31 Unique Uses for Toothbrushes and Floss at Home

Updated: Sep. 08, 2023

While toothbrushes and floss are essential for dental hygiene, these brilliant uses for them have nothing to do with your teeth.

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sewing with floss

Sew a Button Back On

If a button pops off of your shirt or pants, you can use floss to sew it back on. Even if you’re not an experienced sewer, replacing a button is simple to DIY. Just thread a needle with dental floss and cinch the button to the fabric.

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Clean Your Keyboard

Clean Your Keyboard

Clean grease and dirt off the computer keyboards with an old toothbrush and a solution of alcohol and water.
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garbage bag tied

Cinch Up a Bag

Quickly close up a bag by tying the top with floss.

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Clean Grout Joints

Clean Grout Joints

No matter how careful you are, you're bound to end up with some thin-set in the joints between tiles. And if you allow it to harden, it'll interfere with your grout job. A toothbrush works great to clean excess thin-set from grout joints, especially for the skinny joints between mosaic tiles. Let the thin-set get firm, but not hard, before you start the cleanup process. If you try to clean up thin-set too soon, you risk disturbing the tiles.
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pound cake
Amawasri Pakdara/Shutterstock

Cut Cake

Delicate desserts such as cake can be easily and precisely cut into even pieces using dental floss. Just stretch the floss tightly across the top and press it all the way through the dessert.

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cutting cheese with floss
Joshua Resnick/Shutterstock

Slice Cheese

Similar to desserts, cheese can also be sliced using floss.

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cleaning garbage disposal

Deep-Clean Your Garbage Disposal

Dip an old toothbrush in antibacterial grease-cutting kitchen cleaner and lift up one corner of the splash guard. Scrub off the crud and rinse with cold water. Repeat with each flap until it’s totally clean and rinsed. Learn about other important steps for cleaning your garbage disposal here.

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hanging picture on wall
India Picture/Shutterstock

Hang a Frame on a Nail

No wire on the back of your new wall art? No problem! Just reach into your bathroom vanity and use some dental floss. Check out these other hanging hacks for picture-perfect walls.

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marked garden layout
India Picture/Shutterstock

Mark Your Yard

Use floss to mark your garden rows, so you know where you planted seeds, or to map out your landscaping projects. Tie pieces to floss around wooden stakes in the ground.

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Restore Your Jewelry

Restore Your Jewelry

A slightly damp toothbrush is perfect for cleaning delicate jewelry.  Clean your jewelry with a solution of water (almost hot) and dishwashing soap. Soak your jewelry for about 20 to 40 minutes, gently brush it with a very soft toothbrush, and then rinse under warm running water. If needed, repeat. Learn clever places to hide your valuable jewelry here.
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plumb bob

DIY Plumb Bob

No plumb bob on hand? No problem! You can make one with dental floss an a small weighted object. Have no idea what a plumb bob is used for? Find out here.

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Spot Cleaning

Spot Cleaning

Keep an old toothbrush to spot clean stains and spills on clothes or for messes around the house. To spot clean a spill on clothes gently work the cleaning agent of your choice into the stain. Use an up-and-down motion with the brush, tapping the stain with the bristles. Don't use a back-and-forth motion because it can damage the fibers of the garment.
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cutting cinnamon rolls with floss

Cut Pastry Dough

Dental floss is especially helpful when cutting cinnamon roll dough. Simply slide it under the rolled pastry, cross the two ends over the top, and then pull the string straight. You’ll get a clean, even cut for perfectly sized cinnamon rolls! You can also use your workshop tools in the kitchen.

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The Family Handyman

Repair Wood Parts

It’s easy to coat narrow crevices with glue when you’re repairing a cracked board or tenon on a project. Pour a little carpenter’s glue on a scrap of wood, drag the unwaxed floss back and forth through the puddle, and floss the glue into the crack. Now clamp the crack closed and let it dry. Thanks to Phil Milhelich for this tip.

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Clean Mud off Your Shoes

Clean Mud off Your Shoes

Get loose dirt off your shoes with a toothbrush. Dip it into a teaspoon of laundry detergent mixed with a cup of water. Use the solution on the fabric, mesh, and rubber areas, but don’t use it on foam or leather. Learn how to build a shoe rack here.
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locate studs dental floss magnet
Family Handyman

Locate Studs

Finding a stud behind plaster and lath is hit-or-miss with a typical stud finder. Here’s a better method. Tape a rare earth magnet (about $4 for a 10-pack at home centers) to a piece of dental floss. Slowly drag the magnet across the wall surface. The magnet will “hang up” a bit over the nails used to fasten the wood lath to the studs.

