Getting that awful onion stink off your hands, and 4 other uses for toothpaste

by Chris Barnes

 

We all know that toothpaste helps keep your smile clean and cavity-free. But did you also know that you can use it around the house? Here are my favorite new uses for toothpaste. NOTE: Just remember, these all work best with the traditional toothpaste, not the gel varieties. Never try any of these with the whitening formulas, as it may bleach.

1. Restore Your Headlights. Sometimes the plastic headlight cases can get pretty cloudy, causing your headlights to look dull. Using some toothpaste (and an old toothbrush that is past its prime), buff the inside of the plastic. Then, rinse out the headlight case thoroughly. Once dry, reassemble the light fixture. Good as new.

2. Surface Cleaner. If you’ve ever wound up with cough syrup staining your bathroom counter top or some crayon ‘graffiti’ on your walls, don’t panic. Instead wipe some toothpaste in a circular motion on the stain. The cleaning agents in toothpaste are mild enough to break down stubborn pigments, waxes and dyes.

3. Clean Your Iron. Does the bottom of your iron look really gross? You can use toothpaste to remove that crud. Wait until your iron has cooled down, then buff the metal plate with some toothpaste and a paper towel. It gently cleans away the gunk that has accumulated, leaving the surface much cleaner.

4. Stinky Hand Cleaner. One of the worst parts of doing dirty household jobs, whether they be gardening, unclogging a pipe or even cooking with onion or garlic, is that they can make your hands smell really bad. Sometimes so bad, not even hand soap will do the trick. In any case, what works for bad breath also works for bad smells: toothpaste. Just rub your hands with the stuff, then rinse.

5. DVD Repair. Does your copy of Pirates of the Caribbean skip? Try buffing a dab toothpaste on the readable side of the disc with a paper towel. This helps resurface the disc by filling in the scratches and helps prevent the disc from skipping. Just remember to do a good job wiping off the excess toothpaste, as you don’t want it getting in your player.

What are your favorite other uses for toothpaste?

Share them in the comments.

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