True to their name, toothpicks were originally used to clean the food and gunk out of people’s teeth. Charles Forster came up with the idea after he saw South American natives cleaning their teeth with small strips of wood. He returned to America and started making toothpicks by hand. By 1860, his toothpick production was performed by machines. Other than cleaning your teeth, there are other things toothpicks are good for. Read this interesting article and find out ten unusual uses for wooden toothpicks you may not have thought of!
1. Tiny Paint Stirrers
Anytime you need to stir a small container of paint, grab a wooden toothpick for the job! They’re cheap to buy, disposable, and they’re thin enough to fit into little containers, such as the kind you get when you buy a paint-by-numbers set.
Speaking of paint-by-numbers, wooden toothpicks work great to apply paint to those teeny, tiny areas.
2. Clean Dirt and Grease From Under Your Nails
Another unusual use for wooden toothpicks is to effectively clean dirt, grease and other debris from underneath your finger and toe nails. Just be careful not to push the toothpick in too far, or it will hurt!
3. Reach Reset Buttons on Electronics
I think electronics manufacturers are in cahoots with toothpick manufacturers. The holes you need to reach into to reset a clock, video game, et cetera, is usually no bigger than the point of an ink pen. How are you supposed to reach inside that? Use a wooden toothpick!
4. Apply Dabs of Glue
Anytime I need to glue something small like a broken piece on a figurine, for example, I use a wooden toothpick to apply the adhesive. The tiny end is perfect for placing dabs of glue on a piece without applying too much.
5. Doll House Accessories
Another unusual use for wooden toothpicks is to use them inside a doll house. Toothpicks make dandy accessories like miniature curtain rods, bed frames and picture frames. You can easily trim them to size with an Exacto knife and paint them whatever color you may choose.
6. Clean Out Phone Receiver Holes
You can wipe and wipe and wipe a phone receiver with a damp cloth to try and get it clean. But, you can’t reach inside those small holes with a cloth. But, you can easily clean the goop out with a wooden toothpick!
7. Write On Cake Frosting
This is one of my favorite unusual uses for wooden toothpicks. Whenever you’re getting ready to decorate a cake by adding letters/numbers/symbols/pictures/whatever, take a toothpick and write or draw on the cake frosting. Then, check it out for looks and accuracy. Once you’re satisfied with your “outlines”, go back over them with frosting or decorating gel.
8. Stuff Very Small Animals
Have you ever sewn together very small animals? The sewing can be tedious enough. Then, when it comes to stuffing the batting in, well… that can be nerve wrecking. Another unusual use for wooden toothpicks is to poke the stuffing inside by using one. A toothpick helps you reach into the smallest parts with ease.
9. Temporarily Fix Eyeglasses
I’ve worn eyeglasses for a long time now. They don’t get broken as often as they did when I was a kid, but, still, things happen. Like the screws coming out of the temples so they become unattached from the frame front, for example. Until you can get to the eye doctor, align the screw holes of the pieces together. Then, carefully stick the tip of a toothpick down as far as possible into the holes. Break the rest of the toothpick off and you have a temporarily fix for your eyeglasses.
10. Build A Toothpick Holder
And finally, the tenth unusual use for wooden toothpicks is to make your own toothpick holder. This can a great craft project for the kids to keep them occupied on a rainy day. The easiest way to do this is to start out with a square of Styrofoam, about two inches wide. Glue toothpicks vertically along all four sides. Then, glue two tooth picks horizontally across each side- trim as needed. After the glue dries, the kids can decorate the toothpick holder as they choose by gluing on small flowers, ribbons, et cetera.