Since we just learned that those who brush their teeth fewer than twice a day have a 70% greater risk of heart disease, we’ll be stocking up on toothpaste from now on. So we may as well learn some new uses for it, which will save money, and help us avoid using chemical-filled cleaning products. Check out this handy list of alternative uses for toothpaste, thanks to Care2.
1. Put a drop of toothpaste on a bug bite, sore, or blister to stop itching and decrease swelling. It will dry the blemish out, and make it heal faster.
2. If you burn yourself on a cookie sheet or anything else that results in a minor (unopened) burn, apply toothpaste delicately to the burn after it develops. The toothpaste will cool the sting and stop the burn from opening or oozing.
3. Before you start squeezing that pimple on your forehead, put a tiny bit of toothpaste on the blemish right before bed, then wash it off in the morning. It’ll dry it up in no time.
4. Start brushing your fingernails, too. Since our teeth and nails are both made of enamel, it makes sense that toothpaste would clean, shine, and strengthen our nails. Just scrub the top and undersides of nails with a toothbrush and paste.
5. Out of hair gel and late for work? You can use gel toothpaste as a stand in. They’re both made out of the same water-soluble polymers.
6. Cooking with garlic, fish, or onions sometimes results in seriously stinky hands. Scrub them with toothpaste to get rid of the odor.
7. Spilling something dark on a favorite shirt or carpet can ruin your night. For clothing, apply toothpaste directly onto the stain and rub it quickly until the spot disappears, then wash it. With carpeting, put toothpaste on the stain and scrub it with a hard-bristled brush, then rinse. But don’t use whitening toothpaste – it could bleach the fabric.
8. Your favorite pair of sneakers has seen better days. To brighten up the dirty rubber, squeeze some toothpaste onto the dirty area, scrub with a brush, then wipe clean.
9. Toothpaste is also a lifesaver when it comes to crayon on painted walls. Put toothpaste on a damp cloth, then gently rub away the crayon marks.
10. When your favorite silver jewelry gets tarnished, simply rub with toothpaste and let it sit overnight. Wipe the pieces clean with a soft cloth in the morning.
11. Scratches on DVDs and CDs can really be a bummer. If your disc is lightly scratched or smudged, try putting a thin coat of toothpaste on the disc. Rub it gently, then wipe it clean.
12. The next time your piano keys are looking dingy, use a lint-free cloth and toothpaste on them. After rubbing the toothpaste in, wipe the keys clean with another lint-free cloth.
13. Baby bottles can develop a sour-milk smell after a while. Grab a bottle scrubber and some toothpaste to clean residue and deodorize – but make sure to rinse well.
14. If you’ve got a well-used iron, the plate may start to look rusty and crusty. Rub toothpaste over it, and the silica in the paste will remove that layer.
15. If your swim goggles start to get that foggy look, rub some toothpaste in them and rinse clean. No need for defogger here.