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Tips To Recycle Old Toothbrushes

Updated on September 10, 2014

Recycle Your Used Toothbrushes

Don't throw out that old toothbrush. It is time to get environmentally friendly, go green, reduce-reuse-recycle, and in every other way be kind to the environment by not throwing out your old toothbrush.

Just because it is getting too threadbare to brush your teeth with does not mean that it should be tossed into the landfill. Your toothbrush still has a lot of other jobs that it just might be able to do.

Photos found on this article are ©Jolene Belmain

Or We Can Recycle Our Brush Into The Ultimate Little Cleaning Tool:

Old toothbrushes are the perfect size to become the ultimate little cleaning brush. They can fit into cracks and crevises that other cleaning tools just are not able to.

For dusting or cleaning deep within tiny grooved objects or ornaments the toothbrush is the perfect little work mate. Your jewelery or kitchen cheese grater are items that shine up nicely when cleaned with a toothbrush.

Out in the garage you can use your old toothbrush to clean your bike or chainsaw chain. It is perfect for getting into those little niches and grooves.

Use your toothbrush to clean your disposable razor with. This will help to increase it's life span.

For cleaning along shelf edges or around drains in the sink or shower they make the ideal mini scrubber. Use it where ever you have small grooves or corners that are not easily assesable with other brushes.

Toothbrushes are also an amazing little helper when it comes to removing tough stains from clothing. Just put a little soap or stain remover on the stain and use your handy dandy little toothbrush to scrub the offending spot. It really does beat grandma's old scrub board for the ease it affords in the removal of stains from your laundry items.

Making Toothbrush Bracelets

If you are a crafty person always looking for new items to reuse and recycle into beautiful works of are, simply remove the bristles from your old toothbrush then soak it in hot water till it becomes pliable enough to bend. If water isn't hot enough to make your toothbrush bend, try putting it into the oven for a few minutes (remember to line your pan with tin foil or baking paper first).

Shape your toothbrush however you so may choose to do! Be creative. Add studs or old rhinestones from other discarded jewelry to see what you can create in the form of a bracelet or necklace. Or use a number of old toothbrushes to create a work of art!

You never know .... you may hold the beginnings of a great new fad in your hand ....... it is only your imagination that needs to be added.

It Is Definitely Time To Start Recycling Even The Little Things:

The average person purchases a new toothbrush about four times a year, and if you add all those toothbrushes up, that is roughly around 50 million pounds of toothbrushes that are currently being discarded each year. Where are they going? Most are heading straight into your local landfill.......now that is scary. That is a gosh awful amount of unnecessary garbage piling up and wasting land space that could otherwise have remained clean.

Don't you think that it may be time for you to look into ways that you may be able recycle your used toothbrush.

Recycle It When You Can:

There are more and more cities including the recycling of toothbrushes to their ever increasing lists of items that can be recycled. If your city has a program for recycling old toothbrushes then simply drop off your old ones there.

If your city doesn't have a recycling program for toothbrushes in place quite yet........no worries! One of the latest crazes to hit the street are toothbrush bracelets. So if you are a creative individual then you may decide to either turn your old toothbrush into a piece of jewelery or a work of abstract art. The choice is up to you.

Toothbrush Ornaments

Start these the same way you would start your bracelet' heat them up and bend them into shapes, adding any kind of glitter or shine you would like. Don't forget to punch a small hole into the end of it for string, if you are going to be using it for hanging.

You could also make an ornament without all of the heating. You could use some tools at home (like a dremel for instance). There are so many things that you can make, and so many beautiful idea's out there for the picking.

Maybe try making a small picture frame ornament for your Christmas tree with your recycled toothbrushes, and put a wonderful picture inside of it. You could even make a picture frame and gift it to a friend or family member... they would absolutely adore such a thoughtful gift.

Have a recycling tip to share or just want to say a quick "hello"......leave me a line or two:

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    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 3 years ago from USA

      Haven't tried to recycle toothbrushes other than using one for scrubbing small items or cleaning.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 4 years ago

      @DANCING COWGIRL: I'm sure there are a lot of different jewelry that are made from recycled toothbrushes. I know a guy who makes rings out of silver cutlery. Some people are so creative!!

    • DANCING COWGIRL profile image

      Dancing Cowgirl Design 4 years ago from Texas

      How cool. Bracelet out of an old toothbrush. I have always used an old tooth brush for scrubbing stuff. We used to clean the grout between tile with them...so glad we got ride of that tile. hahahahah Clever ideas for other uses.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I thought of this gem a week or so ago when I was reading about recycling toothbrushes into a tool for making rugs using strips of fabric.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @Rosetta Slone: I am big around our house on recycling and reusing whatever we can and only throwing out the true waste we can do nothing with.

    • Rosetta Slone profile image

      Rosetta Slone 5 years ago from Under a coconut tree

      I'm a huge fan of reusing household items in creative ways. What a great lens!

