When it comes to your toothbrush (an item you put in your mouth every day) it's a good idea to keep it clean.
It's not enough to keep the toothbrush itself clean though, you need to think about what you are putting it in.
A toothbrush holder is the go-to for most people to store your toothbrush between uses but are you taking the proper precautions and cleaning it? If you're not it can be a breeding ground for germs and bacteria.
That's why we have taken the time to cover some best practices for keeping not only your toothbrush but the holder clean and sanitized. That way you can be sure no germs are being transferred when you brush your teeth in the morning.
Are Toothbrush Holders Sanitary?
Is a toothbrush holder sanitary? The answer is no. A toothbrush holder can accumulate a lot of bacteria, especially if it’s not cleaned regularly. The most common culprits include toothpaste residue, saliva, and water droplets. These damp environments are the perfect breeding ground for harmful bacteria.
A toothbrush holder is the perfect place to store your brush in between uses and offers many benefits. It can keep your toothbrush easily accessible and off of the counter as well as aid in keeping your bathroom organized. That being said it is also important to keep it clean.
Why It’s Important To Clean Toothbrush Holders
Keeping your toothbrush holder clean and sanitized is important to protect your oral health. If it’s not cleaned regularly, you risk exposing your toothbrush to bacteria and germs.
Those germs can cause infections and illnesses in your mouth. Unclean toothbrush holders can also make your toothbrush bristles hard and brittle, which can affect their effectiveness and make you need to replace your toothbrush early.
How To Clean Travel Toothbrush Holder
If you’re going on a trip, keeping your travel toothbrush holder sanitized is important. Often you can be in a rush when traveling and some containers don't have proper ventilation.
When you put a wet toothbrush in the holder it can result in more germs. Here are the steps to follow for most toothbrush holders:
- Empty the holder and rinse it with hot water.
- Fill a bowl with hot water and add a few drops of dish soap.
- Place the toothbrush holder in the bowl and let it soak for 15-20 minutes.
- Scrub the holder with a soft-bristled brush.
- Rinse the holder with hot water and let it air dry.
Other cleaning solutions you can use if soapy water just isn't going to cut it include:
- Vinegar solution- Vinegar has good cleaning and sanitizing properties.
- Pure alcohol solution- This will generally kill off any bacteria.
- Antibacterial mouthwash- Soak toothbrush covers in mouthwash for 10-15 minutes to sanitize bacteria.
- Bleach Solution- If all else fails consider using a bleach solution if there is a lot of gunk built up.
Pro tip: Try boiling water and placing the toothbrush cover in it to break up congealed and hardened particles.
How To Clean Wall-Mounted Toothbrush Holders
Wall-mounted toothbrush holders can be hard to clean, but it’s important to keep them sanitized. Here’s how to do it:
- Empty the toothbrush holder and remove it from the wall.
- Rinse it with hot water.
- Fill a spray bottle with equal parts water and white vinegar.
- Spray the mixture onto the toothbrush holder and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
- Scrub the holder with a soft-bristled brush.
- Rinse it with hot water and let it dry before reattaching it to the wall.
You can also use any of the other cleaning solutions mentioned above based on your personal preference but I have found the white vinegar solution works best for me.
How To Clean Wooden Toothbrush Holders
If you have a wooden toothbrush holder, you need to be extra careful when cleaning it. Here are the steps to follow:
- Mix equal parts hot water and white vinegar.
- Dip a soft-bristled brush in the mixture and gently scrub the toothbrush holder.
- Rinse the holder with hot water and dry it with a towel.
- Apply a thin layer of food-grade mineral oil to the holder to protect the wood.
The last step is important as many people overlook oiling wood items to keep them in top working order.
How To Make Sure Your Toothbrush Stays Sanitary
Aside from cleaning your toothbrush holder, it’s also important to take care of your toothbrush to prevent the growth of bacteria and germs. Here are some tips:
- Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly with hot water after each use.
- Do not share your toothbrush with anyone, even family members.
- Replace your toothbrush every three to four months.
- Store your toothbrush in an upright position and allow it to air dry between uses.
- Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months.
- Clean the toothbrush holder regularly.
When Should You Replace Toothbrush Holder
It’s important to replace your toothbrush holder as soon as you notice any cracks, mold, or mildew. This means that it’s no longer safe to use and can harbor harmful bacteria.
If you are using a stainless steel holder and you notice rust or peeling be sure to replace it. Likewise, if you’ve had your toothbrush holder for a long time and have not replaced it, get a new one to be sure your oral health is protected.
In conclusion, keeping your toothbrush holder clean and sanitized is essential to protect your oral health. It will also prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and germs. Follow the steps we outlined in this guide to clean your toothbrush holder properly. Additionally, take care of your toothbrush to ensure it stays sanitary, and replace your toothbrush holder regularly to avoid using one that is no longer safe to use. By doing so, you can ensure healthy teeth and gums.