Did You Know

20 Ways To Use Toothpaste That Don't Involve Your Teeth

Flickr - San Sharma/Flickr - Jamie McCall

I have so many tubes of toothpaste under my sink, I don't even know where they all came from! It seems like I buy them four at a time. But I only need so much to brush my teeth, and it could be a while before I actually finish all those tubes, so I began wondering if there were other ways to use the minty stuff. As it turns out, there are!

Here are some handy ways to:

1. Buff Phone Screens

If you don't have a phone screen protector, odds are you've got a few scratches on it. Lucky for you, toothpaste can help fix the problem. Take a small amount of toothpaste on your finger and gently rub it on the screen. Take a damp (not wet) cloth and wipe off the paste. Make very sure that you're not soaking the phone with water. That's not going to end well for you.

2. Get Crayon Marks Off The Wall

My kids used to love coloring on the walls, and I have a feeling my future grandkids are going to take after them in that respect. It's basically a given at this point. To get crayon marks off painted walls, gently rub a damp cloth and some toothpaste over the affected area. Then wipe off the paste with a damp, dry cloth.

Make sure you test this method on a small patch of the wall before totally going for it. Some high-gloss paints will lose their shine if you rub on them too much, so make sure you're not going to ruin the wall.

3. Treat Zits

This trick is fairly common, but that's only because it works! If you've got a stubborn zit you need to deal with right away, look no further than your tube of toothpaste. Apply it to the zit before you go to bed, and let it sit overnight. In the morning, you should notice a reduction in redness, and isn't that the ultimate goal?

4. Remove Water Rings

We're all had that one friend who puts their drink down without a coaster. You don't want to get mad at them, because it was an honest mistake, but now you've got a dreaded ring on your coffee table! Don't worry, we've got you covered.

Rub some toothpaste on the ring with a soft cloth and then wipe it off with a clean, damp cloth. You will most likely have to apply a finishing shine to the table again, but you can just use olive oil for that if you don't have furniture polish.

5. Patch Nail Holes

I know that I change my mind on where wall hangings should be pretty frequently. I'm always happy with where things end up, but then I've got these tiny holes in my walls from all the finishing nails. Luckily, toothpaste can be used as a poor-man's caulking method. If you want to match the color of the wall, you can add a little bit of food coloring or eye shadow to the paste before applying it.

This may not be a permanent solution, but it will stop you from having to get out the caulking gun all the time.

6. Clean Carpet Stains

Carpet stains can be extremely frustrating, and more often than not they're tricky to get out of without a big steam cleaner. But did you know that you can use toothpaste and an old toothbrush to get the same effect?

Squeeze the toothpaste directly onto the carpet, then scrub it with an old toothbrush. Rinse and repeat this process until the stain is totally gone. This won't work on the big stain, of course, but it will definitely work in a pinch!

7. Shine Headlights

Instead of paying for a car wash every time your headlights get dirty, you can just grab a tube of toothpaste instead. Headlights can often get hazy, which then makes it harder to see. Take glob of toothpaste and apply it to the headlights and rub it with a soft, dry cloth. The haze should be gone, and you should be ready to go!

8. Clean Linoleum Scuffs

Our kitchen floors are linoleum, and they can be a pain to get scuffs out of. But with a tube of toothpaste and a dry cloth, you can get rid of those scuffs easily.

Apply the toothpaste to the mark on the floor, then scrub with a dry cloth until the marks disappear. You can also use this method on the floorboards if you need to.

9. Buff And Shine Leather

A scuff on your leather jacket or bag is frustrating, because the products you need to clean them are so expensive! Instead, put a small dot of toothpaste on the scuff, rub it with a cloth, then wipe it with a different, damp cloth.

You can use this method on shoes, bags, jackets, and even car seats!

10. Get Garlic Off Your Hands

I love cooking, but I don't love the smell of garlic and onions lingering on my hands for days, despite washing them all the time. Then I found out that you can scrub your hands with toothpaste to get rid of those nasty smells! Just make sure you use some moisturizer after. The toothpaste is going to dry out your hands, and no one wants that.  