    • tonybonura profile image

      Tony Bonura 5 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

      I have always kept used up toothbrushes for polishing shoes and for cleaning chores. Thanks for the tips.

      TonyB

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Many great ideas to recycle old tooth brushes. I mainly use them as cleaning tools.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      It's always fun to find one more way to recycle. Thanks.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @srsddn lm: I am an avid re-cycler and re-user, and find it extremely tough to throw anything of use or that can be recycled away.

    • srsddn lm profile image

      srsddn lm 5 years ago

      My wife does not throw away used old brushes but uses them for various cleaning purposes. I am sure she would love to have more ideas from your lens.

    • Elizabeth McAvoy profile image

      Elizabeth McAvoy 5 years ago

      Hello, great Lens! A friend of mine once turned an old toothbrush into a bracelet. She boiled it until it became pliable, then she bent it in a circular shape that fit around her wrist. Very smart and chic!

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @Virginia Allain: That is an amazing idea, thank-you very much for the suggestion :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing these creative ideas for recycling! :)

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @anonymous: It was my pleasure, anything to help the environment. I think it is extremely important to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      I'm hoping you will be adding lots more ideas for toothbrush repurposing here. I'd suggest cutting off the lower part of the handle to use as a pull for a ceiling fan chain. Put the chain through the hole in the toothbrush handle.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @mojoCNYartist: That is a pretty amazing idea as well... I would have never thought of such a great idea like paint brushes. I bet they would be so unique :)

    • mojoCNYartist profile image

      Dan 5 years ago from CNY

      lol would it be considered weird or strange to say that I have recycled toothbrushes to become paintbrushes? They make some interesting marks... I've also used them for cleaning the sink too.

    • KateHonebrink profile image

      KateHonebrink 5 years ago

      Toothbrush BRACELETS?! What will they think of next?!? This is such an interesting article with great information! Thanks so much and congratulations on making the upcycling/recycling monsterboard!!

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @Redneck Lady Luck: Well thanks so much, every little bit makes a big difference in the long run :) Keep recycling those toothbrushes!!

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @dessertlover: That's very neat, some toothbrushes have very cute handles and would make beautiful bracelets, especially the kids ones with the characters on them. :)

    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      Congratulations on being featured on the best of recycling. Great job girl! I guess all those recycled toothbrushes really do add up.

    • profile image

      dessertlover 5 years ago

      I love recycling of any kind! And I've even seen people who remove the bristles of their toothbrush, warm it up, and bend it into a bracelet.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great point about recycling and reusing whatever we can. Before we throw anything in the garbage we think about how it may be reused. My wife uses old toothbrushes to clean hard to reach area and I use them in my workshop. They're handy to keep around.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @Rangoon House: I use mine primarily for around the taps in my bathroom as well (and in the tiles of my tub surround). Silver though, that's a pretty darn good one.

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      My old toothbrushes are the ultimate cleaning tools for silver and the underbase of bathroom taps.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @blessedmomto7: I agree 100% they are a great little cleaning tool for those hard to reach area's for sure.

    • blessedmomto7 profile image

      blessedmomto7 5 years ago

      Old toothbrushes make the best little scrub brushes for cleaning small areas!

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @zillermil: Glad to help out in the recycling dept. :)

    • zillermil profile image

      zillermil 5 years ago

      When I was growing up we used to use them for cleaning, and I'd gotten out of the habit of that. But this is a great reminder, thanks.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @KimGiancaterino: true enough..... electric ones can be put to good use too :) Thanks for the suggestion.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @jeremykim2011: fabulous idea, even shoes need a good cleaning now and again.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

      We use electric toothbrushes, but even those are good for cleaning tile grout when they're ready to retire.

    • profile image

      jeremykim2011 5 years ago

      I use old toothbrushes to clean the inside of my shoes, hard to reach areas, and tile grout!

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @Linda Pogue: That is yet another fabulous way to use an old toothbrush :) Thanks for stopping by!!

    • Linda Pogue profile image

      Linda Pogue 5 years ago from Missouri

      I use old toothbrushes to clean lint out of my sewing machine. Works great. Blessings.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @Commandrix: There are definitely a ton of ways to recycle them... cleaning, scrubbing stains out of clothes... and the list goes on and on.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      @donnetted: Old toothbrushes are great for those hard-to-reach places.

    • profile image

      Donnette Davis 5 years ago from South Africa

      I re-use some of the toothbrushes in the garden and keep them to clean hard to reach corners and crevices but the majority of them get tossed... great ideas!

    • profile image

      dessertlover 5 years ago

      Neat lens! Do you think the toothbrush will become pliable in hot water? I feel like it'd need more than that. I love the idea though, that's very clever!!

    • Gayle Mclaughlin profile image

      Gayle 6 years ago from McLaughlin

      Excellent ideas! Squid Angel blessed!

