7 Surprising things you can clean with toothpaste

This is how experts use toothpaste to lift stains and clean homeware

Things to clean with toothpaste
(Image credit: Jon Day Photography / Alamy / Little Greene)

Toothpaste contains mild abrasive properties effective at removing stains and debris while being non-harmful. This makes toothpaste a highly effective cleaning agent that can be used for many household items and common cleaning tasks, so it's a great tool to add to your fall cleaning checklist.

'You’ll be surprised that toothpaste is way more versatile than you think. Because of its powerful yet harmless ingredients, you can clean most things with it,' explains Bella Zinti, home builder at The Homey Space. 'By using a more abrasive brush and your toothpaste, you can remove stains from surfaces like walls, upholstery, and carpets in replace of harsh household cleaning products.' 

Our experts have explained seven surprising things you can clean with toothpaste and their cleaning tips for the best results. 

Surprising things you can clean with toothpaste

'Remember that when using toothpaste for cleaning, it's best to choose a non-gel, non-whitening toothpaste, as these tend to be less abrasive and work well for cleaning purposes,' advises Hashi Mohammed, president of Ivy Cleans. 'Additionally, always test a small, inconspicuous area before applying toothpaste to a more visible surface to ensure it won't cause any damage or discoloration.'

Some stains can also be tackled with the addition of baking soda, salt and lemon juice.

1. Water rings on wood furniture

Black dining room

(Image credit: Sherwin-Williams)

Water rings can significantly downgrade the appeal of your wooden furniture, whether that be a coffee, dining, or console table. Luckily, toothpaste can be a surprisingly effective solution to reduce or remove water stains from wood.

'If you have water rings formed on your wooden furniture, a mixture of toothpaste and baking soda can help get rid of them,' recommends Petya Holevich, Fantastic Services' house cleaning expert and supervisor. 'After you apply it to the effected area, gently rub the mixture onto the water ring or scratch in a circular motion and wipe it off with a clean, damp cloth.'

You can also continue to rub until the mark is gone or significantly reduced. After wiping clean, you can apply furniture polish for a finishing touch.

2. Metal appliances

things that make a kitchen look cheap, pale wood kitchen cabinetry, marble countertops and backsplash, open shelving, brass tap

(Image credit: Neptune)

If you have copper or stainless steel appliances, such as a metal backsplash, copper pots, or a stainless steel oven that is dirty scuffed, toothpaste can be an effective cleaning agent.

To leave stainless steel appliances with a clean and polished finish and remove smudges and fingerprints, apply toothpaste and buff with a soft cloth.

'If you apply toothpaste to a soft, microfibre cloth, you can use it to polish copper items or surfaces and remove tarnish.

'Make sure to use gentle pressure and circular motions while doing this and finish by rinsing the metal under hot water and buffing it with a new clean cloth,' recommends Petya Holevich.

'If you’re dealing with deep tarnish, let the toothpaste sit on the surface for a few minutes before rinsing it away.' The cloth will pick up the tarnish.

You can find a microfiber cloth, such as these USANOOKS grey ones, from Amazon.

3. Glass and mirrors


(Image credit: Jon Day Photography)

'You can also use toothpaste for cleaning mirrors, glasses, and chrome faucets in your bathrooms, leaving the space sparkling,' explains Bella Zinti.

Use a non-abrasive, plain, white toothpaste to clean glass and mirrors. Apply a thin layer, wipe it with a clean using a damp cloth, and then polish it for a streak-free shine. This can also be ideal for preventing fogging on glass and mirrors.

4. Scum from soap

bathroom sink and houseplants

(Image credit: Liudmila Chernetska / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images)

'Soap scum often builds up in sinks and on shower doors and luckily, it can be easily removed with toothpaste,' advises Petya Holevich. 'To clean glass shower doors and sinks, simply squeeze a small amount of it onto a damp microfibre cloth and apply pressure firmly while scrubbing the soap scum away. 