11. Emergency Hair Gel

Now, I'm not suggesting you run an entire tube of toothpaste through your hair to style it, but we've all been stuck in the lurch when we're out of hair product and have a few fly-aways. You can rub a little bit of toothpaste between your fingers and use it to calm down stubborn pieces of hair, you'll just have to deal with smelling a little minty all day!

12. Clean Your Tennis Shoes

Everyone loves a nice pair of white tennis shoes, but no one likes cleaning a nice pair of white tennis shoes. They never stay clean for long, and buying the actual shoe cleaner is always way too expensive.

What you can do, however, is use a brush to rub toothpaste on the scuffed soles of your shoes, and then wipe the paste off with a damp cloth. Then let them dry. You'll have white shoes again in no time.

13. Fix Nail Discoloration

I'm someone who loves painting my nails, but sometimes I forget to put on a base coat and my nail color runs through and stains my nails. Once I take the polish off, I've got these unsightly stains on my nails that are totally discolored.

Then I realized that scrubbing my nails with a whitening toothpaste and toothbrush can remove the yellow and orange stains, and it totally changed my life!

14. Fix Minor Car Scratches

Oops, you scratched your car a little bit. It's not enough to bring it in and get fixed, but it's definitely enough that you'll notice. Toothpaste can hide minor car scratches, and it barely costs anything.

A dab of toothpaste on a damp sponge can solve the problem, all you have to do with rub it in a circle on the scratch. Then wipe the paste off with a soft cloth.

15. Clean Patio Furniture

Once summers rolls around, you'll have a few spots to clean off your patio furniture before you feel life inviting guests over.

Using a mixture of a whitening toothpaste and water, scrub your furniture down with either a brush or a damp cloth. Wipe it clean and you'll have shiny patio furniture for the summer. Keep in mind, this tip is mostly for the plastic furniture, but you can try it on a discreet area of other types of patio furniture to make sure it doesn't discolor the material.

16. Polish Chrome Features

A spotty sink faucet is one of the most frustrating things. It feels like you can clean it a million times and it'll still get dirty the next day. Fortunately, you can clean water spots using a toothpaste, and you can even do it while you brush your teeth!

All you have to do is apply a dot of toothpaste to the faucet, rub it with a cloth, and rinse. You'll have shiny faucet (Ad some clean teeth!)

17. Treat Bruises

I'm a huge klutz, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. It does mean that I've got a ton of bruises though, and they can be a little weird to explain if i'm wearing a dress.

But did you know that you can use toothpaste to make the bruises less noticeable? Just apply a mixture of toothpaste and lotion to the bruise before you go to bed, and then make sure to bandage the area so it doesn't end up all over your sheets. In the morning, wash off the mixture. Keep applying it for three nights, and you'll notice the bruising goes away about a week sooner than it normally would.

18. Clean Bathroom Sinks

When you drop a glob of toothpaste in the sink, you're probably annoyed. Little did you know, it can actually help clean the sink! Just scrub it with an old toothbrush (NOT the one you're using in the moment) and the abrasive nature of the paste will clean the sink and deodorize the drain at the same time.

19. Relieve Bug Bites

Bug bites in the summer can ruin your whole day, but that doesn't have to be the case. For mosquitoes and other small bug bites, you can apply toothpaste to the affected area and you'll feel a soothing relief right away. It will also help stop the itching.

20. Treat Burns

If you burn yourself on the stove or a pan, it's not always worth heading to the doctor, but that doesn't mean you're not experiencing discomfort! You should immediately run the affected area under cold water to bring the temperature down, and then you should smear toothpaste in a thick layer over the burn.

This will help cool the skin and take away the sting of the burn. If the burn is serious, however, it's critical to seek immediate medical attention.

[H/T: Coupon Sherpa]

We've all got extra tubes of toothpaste lying around, so why not put them to good use?

Donna loves spending time in front of the TV catching up on dramas, but in the summer you'll find her in the garden.