Do you have an old bamboo toothbrush lying around? Before you compost the handle (and remove the head), consider some ways to upcycle it.
Keeping something in use for longer helps reduce waste and gives items a second life. It also fully utilizes the energy, resources, water and labor that went into making the product.
Here are some ideas for creative recycling for bamboo toothbrushes. Also, FYI, if you’re on the hunt for new bamboo toothbrushes to replace your old ones, we’ve got you covered. Check out our adult and kid sized bamboo toothbrushes!
Creative Recycling For Bamboo Toothbrushes – Table of Contents
- Clean Your Shoes
- Use It As A Kitchen Scrubber
- Clean Grout Fast
- Label Your Plants
- Restore Your Jewelry
- Clean Your Fingernails
- Arts & Crafts
- Eyebrow Brush
- Pet Brush
- Picture Frames
- Wall Cleaner
- Clean Your Headphones & Earbuds
- Dust Buster
- Cleaning Keyboards
- Cleaning Vents
1. Clean Your Shoes
You can use a bamboo toothbrush to clean the scuff marks off shoes and the floor. But you can also use it to thoroughly scrub and clean your shoes.
I once used an old toothbrush to clean and scrub my slippers.
I first washed the slippers in the sink using castile soap, then gave it a good thorough scrubbing with an upcycled toothbrush. I had to repeat this process twice (the slippers were really dirty) but it was well worth it because it worked!
2. Impromptu Kitchen Scrubber
Are there areas of your kitchen that need a good scrubbing? Here are some places a bamboo toothbrush might be the perfect solution:
- Scrub hard-to-reach places around faucets, seams and caulking around the sink.
- Brush and clean your cheese grater.
- Any items with grooves where food and other unpleasant things tend to congregate, such as lids of food storage and cutting boards.
- Hard to reach spots on your counters with grooves.
- Clean the inside of microwaves or the grooves in a waffle maker.
You can also use your old toothbrush to scrub potatoes, carrots and squash clean – just make sure you sterilize your toothbrush before doing this!
3. Grout Cleaner
Do you have tiles in your bathroom or kitchen that have pesky grout buildup? You can actually use an old toothbrush to scrub away mildew, dirt and other grime from your grout. This will give it a fresh look that will almost make it look like new.
It’s important to use a thick cleaning paste and to get into every groove between the tiles.
We suggest combining baking soda and hydrogen peroxide for the best results. Apply it to the grout, wait a few minutes and let it sit to fully absorb. Then, take your toothbrush and get into some serious scrubbing action! You’ll be amazed at the results.
4. Plant Labels
You can use bamboo toothbrush handles to label the plants in your garden so you don’t forget what’s growing there. This is especially helpful if you grow things from seed! You can also use them in container gardening too.
Simply break off the top of the toothbrush where the bristles are (or remove the bristles with a plier). Then, using a permanent marker, write down the name of the plant you want to keep track of in a certain plot. If you’re feeling creative, you can also try drawing something. Then, stick it into the soil where you planted your seeds or seedlings.
When the gardening season is up, you can simply compost the bamboo handles, or save them and use them again next season if they’re in good enough condition.
5. Restore Jewelry
Sometimes, jewelry gets very dirty or faded, especially if we’re wearing it on a regular basis. It’s important to clean our jewelry, but we have to be very careful and gentle doing so, especially with dainty pieces.
Using an old bamboo toothbrush is a great option because the bristles are small enough to be gentle on jewelry and you’ll have better control.
We suggest combining warm water with an eco-friendly dish soap to get the job done. Soak the jewelry in the solution for a few minutes, then gently scrub it with the old toothbrush. Give your jewelry a rinse before letting it air dry on a lint-free, soft cloth.
6. Clean Your Fingernails
Sometimes after a hard day’s work we get things trapped under our fingernails, be it dirt or lint. An old toothbrush is the perfect solution for cleaning underneath our fingernails without being abrasive.
You can keep an old toothbrush by the sink or in the shower to help get the dirt and grime off under your fingernails. Just use a little soap and water and that should do the trick nicely.
7. Arts & Crafts
Feeling creative? If you like making crafts, or have kids, you can upcycle bamboo toothbrushes into mini works of art in all sorts of ways.
You can use the base handles to make “flowers” or “stars” by gluing them together at the right points. Then paint or decorate them as you see fit.
