Even if you disinfect regularly and clean your bathroom like a pro, you may be missing one of the most commonly overlooked places—your toothbrush holder. These decorative and practical accessories can harbor viruses, bacteria, and mold—but few of us think to clean them. When you don’t clean your toothbrush holder regularly, it can get pretty nasty with stuff you don’t want on your toothbrush!
When you, your spouse, and kids put toothbrushes in a toothbrush holder, chances are they’re still damp or even dripping wet. The water can collect in the bottom of a toothbrush holder and create a pool of germs that go from toothbrush to holder to toothbrush—you get the idea. If you want to keep your toothbrushes and your teeth healthy, it’s time to learn how to clean a toothbrush holder and add it to your house cleaning checklist.
Why Do I Need to Clean My Toothbrush Holder?
Bathrooms are humid, and the combination of warmth and moisture creates the ideal conditions for bacteria and other microorganisms to flourish. Add in the extra moisture from toothbrushes and a cozy, dark place to grow, and it’s no wonder your toothbrush holder ends up like a petri dish for all kinds of gross stuff.
According to the National Science Foundation, a toothbrush holder can be one of the most germ-infested places in your home. And every time you or your family brushes their teeth, that bacteria could be going right into your mouths. While you won’t typically get sick from your toothbrush, there can be harmful bacteria that can lead to dental health problems like:
- Canker sores
- Oral thrush
- Oral herpes
If those aren’t enough reasons, consider horror stories about finding maggots in a toothbrush holder because it was so filthy. Now that you’re convinced, it’s time to learn how to clean your toothbrush holder.
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How Do I Clean a Toothbrush Holder?
After reading the above, we bet you’re chomping at the bit to learn how to clean your toothbrush holder. If your toothbrush holder is dishwasher safe, you can run it through a sanitizing cycle to get it clean and disinfected. Make sure you get out the sludge at the bottom before you put it in the dishwasher. If you’re cleaning your toothbrush holder by hand, here’s what you’ll need:
- Liquid dish soap
- Rubbing alcohol
- Dish scrubber
- Microfiber cloth
Now here’s how to get your toothbrush holder clean and germ-free:
- Fill your sink halfway and add a few drops of liquid dish soap.
- Soak the toothbrush holder for 10 minutes.
- Wash the outside and inside with a dishtowel, and make sure you get all the way down to the bottom.
- Rinse the toothbrush holder in warm water.
- Pour rubbing alcohol into the toothbrush holder and swirl it around for full coverage.
- Dry your toothbrush holder with a microfiber cloth.
How to Clean an Electric Toothbrush Holder
They may be faster and more advanced than traditional toothbrushes, but electric toothbrush holders and caps can get just as germy as regular ones. Thankfully, it’s easy to clean electric toothbrush holders using safe and natural ingredients. Here’s your list of supplies:
Distilled white vinegar
Here’s how to get your electric toothbrush holder and cap fresh and clean:
- Unplug your electric toothbrushes and toothbrush holder.
- Fill your sink halfway with hot water and add a couple of drops of dish liquid.
- Dampen a microfiber cloth with soap and water and wipe down the exterior of the toothbrush holder.
- Use a fresh cloth dampened only with water to wipe away the soapy residue and dirt.
- Mix half water and half distilled white vinegar in a bowl and soak the toothbrush cap and any other submersible parts.
- Dampen a microfiber cloth with vinegar and water to clean and sanitize the inside of the holder.
- Remove the toothbrush cap from the vinegar and rinse it with warm water.
- Use your hair dryer on the lowest setting to blow-dry the holder, cap, and other gear.
- Place the lid on your toothbrush, put it in the holder, and reconnect the power cord.
When you clean your toothbrush holder, make sure the toothbrushes you put back in it are clean, disinfected, and dry. To clean and disinfect your toothbrush after each use, pour an antibacterial mouthwash or hydrogen peroxide over the toothbrush and let it air dry before you store it in the holder. You can also use baking soda to disinfect and freshen your toothbrush. Mix two teaspoons of baking soda in a cup of water and soak your toothbrush in it for an hour.
How To Get Rid Of Mold in a Toothbrush Holder
Mold can cause congestion, wheezing, or shortness of breath, as well as red eyes and itchy skin. While it’s unlikely that minor cases of mold will cause serious illness in most people, it can be very harmful to those with asthma and other respiratory issues. But do you have to worry about mold in your toothbrush holder?
Because the same conditions that promote the growth of bacteria present the optimal environment for mold, it could be growing in the bottom of your toothbrush holder. But you don’t have to worry for long because you can remove mold easily and keep it from returning.
When you clean a toothbrush holder, use hot water and dish soap to remove most of the mold, and rubbing alcohol to finish it off. To keep mold out of your toothbrush holder in the future, make a habit of cleaning and drying your toothbrush before you store it.
Now that you know how to clean a toothbrush holder (and your toothbrush), what’s next? Whether you use our cleaning guides to keep your home clean or one of our popular residential cleaning services, count on The Maids to make housekeeping easier. Find out how you can enjoy a cleaner home more often without all the work when you get a free online estimate today.