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16 Unexpected Uses of Toothpaste You Could Have Hardly Imagined

16 Unexpected Uses of Toothpaste other than Brushing
Garden variety toothpaste has more unusual benefits than you can imagine. It has many advantages besides whitening your chompers. There are multiple, lesser-known uses of toothpaste in daily life, right from restoring headlights to clearing up acne, which you could try sometime.
HomeQuicks Staff
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
Fluoride in Toothpaste
The Modern Periodic Table
The fluoride in toothpaste, according to standards specified by the American Dental Association, is a key ingredient without which no toothpaste gets the ADA'S Seal of Acceptance. Toothpastes without a fluoride component are not ADA approved.
Edible Toothpaste
Edible toothpaste was first created for astronauts in space, so that they wouldn't have to spit anything out into a zero gravity situation, and also eliminated waste management. Today, this edible toothpaste is used for toddlers below the age of 3, since there is a high risk of them swallowing toothpaste.
Tip
Before you begin to use some of these tips, make sure that you use a traditional, opaque white toothpaste, and not a gel-based one. This is because the ingredients in traditional white toothpaste are different from the ones in gel-based pastes.
For Bee Stings
Bee Sting
A common home remedy for bee stings is application of toothpaste to the affected area after removing the sting from the wound. It alleviates the sting emanating from the site, neutralizes the acidic venom with alkalinity, and glycerin/menthol/fresh flavor components in the mixture dry out the fluid from the sting.
For Zits and Acne
Using toothpaste for treating acne and zits is a good idea as an overnight remedy. The flavoring agents in it like spearmint and menthol act as drying agents and drain the zit out by morning if applied at night. It also absorbs oil from the skin, making it clearer by preventing acne. However using it for long will leave your skin looking super dry, along with itching and rashes, so it is not to be used as a regular remedy because it has not been dermatologically tested.
Polishing Silver and Chrome
All your silver jewelry and chrome bathroom fittings will gleam with a new light if you evenly spread toothpaste with a brush and wipe it away after ten minutes of waiting. The abrasives present in it will clean and exfoliate the metals thoroughly and polish them, which leaves them looking like new.
Restoring Your Headlights
Headlight restoration can be achieved with toothpaste due to its exfoliating effect. The headlights of your car become dirty over time, and if you scrub some toothpaste on and wipe, the headlights will look good as new. This method can be used to clean all other glass products in case normal cleaning agents are unavailable.
Removing Crayons/Permanent Markers
Boy drawing on wall.
When you want to erase all the crayon art of your little one from the walls, a little toothpaste and a piece of cloth will come to your rescue. Rub it in a circular motion (do a 24-hour patch test beforehand on a small patch of the wall) until the crayon cannot be seen any more. However, the base paint you of your wall should be resistant to abrasions.
Removing Pungent Smells
The smells that emanate from your hands hours after chopping onions, garlic or ginger, can be removed by washing your hands with toothpaste. Mix a drop of the paste in a little water and wash your hands with the mixture. This is guaranteed to negate hours of garlic-induced odor.
Cleaning Piano Keys and Plastic
Old piano
Traditionally, all piano keys were made of ivory. They suffered a lot of scratches and also became discolored over time. Since ivory is essentially enamel, fluoride is very effective here. It even works on plastic keys and other objects made of plastic, like outdoor furniture on the patio. All you have to do is scrub the keys with a toothbrush and paste, and hey presto! All clean.
Removing Chewing Gum from Hair
The toothpaste you use helps break down sugar, which when applied to gum, will reduce the stickiness of it by breaking down sugar, so that you won't have to literally pull your hair out if you have gum stuck to it. Apply some paste on to the hair and gum, and wait for about 15-30 minutes. It'll not be complete salvation, and you will still have to scrub a lot, but this is better than having to cut your hair out of desperation.
Removing Nail Polish Stains
Dark nail polish, once removed with the removing agent, tends to leave a discoloration of residue on your nails. You can eliminate this issue by rubbing some toothpaste on to your nails and washing them off. The keratin which your nails are made of is similar to some organic components in the enamel, so the fluoride compounds end up thoroughly cleaning the material of your nails in a similar fashion.
Cleaning the Bathroom/Kitchen Sink
Man cleaning kitchen sink
Ceramic responds well to both abrasives and fluoride cleaning compounds that prevent buildup of fungus and stains on it. Anything made of ceramic (like pots and tiles) which has not been painted over with chemical paint, will react positively to a good brushing with toothpaste. This will make the task of keeping your bathroom clean fairly easy.
Removing Hair Dye Stains
When you do one of your terrible home hair dyeing jobs and have to walk around with dye that has leaked on to your forehead, try rubbing some toothpaste on the skin and leaving it for about ten minutes. This will unstick the dye from the skin, and you will be able to pull it off your skin by vigorously rubbing it.
Removing Cloth and Carpet Stains
Wine stain on carpet
We've all had that occasional glass of red wine spill over on our carpets or couches, and had some clothes that have stains like ink or lipstick on them. Do not fret and throw them away. Instead, scrub some toothpaste on, leave for ten minutes, and wash the cloth. Do it multiple times and the stain will vanish. Leather cleans up very well if it has been scruffed and scratched and looks old over time. The polishing power of toothpaste gives leather a spanking new shine.
Plastering Tiny Holes in the Walls
Since it solidifies over time, especially when exposed to air, small holes in your white wall that have been left empty by vanished nails can be filled up with it. This works on only white walls though, and cannot be used for colored walls since toothpaste cannot be painted over very well, though you may try.
Freshening up the Car
Pine Air Freshener
Wash a piece of cloth in a solution of toothpaste and water, and let it dry in your car to give it a minty freshness as soon as you enter. You can also apply the toothpaste directly on to the pine freshener so that it diffuses the smell directly over a longer period of time. The only thing is that it will just have a minty fragrance rather than a "piney" one.
Sticking Posters
Toothpaste works as residue-free glue for emergencies. You can hang up light paper and posters on your walls, and it will not fall down for a really long time. Just pull it back out once you wish to remove the poster and that's the end of it. Neat, eh?
Cleaning the Clothes Iron
Ever since you burned that pretty chiffon dress your clothes iron will have bits of chiffon gunk left over on the heating plate. Scrub it with toothpaste and a brush, and wipe it off. The polishers will do their work with the residue, and the iron will look spotless. This will also eliminate any risks of melting any residue over unspoiled clothes, thereby ruining them too.
What not to do: Toothpaste on Burns
A lot of people tend to use toothpaste to treat minor burns at home, because it feels like it will cool the skin if it can cool the mouth. This is the wrong logic to apply. Though it provides immediate numbness and relief from feeling the pain, menthol present as a flavor in toothpaste aggravates the skin by drying it out. Menthol can even cause burns if a big amount of it touches the skin for a few minutes. Other components present, like peppermint or calcium, might lead to infections.
A knowledge of these little tricks will aid you as a suitable substitute for other task-specific products that you cannot access as urgently as toothpaste. You can also source any individual components used in its manufacturing, to target specific tasks. This works only when you know in what way the component will work on the given material that is to be treated. A basic knowledge of the effects of abrasives, fluorides, etc., will guide you in deciding which component you can individually choose. So go ahead, get scrubbing!