    • Commandrix profile image

      Heidi 6 years ago from Benson, IL

      Some good ideas and that bracelet idea is certainly a unique one. I've thought of recycling my toothbrushes but I wasn't exactly sure how.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 6 years ago

      @MargoPArrowsmith: Me too, I try to recycle everything that I can. All it can do it help :)

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

      I am a recycle freak, These are great

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 6 years ago

      @norma-holt: That's mainly what I use my old toothbrushes for as well... although I have been known to use them on tough stains as well... really helps to get the dirt etc. out.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      I used an old toothbrush to get into the corners of my bathroom and it worked wonders in removing the build-up. It now looks as it did when it was new. Great ideas here. Hugs

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Yes, toothbrushes are very great for re-using, and the plastic handles on them will most likely be strong enough for any job.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Used toothbrushes are very handy cleaning implements. Definitely good to recycle material.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 6 years ago

      @tcorbs: Yes, I use mine for that as well... thank-you for the visit :)

    • tcorbs profile image

      tcorbs 6 years ago

      Great way to reuse and recycle! I personally use old toothbrushes for cleaning the grout on my tiles. I invite you to take a look a my water filtration lenses, another way to go green.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 6 years ago

      @JennySui: Thank-you so much for the kind comment... and for the visit :)

    • profile image

      JennySui 6 years ago

      These are great tips to recycle old toothbrushes. I will try to follow these. You have done a great job on this article.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 6 years ago

      @Paul Ward: Absolutely... those keys are so hard to get into... good idea ;) Thanks for stopping by!

    • Paul Ward profile image

      Paul 6 years ago from Liverpool, England

      Simple but good idea. And everybody reading this has one item that's ideal fro cleaningwith a toothbrush - the keyboard!

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 6 years ago

      @fireblazzer: Every little bit surely helps us out in the long run and we all need to be aware for sure :)

    • fireblazzer profile image

      fireblazzer 6 years ago

      interesting page.... i never thought of recyvling tooth brushes... i guess we will all have to do that if we dont fix our oild issues and resource depleation problems.. not to mention limit to our garbage dispole cabilitys

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 6 years ago

      @anonymous: I agree with you totally, they should be able to take of the bristles and remelt the plastic just like any other plastic. That's an excellent idea thank-you for the visit :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I have a box full, use them for all kinds of things. I will have to find out if my city recycles tooth brushes, I am sure they could be melted and shaped into something else by "somebody" :)

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 6 years ago

      @TolovajWordsmith: Well if I could only pick from the two then I guess I'd have to say lazy lol... I have used mine for those hard to reach places in my bathroom (when guys shave and those little hairs get stuck on the edges of the sink). So many different uses for old, used toothbrushes. Thank-you so much for stopping by my lens :)

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 6 years ago from Ljubljana

      I have a lot of old tooth brushes in my closet. But when it comes to cleaning, I am justnot in the right mood... Am I lazy or am I lazy?

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Toothbrushes certainly are great for use as cleaning tools, I don't recall ever just throwing one away.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image
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      JoleneBelmain 6 years ago

      @anonymous: That is such a fantastic idea for a used toothbrush! It would take a lot of patience to make, but would last for sure :) Thank-you so much for stopping by!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I dont know if the plastic would stand up to it today, but when I was a child (omg, 40 years ago...lol) my uncle took an old plastic toothbrush and wittled it into a cable needle for me. I had that cable needle throughout most of my teens and twenties, and then somehow it got lost. It was very strong and he made it smooth so it wouldnt snag the yarn.

    • FunkyJewelleryUK profile image

      FunkyJewelleryUK 6 years ago

      I used to make my own toothbrush bracelets by heating them in hot water and then moulding them around a jar. Great fun! Nice lens :)

    • profile image

      KatBar 6 years ago

      Great ideas for recycling.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 6 years ago from United States

      Cute holders! I do indeed use my old toothbrushes when cleaning.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Good idea, anything to conserve the environment is worth the effort.

    • profile image

      SofiaMann 7 years ago

      Thanks for the ideas. Nice lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I don't have any great ideas to share, but I'm certainly going to give yours a go. Great recycle info lens!

    • BrianRS profile image

      Brian Stephens 7 years ago from France

      Have to say we use toothbrushes for all sorts of cleaning jobs , they really are very handy.

    • WritingforYourW profile image

      WritingforYourW 7 years ago

      Not sure this would work with my supersonic battery toothbrush, but good ideas anyway ;)

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 8 years ago from Royalton

      Beautiful silver toothbrush. What a special way to celebrate your child's first tooth.

      This lens is now featured on Top Toy Awards for 2009. See Bristlebots, robots made from reycyled toothbrushes.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 8 years ago from Canada

      I love the little silver toothbrush........beautiful.

      Ladymermaid

    • profile image

      tdove 8 years ago

      Thanks for joining G Rated Lense Factory!

    • shevans lm profile image

      shevans lm 8 years ago

      Great practical information.

    • Mortira profile image

      Mortira 8 years ago

      Toothbrush jewelry sounds fun. I'll have to give that a try!

      Welcome to the Green Crusaders group!