how to remove toothpaste stains

How to Remove Toothpaste Stains

Had the Monday morning blues and decided to brush your t-shirt instead of your teeth? We’ve all been there and done that!

The dreaded plop of toothpaste almost always manages to slide down the centre of your outfit, leaving an unsightly residue behind.

Toothpaste leaves your gnashers gleaming and breath smelling minty fresh. But it has the opposite effect on clothes, carpets, upholstery and sinks!

The colourful dyes used in toothpaste and the titanium dioxide that makes it white can discolour and blemish surfaces.

Follow the method(s) below to make your toothpaste-y worries disappear!

wear gloves, no bleach and ammonia

Remember these tips when cleaning toothpaste stains:

  • Avoid using harsh cleaning chemicals like bleach and ammonia.
  • Always do a patch test with your chosen cleaning solution to make sure the product is suitable for the material you’re treating.
  • Act as fast as you can. The quicker you react to the stain, the less risk there is of it going solid and causing damage to your items.
  • There’s no need to saturate the item you’re cleaning in water (unless instructed to do so). A carpet, for example, will take an age to dry if you pour too much water over it.
  • Pop some gloves on to protect your hands from the cleaning products.
  • Use neutral-coloured cloths to blot surfaces as this will stop any colour transfers from occurring.
  • If you act fast and the toothpaste is still fresh, you’ll be able to scrape up any excess paste from the item you intend on cleaning, before you move on to treating the stain.
  • Make sure the toothpaste stain has been completely removed before you move onto drying an item of clothing. The heat from a dryer will make the stain harder to remove.


How to Remove Toothpaste Stains from Clothes

remove stains with toothpaste

Follow these steps to remove toothpaste stains from clothes:

  1. If you reacted quickly to the toothpaste mishap, you should be able to scrape excess toothpaste off your item with a spoon. If you didn’t react quickly, skip this step and follow the steps below.
  2. Grab a clean cloth and soak it in cold water.
  3. Wring the excess water out of the cloth.
  4. Repeatedly blot the toothpaste stain with the cloth.
  5. Re-soak and wring out the cloth throughout this process to keep it fresh.
  6. Apply some laundry detergent to the stained area, something like Ariel Original Washing Liquid would be ideal, though you can use a powder-based detergent if you prefer.
  7. Massage the detergent into the stain using a soft toothbrush. This’ll agitate the paste and will loosen its bond with the fabric.
  8. Make sure you’ve covered the entire stain.
  9. Wait a few minutes.
  10. Pop the item of clothing into the washing machine and launder as normal – choose an appropriate setting for the material you’re washing.
  11. Add a normal dose of laundry detergent to the machine and start the washing cycle.

Tip: If you’re cleaning delicate materials, like wool and silk, don’t massage the detergent into the material with a soft toothbrush. The brushing action could damage the material. Just leave the detergent to sit on top of the toothpaste mark.


How to Remove Toothpaste Stains from Carpets and Upholstery

toothpaste on carpet

Here’s how to get toothpaste stains out of carpets and upholstery:

  1. Scrape up excess toothpaste from the carpet/upholstery, if you can. If not, skip this step and move on to the next step.
  2. Start blotting the toothpaste stain with a damp cloth.
  3. Continuously blot the paste-y area until you’ve softened the stain.
  4. In a small bowl mix one tablespoon of washing up liquid with two cups of water.
  5. Stir the mixture.
  6. Dip a clean cloth into the water.
  7. Wring out excess moisture.
  8. Start to blot the toothpaste-stained area with the cloth.
  9. Re-soak and wring out the cloth throughout this cleaning process.
  10. Repeat Steps 6 to 9 until the stain has been removed.
  11. Blot the surface with a damp cloth to remove excess cleaning product.
  12. Blot the surface dry with a fresh neutral coloured towel, and soak up as much excess liquid as you can.
  13. Open the windows to allow fresh air to circulate inside the room. And/or set up a fan near the area you’ve just cleaned to continuously move the air around.

Tip: If you’ve got a toughened toothpaste stain on a shaggy carpet, you might be able to tease the paste out using a nit comb.


How to Remove Toothpaste Stains from Sinks

toothpaste stains on sink

Follow these steps to remove toothpaste stains from sinks:

  1. Wash away excess toothpaste from the sink with running water. Proceed with this method if the stain persists.
  2. Soak a microfibre or cotton cloth in water, wring it out and rub the sink down.
  3. Continue to do this until you’ve cleaned the toothpaste off.
  4. If the stain won’t budge, grab a multipurpose bathroom surface cleaner and spray the stained area.
  5. Wait a few minutes for the cleaner to break down the toothpaste mark.
  6. Rub the sink down with some kitchen paper towels – the abrasive nature of the towels can help to agitate the stain even more so.
  7. Rinse the sink out with fresh water.

Note: Pick a multipurpose cleaner that is suitable for the type of sink you have. For example, if you have a ceramic sink, you need to buy a cleaner that can be used on ceramics.


How to Prevent Toothpaste Stains on Clothes

man and woman brushing teeth

Toothpaste is bound to land on your clothes at some point. However, there are some things you can do to stop it from happening too often.

Check out these ideas:

  • Brush your teeth in your pyjamas or towel, and then get dressed. If you do this, there’s no chance of you dropping toothpaste on your outfit.
  • Make sure you empty the toothpaste out of your mouth and wipe your chin frequently, so the toothpaste-saliva mix won’t drop onto your clothes.
  • Lean over the sink, so the paste drops into the bowl.
  • Clean the sink out after you’ve brushed your teeth. Then, if you happen to lean against the sink, there’s no chance of any toothpaste sticking to your clothes and staining them.
  • Pop a towel around you, so if you do drop toothpaste onto yourself, the towel will catch the paste instead of your clothes.
  • If you do manage to get toothpaste on your clothes, remember to act fast and get rid of the paste as quickly as you can. This will stop any damage from occurring.


FAQs on Toothpaste Stains


When do you need a dry cleaner to remove toothpaste stains?

Most toothpaste stains can be treated at home. However, there are some items that you should not treat at home. These items include, but are not limited to vintage items, heirlooms, delicate materials, and clothes labelled as ‘Dry clean only’.

To find a professional dry cleaner near you, just do a quick online search!

Does toothpaste permanently stain clothes and upholstery?

If you react quickly and get rid of the toothpaste stain before it sets on a carpet/item of clothing, the paste shouldn’t permanently stain the item in question.

However, if you leave the toothpaste to sit for ages on a surface, it might be a little harder for you to remove the paste from the material. And in this case, you may be left with a slight stain.

Similarly, if you allow people to walk over toothpaste that’s been dropped onto a carpet, they will drive the paste deeper into the material’s fibres. It will then be more difficult for you to remove the dried toothpaste, and it could leave a slight stain.

How do you remove dry toothpaste stains?

To treat a dried toothpaste stain, you need to blot the blemish with a damp cloth to moisten the area. Once you’ve done this, you can remove the toothpaste using one of the methods listed above. Choose the method that suits the object that you need to clean.