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How Do I Use Toothpaste for Stain Removal?

By Lori Kilchermann
Updated May 16, 2024
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Using toothpaste for stain removal is popular because it is a versatile cleaning agent suitable for cleaning stains off walls, carpets and a lot of items in between. Containing both abrasive agents and bleaching power, toothpaste is able to cut through grimy, built-up stains on a variety of surfaces, including piano keys and chrome sink fixtures. Jewelry and shoes can also be spruced up with some toothpaste and some elbow grease. Before using toothpaste on a stain, it is best to make sure it is not going to damage the stained item by testing it on an inconspicuous spot, if possible.

Stains on fabrics can often be removed by simply scrubbing the area with toothpaste and a damp rag. A dab of toothpaste on a damp cloth can be used to scrub crayon off of a wall. After scrubbing, the wall should be wiped with a clean, damp cloth. For cleaning the rubber soles on shoes and stains on carpet, toothpaste can be applied to a firm bristle brush and then rubbed onto the offending spot until it is gone. A damp cloth should also be used afterward to remove any dirt or toothpaste residue.

A variety of items with stains can often be brought back to like-new condition by using toothpaste for stain removal. Ivory piano keys can benefit from the whitening power of toothpaste. A toothpaste-loaded toothbrush can be used to gently scrub the grime off the top of the keys. The cleaning should be followed up with a damp cloth to remove any remnants of toothpaste.

Many metal items can often benefit from using toothpaste for stain removal. When the bottom of an iron becomes gunky, a dab of toothpaste on a soft cloth is abrasive enough to cut through the black substance. To make chrome sink and tub fixtures shine, they can be rubbed with a soft cloth with a dab of toothpaste until the water stains are gone and they gleam. Metal jewelry and watch bands can also benefit from being rubbed using a dab of toothpaste on a soft rag. Once the shine is restored, the cleaning should be follow up with a clean, damp cloth to remove any residue.

Using toothpaste for stain removal is also appropriate in the kitchen. Stubborn tea stains on cups can be removed with toothpaste, as can rust stains on plates and bowls. Toothpaste is also effective on some counter top stains as well.

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Discussion Comments
By mobilian33 — On Jan 13, 2015

Baking soda is great for stain removal. I use it all of the time on all kinds of stains. I bet toothpaste with baking soda will clean even better than the regular toothpaste, and maybe better than plain baking soda.

By Feryll — On Jan 13, 2015

I work out and play sports almost everyday. Because of this I am always carrying around a water bottle with some kind of sports drink, juice or water, so I will not get dehydrated.

One day I was drinking from one of my water bottles and I noticed something floating on the surface of the water. It was some sort of skim like substance. I poured out the water and there was even more of the stuff in the bottle. I looked inside the bottle and this stuff was clinging to the sides. The bottle was not clean.

When I examined some of my other water bottles I noticed the same thing. I wasn't getting the bottles clean enough when I washed them. A friend told me to get one of those small cleaning brushes so I could slide it through the mouth of the bottle and into the bottle. And he told me to use toothpaste on the brush. This works great. The bottles are clean and minty fresh as well.

By Drentel — On Jan 12, 2015

I had no idea toothpaste could be used for so many things, but now that I think about this, I did know a guy back in college who used toothpaste to clean his leather tennis shoes. This was when the cloth sneakers were being replaced by the new leather tennis shoes.

When you would buy the leather tennis shoes you could also buy the white polish to clean them. Actually, the polish didn't clean; it simply covered the dirt. I would clean the shoes with a wet cloth and then apply the polish, and I thought they looked okay even though I found it strange that I was polishing athletic shoes.

Some people also washed the leather shoes the same as most of did with the cloth shoes, but they didn't last as long when you put them in a washing machine. The guy who used the toothpaste had the best looking leather tennis shoes on campus. They were clean, but unlike mine they didn't look like they had been painted.

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