Myth busters: The truth behind the cleaning uses of toothpaste

Discover our top cleaning uses of toothpaste – and when you shouldn’t use it at home.

Updated

wooden toothbrushes for cleaning with toothpaste

Using toothpaste to clean around the house is a hack that's been around for some time, but what can and can't it be used on? Here we’ll share some top uses of toothpaste and when you're better off using other products.

The uses of toothpaste are not the same for every variety. A non-gel formula is fine for certain cleaning tasks, as it is non-abrasive, but gel formulas should only be used on teeth.

Top ways to start cleaning with toothpaste at home

There are plenty of stains that can be improved by toothpaste. Some common uses of toothpaste include cleaning your home in the following ways:

  • Remove soap scum: use a damp cloth and a spot of toothpaste to remove soap scum in your shower, sink and other places around your bathroom.
  • Spruce up your iron: not sure how to clean an iron with toothpaste? Rub a little of it over any grime or limescale and polish. Make sure the iron is cold and unplugged.
  • Use toothpaste on headlights: use a clean cloth to scrub toothpaste over the surface when cleaning headlights with toothpaste for gleaming results.
  • Get rid of scuff marks: similar to removing light scratches on cars and phone screens, toothpaste can be used to remove scuff marks from shoes! This works best on leather shoes.

Can you use toothpaste to remove scratches?

Yes, you read that right. Whether you want to remove car scratches with toothpaste or are wondering how to fix a cracked phone screen with toothpaste there are some easy tips to follow.

  • Use a damp cloth to rub toothpaste into the scratch.
  • Work in circular motions to gently sand down the uneven surface.
If you can get a fingernail into the scratch it’s likely to be too deep for toothpaste to work so this method is only suitable for light, surface scratches.

When should you NOT use toothpaste for cleaning?

There are a few times when toothpaste should not be used for cleaning.

These include:

  • Diamond jewellery. Although diamonds themselves might be ok to clean with toothpaste, they are usually set in soft metals such as gold and silver. Toothpaste's hard, abrasive nature could damage the setting so it’s best to steer clear.
  • Suede shoes. Whilst toothpaste is great for cleaning scuff marks on leather shoes, it won’t work on suede. Instead, use a soft bristled brush to rub detergents like Persil into the suede before wiping clean with a damp cloth.

And there you have it: cleaning with toothpaste myths, busted.

Key Steps

  • Always use a damp cloth and non-gel toothpastes for cleaning.
  • Two main cleaning uses for toothpaste are:
    • To remove light scratches from phones, headlights, and cars.
    • To polish metal surfaces – removing grime from irons and limescale from chrome bathroom fixtures.

Originally published