by Julie Finch-Scally
Ask any cleaner what is the worst thing to clean in a home and they will tell you the toothbrush holder. The reason is the scum that gets caught up around where the toothbrushes sit.
I’ve seen cups holding several toothbrushes with green slime at the bottom of the cup. This is caused by the excess toothpaste that is caught in the bristles dripping down into the cup after use. After a while the build up is quite repulsive.
It doesn’t seem to matter how much a person rinses their toothbrush they never manage to remove all the toothpaste caught in the bristle. As the toothbrush sits upright in the cup the wet toothpaste slowly drains down out of the brush to the bottom of the storage cup.
The same problem occurs with those special toothbrush holders that are set into the tiles above the vanity unit. Even electric toothbrushes have the same problem. No amount of rinsing seems to completely remove the paste in the brush.
What is the answer? One could soak the brush head in some water for half an hour then rinse it out under the running water from the tap. There is more chance the toothpaste will have dissolved in the water. But this of course requires another visit to the bathroom to check when the brush is clean and by that time one has usually gone to bed and is fast asleep.
The other answer is to wash out the cup or tumbler that houses the tooth brushes, or wipe across the toothbrush holder when the bathroom is cleaned. There is only one thing wrong with that concept. The head of the toothbrush sits directly on the holder.
If the holder or the cup is cleaned with a fresh clean sponge or cloth, contamination on the toothbrush is not a problem, but most people I have seen who give the toothbrush holder or cup a wipe out usually do it with the cloth they are using to clean the top of the vanity unit. Considering a toothbrush is placed in the mouth this is somewhat unhygienic.
Actually the best answers are 1) Not use a toothbrush holder 2) change the cup or tumbler that holds the brushes every time the bathroom is cleaned (the old one is put through the washing up) and 3) if the brush is electric, purchase two bases for each toothbrush so they can be used alternatively while the other is being cleaned.
Encouraging the family to clean their teeth is a must, but having the implements sitting in filth and dirt is not hygienic, so make a point of keeping the toothbrushes in clean containers, that way the hygiene of the mouth will be protected.