Toothpaste is commonly made of chemicals that fight against tooth decay, remove plaque, and add taste. Ingredients like calcium carbonate help break down plaque, but the same chemicals used for oral hygiene can also clean endless items around your house. Here are a few unlikely uses where a dollop of toothpaste can go a long way.
Remove soap scum
Toothpaste is a great way to get rid of soap scum, which often lives right nearby in the bathroom. Adding toothpaste to a damp rag will remove soap scum build-up on your faucets and shower doors—all you need for a polished finish afterwards is to buff the surfaces with a microfiber towel.
Restore shoes to their original shine
Put toothpaste on an old toothbrush and gently scrub the rubber soles of your shoes. The DIY site Family Handyman suggests leaving the toothpaste on for ten minutes for whiter whites—just rinse and wipe dry afterwards for a noticeable difference. Toothpaste will even remove scuffs from leather by dabbing the toothpaste onto the scuffs with a soft towel and buffing it away with a microfiber towel.
Remove crayon marks
Kids can go a little haywire with crayons, so it’s expected that marks end up in places you might not want them, including your walls. To remove crayon marks from painted walls, use a damp cloth with toothpaste and rub gently. Just note that this only works on most painted walls.
Clear up foggy car lights
Over time, headlights tend to develop a dull film over their lens that dulls their light. You can spend around $20 for a defogging kit—or even up to $190 to get it done professionally—or you can squeeze toothpaste onto a sponge and scrub the dirt, grime, and scratches right off. Rinse with a damp cloth and the headlights will sparkle like new.
Remove food odors
I love the smell of garlic and onions, but it can be offensive when stuck to things after cooking a meal. There are plenty of ways to get rid of the garlic smell from your hands—some that work, and others that don’t—but if you find yourself without soap for some reason, just use a small dollop of toothpaste and wash as normal.
Clean your smartphone screen
Screen protectors take so much wear and tear that it often begins to affect your screen’s visibility. Fortunately, all it takes is toothpaste to remove small scratches from your cell phone and tablet’s screen protectors. Put a small amount on your fingertip and massage it into the surface, then take a damp cloth to wipe down the screen and let it dry. It’ll work for tiny scratches in screen protectors, but won’t help fix a cracked screen. Sorry.