The Proper Way to Clean a Toothbrush

See how and why to clean your toothbrush regularly!

It’s weird to think about cleaning things that you use to clean yourself or other things. Dishwashers, for example. They run hot soapy water for hours on end, shouldn’t they be exempt from getting a scrub down? Short answer: no. (Read more about that here.) Well, your toothbrush is arguably more important that your dishwasher – seeing as you use it in your mouth (hopefully) at least once or twice a day.

Why clean your toothbrush? Between the food and bacteria the bristles clean from your teeth and the moist environment, toothbrushes are the perfect breeding grounds for all kinds of germs and bacteria. Let’s take a look at a few tips for cleaning and sanitizing your toothbrush to avoid all that nastiness!

Flickr

First, we should go over the proper storage method. I’ve already said that bacteria thrive in dark, moist, and warm areas, which means storing your toothbrush in a closed container is a big no-no. Instead, store your toothbrush in an upright position in a holder where it can adequately air dry.

Now let’s look at a quick way to sanitize your toothbrush. You can use this method several times a week to clean up lingering food particles and prolong the life of your toothbrush.

Flickr

After you brush your teeth, run the toothbrush under hot water. Then, pour a little bit of anti-bacterial mouthwash like Listerine into a small cup. Dip your toothbrush inside, making sure the mouthwash covers all the bristles. Leave the toothbrush there for 10-15 minutes while you finish up your morning or nighttime routine, then rinse it out.

Another way to sanitize your toothbrush is the good old-fashioned way – boiling water. This method is effective at targeting and killing germs and might be useful to disinfect a toothbrush after you get sick.

This method is pretty straightforward – simply fill a saucepan with about two or so inches of water, or whatever height is needed to cover the bristles. Once the water is boiling, remove from heat and place your toothbrush in the pan. Only leave it in the hot water for 2-3 minutes, as any longer could damage the bristles.

Pexels

Want an easier way to sanitize your toothbrush? Maybe something you can do right before you rush out the door for work? Enter: the dishwasher. Yes, as long as your dishwasher is clean, this is a perfectly safe and easy way to wash your toothbrush. Just place the toothbrush in the silverware compartment and run it on the hot water setting without soap. Ta-da!

Flickr

Finally, we have another classic cleaning combo – vinegar and baking soda. Is there anything these two can’t do? For this method, you’ll need 1/2 cup water, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and a small cup. Mix the water, baking soda, and vinegar in the cup. Give the toothbrush a good rinse under running water to remove any food debris and toothpaste. Then, place the toothbrush in the vinegar solution for 30 minutes. Rinse off when done and store the toothbrush in an upright position so it can thoroughly dry.

You can also use this same vinegar solution to clean hairbrushes and makeup brushes. Instead of soaking either of these, put the solution in a spray bottle and spritz it over the brushes. Use your fingers to work the cleaner through the bristles to get rid of old makeup and dirt. Rinse clean and air dry.