Skip to Content

5+ Ways to Reuse an Old Toothbrush

Have old manual toothbrushes or electric toothbrush heads lying around that you aren't using? Check out these 5 ways to reuse an old toothbrush instead of just throwing them away.

I've always used the old manual toothbrushes. I'm usually one of the first followers when it comes to new tech, but not when it comes to dental health, apparently.

I'm not sure why, really, though I think part of it was that I wasn't sure I'd really enjoy a powered toothbrush, plus they are generally pretty expensive.

Did you know that manual toothbrushes are actually a technology that's around 5,000 years old?

Needless to say, I now am a huge believer in electric toothbrushes but now I have old manual toothbrushes collecting dust. But, I didn't want to just throw them away.

5 Ways to Reuse an Old Toothbrush After the Sonicare Powerup #shop

5 Ways to Reuse an Old Toothbrush

I remember my own mom constantly using things like toothbrushes and old socks, etc. for cleaning. This made me inspired to think of a few ways to reuse old toothbrushes.

Just make sure you thoroughly clean the toothbrush by swishing it around in something like Listerine or bleach for at least 30 seconds, rinsing with clean water and then allowing to thoroughly dry.

A moist toothbrush can help more bacteria grow, so I like to store mine in a window that gets a lot of sun.

1. Clean up grout. My mom mainly used toothbrushes to clean grout in the kitchen and bathrooms.

Those small bristles do a great job of getting down in there to get all that icky grime out.

2. Clean jewelry. If you have any pieces of jewelry you wear most days, you know they definitely need a thorough cleaning now and then.

I like using an old toothbrush to help clean out all the little crevices of dust and dirt, much better than a cloth can.

3. Brush your eyebrows. I tend to go back and forth from sleeping on my side and stomach, which means I rub my eyebrows against the pillows a lot and often wake up looking like my eyebrows had a nice case of static.

Yeah, I think Mr. Savvy might still be getting used to that one even years later. Using a thoroughly cleaned old toothbrush to tame my brows means one less beauty item I have to buy.

4. Clean your fingernails. I like to garden (aka play in dirt) and am pretty hands-on in the kitchen.

That means some funky stuff can sometimes end up under my nails. Instead of buying a pricey nail kit that includes a fancy brush to clean my nails with, I just use an old toothbrush.

5. Clean anything with tight spaces/corners. There's always something you're trying to clean that has tight spaces that your hand just can't reach like shoe treads, toilets, faucets, tools, electronics like keyboards, etc.

I like using old toothbrushes to help clean things like this instead of trying to do weird yoga positions with my arms and hands. Just make sure to be gentle so nothing gets scratched.

6. Make unique art. Use toothbrushes in place of regular paint brushes on you or your kid's next art project.

Another fun idea is to dip the toothbrush into the paint and then shake the toothbrush back and forth towards the canvas for splatter art.

7. Use as plant markers. Use a permanent marker or other water-proof paint or marker to write what the plant is on the handle then bury the head of the toothbrush in the soil.

8. Use as a stain removal brush. I'm a messy cook so I'm always getting stains on my clothing.

An old toothbrush is perfect to use to help work stain remover into fabric before washing for a better chance of completely getting the stain out versus rubbing it together and potentially getting it all over your hands.

You could also use it on small stains on rugs and carpets.

9. Recycle your toothbrushes. If you still have more toothbrushes you can't find a use for you can recycle manual toothbrushes, along with some oral care product packaging.

I did a quick search and found programs through TerraCycle where you can recycle toothbrushes and more if this is something that interests you.

Do you have any other ideas for reusing toothbrushes? If so I'd love it if you'd share in the comments below!

Pinterest image featuring 3 manual toothbrushes in a glass with text overlay of old toothbrush ideas


Thursday 12th of September 2013

Thanks for these tips. I am going to try them out.


Saturday 14th of September 2013

You're welcome, Julia! I love using old toothbrushes for so many things, I think I might have to buy some cheapies now to use since I still love the Sonicare so much, lol. :)

Sabrina Dix

Wednesday 11th of September 2013

Great post!


Saturday 14th of September 2013

Thanks, Sabrina. :)


Thursday 8th of August 2013

I'm just like you...I have the latest tech a lot of the time, but apparently not when it comes to toothbrushes! I still haven't gotten a powered toothbrush (never used one), but I'm going to get the PowerUp. My husband is's been a while since he had a powered one.


Saturday 14th of September 2013

Brandie, I don't think I'll ever be able to go back to manual now! I love how my teeth literally feel like I just had a dentist's cleaning after each brushing.