Repurposing and Recycling Toothbrushes

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Repurposing and Recycling Toothbrushes

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In our last post, we talked about some of the ways you should be taking care of your toothbrush. One of those tips was to make sure you are replacing your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Most of us simply throw the old ones in the trash—but our team at Prescott Dentistry thought it would be fun to share a list of creative ways to put your old toothbrushes to good use and how to dispose of them properly when you are done. Here are our tips for repurposing and recycling toothbrushes: 

6 Ways to Repurpose an Old Toothbrush

Just be sure to run it through the dishwasher first to make sure it’s thoroughly disinfected! 

  1. Scrub your grout. Sprinkle some baking soda or soak the bristles in bleach and get to scrubbing the grout in your kitchen or bathroom. Pretty soon it will sparkle like your teeth! 
  2. Touch up your roots. A toothbrush is perfect for applying a bit of hair dye, whether it’s time to touch up those roots, or you want to add a streak of color! 
  3. Clean your computer keyboard. Run a dry or slightly damp toothbrush between the keys of your keyboard to get rid of the dust and grime that can build up over time. Make sure to tilt your keyboard up so that the dust falls out. 
  4. Get rid of crayon marks on the walls. Believe it or not, you can actually use a toothbrush along with some toothpaste to brush your walls, and the crayon marks will come right off. Rinse the wall with water when you’re done. 
  5. Create a masterpiece! The bristles of a toothbrush are great for painting interesting and unique patterns and textures on paper. Kids will love this one! This is also a great time to talk to them about the importance of oral hygiene. 
  6. Get some help in the kitchen. Toothbrushes are perfect for removing the pesky silk strands from corn on the cob. They also make excellent scrubbers for things like vegetables or the garbage disposal—just make sure to use different ones for these tasks as garbage disposals can harbor lots of bacteria! 

Recycling Toothbrushes

When you’re finally ready to get rid of your old toothbrushes, there are a few things you should know. Unfortunately, you can’t just toss them in your household recycling bin because they are made from many different materials. Colgate has actually teamed with a company called TerraCycle and developed a free recycling program for old toothbrushes, tubes of toothpaste, and floss containers. 

The process is pretty simple:

  1. Go to https://www.terracycle.com/en-US/brigades/colgate 
  2. Sign up and join the program.
  3. Collect toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, and floss containers. Each shipment needs to be at least 5 pounds, but this can be a fun project for your kids. They can collect toothbrushes from neighbors and friends, while learning about simple ways to take care of the environment. 
  4. Print a label from the website.
  5. Ship!  

As you send shipments in, you receive points that will eventually add up to a charitable donation to the organization of your choice. This can make a fun competition for kids—see who can collect the most points! What happens to the old toothbrushes? Once they have received your shipment the different materials will be separated out and then melted down to make new products, cutting down on waste. 

Give us a Call!

We hope you’ve enjoyed these ideas for repurposing and recycling toothbrushes from Prescott Dentistry! Let us know if you have any other fun or creative uses for your old toothbrushes. In the meantime, keep up the good brushing and don’t forget to visit us at Prescott Dentistry twice a year for cleanings! Prevention is the best way to keep your smile healthy and beautiful!

 

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