• Diann Schindler, Ph.D.

Toothpaste: Not just for your pearly whites!


I have found that I cannot count on apartments or hotels have the cleaning products I need when I need them. And, often, I need products immediately. I choose not to buy products because the bottles contain much more product than I need and I refuse carry in my luggage.

Therefore, I carry toothpaste...it is a remedy for so many challenges. Note, I use gritty toothpaste, rather than smooth gels. Grit does the trick! And, of course, I always have an old toothbrush dedicated to such emergencies.

Here are some of my favorite uses for toothpaste:

Clean the white rubber soles of my sneakers and sandals. Scrub with an old toothbrush and a dab of toothpaste to get those white rubber edges looking like new.

Get the gunk off your iron. Often, irons in apartments and hotels have residue and this gunk can stain and/or damage your clothes. I've tried salt ... it simply falls to the floor! Squeeze some toothpaste onto a rag and scrub the iron. Wipe off with another wet rag. Use a qtip to get at stubborn paste stuck in steam holes. Let dry. Following this, fill the water reservoir and force steam to exit the steam holes to ensure no gunk is hiding inside the iron. When in doubt, use a towel between the iron and your clothes for extra protection.

Likewise, get the gunk off your curling iron and flat iron! Ditto above!

Remove lipstick, ink, and grass stains from clothing. Cover the stain with toothpaste, rub together vigorously, rinse with warm water, and launder as usual.

Remove wine stains from tablecloths. First, stop everything and immediately flood with cold water until stain disappears or is nearly gone. Smear with toothpaste and let sit to penetrate the fabric. I often, gently rub together to dig even deeper into the fabric, if necessary. Finally, launder, as you usually would.

Address ink stains with toothpaste. Using the same basic method as above, dab toothpaste on the stains, rub together, and then rinse.

Remove gum from clothing. Smear the toothpaste over the gum and then flatten the wad with a knife, ruler or something else with a flat, sharp edge. Once the toothpaste dries, the gum should be easier to remove.

Buff scuffed shoes. Dab with toothpaste and rub with a soft cloth.

Despite what you might have heard or read, DO NOT use toothpaste to clean jewelry....it's too abrasive and can dull your precious stones, as well as silver and gold. Yes, use a TOOTHBRUSH, but with simple soap and water before buffing with a jewelry cloth.

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