You Never Need To Clean Your Toothbrush. Here's Why

By now, you're probably aware that most of the personal hygiene and grooming products in your bathroom should be cleaned frequently. Not only is the bathroom a breeding ground for germs to grow, but if an item is continuously used to groom any part of your body, chances are that it's collected enough bacteria to make you cringe. It's safe to say there are numerous things in your house that you should be cleaning but aren't.


One item in your bathroom that you've probably never thought about cleaning until now is your toothbrush. Utilized to scrub bacteria and plaque-filled mouths twice a day, you would think the toothbrush is a hygiene item that definitely deserves frequent deep cleaning. In fact, according to The Public Health and Safety Organization, the toothbrush holder is the germiest place in the bathroom — even filthier than the toilet.

With that information in mind, we could see why you would run to your bathroom to clean your toothbrush — but hold off. While it won't hurt to give it a good rinse, you really don't need to clean your toothbrush at all. Here's why.

Storing your toothbrush correctly means no cleaning is needed

Since the bathroom is naturally bacteria-filled, it would be a safe assumption that your toothbrush comes in contact with tons of nasty germs. But if your toothbrush is stored in a clean, dry place, the need for frequent cleaning diminishes. According to Insider, that "quick cursory rinse" you often give your toothbrush before brushing your teeth will do the trick.


In fact, the American Dental Association (ADA) notes in a report that toothbrush cleaners aren't even effective. "There is no clinical evidence that soaking a toothbrush in an antibacterial mouth rinse or using a commercially available toothbrush sanitizer has any positive or negative effect on health." 

What's more, according to the ADA, although germs can grow on toothbrushes, there is no evidence to suggest that said bacteria growth has any negative effect on your health. In fact, that bacteria isn't anything new that the human body isn't already exposed to often. Your immune system can usually fight them off and prevent potential infections from occurring.

How to properly store your toothbrush

Although you don't need to clean your toothbrush, properly storing it is essential. However, there's no need to lose sleep trying to find the perfect place. Dr. Amesh Adalja, board-certified infectious disease and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told SELF, "It is important to remember that [your] toothbrush will never be sterile, [because] whatever environment it is placed in will have microorganisms that will settle upon it."


However, you can take steps to ensure the cleanest brush possible. You may think storing your toothbrush in an airtight environment will keep it safe from bacteria and germs, but think again! Like your medicine cabinet, a dark and moist environment is the perfect place for bacteria to grow on your brush (via Colgate).

So, store your toothbrush upright in a toothbrush holder where it can fully dry after each use. Keep it as far away from the toilet as possible, as well as the sink. This will ensure droplets of bacteria aren't splashing on your toothbrush. Make sure you change your toothbrush every three months. And, of course, wash that toothbrush holder frequently — there's a reason that holder is the filthiest place in the bathroom!