has accumulated.
- This upcycle is better for soft-bristled brushes, as hard bristles could snag or otherwise damage fabric.
Maintain electrical components.Your computer screen and keyboard need regular cleaning to function properly. With your computer turned off, run a dry toothbrush over and in between each of your computer keys, then gently tease the dirt and debris from the corners of your computer’s screen.
- Do not press too hard, as toothbrush bristles are quite firm and could scratch your screen if you are not careful.
Scrub fruit and vegetables.Rather than going out and purchasing a dedicated vegetable brush, use your old toothbrush! It is small enough to get into the crevices of items like apples, while broad enough to make long strokes against larger vegetables such as potatoes.
- This use is best for fruits and vegetables with tough skin, such as apples, squash, and carrots. Softer-skinned fruits and vegetables might tear or bruise.
Remove old cheese from your cheese grater.Toothbrushes are the perfect size and shape to get into all of the nooks and crannies of your cheese grater. Keep an old toothbrush by your sink, and pull it out when your grater needs a helping hand.
Clean beauty products.Using a toothbrush, you can remove debris from the vent of your hair dryer, keep your brow brush is good shape, and keep your hairbrush free of extra hair and dirt.
- If you are using your toothbrush for beauty products, be sure to clean the brush in between uses, as you don’t want to transfer bacteria or debris to your eyes or skin.
Scrub baseboard.Baseboard can be difficult to clean, as a rag often seems to leave a lot of dirt behind. Using a toothbrush, make broad, smooth strokes across the top of your baseboard (either with soapy water or without, depending on how difficult the dirt is) for clean, dust-free walls.
Detail your car.Cars have countless tiny crevices in need of some extra help. You can keep your head and tail lights sparkling clean using a toothbrush and some soapy water, or you can keep your dashboard, music player, and speedometer all looking shiny and new.
- If your headlights are particularly dirty, you can use toothpaste and a toothbrush to remove some of the grime.
- When cleaning your dash, use a dry toothbrush versus a wet one, as there are delicate electrical components that should not get wet within the dash.
Polish metal.Metal items have a way of trapping dirt and residue--especially metal items with small, hard-to-reach crevices. Using a toothbrush, however, you can polish your metals until they look brand new.
- Using baking soda, water, and a toothbrush, you can remove old dirt and oil stains.
- Toothbrushes are excellent at cleaning bike chains, as well.
Repurposing Your Toothbrush
Make garden markers.Planting a garden? Break or cut off the bristled end of the toothbrush, write or paint the names of the plants you are sowing, and place your markers in the soil. This way, you’ve reused an old toothbrush, and you’ve identified each of your plants.
- If you are leery of plastic in your soil, you can either use bamboo or wooden toothbrushes, or you can attach the toothbrushes to the outside of your garden bed in the same order as your plants.
Stir paint in small cans.Although gallon and larger paint cans warrant the use of a full-sized stirring stick, sample-sized cans, and quarter-gallon cans don’t do as well using a full-sized stick. Toothbrushes make excellent paint stirring tools for small cans.
- Make sure you either remove the bristle first, or hold the bristle in your palm as you stir. Placing the bristle into the paint may result in wasted paint, as it would become trapped in the bristles.
Scratch your back.Left wholly intact, an old toothbrush can double as a backscratcher, as the bristles are firm enough to provide consistent, steady contact to ease the irritation of an itch.
- If your brush is going to be used in this way, make sure it is cleaned or sanitized regularly, as contact with skin could result in bacterial growth on the bristles.
Creating Toothbrush Crafts
Create interesting paint strokes.If you are an artist or you love to paint, you can use a toothbrush to introduce a new and unique texture into your work using your toothbrush as a paintbrush. This can be done with watercolors and acrylics.
Construct a large “needle.” If your toothbrush has a hole in one end, you can remove the bristles, and use the remaining portion as a needle, of sorts, to thread runaway laces back through waistbands.
- You can take this one step further and create a large-scale needle by sharpening the end furthest from the hole.
Create a “bristle bot.” Attach your toothbrush’s head (removed from the “stick” of the toothbrush) to a vibrating pager motor and watch as it crawls around. You could even make several bots, and conduct races with your friends or family.
- If you want to keep the cycle of reuse going, you can use toothbrushes made from wood or bamboo. When your toothbrushes can no longer be used in the steps above, they can be burned or placed into a compost bin.
- When you purchase a new toothbrush, you can write directly on the brush using a marker, or have a chart to let you know when that toothbrush needs to be set aside for a new one.
- Do not reuse a toothbrush you used while ill. Even though germs should be killed with a bath in boiling water, you don’t want to run the risk of spreading illness.
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