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Sanitizing Your Toothbrush

Category Miscellaneous
Your clean looking toothbrush is secretly harboring viruses and bacteria. There are ways you can eliminate most of these microscopic contaminants. This is a page about sanitizing your toothbrush.


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By 5 found this helpful
January 9, 2012

Are you sick and tired of those awful toothbrush holders that need to be cleaned out constantly? Don't they gross you out? Have you been hearing on TV how filled with germs your bathroom is? This little tip takes care of both problems.

Take a CLEAN face cloth folded into the common square, place your toothbrush inside of it, period, done. About once a week, change the face cloth to a fresh one. No drippy mess, no chance for airborne germs to fall on your favorite toothbrush. Sanitary, neat, clean, practical, easy, cheap.

By hopeful from Sometimes Oregon, sometimes Texas

Comment Was this helpful? 5

By 2 found this helpful
February 3, 2012

I now keep a small jar in my bathroom on the sink filled with hydrogen peroxide. When I finish brushing my teeth, I place my toothbrush into the jar. I know my brush is clean and safe the next time I brush my teeth.


By Marie from North Texas

Comment Was this helpful? 2

May 11, 2010

Do yourself a favor and sterilize your toothbrushes in the dishwasher at least once a month.

By Marjory Sampson from Laurel, MD

Comment Was this helpful? 1

May 15, 2009

After you have a cold or flu, wash your toothbrush with Listerine. I wash mine all the time in Listerine and even brush my teeth with the fluoride rinse and also the mouthwash. It keeps brushes fresh.

By Robyn Fed from Hampton, TN

Comment Was this helpful? 1

By 3 found this helpful
July 30, 2011

To keep toothbrushes clean and deodorized, fill a class with one part hydrogen peroxide and one part water (1/2 and 1/2). Make sure there is enough to cover all the bristles, and leave in there when not using.

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By 1 found this helpful
June 5, 2013

We all know that we should change our toothbrush at least every 3 months because they become worn out and harbor bacteria in the bristles, but I could never remember to do it.

Comment Was this helpful? 1

December 10, 20040 found this helpful

Sterilize your toothbrushes by soaking in some bleach water to sanitize on a regular basis.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

December 9, 2012

A friend of mine puts her toothbrush in the dishwasher about twice a month to clean it, top rack only. Also soak it in about a tsp.


of peroxide and rinse. Vinegar also will work as to soak overnight; be sure to rinse.

Comment Was this helpful? 3

By 0 found this helpful
February 24, 2014

We have all heard keeping a toothbrush in the vicinity of a flushing toilet is not good, as it can catch what sprays into the air, ick! So, all it takes is a wood bathroom cabinet and cup hooks, problem easily solved.

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? Yes


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
March 1, 2005

My daughter took her and her brothers toothbrushes and used them to "scrub" her toys. I never really had to clean a toothbrush before, being that if they were old I would just throw them out. These toothbrushes are brand new. Does anybody know of how to clean them? Can I just put them in the dishwasher? Thanks so much.




March 1, 20050 found this helpful

Hi Kelly. Well when my son brushed the cat with his toothbrush (yuck), I put his in a cup of rubbing alcohol overnight to sanitize it. Worked for us. Hope it works for you. Aren't kids wonderful. P.S. Hide your toothbrush or you'll be next ;)

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By Lee-Ann (Guest Post)
March 1, 20050 found this helpful

You could boil them.

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By Cheryl from Missouri (Guest Post)
March 1, 20050 found this helpful

Yes, you can put your toothbrush in the dishwasher to sanitize it. Doctors actually recommend this after someone has a cold so they don't re-infect themselves with their toothbrush.

You can also soak the toothbrush in Listerine.

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By Allison (Guest Post)
March 1, 20050 found this helpful

Rite-Aid and Walgreens both have toothbrushes for free after rebate this week. One store had one for free and the other had two.. I can't remember which store had what though.

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March 16, 20050 found this helpful

The AquaFresh company has a product on the market, they put out last year called 'AquaBlast', specially made for cleaning toothbrushes and retainers.

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By brittney (Guest Post)
June 1, 20050 found this helpful

my daughter threw her toothbrush in the toilet so i soaked it in bleach and then i rinsed it wiht hot water. i also used peroxide.

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By Dr. CleanBrush (Guest Post)
February 16, 20070 found this helpful

My toothbrush got mixed with money so I just put it in a cup with hot water and toothpaste!

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By Cody (Guest Post)
March 4, 20070 found this helpful

I just put dishsoap on the bristles and rinsed it under hot water for several seconds.

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March 4, 20070 found this helpful

BLEACH---> Pour just enough bleach to wet the toothbrush in a small cup. Leave it in the bleach for about 1 minute, then rinse out the toothbrush well.


Pour the used bleach into the toilet & wash the cup out right away so no one drinks from the unwashed cup!

Bleach will kill any & all germs but be careful not to get any bleach on you or your clothes or it will ruin your clothes!

-----> You don't want a child or a pet to get into it!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By Caryl Westwood RDH (Guest Post)
April 12, 20070 found this helpful

Clean them with soap and rince. Take 1 part bleach with 3 parts water in a glass and soak the heads for 10 minutes. Rince well with cold water. After brushing run COLD water over brush then tap the side on the sink to shake off the water.

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By Angie (Guest Post)
August 11, 20070 found this helpful

Editor's Note: It would probably be better to soak it in mouthwash but you could soak it in a little bleach in a glass of water.

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By (Guest Post)
May 2, 20080 found this helpful

I think that's disgusting. Can't you parents afford to buy your kid a new toothbrush? Don't give him any pocket money or something.

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July 13, 20080 found this helpful

I agree with the last poster. Just, for Pete's sake, buy them a new one! They can't cost that much.


I'd vomit if I tried to brush my teeth with some of the ones you've all described here! Pett hair, toilet!! Yuck!

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By Smiley309 (Guest Post)
July 13, 20080 found this helpful

What I did was got a small cup and put a capful of bleach in the cup and filled the rest of the cup with hot water and put my tooth brush in the cup for 2 minutes. Then I scrubbed my tooth brush under hot water and made sure all the bleach was off and then I washed it with cold water then brushed my teeth it really worked.

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By Emerald (Guest Post)
February 1, 20090 found this helpful

Thanks a lot that helps a lot.

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February 3, 20120 found this helpful

Sanitizing your toothbrush Wash with soap and water and then use the 91% alcohol pour it over the brush after the soap and water is rinsed off then run the brush under runing water. After you brush your teeth do the same thing.

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October 26, 20170 found this helpful

I can, but I am looking to sanitize the brush for cleaning purposes. They are great to reuse for cleaning tile grout haha. I just don't want to spread strep throat germs all over my appliances and other parts of the house.

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November 12, 20180 found this helpful

"Worked for us" is highly subjective, did you actually count bacterial population in the tooth brush before and after? It probably did something, but didn't necessarily work 100%.

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November 12, 20180 found this helpful

Various studies have shown bleach (NaOCl), povidone-iodine, white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide to be effective disinfectants. For example, a study found 1% NaOCl or 10% Povidone Iodine are effective disinfectants if used for at least 10 minutes, longer is better. Different studies seemed to favour different disinfectants but given sufficient time all disinfectants do their job, so just use what you have at home and leave it soaking a bit longer to make sure all the bad bugs are killed. I like using bleach because it doesn't stain and it's easier to get hold of where I live than hydrogen peroxide, though it has a strong smell. If I could, I'd probably use hydrogen peroxide.

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