11 things you didn't know you could clean with toothpaste

woman putting toothpaste on tooth brush
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

We all use toothpaste for getting our pearly whites clean and fresh, but did you know it’s also good for house cleaning?

This is because it's a mild abrasive, often containing baking soda, that works to remove dental plaque and stains. For this reason, this makes the ideal stain remover to tackle household marks, grime or scuffs on surfaces or walls. 

And while we’ve all heard about what makes baking soda and white vinegar so good at cleaning, the humble tube of toothpaste is just as impressive. What’s more, we all have toothpaste in the house so we don't even need to buy expensive stain removers. So, before you get your cleaning tools out, there are 11 things you didn’t know you could clean with toothpaste.  

Also, be sure to check out 7 ways you didn’t know you could use hydrogen peroxide

11 things you didn’t know you could clean with toothpaste

Before you start, avoid gel-based toothpastes and only stick to standard, white toothpaste. The gel types usually contain a dye that could discolor or stain certain materials that you’re cleaning, especially fabrics.

1. Remove permanent marker stains

Rubbing off permanent marker off plastic bowl

Rubbing off permanent marker off plastic bowl (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

It may seem like the end of the world when permanent marker stains are on your surfaces, but these can easily be removed with a dab of toothpaste. Just squeeze a pea-sized amount onto a clean microfibre cloth, and rub away at the mark in a circular motion. The mark will eventually fade away, until it’s completely gone. 

If you want to learn more, find out what happened when I tried this TikTok toothpaste hack to remove permanent marker. It really works! 

2. Remove crayon stains from walls 

Cleaning pencil marks off a wall

Cleaning crayon marks off a wall (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If your young children or guests get creative with crayons on your walls, don’t despair. Simply apply a tiny amount of daily white toothpaste onto a soft cloth or sponge, and rub gently on the crayon mark to remove it. For more tips and tricks, be sure to check out how to clean painted walls to remove stains and leave it spotless. 

3. Polish silver or jewelry 

Toothpaste and brush to clean silver

Toothpaste and brush to clean silver (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If your silverware or jewelry are looking rather dull, toothpaste can bring back the sparkle. First, squeeze a pea-sized amount of toothpaste onto a microfiber cloth or old toothbrush. Then, rub the toothpaste onto the silver in circular motions to polish and clean any tarnish. Leave on for around 5 minutes before rinsing the toothpaste off thoroughly with warm water and then dry.

If you’re using toothpaste when learning how to clean jewelry, remember to choose a type that contains no tartar control, whitening agents or any ‘extras’. And never use on diamonds or gemstones as this may be too abrasive and will scratch the surface. 

4. Shine kitchen and bathroom fixtures 

Cleaning bathroom taps

Cleaning bathroom taps (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Similarly, a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on a soft cloth will polish chrome sink and shower fixtures in no time. Simply rub on the paste in small circles before rinsing off and buffing with a dry cloth. This will also remove water marks, and leave a shiny finish.  

5. Clean a scorched iron 

Ironing hem

Ironing hem  (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Scorch marks can be unsightly on iron plates, and can mark your clothing. Luckily, these can easily be removed with toothpaste. Always wait for the iron to completely cool down before applying a dab of toothpaste on the iron plate. Allow to sit for a few minutes before rubbing the stain away using a microfibre cloth or towel. When the stain is gone, rinse with water, making sure there are no traces of toothpaste residue.  

6. Whiten sneakers 

A pair of white shoes held over a red wall

A pair of white shoes held over a red wall (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If the rubber trim around your sneakers or toes are scuffed or dirty, toothpaste can make a difference. Simply dab a bit of toothpaste on an old toothbrush, and get to work on scrubbing the trim clean. Then use a damp, clean cloth to wipe away the toothpaste residue and leave to dry. If you have other white footwear that have seen better days, check out how to clean white shoes and get them looking new again

7. Refresh dull leather 

Cleaning leather shoe with toothbrush

Cleaning leather shoe with toothbrush (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If your leather handbags, jackets, shoes or even sofa have scuffs or stains, toothpaste is a great polisher. Just add a dab of toothpaste onto a soft cloth before blotting into the leather to clean. Then, wipe away any residue with a damp cloth and leave to dry. This should give your leather items an instant uplift, and shine.

If your couch has seen better days, here are tips on how to clean a leather couch and remove everyday stains. 

7. Removing tea and coffee stains

Espresso being poured into two espresso cups

Espresso being poured into two espresso cups (Image credit: Shutterstock)

For tea or coffee lovers, you may have come across those unsightly ring marks or stains left on the table. Simply squeeze a dab of toothpaste directly onto the stain, and rub away with a damp microfiber cloth. This should easily lift off the stain, without damaging the surface. Toothpaste can also be used to remove water stains from wood and walls in no time. 

8. Clean the bathroom sink 

Stainless steel sink

Stainless steel sink (Image credit: Shutterstock)

While toothpaste stains are common in the sink, these can also clean it too! Simply add toothpaste onto a damp sponge and wipe around the sink. Then rinse with clean water and buff dry to prevent water spots. You could also use toothpaste to tackle soap scum build-up. Not only will it make your sink shine, but will leave it smelling fresh. 

9. …and to clean grout

Cleaning grout on floor tile with toothbrush

Cleaning grout on floor tile with toothbrush (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Why buy expensive grout cleaners, when you can just use toothpaste? Simply squeeze a pea-sized amount onto an old toothbrush, and scrub along the grout between the tiles. Once the grout is all clean, rinse a cloth with dish soap and water, and wipe clean. This will lift the dirt and residue off the surface.  

10. Buff piano keys

Piano keys

Piano keys (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Whether you have a vintage piano with ivory keys, or a modern one with plastic keys, toothpaste is a great stain remover. Ensure to use a small amount of toothpaste on an old toothbrush to clean the keys, making sure to get into those tight spots. Once the keys are free from dirt or grime, get a damp cloth to wipe down and dry. 

11. Remove stains out of carpets 

Blotting wine stain

Blotting wine stain (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Spills or stains on the carpet are often the stuff of nightmares, especially if you need to remove red wine stains. Simply squeeze a dab of toothpaste directly onto the stain before scrubbing with an old toothbrush or small, bristle brush. This should work well to lift out and remove the stain. However, it’s always best to test on a small area first, before cleaning the entire area. 

Remember, you can always rent or buy a carpet cleaner if all else fails. And it may be worth checking out how to get rid of mold if you've noticed these stains at home too. 

Want some more cleaning advice? Here's how to clean a baking sheet in 3 easy stepsto make it just like new. Here's how to clean painted walls to remove stains before you start. It’s also worthwhile knowing how to clean baseboards properly, when you clean every room of your home.  

Cynthia Lawrence
Content Editor, Homes

As the Homes Content Editor, Cynthia Lawrence covers all things homes, interior decorating, and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 

Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.

With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!