7 Clever Ways You Can Up-cycle Your Old Bamboo Toothbrush
Let’s face it - bamboo toothbrushes are incredible. With polypropylene (the kind of plastic normal toothbrushes are made from) being observed spreading across all latitudes and depths of the oceans, it’s up to us as consumers to start making better choices in our daily lives as to which products we purchase. One way we can do this is by switching out plastic toothbrushes for their bamboo counterparts.
But what happens to the bamboo toothbrushes after you’re done using them to clean your teeth? After all, there’s only a finite time the bristles can maintain their quality, losing its effectiveness at around the 2/3 month mark. The bamboo handle doesn’t pose any issues. We can simply place it in our compost and by time we’re ready to compost our next toothbrush, the old handle will have been safely absorbed in to the soil.
Whilst the bristles can be recycled in some local councils, those of us not lucky enough to have a recycling centre who accepts them are confined to regular waste disposal. The bristles do biodegrade over time but not in a time many deem fast enough to compost.
The bamboo handle will maintain its quality for a number of years and is still a valuable item, so today we’ll discuss 7 ways you can up-cycle your old toothbrushes before composting.
1) Clean your bike and chain
For those who cycle often, we’re sure you’re well aware of the inconvenience that is a dirty bike, the chain in particular. Whether you’ve been out on a brisk countryside ride or commuting through busy city centres, your bike is guaranteed to pick up some muck during your journey. In order to extend the life of your bike and chain, cleaning regularly is recommended.
The chain specifically can be a real headache. If left too long, the mixture of dirt and the lubricant you use for your chain can leave you in a spot of bother as you try to attain that squeaky clean finish. This is where a couple of old bamboo toothbrushes come in.
How to use: Use an eco-friendly degreaser for your chain. Rinse off with water/soap water. Place the chain in-between two toothbrush heads and slowly rotate your pedals so that the chain moves through the toothbrush heads. The result - a sparkling clean chain ready to be lubricated! With an ergonomic handle, you can also use an old toothbrush to clean hard-to-reach areas of your bike.
2) Clean your footwear
Whether its your running shoes, everyday casuals or smart shoes - it’s impossible to go a day without getting a little bit of dirt on our shoes. A little-known trick when cleaning your shoes is to use an old toothbrush. Adept at getting in to the fibres without damaging them, it’s the perfect way to up-cycle your old toothbrush.
How to use: Mix lukewarm water with a mild detergent (soap works fine) and dip your toothbrush in. With a light touch, use rapid stroke to scrub away any dirt. This method can be used on all footwear.
3) Label your plants
Repurposing your old toothbrush as a plant label is a great way to organise plants in your garden without damaging the soil.
How to use: Remove the head of the brush. Use a marker pen to identify the plant. Dig in to the soil, leaving the marked area of the brush showing.
4) Remove stains
Fast fashion is a major contributor to climate change, with 10% of global carbon dioxide emissions resulting from the fashion industry. If you’ve got an article of clothing you’re thinking of disposing due to a stain, try to remove it first using an up cycled toothbrush.
How to use: There are a host of methods involved with stain removal using a toothbrush. Explore the most suitable method to remove your stain.
5) Get crafty
Bamboo is an incredibly durable material meaning it works perfectly with arts and crafts. Whether you wanted to make models or practical items like photo frames, the only limit here is your imagination.
How to use: Gather at least 8 used bamboo toothbrushes. Remove the bristles. Use biodegradable jute twine to tie pairs of toothbrushes together before tying the 4 sides in to a square photo frame.
6) Clean your electronics
Whether you’ve built up some hard-to-reach dust within the keys of your keyboard or you’re delving a bit deeper to reach your computer fan - old toothbrushes can be ideal to restore the look and performance of your electronics.
How to use: When using compressed air to clean dust out of your computer or laptop fan, gently wipe away excess dust with an old bamboo toothbrush.
7) Clean your utensils
The kitchen can be a messy place. With utensils such as cheese graters and garlic crushers usually proving a handful to clean, why not try using an old toothbrush to help you dislodge those stubborn bits that are not playing ball!
How to use: No rocket science needed here - simply scrub away until your kitchen gadgets are squeaky clean.
Got any other tips and tricks? Let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org!