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The One Clever Toothbrush Hack That Makes Cleaning Easier

toothbrush cleaning trick

When I’m trying to figure out the best way to clean something, I like to keep an open mind. Because I often find that the best tool for any particular cleaning task is whatever I can find lying around that gets the job done! :-)

And as surprising as it might sound, one tool that often fills that role is an old toothbrush! I keep a couple of them with my cleaning supplies, and use them to scrub laundry stains, scour hard-to-reach nooks and crannies, and more.

So imagine my delighted surprise when I recently discovered a way to make a toothbrush even more useful for cleaning! :-) It only takes a minute or two to do, and it has already started paying off for me at home.

toothbrush cleaning trick

The One Drawback Of Cleaning With A Toothbrush

One drawback of cleaning with a toothbrush is that it isn’t very helpful when it comes to tight corners or containers with high sides. The bristles and the handle form a straight, rigid line, limiting its usefulness in tight spaces.

But my recent discovery presents a very simple solution to this problem! You just heat up the toothbrush and bend the head back, exposing the bristles and forming a more ergonomic handle.

This quick modification will turn any toothbrush into a versatile, highly useful cleaning tool! Here’s how this toothbrush hack works:

Toothbrush Hack: How To Make It More Useful For Cleaning

You’ll need:

  • Toothbrush
  • Pot of water
  • Tongs
  • Two pairs of pliers

toothbrush cleaning trick


Bring a pot of water to a boil on your stovetop, then drop the toothbrush into the water.

After about two minutes, use your tongs to remove the toothbrush from the water.

toothbrush cleaning trick

Carefully position the two pairs of pliers on the area of the toothbrush below the bristles, then use them to bend the toothbrush head back towards the handle. (Note: You can bend it as much or as little as you like! A 90° angle could be useful for cleaning tall containers, while a 45-60° angle would help with a wider range of tasks.)

toothbrush cleaning trick

Once the toothbrush cools completely, the plastic will solidify and your new, more useful cleaning brush will be ready to use! :-)

toothbrush cleaning trick

How Do I Use It?

Ready to put your new, modified cleaning toothbrush to good use? Click here to learn about 11 things you clean with a toothbrush!

Do you use an unconventional cleaning tools at home?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Homekeeping Tips

  • Something that will work even better at removing the dust from the louvers on your cars dash is a wooden tongue depressor (available in the craft dept. at the store) with a corner of a microfiber towel folded over one end. The microfiber will grab and hold on to the dust that’s removed so you can shake it off outside the car. You only want one layer of the towel, however, so it’s not so thick that it might possibly bend or break the relatively delicate louver assembly. It’s not a lot of fun trying to repair them, and they’re not cheap to replace, so be careful.

  • I have a small brush, had it so long I don’t know where it came from, but it is more like a small paint brush. I keep it is my car glove box. When I’m waiting for hubby to fill the tank, or am stuck in traffic, I pull it out to clean those little crevices all over the front dash and steering wheel.

  • Have had a toothbrush in my cleaning kit forever (like everyone else probably) and thought I’d nothing to learn about cleaning with one. How wrong was I, great tip, thanks Jillee

  • I like this tip. I was explaining showing it to my mom. She’s getting ready to clean the kitchen cabinet doors. I already showed the baking soda and coconut oil method. She was impressed. We’ve used old toothbrush for giving our bathroom tile a good scrubbing. I’ve also used one to get the Lint out of my hair dryers. It really helps to extend the life of the hairdryers. The shaving brush tip is great too. My dad used one before he switched to an electric razor. The brush is long gone. I love that tip for cleaning.

  • This is a great idea. As usual, I enjoy and appreciate your helpful information. I use a plastic brush that was used to clean typewriter keys many many years ago. It is shaped like a very small broad paint brush but with very stiff short nylon bristles. I keep this at my kitchen sink and use it often. Of course, I cannot find another one and would like a spare. Would anyone know of a brush like this? I have searched online and at yard/garage sales. I have tried other brushes but the bristles are too soft. Thank you.

  • Thank you for one good thing today. It’s a useful trick and easy to do. Since it was “one good thing” I had time to read it and I will implement this later in the day as it’s actually a useful suggestion. Yay!

  • Great idea! You can also trim bristles to fit the job at hand. I occasionally buy a toothbrush that’s too hard for my mouth. It can go directly to the cleaning tools basket.

    A Toothbrush works well to clean a Roomba!

  • This is one area where I’d have to concede that a plastic toothbrush is better than wood, which is what I’ve been buying in recent years for conservation purposes. I did save all of my plastic ones for cleaning, and now I can put them to even better use – especially as different angles are better for different cleaning tasks. Maybe one day plastic toothbrushes will be like pipe cleaners – still having the name but no longer being used for their original purpose!

    I have found that a toothbrush is useful for cleaning marks and smudges on flat paint, where a scrub sponge would just rub the paint off the wall. I spray a little all-purpose cleaner on the wall (or on the toothbrush head) and scrub the spot…and the mark comes off, leaving the paint intact! It doesn’t even leave a water mark after it’s dried.

    • I use my first baby’s (she’s 43!) very soft hairbrush for the same purpose. Also use it very gently as a ‘dishmop’ when washing delicate ornaments.

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