Re-using and extending the life of things around us is a great way to reduce our impact on the environment. So if you've made the excellent switch to sustainably made, wooden toothbrushes, here are some ideas for how you can make use of them once they're not longer fit for brushing your teeth.
First things first. To get rid of any bacteria and germs, sterilise your used toothbrush in boiling water, leave to dry and then mark it, such as ‘Cleaning’. This way, everyone knows it shouldn’t be used for brushing teeth anymore.
Ideas for how to re-use
When it comes to cleaning with your old brush, the possibilities are endless.
- The bristles are great for scrubbing around taps and plugholes and making sure your bathroom grout stays clean (but be gentle).
- Keep a brush close to hand when doing the dishes - they make a great mini scrubbing brush for washing sieves and graters.
- They make cleaning the car easier too, helping to get into all those awkward nooks and crannies.
- How about using your brush to help remove dust, dirt and crumbs from your laptop, mouse and keyboard.
GardeningRe-using and upcycling natural objects for use in the garden - it feels good and saves money. Here are a few things you could do with your old toothbrush but I’m sure you’ll think of more.
- They’re a great tool for making seed holes with when sowing - just poke the end of the handle into the soil.
- A popular option is to use toothbrush handles as plant markers - write on the handle what you’ve planted to avoid any doubt or confusion. A great alternative to plastic markers.
- Once your seedlings start growing, you can prop them up using your toothbrush handle. The same goes for any small plants you have that might need a prop.
- If you’re into growing veg, keep a brush aside to remove soil and dirt from your potatoes and carrots before cooking.
You old toothbrush can make a surprisingly useful addition to crafting and painting.
- Get arty and use it as a paint brush – you’ll get some unique patterns.
- They're great tools for making colourful paint splatter pictures with the kids.
- Let the kids make some super patterns in their play dough.
Disposing of your toothbrush
When your toothbrush has finally given up the ghost and isn’t in a state to be used any longer, you can break the handle up and put it in your compost bin or on your wood burner, if you have one. If this isn’t an option for you, they’d go nicely in the ‘wood’ skip at your local recycling site.
However, it’s important to remove the head or pull out the bristles first. A lot of bristles contain plastics such as nylon or other materials that do not biodegrade in a home setting. This part of the brush will have to be put in the bin, or it may be recyclable through a specific schemes or returned to the manufacturer - it's best to check with them.
If you're keen to start using natural and sustainable dental care products, take a look at the oral care range available on our website.