Besides keeping your teeth sparkly, toothpaste offers a wide range of cleaning, cosmetic—even healing abilities around the house. Just be sure to use the white pasty stuff, not gel. And for any of these tips that call for an actual toothbrush, just consider that tool off-limits for the mouth from here on out.
1. Perfume your palms
Cutting onions, cleaning fish, or handling garlic can leave a strong odor on your hands. Wash them with toothpaste to remove the smell.
2. Clean your Jewelry
Use a soft toothbrush with a tiny amount of toothpaste to brush dull metal jewelry, then rinse and polish it to a shine with a soft cloth. Soak seriously grungy metal in a cup of water with dissolved toothpaste. Don’t use it to get a pearly white finish on actual pearls—toothpaste damages the surface.
3. Put paste on a damp sponge to wipe crayon off painted walls
4. Defog goggles
The mild abrasive in toothpaste is perfect for removing the crud that causes your sporty eyewear to fog up. As a preventative measure, just lightly rub toothpaste inside a diving mask, motorcycle goggles, or on a hockey helmet face guard. Wipe and rinse the surface clean. (Note: YMMV—toothpaste can remove special coatings like anti-glare treatments.)
5. Clear zits
Cover pimples with a dab of toothpaste before you hit the sack, then wash your face clean in the morning. This works for bug bites and bee stings too—just remove the stinger first. The paste will dry out and shrink your offending blemishes.
6. Do your nails
Toothpaste works on toenails and fingernails like it does on teeth. Clean your nails with a toothbrush and paste to make them strong and shiny.
7. De-funk a bottle
Wash baby bottles with toothpaste and a bottle scrubber, making sure to rinse them very well with water. The paste will get rid of that nauseating sour milk smell.
8. Remove soap scum
Rub a glass shower door with a damp sponge and a squirt of toothpaste. For heavy scum and soap stains, let the toothpaste sit on the door for several minutes before rinsing it off.
9. Polish chrome faucet fixtures
10. Hide drink rings
If you aren’t fanatical about putting coasters under your drinks, then you probably have water rings on your wooden furniture. Rub them off with toothpaste and a soft cloth.
11. Remove stains
Scrub a carpet stain with toothpaste on an abrasive brush, then rinse with water. Tough stains require a couple of scrubbings. Toothpaste can also remove stains in cotton clothes, but it doesn’t work for all types of fabric.