Toothpaste – the miracle cleaner!

toothpaste smallI was going to post the recipe for stuffed peppers today, but as I cleaned the pots and pans from last night’s dinner, I had a eureka moment : why not talk about my new favourite cleaner instead?

No! Don’t go! This is not going to be an infomercial! -shudder-

I promise no brand name will taint your screens from this post. My new, favourite cleaning product is no-name toothpaste. I could use a named brand, but why waste money?

Before I start singing the praises of toothpaste, let me assure you I love convenience as much as the next person. I hate cleaning, and have probably tried most of the cleaning products advertised on Australian TV, looking for that miracle product.  Hah…

So you see, I am a consumer, but… I also have this ‘thing’ about the food I eat and the air I breathe. I hate the smell of harsh chemicals, and I really worry about using products that have warnings on the label, especially the ones that advise you to seek medical attention if you breathe in the vapours. Excuse me? Where’s the gas mask that’s supposed to come with this product?Plus I have a septic tank which complicates matters a bit because harsh chemicals aren’t good for septic tanks, and no-one wants to smell a septic gone bad.

As a result of all these factors, I have slowly stopped using most of the advertised cleaning products on the market. But what do you use in their place? And is there anything safer that works just as well?

<<enter Toothpaste, stage right>>

Toothpaste cleans teeth, so I have to assume it is a little more human friendly than any other paste cleaner. After all, it’s hard not to swallow at least some toothpaste every day, right?

But did you know toothpaste will also clean silver? Yup, everything from rings and necklaces to those tarnished trays you inherited from your mother, and can’t bear to throw away. Just rub on the toothpaste, rinse and ta dah – bright shiny silver!

But wait, there’s more. Did you know toothpaste is the fastest, easiest and least harmful way of cleaning the kitchen sink? And the stainless steel cooktop? And your stainless steel pots, pans and baking dishes? Yes again. With pots and pans I rinse off the toothpaste and give them a quick wash with detergent just so we don’t get the flavour of mint in unexpected places.

Don’t go away yet! There is more! Toothpaste is also THE best way to keep glass shower screens free of that horrible soap scum that makes you wish you’d stuck to disposable shower curtains. Rub the toothpaste on, let it sit for 5 minutes [or more] and rinse off. Sparkly clean glass.

I also use toothpaste on the shower base and the tiles. If you want to get seriously technical, you can also rub a little lemon oil over the cleaned shower screens to keep them scum free for longer. Only a little though, okay?

And while I’m waxing lyrical about uber cheap cleaning, I should also mention sodium bicaronate [bi-carb] and vinegar. Both are dirt cheap, [excuse the pun] are natural, and have worked since the year dot without killing anyone.

Bi-carb can be used to get coffee stains out of cups and mugs. Simply pour about a teaspoon of bi-carb in each cup, top with boiling water and leave for an hour or so. The stains come off as if by magic. Bi-carb will also soak off burnt on rice and other cooking accidents.

Vinegar is one of the oldest and most amazing ‘products’ ever invented. Not only does it taste great in salad dressings, and on fish and chips, it can be used to :

–  to disinfect floors. [Add about a cup to a bucket of hot water and wash away].

–  to fizz away stains when added to bi-carb.

–  and it is the cheapest, most effective way of cleaning windows and mirrors. All you need is a bucket of hot water, some vinegar and some old newspapers. The vinegar goes in the hot water and cuts through dirt and smudges like magic. The newspaper is for wiping down the windows after the vinegar has done its job.

Believe me or not, but my house is healthier, and my wallet is fatter thanks to these three simple changes to my buying habits. And the best part is that I’m working no harder than I was before with the you-beaut, expensive cleaning products. In fact, I’m actually working less because most of those products really don’t work, and you end up having to scrub anyway.

So, dear friends, the moral of this odd little post is to love your toothpaste. 🙂

cheers

Meeks

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About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

25 responses to “Toothpaste – the miracle cleaner!

