When making the switch from plastic to bamboo toothbrushes, it’s natural to wonder whether it will last as long or if the wooden handle of your brush requires any special measures to keep it in top shape. Most of us are used to brushing our teeth of a morning, leaving their brush at the side of the sink and not giving it a second thought until the evening brush.
Fortunately, bamboo brushes are naturally antibacterial and are pretty robust to boot, so there’s nothing special you should be doing to keep it in good shape. This is honestly one of the simplest eco-swaps you can make.
However, there are a couple of things you should be doing to ensure your bamboo toothbrush is clean, fresh and in great shape.
Recycle the Packaging
When you first open your new bamboo toothbrush, it is exactly the same as a plastic brush, in that there’s nothing you need to do to it before you can use it.
All you need to remember is that bamboo toothbrushes, our own range included, will be packaged in cardboard, rather than plastic. So, simply pop the packaging straight into your recycling bin.
Once you’ve finished brushing, be sure the rinse off the handle and the bristles thoroughly to wash away any debris.
Let Your Brush Dry
The only thing that you need to be mindful of when using a bamboo brush, that you wouldn’t need to do with a plastic brush, is allow it to dry after using it. While, yes, bamboo is naturally antibacterial, it isn’t impenetrable to moisture like plastic. But, so long as you’re storing it so it can dry off thoroughly between uses, you’ll get just as much usage out of a bamboo brush.
Once you’ve finished brushing your teeth, give it a rub with a clean, dry towel and leave it somewhere where it can dry before you come back to it for your next brush. You can even lay it down on a flat surface, as long as the water can drain away.
Although standard toothbrushes are often stored in plastic beakers, we recommend avoiding this when it comes to a bamboo brush. This is because the water will drain away into the cup and collect in the bottom, which is not only unhygienic, but it means the bottom of the brush handle won’t dry properly.
A ring-shaped toothbrush holder, similar to the one in the image above is designed to hold the brush upright so that it can drain and air dry throughout the day.
- To remove the nylon bristles, use a pair of pliers to remove the pins and the bristles carefully.
- Place the nylon bristles inside another plastic container, such as a bottle so that they can be appropriately recycled and not lost due to their size.
- It’s important not to just throw your toothbrush handle into the recycling bin, without thoroughly cleaning it first as this will be classed as contaminated waste. Alternatively, if you don’t have a compost heap, you could saw the toothbrush handle to pieces and bury it.
Once the toothbrush has outlived its main purpose, there are a few little things you can do to increase the life cycle of the brush:
Cleaning – A toothbrush is just the right shape and size to clean the pesky hard to reach areas in the bathroom or kitchen.
Scrubbing shoes – Toothbrushes are also perfect for scrubbing dried mud from the bottom of shoes, and can also be used for applying shoe polish too.
Gardening – If you’re a keen gardener and you need a way of identifying where you’ve planted a particular plant or crop, using the end of the toothbrush handle is especially useful for this. Take a permanent marker, write down the name of the plant and push it into the soil in front of it – job done.
Owning a bamboo toothbrush is really not that much different to owning a plastic one, except you’re doing a much better job of helping the environment.
- Recycle the packaging of the brush once you’ve unwrapped it.
- Brush your teeth using the correct technique (it’s surprising how many people don’t know how to do this).
- Rinse well after each use.
- Allow adequate time to dry and drain.
At Strive, we recommend that you replace your toothbrush every three months; our subscription service is available to ensure that you can get a new bamboo toothbrush delivered to your door every nine weeks.
If you have any other toothbrush maintenance tips that you’d like to share with us and our community, find us on Facebook here >