Frugality Wise

Tips, ideas, and resources for living frugally

Frugality Friday: The Toothbrush – A Trusty Tool For More Than Just Oral Care

on April 25, 2014

Everyone knows that good oral care is important, and having a good toothbrush is one of the essential items to use in maintaining your oral hygiene. However, there is a lot more you can do with this trusty tool than brushing those pearly whites. A toothbrush can be used in a multitude of useful ways that I’m sure its inventor never even thought of!

Bye-bye Dry Flaky Lips!

Lips - sippakornYears and years ago I became aware of a new product that one of my favourite skin care companies was selling that would exfoliate flaky lips. I was immediately intrigued. It was in the shape of a tube of lipstick, which seemed so convenient. I purchased it….and wasn’t overly impressed with it. It didn’t seem to do the job I needed it to do. Perhaps I wasn’t using the product properly. I abandoned the product and never felt inclined to return to it. There are many beauty and skin care lines out there that offer lip scrubs and exfoliators, and while most might not break the bank if you purchase one of them, it seems pointless to purchase one when a simple toothbrush will get the job done. The Winter months can be especially hard on skin in cold climates, drying it out almost chronically. When my lips get flaky in such instances, in order to get them soft and smooth again I use the following simple, no-fuss technique.

  • Splash warm water onto my lips to soften the flaky, dead skin
  • Put on a generous amount of lip balm (The Vaseline brand has always worked well for me, whether I’m using it to exfoliate or just to moisturize.)
  • Use a soft and straight bristle toothbrush and rub the toothbrush around your lips and over the flakes in a gentle circular motion
  • Wipe away with a tissue any loose flakes that might be sticking to your lips because of the lip balm, and any flakes that might be trapped in your toothbrush
  • Add a layer of lip balm to rehydrate your lips (This step might not be needed if after exfoliating you still have enough product left on your lips.)

When I do this regularly, especially in the Winter, I’m able to keep my lips smooth and hydrated just by using a tool I already have in my home.

Here are other ways in which you can use a toothbrush:

eyebrows closeup - photl websiteAs a facial groomer. Use a toothbrush to smooth down your eyebrow hairs so that they look neat and in place. Men can also use it to groom their moustache, sideburns, and other facial hair.



red hair-dyed hair - photl websiteAs a hair dye applicator. For quick root touch-ups or to add streaks of highlights, use a toothbrush as an applicator to apply colour to your hair.



Shower Tile - FeelartTo clean crevices and other hard-to-clean areas. Use a toothbrush to clean the grout between shower wall tiles, around the sink faucet, between keyboards buttons, …basically anywhere that a small brush would be more practical to use, and give you better access and control, than a larger cleaning tool.



mushrooms - SOMMAITo scrub the dirt off of fresh mushrooms. I love mushrooms. They have a flavour and texture that I enjoy, plus they are a good source of vitamin D. If you love mushrooms like me and cook meals that require mushrooms as an ingredient, you can use a toothbrush to gently brush off the traces of soil found on fresh mushrooms. Similarly, you can use a toothbrush to scrub the soil off of potatoes.



Spill on Carpet - Grant CochraneTo spot-clean a minor carpet spill. If you’ve spilled a little of your beverage on the carpet, before it has a chance to set, grab some paper towels, dish detergent, and your toothbrush to scrub out the stain. (Note: This method will work on some spills depending on the beverage and carpet type, but certain beverages that produce more stubborn stains, or certain types of carpet, might require a different approach.)



paint - m_bartoschAs a painting brush to create artwork. Artists use different types of brushes and each brush can create a different look with the right technique. If you’re a creative person who likes to paint, use a toothbrush to create your latest masterpiece. In this YouTube video an artist uses a toothbrush to create some artwork. I love the finished product! 


A word of caution. Before reusing a toothbrush for another purpose, disinfect the toothbrush first by soaking it in a bleach solution and rinsing off thoroughly with hot water. Label the toothbrush so you know what purpose it will now be used for, and store it separately from the toothbrush you currently use for oral care, to avoid any unfortunate mixups. For toothbrushes that I use directly on my skin, my personal preference is to use a previously unused toothbrush such as the ones I get for free at my regular dental check-ups. I’m starting to get quite the collection of toothbrushes from my dentist and I know exactly what I will use most of them for…and no, it won’t be for oral care!



Photo Credits for this blog entry (in order of appearance):

Image 1: Image courtesy of sippakorn /

Image 2: Image courtesy of Studio Cl Art /

Image 3: Image courtesy of Bhutros Iaco /

Image 4: Image courtesy of Feelart /

Image 5: Image courtesy of SOMMAI /

Image 6: Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane /

Image 7: Image courtesy of m_bartosch /


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