37 Hacks for an Old Used Toothbrush

37 Hacks for an Old Used Toothbrush

You've just finished with your toothbrush and you think it would be a shame to just chuck it, but what the heck can you do with it?! We've pulled together a huge list of options to give your old toothbrush a second life.

Turn it into a cleaning brush

The most obvious thing to do with old toothbrushes is turn them into cleaning brushes. It makes sense, their small size means it's easy to get into those small nooks and crannies you can't normally reach.

Top tip: Clearly mark each toothbrush for the area of the house it will be used in or what activity it is being used for.

You don’t want to end up grabbing a toothbrush from your cleaning cupboard to polish your jewelry that has previously been used to scrub the toilet. 🤢

If you can't think of where old used toothbrushes would be useful to clean around the house we've pulled together an extensive list!


  • The back of taps and around the seals
  • Around the toilet rim and the hinges of the toilet seat and cover
  • Tile grouting and scrubbing off those pesky black mold spots
  • Shower/bath/sink plug hole


  • Clean out crumbs from the toaster
  • Scrub off lime scale from the kettle - combo with white vinegar for an effortless clean!
  • Dials on the cooking hob
  • Things with awkward grooves like cutting boards and lids of food storage containers
  • Scrub dirt of root veggies like carrots, potatoes and turnips
  • Remove corn silk, those stringy bits between the kernels 👍
  • Getting rid of the fluff around the tumble dryer filter
  • Removing the gunk and mold out of the washing machine drawer
  • Use as a mini washing-up brush:
    • Great for graters
    • Garlic crushers
    • Sieves
    • Coffee filters
    • Veggie peelers


  • Cleaning bikes - there are loads of tricky spots on bikes - the cassette, the chain, around the crank and cleaning out caked in dirt from screw heads to name just a few
  • Scrubbing garden tools and plant pots
  • The interior of a car is full of hard to reach spots to clean - around the parking break, in the cup holders, dashboard area and so on
  • Great for removing dirt and mud from the outsole tread of shoes... and the dreaded doggie doo 💩

Electrical items

  • Cleaning the filter of a hair dryer where the air is sucked in
  • Laptops and keyboards - especially between the keys and cooling fan filter

Personal care

  • Use as an eyebrow brush
  • Clean out your hairbrush
  • Remove dirt from under your finger nails
  • Perfect for touching up small patches of hair with hair dye
  • Great for applying dry shampoo right to the root
  • Clean delicate items like rings, earring, watches etc. any other types of jewelry

A few other ideas

There's more to a old toothbrush than just cleaning though! Get crafty and use them to create interesting brush strokes or load them up with paint and flick it over the canvas to create a cool speckled effect.


If you can't use your toothbrush yourself you could donate them to a local archeology group or animal charity and hopefully they might be used to do this! 🤗


Or list them on a free marketplace like Olio or Freegle and I'm sure people would snap them up.

No more bristles

So you've used your old toothbrush to do all those household cleaning jobs and now the bristles look like this 👇

old used toothbrush with worn out bristles

You might think that’s the end of your toothbrushes working life, but wait… there's more!

Pull out the bristles of the used toothbrush with a pair of pliers and pop them in the recycling bin. The handle can now be used for things like:

  • Making holes for seeds to be planted into
  • Propping up seedlings - use them like little bamboo canes
  • Write on the handle and use them as plant markers
  • Paint stirrers

Plus, if are using a bamboo toothbrush, which you definitely should be 😉 they are excellent to practice whittling on or simply adding to the kindling pile for your next fire. Alternatively they can be thrown in the compost bin and turned into plant food.

If you have a plastic toothbrush it's best to send them off to TerraCycle. It's unlikely that your council will officially recycle them which means they will probably end up in landfill.

You can read more about the TerraCycle recycling scheme and how they recycle old used toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes on our other blog post.

Andy Smith
Andy Smith

Founder of Reco, a marketplace and community dedicated to find shift from a single-use mindset to a multi-use one. #SingleUseSucks

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