Travel Tips: 6 Uses for Toothpaste

When I was young, my mom would take water rings off our coffee table with toothpaste. Today, I use toothpaste for a number of things… especially when I’m traveling and have to limit the amount of “stuff” I bring with me.

1. Bee sting ointment. If you can’t get ice for your bee sting, dab a little toothpaste on it. It’s rumored to be the very best home remedy. (Also works to relieve the itch of a mosquito bite.)

2. An overnight zit cream. I find that if I dab just a spot of toothpaste on a rebellious pimple before I go to bed, it’s near gone by morning.

3. Jewelry cleaner. Simply put a small amount of toothpaste on a soft cloth and rub it on your dry jewelry. Use a soft cotton swab for the smaller, hard-to-reach spots. Then rinse it off.

4. Shoe cleaner. Toothpaste and a cloth or old toothbrush are great for cleaning the white rubber parts of tennis shoes.

5. Bathroom mirror defogger. When I’m in the shower and my husband wants to shave, he squeezes a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on the mirror and wipes it clean. Voila! The mirror stays clear.

6. CD and DVD scratch repair. Apply a very small amount of toothpaste (not the baking soda kind) to the disc and rub it off with a soft cloth. Scratches gone!

[Ed. Note: Lori Allen is the director of AWAI’s Travel Division. You’ll find tips like these, along with information on travel writing and photography, in her free e-letter “The Right Way to Travel.” To sign up, click here.]