Be mindful if you use glitter, that’s essentially microplastics – try using biodegradable glitter from sustainable companies instead, or simply opting for glitter-free projects. And choose natural paints whenever possible too!
8. Eyebrow Brush
You can upcycle an old toothbrush into an eyebrow brush quite easily. It’s great for defining and cleaning up your brows when you want them to look a little more polish. Just gently smooth them over your eyebrows in the direction and angle you want them to go. Bonus points? If you’re using our bamboo toothbrushes, the bristles are very soft and not abrasive at all, so it’ll feel quite nice.
9. Pet Brush
You might be surprised at how much your pet will love this! Try using an old toothbrush to gently groom your pet dog or cat. It’s small enough and gentle enough to be soothing to them. And, it can also remove some loose pet hairs! Best part is it’s easy to clean off in record time and won’t create a huge mess.
10. Wall Cleaner
If you have a pet (like a cat) or kids, you know how dirty your walls can get! I had a pet bird when I was little and sometimes I still find poop stains on the walls (don’t ask how they got there). Let’s not forget when kids take crayons to the walls! Or leave their dirty fingerprints on your perfect white rooms and doors.
If you see your walls can do with a little TLC, break out an old toothbrush and get to work! Using a little bit of baking soda mixed with water, scrub the grime away with your toothbrush. Your walls will look like new in no time.
11. Picture Frames
Sometimes, picture frames have some quirky designs with lots of grooves and patterns that make it hard to clean. Dust can accumulate in these areas over time.
Using a toothbrush to gently dust picture frames is a great idea for this very reason. You can more easily brush the dust away and quickly wash and dry the toothbrush when you’re done using it.
12. Clean Your Earbuds & Headphones
Have you noticed how wax and hair can get stuck inside and around your earbuds? It’s incredibly annoying but it’s also important to clean it every so often.
A toothbrush is the perfect cleaning tool for this, as it can easily get into the grooves of an earbud without hassle. They can also be used to clean bigger headphones. The bristles are gentle enough to not cause damage and the toothbrush head is small enough to get into hard-to-reach crevices.
13. Dust Buster
Using an old toothbrush to remove dust from objects is a low waste hack you need to know about. It’s especially handy to use it on removing dust from blinds because they have a lot of hard-to-reach narrow areas.
Any spots that are tight can be time consuming and frustrating, so having a toothbrush on hand to clean the dust on them will help a lot. You can use it to free dust from wall sockets, lamps, and shelf corners – or any other small spots that accumulate dust really.
14. Cleaning Keyboards
Our keyboards can get surprisingly grimy over a certain period of time! And because they’re so packed together, it can make cleaning them a little challenging, due to the narrowness. You also want to be extra gentle, as you don’t want to damage any of the buttons.
Using a toothbrush to clean a keyboard is a great idea because it’s small enough to get in between all the grooves and crevices. It’s also very gentle and can help ensure no damage happens to your keys. You can use some DIY disinfectant spray too to sanitize the keyboard – just make sure the computer is off and not to overdo it.
15. Cleaning Vents
You can actually use your old bamboo toothbrush to clean the vents on hair dryers, fly screens, and fans. A lot of times hair, dust, grime and dirt accumulate on these items, so it’s good to clean them every so often.
The back of hair dryers are the places we often forget to clean the most but you’ll be surprised at the amount of hair, lint and dust that accumulates on this part! Cleaning it will help your dryer function more efficiently.
The great part about having a bamboo toothbrush is that it’s not made from plastic. Bamboo is a natural and renewable material – and it’s also good for kindling.
Just make sure you remove the top of the toothbrush or use a plier to remove the bristles first. Then, you can add the bamboo handle right into your fire pit. You can also bring it on camping trips and use it to start mini (controlled) campfires, if need be, for cooking food.
As you can see, recycling for bamboo toothbrushes doesn’t have to be boring. Which was your favorite idea? Let us know in the comments below!
About the Author:
Ariana Palmieri is the founder of Greenify-Me, a blog dedicated to zero waste living and sustainability. Her work has been featured on Going Zero Waste, Mother Earth Living, Green Matters and several other publications. Get her free e-book “10 Ways to Reduce Trash” by signing up to her newsletter and learn how to reduce your waste today.