Just because a toothbrush is old and worn-out doesn’t mean it’s destined for the trash. Get your creative juices flowing and you’ll be amazed at the ideas you come up with. Recycling and upcycling are gaining momentum and this isn’t just a trend. It is our responsibility as inhabitants of this world to help it heal. Finding other uses for items that have outgrown its efficiency is a way to contribute to Mother Earth. Read on and get ideas on how to revamp that toothbrush.
- Use the old toothbrush like a paintbrush. Why buy new, expensive paintbrush sets for your toddler when a toothbrush will do the job just fine? The splayed bristles can stamp unique designs. You can assign a color for each toothbrush and let your happy kid paint away. Of course, this doesn’t only apply to kids, adults can experiment with designs and colors using them too!
- Make a Christmas tree out of it. Hang trinkets on the bristles or let it stand out like a snowy pine tree. Make your holiday season at home a season of learning. Dispel the commercialism and teach your family the true essence of Christmas. It is about family, reflection, and togetherness. Throw in a lesson in recycling and you’re guaranteed to have a meaningful time.
- Make art pieces. Make a masterpiece by incorporating it into mixed media art projects. These versatile pieces have much freedom on materials and several renowned artists have produced magnificent works out of simple materials. Who knows, your project might be the next Mona Lisa!
- Use it to make other toys. A toothbrush handle is practically just a stick and you can do lots of things with sticks. You can create houses, cars, or entire villages! If you are into science and machines, you can create moving robotic parts too. Spend quality time and teach your children resourcefulness and creativity. Watch their awestruck faces as their minds open to the possibilities of what they can do.
- Cleaning and applying oil on bicycle chains. The small head of the toothbrush is ideal for hard-to-reach areas. Dip the old toothbrush in oil and apply it around the chain. This should make your trusty bicycle feel like new.
- Brushing and cleaning tiny objects. Whether they are miniature toys or furniture screws, their tiny heads can reach and remove the dirt. In fact, there are not many brushes that are designed to specifically clean them in stores because everybody knows an old toothbrush has been delegated this role.
- Removing grout stains. The narrow nature of grouts makes them one of the most difficult household areas to clean. Stain and mildew accumulate on them. They are unsightly as they are unhygienic. Keep a stash of old toothbrushes for cleaning grouts in different areas of the house in separate jars. Make sure you label them. You don’t want the ones that clean the bathroom grout to touch the toothbrush that cleans the kitchen sink, do you?
- Removing old skin from your lips. Our skin including mucus membranes like our lips shed off regularly. Sometimes, excoriated skin accumulates in our lips especially the corners, and looks disgusting. The soft bristles of an old toothbrush are just the perfect consistency to remove them without damaging the underlying lip tissue.
- Use it as an eyebrow brush. Sure, there are affordable commercial eyebrow brushes but if you happen to leave one while on the road and you desperately need a touch-up, use an old toothbrush instead. It will do the job just as well.
- Upcycle into a hook. For this one, you need to boil the plastic so that it will become soft and bendy. Leave it to harden again after bending and viola, hooks for your clothes, bags, and kitchen tools.
With environmental challenges devastating the world, we cannot just leave the job to environmental professionals. Our world needs help. It has provided for and helped us survive for generations, it is about time we return the favor. Little ways like toothbrush recycling and upcycling may seem like a negligible contribution but if more people do it, the ripple effect will make a big difference.