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Cleaning expert provides 'genius' tip to tackle hard-to-reach spaces: 'You have no idea how handy it is'

"Plenty of life left in them."

"Plenty of life left in them."

Photo Credit: TikTok

There's a cleaning gadget for everything nowadays, but sometimes an old toothbrush is all you really need.

The scoop

In a TikTok video, Clean That Up (@cleanthatup) demonstrated the age-old way of cleaning cracks and crevices: an old toothbrush.

@cleanthatup It's always nice to keep some different sized brushes in your cleaning kit. One of my favorites…a toothbrush! You have no idea how handy it is and how many different places you can use them🪥🪥 #cleaning #cleaninghacks #helpful #cleantok ♬ original sound - Clean That Up!

"I always like to keep an old toothbrush in my cleaning kit for areas like this [where] you can't quite get in with a sponge or a towel," he says.

Using just a toothbrush and cleaning spray, he was able to effortlessly remove a strip of dirt from the crevices on the front of his dishwasher.

He swears by the toothbrush, saying, "you have no idea how handy it is and how many different areas you can use them."

How it's helping

The American Dental Association recommends swapping out your toothbrush every three months, but don't toss the old one — it still has a purpose.

Your old toothbrush is great for cleaning. Its size, length, and bristles make it an excellent mini-scrubber for those hard-to-reach places. There's no need to buy a cleaning putty or an electronic scrubber, as your trusty toothbrush will do just fine. 

It's also good to give your toothbrush a second life. Because of their small parts and materials, toothbrushes aren't easy to recycle. They're made with plastic handles and tiny nylon bristles, which can take over 500 years to degrade. Because they're not recycled, over one billion plastic toothbrushes end up in the trash every year, according to National Geographic

Some dental companies, like Oral-B and Colgate, run recycling programs to collect old toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, and caps to prevent existing toothbrushes from entering landfills. But to stop additional toothbrushes, forgo buying a plastic toothbrush in the first place. Consider a toothbrush with a recyclable bamboo base, which will break down more easily

If you have an electric toothbrush, which is semi-sustainable as it lasts longer than a normal toothbrush, they even make replacement toothbrush heads from bamboo.

Want to step up your recycling game? Educating yourself about your community's recycling guidelines makes a big difference.

What everyone's saying

Many users were already using the hack or something similar, and everyone appreciated the reminder.

"This is genius," one user commented.

"Every time I replace toothbrushes I take the old ones and save them for cleaning," another said. "Plenty of life left in them and I don't feel bad when I toss them!"

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