'Finally, clean the cloth, wipe away the remaining residue and let the area dry well.'

5. Grout

Colorful dining room space with yellow and green painted walls, blue tiled floor, light wood rounded dining table, blue bobbin stool, light wood dining chair

(Image credit: Little Greene)

Toothpaste is excellent for whitening and cleaning grout in between tiles. Unlike when cleaning most other items, for cleaning white grout, whitening toothpaste can be a preferable option. The mild abrasiveness of toothpaste can help remove stains and brighten the grout. 

Apply toothpaste to a toothbrush or grout brush, scrub the grout lines, and rinse with water. We recommend this The Crown Choice grout cleaning brush set, from Walmart.

6. Stains

white living room with open shelving

(Image credit: Future PLC)

'Toothpaste is a surprisingly effective stain remover for fabrics and carpets. Whether it's a coffee spill, ink mark, or scuff on the walls, toothpaste can often work its magic to erase these stubborn blemishes,' says cleaning expert and founder of Muffettas Domestic Assistants, Muffetta Krueger. 

Toothpaste can be used to clean pen, marker and crayon stains.

'Toothpaste can effectively remove stains from painted walls, such as crayon marks or scuffs,' says Hashi Mohammed. 'Apply a small amount of toothpaste to a damp cloth or sponge and gently rub the stained area. Rinse the area with water and dry it afterward to avoid discoloration.' 

When using toothpaste to remove ink stains from fabric, apply a small amount, let it sit for a few minutes, then gently scrub and rinse. Repeat as needed until the stain is gone. 

'Toothpaste can also remove permanent marker stains on quartz countertops,' explains Beth McCallum at Oh So Spotless. 'Apply the toothpaste to the stain and wait ten minutes before wiping it with a damp cloth. Cover the stain with lemon juice and table salt for a few minutes before wiping with a cloth.'

Finally, we often find our favorite mugs becoming discolored with tea and coffee stains, making them look dirty and worn out, however, toothpaste can leave your best espresso cups looking refreshed.

'Because toothpaste is formulated to remove coffee and tea stains from teeth, it can also do the same for mugs,' explains Petya Holevich. 'Apply a small amount of toothpaste to a wet sponge and scrub the mugs, making sure to rinse the mug thoroughly to remove both the toothpaste and coffee stains.'

7. Tupperware

Common kitchen items you don't need

(Image credit: Future / Emma Mitchell)

After a while, Tupperware and other plastic containers used to store food can begin to smell, and washing them often doesn't effectively resolve this issue. 

If your plastic food containers have lingering odors, then toothpaste can be a good method to deodorize them. Smear some toothpaste in the container, leaving it overnight, and rinse it out the next day to help eliminate those stubborn smells.


How does toothpaste clean jewlery?

Toothpaste can be highly effective at restoring the luster of jewelry due to its mild abrasive properties which can remove tarnish and grime from precious metals, such as silver, gold, and gemstones.

Toothpaste also works wonders in cleaning your jewelry, especially diamonds, replacing ammonia solution,' explains Bella Zinti, home builder at The Homey Space.

Simply apply a small amount of toothpaste to a soft cloth and gently scrub your jewelry. Afterward, rinse and dry it.

Alongside toothpaste, there are a number of other surprising home items that can be effective cleaners, such as denture tablets, a magic eraser, nail polish remover, and even dishwasher tablets. You can check out our guides for the things these can clean to ensure your home stays spotless and safe from toxic cleaners.

Lola Houlton
News writer

Lola Houlton is a news writer for Homes & Gardens. She has been writing content for Future PLC for the past six years, in particular Homes & Gardens, Real Homes and GardeningEtc. She writes on a broad range of subjects, including practical household advice, recipe articles, and product reviews, working closely with experts in their fields to cover everything from heating to home organization through to house plants. Lola is a graduate, who completed her degree in Psychology at the University of Sussex. She has also spent some time working at the BBC.