My biggest pet peeve—tied only with slow walkers and surprise raisins in cookies—is the thin line of grout where the floor of my shower meets the tiled wall. It’s an irritating cleaning paradox: a corner too tight to get at with a regular scrub brush, but also particularly prone to mold and mildew. Every night, when I try to take a relaxing shower to unwind from the day, it stares up at me.
That is, until I had an epiphany. I already owned the perfect solution for this job; it was just designed for a different purpose: cleaning teeth.
The humble toothbrush is the best tiny scrubber for little places. The moment I realized this, I slathered the World’s Peskiest Grout Strip in a solution of baking soda and water, let it sit for 10 minutes, then grabbed my old, ready-to-be-retired toothbrush from the medicine cabinet and scrubbed until the strip was white and mildew-free. It worked so well that I went on a spree, using my toothbrush-scrubber all over the house: on the ring around the sink drain, in the tight area behind the kitchen faucet, even on particularly unsightly patches of grout between wall tiles.
Now I keep two separate toothbrush scrubbers—one for kitchen, one for bath—with my cleaning supplies. I also wrote “FOR CLEANING” on each handle with a permanent marker so they’re not accidentally used in anyone’s mouth. (Gross.)
The best part about repurposing an old toothbrush as a mini scrub brush? It cuts down on waste, giving your toothbrush a second life before more plastic is tossed in the trash.
It’s one of those little tricks that makes a big difference in how clean the house feels. Now I enjoy a long, relaxing shower at the end of the day, with candles, essential oils, sometimes even a cup of tea.