Toothpaste: we all know it’s a necessary part of our daily dental-care routine. We pick up that tube every day and squeeze a bit out onto our toothbrushes, never dreaming that the stuff we trust to keep our teeth clean can also do so much more. In fact, if we realized just how multi-purpose toothpaste really is, we might be tempted to give it a medal. Or dress it up in a cape. Or nominate it for the Nobel Prize. If you—like many dedicated KCLs—have a plentiful stockpile of toothpaste on hand, read on to learn all the other wonderful tasks it can handle for you!

1. As a cleaning agent

Toothpaste is a cleaning machine. You think it works wonders on teeth? Try it on these scuffed, stained and dirty items as well.

  • Leather: Stressed about how to remove scuffs from leather shoes, furniture, or accessories? Squeeze a bit of toothpaste onto the scuffed area, then rub with a soft cloth. Dampen a second cloth and wipe off the toothpaste. Admire the scuff-free results.
  • Sneakers: Rubber no longer pearly white? Any paste toothpaste can help—just squeeze a bit onto an old toothbrush and scrub, scrub, scrub.
  • Diamonds: Diamond rings, necklaces, bracelets, or earrings lost their shine? Squeeze a bit of toothpaste onto an old toothbrush and "brush" the gem, then wipe off residue with a damp cloth, and admire the sparkling results.
  • Clothing irons: Starch spray or other residue rendering that expensive iron unusable? Cool your iron, squeeze toothpaste onto the residue, scrub with a cloth, and wipe clean.
  • Piano keys: There’s nothing like the lovely contrast of black-on-white piano keys—until the white keys aren't so white anymore. Toothpaste to the rescue! Apply some paste (not gel) toothpaste to a toothbrush, then brush, brush, brush and wipe with a damp cloth.
  • Chrome: Chrome responds best to finely abrasive cleansers, and toothpaste fits the bill perfectly. Fixtures, accessories, even bumpers will thank you for a little elbow grease, courtesy of paste (not gel) toothpaste and a clean, old rag.
  • Sinks: Sinks, like chrome, respond best to finely abrasive cleansers—just follow the chrome prescription to clean sinks in a jiffy with paste toothpaste.
  • Walls: If your little ones decided to mural up your interior walls with crayon or ink, squirt paste toothpaste (not gel) onto the wall, then use a rough rag or scrubbie to remove the "art."

2. As a deodorizer

Toothpaste is a natural deodorizer—whether used in the mouth or elsewhere. Use toothpaste to deodorize these items.

  • Baby bottle: Bothered by the "sour milk" smell in your baby bottles? Squirt in a bit of toothpaste, add a bit of water, then use your scrub brush to scour away odor and rinse thoroughly.
  • Food storage containers: If you have a perfectly good storage container that has picked up an odor, follow the advice for baby bottles to deodorize and salvage that container.
  • Hands and feet: If you’ve been working with your hands or walking barefoot and notice a lingering smell (for instance, from slicing onions or walking across beach tar) simply wash the stinky part with toothpaste instead of soap. Voila—no more odor!

3. As an anti-acne treatment

Just when you were probably starting to think toothpaste could do it all, there’s more—did you know dabbing a bit of toothpaste directly onto pimples can dry them up overnight? Note: If your skin is very sensitive, you might want to do a "patch test" first to make sure this treatment won’t irritate your skin.

4. As a defogger

Toothpaste can de-fog these items in a jiffy.

  • Goggles: Swimming goggles easily fog up in water, but not if you slather on some toothpaste and wipe it off before taking a dip. Goggles will remain fog-free while you swim.
  • Sunglasses or glasses: You can also use the goggles trick on regular glasses or sunglasses.
  • Bathroom mirrors: Just dab some paste (not gel) toothpaste onto a washcloth, then wipe across the surface of the mirror before your shower, then wipe again to remove the toothpaste. After the shower, your mirror will still be fog-free.

5. To remove water rings

Many an otherwise fine piece of wood furniture has been donated to thrift shops because of unsightly water rings. But toothpaste can save your wood furnishings from a thrift shop fate—and you from having to purchase new replacement furniture. Squeeze a bit of toothpaste into a soft cloth then rub across the area of the water ring and finish by wiping with a soft dry cloth. Presto—no more water ring!

6. To reduce the effect of scratches

Toothpaste can ease the visibility of scratches on these and other surfaces.

  • Cell phone, tablet, laptop, and desktop computer screens: Squeeze a dab of toothpaste onto your finger, then rub it across the screen. Finish by using a damp cloth to wipe away the toothpaste.
  • Headlights and taillights: Clean the light surface, then squeeze toothpaste onto a rag and scrub. Clean, buff, and admire.
  • Paint: Follow the same prescription for headlights and taillights.
  • CDs and DVDs: Find a very soft (like a buffing) cloth and squeeze a dab of toothpaste onto it, then very gently rub it in a circular motion on the CD or DVD to buff out scratches.

For more money-saving tips, check out:

How to Set Up a Couponing Spreadsheet—Download Included

The Amazon App Is the Secret to Price Matching at Target

Save Your Cell Phone from These Battery Killers

Did You Know Your Toothpaste Stockpile Could Also Do All This?