8 Surprising Uses for Toothpaste
By Rudie Obias
While keeping your teeth sparkly clean is toothpaste’s main job, it can also come in handy for a number of everyday uses that go beyond personal hygiene. Here are eight surprising ways you can use your toothpaste.
1. CLEANING CAR HEADLIGHTS
To clean fogged up or dirty car headlights, dab a small amount of toothpaste (one with lots of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide is best) on a rag or towel and, using a circular motion, rub it into the headlights until they look bright and new. Finish the job off with some turtle wax to make the shine last longer.
2. FIXING CD AND DVD SCRATCHES
If you have any CDs, DVDs, or video games that are in need of repair, dab some non-gel toothpaste on them to fix any small scratches or scuff marks—the "grit" in baking soda-based toothpaste will act as an exfoliant of sorts to smooth out the trouble spots. First, remove any lint or grime from the back of the disc by running it under the faucet and then drying with a soft cloth. Then, apply the toothpaste to a cotton swab or rag, and gently buff the scratched area. When the scratch is no longer visible or you're satisfied that you have successfully sanded down the problem area, rinse the disc again and gently polish. The disc should be clean and ready to use.
3. REMOVING STAINS
Most toothpaste contains titanium dioxide powder and baking soda for whitening teeth, which makes it great for removing minor coffee and grass stains. To remove stains from clothes or carpets, use a firm toothbrush and non-gel toothpaste (make sure it doesn't have hydrogen peroxide, which could bleach the fabric) with water to vigorously work the toothpaste into the stain, then rinse.
4. POLISHING OLD SILVER AND JEWELRY
To make your old silver and jewelry shine, clean it with a soft-bristle toothbrush and some white toothpaste. Use a damp cloth to remove any grime buildup and give your priceless valuables their sparkle again.
5. DEODORIZING HANDS
White toothpaste is a great deodorizer; it washes away odious smells like garlic, onions, fish, and motor oil. Just use a small amount when washing your hands with soap and water. It’s also good for deodorizing baby bottles and thermoses.
6. CLEANING WATER MARKS FROM WOOD FURNITURE
If someone doesn’t use a coaster and leaves a round water mark on your wooden coffee table, just use some white toothpaste and a damp rag or towel to quickly remove the unsightly stain. Rub a light coat of toothpaste on the water mark and let it sit for about 30 seconds. Afterwards, gently remove the toothpaste with the rag with a light scrub and, when dry, apply furniture polish. Voilà—clean coffee table.
7. PREVENTING FOGGY BATHROOM MIRRORS
Before taking a shower, rub a non-gel white toothpaste all over your bathroom mirror and then wipe off the residue with a towel. The toothpaste will prevent fog from clinging to your mirror during a steamy shower. Tip: Shaving cream works as a defogger, too.
8. RELIEVING PAIN FROM BURNS AND BUG BITES
To relieve the itchiness that comes with minor burns and bug bites, dab some non-gel toothpaste onto your skin. Toothpaste has anti-inflammatory ingredients like menthol and baking soda that give your skin a cooling sensation to help reduce discomfort.