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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Keep your shoes bright white

Ease swelling and itching from bug bites

Shine faucet hardware

Restore shine to jewelry and chrome

Remove the smell of garlic or onions from hands

Prevent glasses or goggles from fogging up

Touch up water rings from furniture

Toothpaste is essential in everyone's daily lives. We brush our teeth before we leave the house in the morning and before we go to bed. Some even brush after every meal.

However, most people never see the full potential of toothpaste. Its uses stretch far beyond keeping your teeth shiny, white and cavity-free. Here are some uses for toothpaste you probably never knew existed.

Caption by / Photo by Taylor Martin/CNET

It only takes a week or so for the white on my new shoes to turn a muddy gray. Restoring them to their original shine is a chore, and many dedicated shoe cleaners just aren't up to the task.

However, rubbing a drop of white (non-gel) toothpaste on the white parts of your shoes and gently scrubbing with a soft brush will usually do the truck. The gritty texture of the toothpaste will lift stains out of tough-to-clean spots with ease.

Once you're done scrubbing, wipe the remaining toothpaste away with a damp washcloth.

Caption by / Photo by Taylor Martin/CNET

If you spend a lot of time outdoors in the spring and summer, you might want to keep a tube of toothpaste on hand. Dab it on bug bites for instant relief from itching or soreness. The mint flavors often found in the toothpaste will offer some temporary relief until you can better treat any bug bites or sores.

Some say applying toothpaste to small burns also helps, but some doctors warn against it. The mint will provide a cooling effect, but calcium and peppermint increase the risk of infection, says The Times of India.

Caption by / Photo by Taylor Martin/CNET

You may clean your bathroom or kitchen faucets regularly, but if they've lost their shine, you can easily restore it with a little toothpaste.

Apply a small drop of toothpaste to the top of the faucet. Sprinkle some water on soft brush or washcloth and work the toothpaste over the entire faucet. Rinse away the toothpaste and wipe it down with a dry washcloth.

The grit in the toothpaste helps remove tougher grime and should restore some shine to the faucet once again.

Caption by / Photo by Taylor Martin/CNET

The same shining technique works for jewelry, set stones, coins and other small metallic objects. It even works on chrome.

Apply a small amount of toothpaste to the item, add a small amount of water and gently spread the toothpaste over the entire surface. Once finished, wipe off the toothpaste with a clean washcloth.

Caption by / Photo by Taylor Martin/CNET

Toothpaste helps fight bad breath, meaning it's scented and has some deodorizing abilities.

If you've been working with pungent ingredients in the kitchen, such as onions or garlic, you can use toothpaste to help remove the scent from your hands. Place a small drop of toothpaste into the palm of your hand. Add water and work the toothpaste into your skin.

Rinse with warm water and the smell of garlic, onions or other stinky ingredients should be gone.

Caption by / Photo by Taylor Martin/CNET

If you're working with glasses or goggles that are prone to fogging up, toothpaste can help.

Apply a small drop of non-gel toothpaste to the lens of your glasses or goggles. Know that rubbing too hard or using a brush to spread the toothpaste can damage the lenses. Use a damp microfiber cloth to remove the toothpaste from the lens, then dry the glasses or goggles.

The toothpaste will leave behind a thin film that will help prevent the inside of the lenses from fogging up. It will wear off over time, so you will need to reapply every so often.

This trick also works on bathroom mirrors, but for a surface that large there are easier and better options.

Caption by / Photo by Taylor Martin/CNET

If you forgot to use a coaster and your drink has left a ring on your coffee or side table, apply a small amount of toothpaste to the stain. Gently work the paste into the stain, but don't rub too hard. Being an abrasive, toothpaste can actually remove the finish from furniture.

Once you've fully covered the stain, gently wipe away with a washcloth and let dry.

This trick even partially cleared some cup rings on an old oak cabinet from over a decade ago. It didn't fully remove those stains, but this trick has a much higher success rate if you act quickly and try to remove the rings within a few hours or days.

Caption by / Photo by Taylor Martin/CNET
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