Check out these Best-Kept Secrets of Professional Painters.

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Deep Clean Your Toilet

Deep Clean Your Toilet

You know the hinges on your toilet seat? It seems like no matter how hard you try, you can never get the seat clean. It’s a grim place to clean but a toothbrush makes it easier to get shiny and clean.
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kid holding tooth tied to floss
Marius Pirvu/Shutterstock

Pull Your Kid’s Tooth

If your child is a little scared about losing their first baby tooth, make a game of it. Tie a piece of floss to the tooth and give it a slight tug. It’ll pop right out before they even realize it. Note: Make sure the tooth is ready to come out easily before trying this tooth-pulling tactic.

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tying plants to support with floss

Plant support

There’s no need to purchase specially made plant ties for your garden, use dental floss instead. The sturdy string will support everything from heavy tomato plants to delicate tendrils of vining flowers. This is our best advice for growing tomatoes at home.

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Dust Your Blinds

Dust Your Blinds

Toothbrushes are very handy for cleaning fiddly bits in slatted blinds or even curtain rings or tracks which can easily get dusty or grungy.
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holiday ornaments with floss

Hang Holiday Ornaments

After being in storage for a year, it’s not unusual to find missing or broken strings attached to your holiday ornaments. For a quick fix, simply replace the string with floss.

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clothesline with floss
Natalia Deriabina/Shutterstock

Quick Clothesline

Whether you’re camping or just taking advantage of a day of sunshine at home, you can hang dry your clothes outdoors using floss and a couple of sturdy trees or fence posts.

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Detail Your Car

Detail Your Car

A car has countless small crevices in need of a good cleaning. You can keep both your head and tail lights clean using a toothbrush and soapy water. Additionally, if your headlights are especially dirty, use toothpaste and a toothbrush to remove the grime.
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shoes without laces
Lorant Matyas/Shutterstock

In-a-Pinch Shoelaces

Broken shoelaces without a spare set in your junk drawer? Reach for your dental floss for a substitute!

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Toothbrush Glue Spreader

Toothbrush Glue Spreader

Old toothbrushes are great for gluing and avoiding a mess. When your toothbrush wears out, put it back into service as a glue spreader. I always use a toothbrush to apply glue to boards for edge-glueing. No more spreading glue with my fingers or chips of wood. The soft-but-not-mushy bristles of an old toothbrush apply glue evenly and quickly. One swipe along the edge usually does the trick, coating the surface smoothly and evenly. Store the brush in a glass of water.
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dried flowers with floss
Thanakrit Sathavornmanee

Dry Flowers

Many different types of flowers can be preserved by drying. Dental floss works perfectly for wrapping a bundle of flowers and hanging it from a nail to dry.

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bundle herbs with floss
9dream studio/Shutterstock

Bundle Herbs

Similar to flowers, many herbs can be bundled and used fresh or dried to be used later. Floss is the perfect tie for wrapping around the stems of a bunch of herbs.

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Scrub Baseboards

Scrub Baseboards

Baseboard can be difficult to clean, as a rag often seems to leave a lot of dirt behind. Using a toothbrush, make broad and smooth strokes across the top of the baseboard. You can either clean with soapy water or without, depending on how difficult the dirt is, for clean, dust-free walls.
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fishing with floss
Nikola Solev/Shutterstock

Quick Fishing Line

Toss a container of floss into your tackle box for emergency fishing line replacement. And you can also use it to clean your teeth after a delicious fish fry along the shore!

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Polish Metal

Polish Metal

Metal items tend to trap dirt and residue in especially hard-to-reach crevices. However, you can use a toothbrush to polish your metals until they look brand new. In order to do so use baking soda, water, and a toothbrush to remove old dirt and oil stains.
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turkey in oven
Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Tie a Turkey

Your beautiful holiday meal isn’t ruined if you forgot to pick up some kitchen twine. Wax-free dental floss is a perfect substitute for tying up meats for roasting.

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Never Flush Floss

While we’re on the subject of cool uses for dental floss in your home, one thing you should never, ever do is flush it down the toilet! It can tangle and get caught up in your plumbing pipes and cause clogs and even more serious damage. Check out several other things that you should never flush down your toilet.