• April 23, 2019
Tips on Recycling Old Toothbrushes

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends changing out your toothbrush or head on your electric toothbrush approximately every three months. If you have been sick, you may want to get a new toothbrush even sooner. With Earth Day being today (on April 22), we’ve been thinking about ways of recycling toothbrushes and electric toothbrush heads instead of tossing them in the trash.

Fun

The Internet is chock full of fun ways to use toothbrushes that are past their prime for craft projects. Here are a few of our favorites:

Toothbrush rag rugs – for years folks have altered old toothbrushes into rug-making tools.

Toothbrush bracelets – no kidding, you can turn plastic toothbrushes into funky jewelry for kids. Make sure there is adult supervision when you take on this project because it involves boiling water.

Painting – the bristles are great for making fun patterns on all kinds of paper. Save up your old toothbrushes so your artist has one for every color.

Practical

Cleaning Tool – The bristles and long handle of your old toothbrushes make them great tools to clean hard-to-reach spots. Use them to detail the rims of your tires without scratching the metal. Dip in vinegar and give the holes on your shower head a brisk scrub to get rid of mineral buildup. Get under the flaps of your garbage disposal’s safety shield to attack that nasty gunk. Give your jewelry a gentle yet much-needed once over.

Corn Cob Cleaner – Run the old toothbrushes through the dishwasher, then when sweet corn season hits, you’re ready with a handy tool that easily removes the silk strands off the ears after shucking.

Hair Dryer Rejuvenation – Remove lint buildup from the fan cover on your hair dryer. It will work better and last longer because it is not overheating.

Recycling

Recycling toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes and packaging material – Colgate offers a free recycling program for not only toothbrushes but other related items such as toothpaste tubes and caps, toothpaste cartons, toothbrush packaging and floss containers. The collected items are separated by the materials from which they are made, shredded and melted into hard plastic to make new products from the recycled materials.

Electric toothbrushes – check out this helpful article with tips to dismantle your old electric toothbrushes and how to recycle the various parts appropriately.

While changing out your toothbrush on a regular basis is important for your oral health, it is also a good idea to be mindful about what happens with the discards.