Best Ways to Disinfect Toothbrush, Toothbrush Sanitizers and Sterilizers

You may know we need to change our toothbrush every 2-3 months. But everyday toothbrush expose to be dirtying of bad bacteria living in your bathroom. Keeping toothbrush clean is essential for effective teeth cleaning and perfect smile. Toothbrush sanitizers and sterilizers may help disinfect your toothbrush.

A single toothbrush can harbor millions of microorganisms, which translate into harmful bacteria — bacteria that thrive in the warm, moist environment of the average bathroom. Toothbrush sanitizers stop these microorganisms dead in their track. Independent studies prove that toothbrush sterilizers may eliminate up to 99.9% of bacteria that thrive on your toothbrush. That’s millions of microscopic bugs that can cause flu, colds and other illnesses, zapped in minutes!

While there are many who question the need for toothbrush sanitizers, a close examination of what is really on the end of the average toothbrush sends shivers down the spine. Some toothbrushes which are stored behind bathroom have more than 10,000,000 bacteria living on a single toothbrush. Repeated use of such toothbrushes can cause a person to “reinfect” himself, brushing the germs right back into the mouth and then into the bloodstream and causing many health problems.

There are different types of toothbrush sanitizers like UV sanitizers or tablets. There are methods and devices for sanitizing toothbrushes to accommodate every price range—from drop tablets to self-cleaning toothbrushes to heavy duty machinery.

Numerous studies have shown ultraviolet (UV) light to be effective in killing germs on toothbrushes, including bacteria, yeasts and viruses. Buy a toothbrush UV (ultraviolet). It is designed to kill germs and bacteria that could lead to other diseases. Before and after brushing, place the head of the toothbrush in the hole designated UV toothbrush. Press the Start button and allow 6 to 8 minutes for the system to clean and disinfect your toothbrush.

Other method is using drop tablets several times a week, as recommended by the manufacturer, or more often. These are sold in packages of approximately 36 and kill up to 99% of the germs on the head of the toothbrush. One tablet dropped into warm water produces disinfecting bubbles which sanitize the toothbrush as it soaks for approximately ten minutes. After soaking, the toothbrush is rinsed off and ready to use.

Toothbrush Sanitizers and Sterilizers Difference

First, it is important to note that the word sanitizer refers to a device that kills most of the microorganisms. A sterilizer kills all the microorganisms. Sanitizers work by exposing the toothbrush to UV light, which kills most microorganisms while the heat dries the toothbrush. Typically, there is a cover over the toothbrush, protecting it from exposure to airborne microorganisms.

The most expensive toothbrush sanitizers cost $100 or more and use steam sterilization. These sanitizers are durable, waterproof and high quality, but it is doubtful whether they actually kill more germs than the medium range ultraviolet light sanitizers.

How to Clean Your Toothbrush Without Sanitizer

There are many other methods to disinfect your toothbrush not using commercial sanitizers or sterilizers:

  • Soak your toothbrush in an antiseptic mouthwash
  • Freeze your toothbrush
  • Rinse and air dry your toothbrush, making sure it avoids other brushes
  • Boil or put your toothbrush in the dishwasher (this can wear out bristles faster)
  • Microwave your toothbrush on high for 10 seconds

Of course, no toothbrush sanitizer can improve a badly worn toothbrush that needs to be replaced. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you still replace your toothbrush every three months or after an illness, and keep your toothbrush upright and away from other bathroom items.

  • Ann Worley

    I had seen on TV that the need for a sterilizer is unneccesary. So while I was reading this article I couldn’t understand why they were saying it was needed; then I get to the end and see in the list of ways to keep a toothbrush clean is to rinse and airdry…isn’t that what we have been doing all along? Seems odd to buy a sanitizer or sterilizer if it doesn’t do a better job than the everyday practice of rinsing and drying.


  • ruth

    I needed a way to disenfect 5 toothbrushes right away (no one owned up to who had used them) that were practically new. So I was glad when I saw the list at the bottom of the article. I just used three of the methods listed (so I could say they were reaally sterilized!) and I didn’t have to go out to buy anything. Would be nifty if I did have the gadgets or pills, but thanks for listing those other at-home methods.

  • Jon

    Not a free thinker, are you? You couldn’t understand why your TV conflicted with this website? That’s called a difference in opinion, or more likely, profit motive. The modern life must be difficult for you.

    Show me proof that rinsing and drying is as effective, or effective at all, at sanitizing. Oh wait, it said it on this page, so it must be true!

  • jill

    @ jon: no need to be condescending. Free thinking has nothing to do with it, critical thinking does.

  • Jon

    Aren’t free thinking and critical thinking the same thing? One just has more of a religious connotation to it.