Debra Lynn Dadd

How to Naturally Disinfect a Toothbrush?


I was trying to figure out a way to NATURALLY and NON-TOXICALLY disinfect my toothbrush. I've seen things out in the market $$ that steam or use UV rays to kill the bacteria. However, I'm uncertain as to how 'natural' they may be, or if there's any possibility of unwanted chemicals or side effects from those methods?

I've heard of hydrogen peroxide with water in a cup. I have also tried a few drops of Agrisept with water to swish my toothbrush. I'm just unsure regarding cross contamination in using the same cup of water for several days? Or which method is the best?

I want the healthiest most natural way to go about this. Any suggestions or recommendations?

Thanks kindly.

POSTED BY WENDY :: CALIFORNIA USA :: 05/28/2008 11:15 AM


I'm not familiar with all the toothbrush disinfectant machines, but UV rays and steam will kill the bacteria without any side effects I know of. In hospitals, they sterilize the instruments used during surgery in an autoclave, which basically is a chamber for using pressurized steam.

I would suggest that you can just use boiling water, because boiling water is the standard method for killing bacteria in questionable water supplies. Just pour boiling water over the brush, or "cook" it in a pot of boiling water. For the purpose of killing bacteria for drinking water, the instructions are to bring the water to a rolling boil and then letting it boil for one minute. This is sufficient to eliminate harmful bacteria.

Debra :-)


I only sterilize the brush that I use before breakfast. I set it in a small glass jigger, and pour peroxide on it or vinegar and water, let it sit awhile,then rinse it. The rest of the day I use a diffrent brush which after every use I rinse in coldest water and in humid weather I blot on a paper towel (non-chlorine bleached.) Germs don't multiply so fast in cold water.

POSTED BY MARY :: CALIFORNIA USA :: 06/05/2008 12:40 PM

I keep a spray bottle of vinegar on my vanity. I spray my tooth brush then rinse before each brushing. I have read that it kills 99.9 percent of the bacteria. I know I don't have sinus infections since doing this.

POSTED BY MARGARET :: MS USA :: 06/05/2008 1:01 PM

I use the dishwasher to disinfect our toothbrushes in our home. It is very easy to stick in the silverware basket. Let it go through a wash and dry cycle and it goes back in the bathroom.



To add to my previous entry, I just wash the jigger daily with the rest of my dishes.

POSTED BY MARY :: CA USA :: 06/05/2008 11:39 PM

I use a few drops of tea tree oil, and let it soak awhile.

POSTED BY GINA RYERSON :: CA USA :: 06/05/2008 11:48 PM

We have a UV toothbrush sanitizer. It holds up to 7 toothbrushes at a time and has a drawer for our waterpick pieces, nail clippers, or whatever else you might want to sanitize. It doesn't smell or taste or anything. I can't imagine why it would be toxic. It does use energy and could expose you to EMFs.

POSTED BY LEAH :: MICHIGAN USA :: 06/17/2008 12:13 AM

I soak my toothbrush overnight in a small glass of water with a few drops of grapefruit seed extract. I also use this extract for many other purposes including cleaning my vegetables and I take it in capsules when I get a cold or other infection.

POSTED BY SUE :: FLORIDA USA :: 06/22/2008 12:24 PM

I'm too concerned about releasing placticizer chemicals to expose my toothbrush to boiling water or steam. The last thing I'd want to do is release toxic PCB's from the toothbrush materials into my mouth daily! What about just swishing it around in a little antiseptic mouthwash, rinsing & drying it?

COMMENT FROM DEBRA: Do you think there are not toxic chemicals in antiseptic mouthwash!?!?!?!?! I don't think there are toxic PCB's in toothbrushes. Many toothbrushes are made from cellulose acetate, which is made from trees. And bristles are usually nylon.

POSTED BY LAUREN S.P. :: NEW YORK USA :: 06/22/2009 8:04 PM

A dozen years ago I bought a UV sterilizer made by a California company (the machine is designed especially for toothbrushes). The machine worked only moderately well; thus--especially considering its relatively high price and the fact that the company's manager was very rude when I deigned to ask a simple question about the product's safety--I was disappointed with it and the company.

However, a few years ago I made a happy experiment with green-tea bags. I had started drinking decaffeinated green tea and noticed how clean it made my mouth feel. I found that my toothbrush could be sanitized by placing it into a glass of hot water with a bag of green-tea (a bag that was used only once to make tea). Keep the toothbrush in this solution until you brush again; and you will need to replace the tea bag every day or so. But that should be no problem, as we should drink green tea daily anyway. (White tea also works just fine.) This process is far cheaper and, in my experience, far more effective than my UV sterilizer. You might see some brown staining of your toothbrush, but who cares--it won't hurt anything.

POSTED BY JIMMY :: UTAH USA :: 06/25/2009 12:25 PM

CDC Recommendations for Infection Control with Toothbrushes

Recommended Toothbrush Care

Do not share toothbrushes. The exchange of body fluids that such sharing would foster places toothbrush sharers at an increased risk for infections, a particularly important consideration for persons with compromised immune systems or infectious diseases.

After brushing, rinse your toothbrush thoroughly with tap water to ensure the removal of toothpaste and debris, allow it to air-dry, and store it in an upright position. If multiple brushes are stored in the same holder, do not allow them to contact each other.

It is not necessary to soak toothbrushes in disinfecting solutions or mouthwash. This practice actually may lead to cross-contamination of toothbrushes if the same disinfectant solution is used over a period of time or by multiple users.

It is also unnecessary to use dishwashers, microwaves, or ultraviolet devices to disinfect toothbrushes. These measures may damage the toothbrush.

Do not routinely cover toothbrushes or store them in closed containers. Such conditions (a humid environment) are more conducive to bacterial growth than the open air.

Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months, or sooner if the bristles appear worn or splayed. This recommendation of the American Dental Association is based on the expected wear of the toothbrush and its subsequent loss of mechanical effectiveness, not on its bacterial contamination.

A decision to purchase or use products for toothbrush disinfection requires careful consideration, as the scientific literature does not support this practice at the present time.

Dentists have recommended that a toothbrush be kept at least six (6) feet away from a toilet to avoid airborne particles resulting from the flush.

POSTED BY TSW :: WASHINGTON USA :: 10/05/2009 2:51 PM

What was recommended to me by my doctor was : take hydrogen peroxide ( the 3% oral solution, found in any grocery store/ pharmacy ) and put it in a squirt bottle. keep it by your tooth brush, squirt some all over the head of the tooth brush before you use it ( i wait about 3 to 5 seconds and then rinse it off ) and do the same after you use it. I've done this for years, works great. the way, you should be replacing your tooth brush every 90 days, and certainly after you recover from an illness ( such as a cold )

POSTED BY KERRY :: TEXAS USA :: 10/06/2009 1:42 PM

In my cosmetics store we sanitize brushes, computer keyboards, etc. with Natural Grain Alcohol (like Vodka or Everclear). I use it at home to sanitize quite a few things and keep some in a mini spray bottle in my purse as hand sanitizer. I have sprayed my toothbrushes with it. This is a much better alternative to me then using a anti-bacterial mouthwash made with all sorts of ingredients I stay away from.


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