How to Sanitize and Disinfect a Toothbrush
Should I Buy a New Toothbrush?
I have kids, more specifically one very curious toddler. He loves playing with toothbrushes and toothpaste, especially his older brother's toothbrush. I frequently find them places I don't want to. Short of buying new toothbrushes every other day, I needed to figure out the best way to clean these toothbrushes and make them safe to use again.
His older brother gets extremely upset by this order of events. I have tried hiding them, placing them up high, and many other way to keeps them out of reach, but the little one is also a very good climber and scaler, and child proof means nothing to this kid. I won't even tell you about all the chaos he causes on a daily basis.
I keep toothbrushes clean and germ free even after finding them on the floor of the bathtub, or in other random places throughout the house. I do draw the line at the toilet. Anything found in there goes straight to the garbage.
New Toothbrush Time
How often do you buy new toothbrushes
Clean the Toothbrush in the Dishwasher
This was always my fall back. Through it is with the utensils and let the machine do it's magic. You can also put this in the top rack in a dishwasher safe contraption. I have two mesh sleeves that hold things like straws and other small objects.
Run the toothbrushes through the dishwasher with your normal load to clean and disinfect them. Don't use hand or dish soap because you will end up eating soap. Hand washing the toothbrush with soap and water is not a good choice for cleaning your toothbrush.
Clean Your Toothbrush With Vinegar
I have to admit I use vinegar for everything. I really like vinegar for cleaning household items. Soak your toothbrush with vinegar overnight and rinse fully in the morning. This is a quick and easy solution to cleaning your toothbrush. You may have to rinse this out for awhile to get the vinegar taste out, but good news is that vinegar is not a chemical and will not be harmful to ingest.
Clean Your Toothbrush With Hydrogen Peroxide
Some people store their toothbrushes in hydrogen peroxide. I personally think this is a better solution for a soak and rise similar to the step with vinegar. This is another non toxic solution. I would not drink a bottle of hydrogen peroxide but a small amount will not harm you.
Mouthwash to Clean the Toothbrush
Another quick and easy option is to soak the head of the toothbrush in mouthwash. This is a minty and easy way to clean your toothbrush and will taste nice and minty when done.
Where Whould I Keep My Toothbrush
Keeping your toothbrush covered or in a closed cabinet will actually create more bacteria on your toothbrush than leaving in an open air container to air dry.
Do make sure to wipe the container and clean it regularly though. Your toothbrush bristles should not be touching another persons toothbrush.
If All Else Fails, Buy a New Toothbrush
I currently have a stockpile of toothbrushes saved up for my kids. Anything found in the toilet I deem un-saveable and replace with a new toothbrush. I also replace toothbrushes after any illness. This is a great rule of thumb and a way to keep the germs from going around and around.