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Can I Boil My Toothbrush: Everything You Should Know 

While it is unsettling to think about, the brush that you use every day to take care of your dental hygiene can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria. This happens when the germs you have just removed from your mouth stay on the toothbrush that you’ve just used even if you have just rinsed it. 

With this in mind, it’s easy to see why so many people are choosing to find out what the best and most effective forms of disinfecting a toothbrush are. One of the biggest questions that are asked by those looking for toothbrush cleaning options are: Can I Boil My Toothbrush? Here is everything you should know

Yes, you can most certainly boil your toothbrush to help eliminate bacteria that have accumulated over time. Simply place your toothbrush into a pot of boiling water for around 2 – 3 minutes, then remove it and place it in cold water for another minute. Note that the boiling water could potentially damage your toothbrush, so be sure to keep an eye on it in the process. 

Bacteria grow best in warm, dark, and moist areas. This means that keeping your toothbrush in a container that’s closed is not a good idea. Instead, it is best to keep it stored where it can be straight up so that the air can dry it adequately. 

Alternative Methods For Cleaning Your Toothbrush 

Boiling your toothbrush should get rid of the germs that you have been worried about, but there might be a few other options for getting your toothbrush as clean as it should be regularly. Continue reading to learn about some alternative methods for cleaning your toothbrush! 

Clean Your Toothbrush With Hydrogen Peroxide 

While the majority of Americans just run their toothbrush under tap water to keep them clean, you’d be surprised to find out how many things can effectively clean your dental tools. 

One of these is Hydrogen Peroxide. Hydrogen Peroxide is a disinfectant that is mild and antiseptic which makes it great for cleaning your toothbrush. All you need to do is pour some into a container that will be able to cover the entire brush of your toothbrush and let it soak. You will want it to stay in the peroxide for around 15 minutes for the best results. 

Once the time is up, get rid of the peroxide and rinse your toothbrush in cool water. Let it air dry and you are all set! You are well on your way to better dental health.

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Clean Your Toothbrush With Vinegar and Baking Soda 

Baking soda and vinegar have been used over the years to clean many things, and are very good at it. The same goes for using it to clean your toothbrush. It is an efficient and easy way to get rid of unwanted debris from your dental cleaning tool, just by using everyday products that you have around the house anyway. 

All you need to do is combine vinegar, water, and baking soda into a cup and stir it all together. After you rinse your toothbrush under tap water to get rid of any obvious debris, place the head of the toothbrush into the baking soda, vinegar and water solution and let it stay there for around 30 minutes or so. 

It is important to note that you are also able to use this same solution to clean other items in your bathroom like hairbrushes or makeup brushes. Instead of putting your brushes headfirst into the solution, try putting it in a spray bottle instead. From there, spray it onto the brushes, and use your fingers to work the mixture in between the bristles to rid them of dirt and old makeup. Rinse and let air dry after that. 

When you’re done with cleaning your makeup and hairbrushes, or after the 30 minutes for your toothbrush is up, rinse the toothbrush again thoroughly, and put it back in its holder upright to air dry. 

Clean Your Toothbrush With A Dishwasher 

Pretty much everyone has access to a dishwasher, and this means that you have another great way to clean your toothbrush! During the flu or cold season, this method is one of the most preferred, and it ends up saving you a lot of money by preventing you from having to go to the store and buy brand new ones every couple of weeks. 

All you need to do is place the toothbrush that you want to clean into the compartment for silverware in your dishwasher and adjust the settings to run with hot water and with no soap. Using this technique will keep your toothbrush germ-free and it’s just that easy! 

Clean Your Toothbrush With Bleach 

Another alternative way to clean your toothbrush is to use bleach! This method works well especially for those who are using electric toothbrushes regularly. 

All you need to do is combine water and bleach into a container and find a cloth that you don’t mind getting bleach on. Dip this cloth into the bleach and water mixture and then use it to clean the whole toothbrush. Once this is done, remove the head of the toothbrush. 

Take a q-tip and dip it into the solution, and then use it to clean any of the small cracks or hard-to-get-to places where the handle and the head are attached. Once this is done, take a dry cloth and wipe down the entire brush. 

After that, take the head of the toothbrush and submerge it into the water and bleach mixture. Allow one hour for it to properly soak and then rinse it under tap water to get rid of the remaining drops of the solution. 

Clean Your Tooth Brush With Ultraviolet Light 

Ultraviolet light is a powerful tool for killing bacteria and it has been used for a very long time. The same thing goes for using it to fight the germs on your toothbrush. 99.9% of the germs that are hanging on to the bristles of your toothbrush can be safely eliminated with this method. 

There are toothbrush holders that have been specially designed for killing germs while they are being stored. All you need to do is put your toothbrush in the holder, and press a button that tells the device to emit UV light onto the head of the toothbrush for a specific time. 

The ultraviolet light will kill any of the germs that were on your toothbrush, which allows you to brush your teeth without worrying about what you are putting into your mouth. 

Clean Your Toothbrush With Antibacterial Mouthwash 

One of the simplest ways to disinfect a toothbrush is done by using another household item that you will already have in your bathroom—mouthwash. 

All that is required for this to work is for you to place your toothbrush under hot water after you have just finished brushing to get rid of any bits of food or toothpaste that is still hanging around on the bristles. 

Take a small cup and pour some of your antibacterial mouthwash into it. You want to make sure that it is enough mouthwash to cover the entire head of your toothbrush. 

Place your toothbrush head down into the mouthwash solution for around 10 – 15 minutes. If you leave your toothbrush in the mouthwash longer than that, it could cause some damage to the bristles of your brush. 

When the time is up, rinse your toothbrush under tap water and place it in an upright position in a clean holder or cup so that it can dry.

Additional Natural Methods For Cleaning Your Toothbrush

While you might have heard of the few methods that we have mentioned above, there are a couple of other natural methods that aren’t as well known. These are achieved by using: 

Alcohol — While some of you might have some of this around for drinking, you might be surprised to find out that it’s quite useful for cleaning your toothbrush. 80 proof vodka has enough kick to make bacteria start packing. A higher percentage of alcohol will be even more useful. 

Apple Cider Vinegar — If you mix Apple Cider Vinegar with 50% water, you can create a powerful cleaning solution. Let your toothbrush soak in this mixture for around 15 minutes and then let it soak in clear water for another 15 minutes to get rid of the taste. 

Colloidal Silver — Many don’t know that colloidal silver is a natural antibacterial that can help fight against all sorts of germs that may have attached themselves to your toothbrush. Like the option above, all you need to do is mix it with 50% water and let the toothbrush soak. 


Ultimately, we all want to be using clean toothbrushes when we brush our teeth, so take advantage of some of these easy-to-use methods! If you have more questions about how to sanitize your toothbrush, or you want to schedule an appointment to get your teeth cleaned, contact your local South Tulsa Dentist today! 


Written By

Hi, I'm Matt and I'm one of the writers here at Modern Dental Hygiene. For over 10 years I have been working directly with dentists. My goal is to help you understand the basics of dental hygiene. I enjoy writing about everything related to brushing, flossing and taking care of your teeth. In my spare time, I'm either spending time with my family, doing a DIY project or learning a new skill.

About Us

At Modern Dental Hygiene we make accessible to everyone free dental hygiene information.  The Modern Dental Hygiene team consists of enthusiast, hygienists and dentists. Our common goal is to bring quality content to help you to stay informed.

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