6 ways to use toothpaste besides cleaning your teeth

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Sure, you can use it to brush your teeth, but why limit toothpaste to dental hygiene? Handy Mom is all about multi-tasking and that means everything in her house better have more than one use.

Toothpaste is composed primarily of fluoride (which makes your teeth more resistant to acid) and mild abrasives like calcium phosphate, alumni, calcium carbonate and silica. It's the abrasives that do the actual cleaning -- and give toothpaste its multi-tasking oomph.

1. Tarnished Silver

Rub a little toothpaste on your silver jewelry and cutlery and watch that black layer of oxidized silver rub right off. Rinse and dry well. This trick also works on shining up your diamonds and the metal wristbands of watches.

2. Dirty Shoes

Toothpaste works like a charm removing dirt from the white rubber part of sports shoes and the scuff marks on leather shoes.

3. Sticky Irons

Remove the starch-spray residue from your iron (I'm sure we don't have to tell you to do this when the iron is off and cool). Rub the residue with the toothpaste and rinse well.

4. Swim Goggles & Mirrors

Use toothpaste to immunize goggles and mirrors against fogging. Use a light hand to apply the toothpaste to the inside surface of the goggles or to the bathroom mirror, then wipe it clean (but don't rinse it).

5. Stinky Sinks & Baby Bottles

Toothpaste freshens the smell of both your sink drains (drop some down, let it sit for a few minutes then rinse) or your baby bottles (clean the inside with a brush then rinse well). You can also wash your hands with toothpaste to remove the odor of onions, fish and garlic.

6. Zits & Stings

Thanks to drying agents like alcohol or menthol, toothpaste is also a zit zapper. Lightly dab some on a skin eruption before going to bed; by morning, the swelling and redness will be diminished. Likewise, use a dab to ease the sting of bug bites.