  • Tina Frisco

    I love posts like this! I’ll be trying toothpaste on everything now 🙂

    Like

  • 8 ways to clean your home with toothpaste | cleanli

    […] – Toothpaste – the miracle cleaner! […]

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  • EllaDee

    I love learning new green clean things. I have used toothpaste to clean jewellry but nothing else, and your timing is fantastic as I really need to clean the grout in the shower, and the rings on the stove. As Metan commented I use bicarb, vinegar & dishwashing detergent to clean up old bottles, plus have spray bottles of bicarb, vinegar, lavender & eucalyptus oils everywhere… I use half half bicarb with green laundry powder, and vinegar as a washing softener. I did use it as a dishwasher rinse but oops, the dispenser is stuck shut probably due to same. And I rinse veges, fruit, raw seafood or anything mucky in vinegar water before we eat/cook it. At TA we have septic, and almost all the other water drains into the garden so we can’t use commercial cleaners, plus they make me wheeze terrible. I’m so glad you shared this, although I’m looking forward to the peppers recipe 🙂

    Like

    • acflory

      lol – I will get to the pepper recipe! Promise. Until then though there’s another thing I love – a spray bottle with a little lemon oil, a few drps of detergent and some water. Shake before you spray. Non toxic gentle cleaner that leaves the most glorious smell. 🙂

      Like

  • Carrie Rubin

    I have learned so much here today, that I think I’ve earned shutting my brain off for the rest of the weekend. Thanks for some great tips!

    Like

  • Ilil Arbel

    Awww… my mother used to clean all silver with toothpaste, and all brass with vinegar. We did windows exactly as you say, with the newspaper. I still use all of these because they are better than store brands, just as you say.

    I believe bi-carb in Australia is what we in America call baking soda. If so, I have something to add. Put a thick paste of water and bi-carb in any pot or pan that had burned food in it, bring to boil, simmer for a few minutes, turn off heat, then let stand until cool. Rinse, and the burned food is gone.

    Like

  • Yvonne Hertzberger

    Recently I’ve become hooked on ENJO products. They use only water on their special fibres for most cleaning. I don’t sell it so it’s not a sales pitch. And for jewelry a little dish detergent in warm water and a toothbrush works great. Hey, we’re going to have the cleanest, earth-friendliest homes on the planet. 🙂

    Like

    • acflory

      I’ve seen some advertisements for the ENJO products but can’t get my head around not needing /something/ as well as water. I might give one a try. Thanks for the tip. And yes, we’re winning this battle one kitchen at a time!

      Like

  • laurieboris@earthlink.net

    Ever since my mom showed up with a five-gallon jug of vinegar to help me clean my then-new house, I’ve been hooked. Haven’t tried the toothpaste yet!

    Like

  • metan

    I knew toothpaste was good for jewellery and I also use it on some delicate cleaning things but I never trout of it for showers and pots so thanks for that!
    Thanks to EllaDee I use baking soda and vinegar as a volcanic cleaner for new and grubby additions to my old bottle collection. 😀

    Like

  • Christie Meierz

    I love vinegar for cleaning lots of things. And to me it smells like Easter, from all those memories of dipping eggs in Paas dye made with vinegar and water.

    I didn’t know about toothpaste, but I do have to wonder just how much toothpaste it takes to clean glass shower screens…

    Like

  • jorobinson176

    I’ve been using vinegar like you for ages now, but I didn’t know about the toothpaste. Brilliant! I’m going to try it too. 😀

    Like

    • acflory

      It really has turned into my favourite cleaner. For non-delicate stuff I rub with a plastic scourer and even baked on muck comes off. I’m tempted to use it on the inside of the oven but I’m a bit worried about the minty smell infusing everything I bake thereafter. 🙂

      Like

  • lorddavidprosserDavid

    I think we’re kind of wishing you had too since the smell is starting to drift over the channel now. Maybe you could give yourself a vinegar rub-down for now? xxxx Hugs xxxx

    Like

  • Candy Korman

    LOL.. I should share my trick — Baking Soda. It’s a great non-abraisve cleaner. It’s also wonderful for gentle baths, especially if you have sensitive or sunburned skin. A bath with baking soda leave the tub clean and your skin soft, smooth & soothed.
    Thats my commercial break. Next time I take on the monumental task of cleaning the old silver, I’ll try toothpaste.
    Thanks!

    Like

    • acflory

      I don’t have a bathtub in this house – couldn’t face the prospect of having to clean it! Now I’m kind of wishing I’d put just one in. Soaking in lovely hot water is a luxury I do miss.

      Like

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