Toothpaste is a daily essential for almost every single person on this planet. It whitens, brightens, cleans your teeth and tongue but did you know it has many other uses? From household cleaning to beauty uses, prepare to be intrigued by our list of toothpaste hacks - some of them will really surprise you!
Editor's Note: This post was originally posted in February 2016 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in August 2018.
Household uses for toothpaste
1. Rescue a scratched DVD or CD disk
Do you still have the odd CD, DVD or even old PC game lying around?
If it's looking a bit worse for wear and struggling to play smoothly, toothpaste can help.
Gently buff the scratch with a small amount of toothpaste and a clean cloth.
2. Revive white shoes
White trainers may seem like a good idea at the time, but a few trips outside will make you think twice about your recent purchase!
If your trainers have white rubber trims that have become discoloured over time, grab some white toothpaste (no colours or gels) and apply directly to the dirty area with a cloth.
Buff and rinse thoroughly to reveal whiter looking shoes.
3. Clean your bathroom sink
Next time a glob of toothpaste drops onto your sink, don't wash it away! Grab a sponge and scrub it around the sink to help give it a quick clean.
This natural abrasive acts like a gentle bathroom cleaner and can help deodorise the drain too.
4. Whiten a keyboard
All those emails can make your computer keyboard pretty grimy over time.
If you have an Apple product or any other white keyboard, you can clean it using toothpaste. Disconnect it and apply a small glob of white toothpaste to a cloth and gently buff each key. Stubborn stains should lift and your keyboard will appear brighter.
5. Clean piano keys
Piano keys can get grubby over time (especially if you're practising as much as you're meant to!)
Fear not, clean them up with toothpaste and a damp brush. Wipe clean with a cloth for a sparkling new set.
This works on both ivory and plastic keys.
6. Make silver jewellery sparkle
There's no need to pay for expensive jewellery cleaning!
Use a tiny amount of toothpaste on a toothbrush to gently buff clean your silver jewellery and diamonds. Rinse thoroughly after and wipe clean with a cloth.
7. Remove scuffs from shoes
A little toothpaste goes a long way when it comes to scuffed-up leather shoes.
Just squeeze a small bit on the scuffed area and rub with a soft cloth. Wipe clean with a damp one - easy! Did you know a banana skin also work well?
8. De-gunk your iron
Is your iron no longer smooth and spotless? Gunk on an iron will not only hamper its effectiveness but could also stain clothes.
Gel toothpaste acts as the perfect mild abrasive for removing the gunk found on a well-used iron. Apply a layer to your iron, scrub off with a clean rag and rinse well.
9. Prevent foggy goggles
Here's another weird toothpaste hack for swimmers!
If you apply a thin layer of toothpaste your swimming, woodwork, ski or scuba goggles then wipe clean, it should help prevent them from fogging up.
Weird, but pretty wonderful, huh?
10. Brighten your headlights
Cleaning your car might not be at the top of your list but, when it's this easy, we should all keep on top of it. You won't realise how dirty and foggy your headlights are until you've tried this toothpaste hack!
Rub some toothpaste on with a damp paper towel and gently buff in a circular motion.
11. Smooth out scratches on a watch face or your phone
Toothpaste can also be used for buffing out tiny scratched on glass, including your watch face or phone.
If you have some tiny scratches on your watch face or phone screen, simply buff them with a tiny blob of toothpaste. Use sparingly and avoid spreading it everywhere as this may damage the device.
12. Remover permanent marker
Kids can get hold of a pen faster than you'd think, so all parents need to know how to clean off scribbly marks. Permanent marker stains can be truly terrifying, but there's no need to be scared of them!
Toothpaste is an amazing stain-remover and can banish even these tough stains.
Grab a tube of original Colgate white toothpaste and rub it on the areas that have are stained. Buff with an old rag and the permanent marker should lift off.
You can try it on white goods surfaces, floors, walls, TV screens and iPads. It also works on crayon stains!
13. Block out any smells
If you're handling a particularly smelly situation - cleaning a nappy, putting out the rubbish, cleaning dog poo - place two dots of toothpaste into each nostril.
This may sound bizarre but it really works!
Putting toothpaste up your nose will distract your sense of smell and you'll be able to deal with the situation without gagging.
Beauty uses for toothpaste
14. Banish spots in a flash
You might think this is an old wives tale, but classic toothpaste (not gel) really does make an efficient pimple treatment.
It helps dry up a spot and reduce the inflammation around the area. Simply dab a small amount onto the affected area, leave to dry then wash off. You can leave it on overnight but be sure to replenish the lost moisture with plenty of cream the next day.
15. Remove nail polish stains
No matter how long you scrub, some traces of nail varnish are impossible to remove.
If your nail varnish has left unsightly bright staining on your nails, toothpaste can help to remove them!
Apply some whitening toothpaste to your fingernails and brush off to leave them looking natural and pearly white.
16. Relieve bug bites, sores & blisters
Toothpaste is a must to have in any first aid kit, and here's why!
It can help stop the itching caused by bites and also decrease any swelling. Relieve an itchy bug bite with just a smidgen of cooling gel toothpaste.
It can also help speed up the healing process of sores and blisters. Keep a travel-sized tube in your first aid box.
17. Soothe a minor burn
Just nicked yourself on the hair straighteners or the edge of a hot pan?
Quick - apply some toothpaste into the area to deliver a temporary cooling effect.
This is such a handy toothpaste hack to know - it's a wonder you ever lived without it!
18. Get rid of food smells from your hands
If you’ve been chopping up garlic and onion or handling pungent cheese and fish, it can permeate your skin making the smell linger for longer.
Scrubbing your hands with some toothpaste will help clean deep down and remove all traces of whiffy smells with its minty-fresh odour.
19. Clean your fingernails & keep them strong
Toothpaste is an excellent DIY way to keep your nails looking clean and feeling strong.
Simply scrub the underneath and tops of fingernails with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
20. Remove chewing gum from your hair
It's something all of us dread happening, but getting gum out of hair isn't as hard as you might think.
If you or a loved one does ever happen to get toothpaste stuck in their hair, don't panic! Spread some toothpaste over the offending chewing gum and let it sit for a few minutes. It will break down the sugar in the gum and help loosen the 'stick' so you'll find it easier to gently pull out.
21. Remove facial hair
Another remarkable beauty use of toothpaste is removing facial and other light hair. A mix of toothpaste, sugar and lemon juice is said to lighten and reduce hair over time, eventually leaving skin hairless.
Watch the video above to watch it in action!
22. Clean up hair dye stains
If your hair dye has leaked onto your forehead or around your hairline as it so often does, grab some toothpaste and use it to scrub away any stains.
You can also use this trick to get rid of tanning lotion stains on your palms and fingers. Whitening toothpaste is best.
23. Fade dark spots
Do you have dark spots on your skin? Many people claim to have experienced great whitening effects when using toothpaste to treat them.
Apply a small amount of traditional toothpaste with a cotton bud before bed and wash off in the morning. Be sure to moisturise afterwards as toothpaste is drying.
24. Treat wrinkles
Last but certainly not least on our list of toothpaste hacks is something that may appeal to the older men and women amongst you...
...toothpaste has been said to reduce the appearance of wrinkles - yes, really!
Applying it to the skin will tighten the area, making wrinkles less prominent. Apply it to the area before bedtime and wash off in the morning to see results.
Wow, who knew toothpaste was so useful? Have you got any unusual uses to add? Share them with us in the comments below.