Turns out, toothpaste can clean a lot more than just your teeth. 

By Katie Holdefehr
January 24, 2020
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Over the years, Real Simple editors and experts have discovered that regular old toothpaste can clean much more than just your pearly whites. And if you think about it, this shouldn't come as a huge surprise. Toothpaste is mildly abrasive, so it's great at scrubbing tough stains, yet it's gentle enough that it won't scratch delicate surfaces (you know, like the enamel of your teeth). Plus, some toothpastes are even formulated for whitening, making them even more effective at removing stains.

For the best results, be sure to only try these cleaning hacks with white toothpaste (now is not the time for gel formulas or charcoal toothpaste!) and test in a discreet spot first to make sure it won't affect the color or dye of whatever you're cleaning. Grab that tube of Colgate, Crest, or Tom's of Maine—let's get scrubbing. 

RELATED: How to Clean Almost Everything with Baking Soda 

1
White Leather Sneakers 

If you have tough stains on your white leather sneakers, try mixing together a paste of 1 tablespoon white toothpaste, 1 tablespoon baking soda, and 1 tablespoon water. Use a soft toothbrush to apply the solution to stains, gently scrubbing in a circular motion. Wipe clean with a damp cloth, then dry. 

2
Linoleum Tiles

If your linoleum flooring has scuffs, rub white toothpaste into the tile with a clean cloth, buffing until there's no more toothpaste residue. 

3
Silverware

To make tarnished silverware sparkle, gentle rub each piece with a dollop of toothpaste (make sure it's a non-gel formula, without whitening). Then rinse and dry thoroughly. 

4
Steam Iron 

If your iron's soleplate is covered in mineral deposits, a dab of toothpaste can stand in for the baking soda paste in this cleaning how-to. Rub the toothpaste onto the soleplate, then carefully wipe away all of the toothpaste residue with a clean cloth. To make sure all of the residue is fully removed, iron a scrap piece of cloth before you start ironing your favorite work shirt. 

5
Chrome Faucets and Handles

If you have chrome fixtures, you can polish them using a small amount of toothpaste and a clean cloth. Wipe away any residue to reveal your shiny chrome faucet. 

6
Bathroom Sink

Ironically, those globs of toothpaste that accidentally drop into the bathroom sink and make your bathroom look messy can actually be used to clean the sink. Using a damp sponge or paper towel, scrub white toothpaste in a circular motion around the bowl, then rinse thoroughly. 

7
Piano Keys

No matter if you have a vintage piano with ivory keys or a modern piano with plastic ones, a drop of toothpaste can remove stains and smudges. Scrub each key with a small amount of toothpaste using a cotton swab, then wipe dry and buff with a clean cloth. 

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