Toothbrushes

Put in Garbage Cart/Bin
electric toothbrush

Electric Toothbrushes Are E-Waste

Because of their batteries, electric toothbrushes must be disposed of as e-waste.

Ways to Reduce

bamboo toothbrush

Use Bamboo

Brush with Bamboo toothbrushes have completely biodegradable handles, BPA-free bristles, come in compostable packaging, and are designed to last just as long as a conventional plastic toothbrush.

Ways to Reuse

Cleaning Baseboards

An old toothbrush makes a great tool for cleaning a baseboard and getting out the lint and other dirt the vacuum just can’t reach.

muddy soles

Getting the Mud Out

Old toothbrushes are great for getting the mud out of dirty shoes, bikes and whatever else you take outside.

toothbrush for cleaning jewelry

Cleaning Delicate Jewelry

An old toothbrush can be extremely useful for cleaning delicate pieces of jewelry.

Clean the Toothbrush Before Reusing It

To clean an old toothbrush, soak it for a few hours in a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water. Then give it one final rinse and let it air dry.

Did You Know?

The House That 20,000 Toothbrushes Built

When students at the University of Brighton built a house entirely almost entirely of waste, the materials used to insulate the walls included 20,000 old toothbrushes, as well as DVD cases, VHS tapes and old demin. Find out more about the Waste House.

Before the Modern Toothbrush

The modern toothbrush wasn’t invented until 1938, but that does’t mean people never brushed their teeth. Ancient civilizations rubbed a “chew stick,” a twig with a frayed end, against their teeth to clean them. The bristle toothbrush was invented in 1498 by the Chinese, but the bristles were actually hog hairs, and the handle was made of bone or bamboo. Horsehairs were used in the 20th century until 1938, when DuPont introduced nylon, still in use today.