The Secret Life of Toothpaste

The Secret Life of Toothpaste

Any gal with a diamond knows that a toothbrush and a little toothpaste will make that rock twinkle. But toothpaste has other more lowly pursuits than putting the spark in your bling.

Cast Iron Sinks


Toothpaste will remove pot marks from cast iron (and vitreous glass) sinks and it’s a cheap alternative to more expensive cleaners. My Pepsodent (the lowest-priced I could find at the store) is a fraction of the cost of Kohler’s fancy Cast Iron Kitchen Sink Cleaner. Kohler’s product prices out at about 78 cents an ounce, whereas my Pepsodent cost about 17 cents an ounce.


Toothpaste polishes silver, chrome and copper and cleans stainless steal remarkably well without the toxic smell of metal cleaners. Mmm. Minty fresh!

For intricately-patterned silverware, it’s best to use an old toothbrush to get into the crevasses. Also, keep in mind toothpaste will shine up your silver jewelry as well.

Tile and Vinyl

Toothpaste will also remove stubborn marks, even tar, from tile and vinyl floors.

Further Instructions

I’ve only used toothPASTE for cleaning, not gels, but if that’s all you have in the house, give it a try. It might work. Other than that...fluoridated, wintergreen, peppermint, any "flavor" will do. And use it straight; there's no need to dampen your cloth or toothbrush.

Cautionary Note: Do NOT use toothpaste to clean marks off painted surfaces, plastic or wood.

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baconthecat on Apr 16, 2007:

Dang, thanks for all these tips! I seriously didn't even know the one about cleaning diamonds... I'm gonna have to try that on mine first thing tomorrow (it's past midnight).

thinman on Jan 12, 2007:

Great post!

I'd also like to confess my secret affair and "alter-life" I have with toothpaste.

I have successfully used toothpaste as light abrasive to removed deep scratches in the surface of CD's and DVD's. It's a bit tricky, but I've had the best results using a bit of water and a Q-tip to focus circular strokes in the effected area. Obviously more pressure can cause deeper gauges from the toothpaste itself, so I usually follow-up with a series of lighter strokes once the scratch is eliminated. Essentially you’re replacing bigger scratches with smaller ones so you may also need to use a piece of felt to help buff out some of the scratches from the toothpaste. I have found it can work well, however, be warned that this will leave visible tiny scratches on the surface of the disk but is good for bad scratches and scuffs. Hey, what do you have to lose? 

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