The combination of a mild abrasive, a surfactant (detergent), and an antibacterial agent makes toothpaste a potent stain-fighter. “Stick with standard paste, not gel, and steer clear of formulas designed for tartar control and whitening,” says Siegel-Maier. “These often contain chemicals and additional abrasives that can damage items such as fine silver.”
Price: About $3.65 for a tube.
Use It to Clean Your…
Acrylic accessories (such as desktop organizers): Squeeze toothpaste onto a toothbrush and work it into scratches until they diminish. Wipe residue off with a cloth.
Chrome fixtures: To polish faucets and taps in the kitchen or bathroom, smear a dime-size amount of toothpaste onto them, then buff with a soft cloth until they shine.
Scuffed linoleum: Reduce marks by scrubbing them with toothpaste and a dry cloth until no toothpaste residue remains.
Piano keys: Rub each key carefully with a damp cotton swab and a dollop of toothpaste. Wipe dry and buff with a clean cloth.
Tarnished silverware: Put a dab of toothpaste on a soft cloth, rub it onto the tarnish, then rinse with water and dry with a clean cloth.
Steam iron: Mineral deposits can stain an iron’s soleplate. Apply a dab of toothpaste and work it into the plate. Use a clean cloth to remove residue.