What Is a Toothbrush Cleaner?

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  • Written By: Andrew Kirmayer
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 08 September 2019
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Toothbrushes are generally used to clean the teeth and mouth. In the process, they often become filled with bacteria and other germs, which can multiply over time. A toothbrush cleaner can be used to get rid of harmful microorganisms before they are reintroduced into the human body. Relatively simple devices often have chemical vapor or steam to kill bacteria, while more complicated versions incorporate an ultraviolet (UV) light source to eradicate microscopic organisms. There are various types of toothbrush cleaners, and they can help prevent the spread of colds, flu, and other diseases.

A toothbrush cleaner can consist of a holding system with an ultraviolet light, something hospitals and dental officers often use to sterilize instruments. Cleaning systems for toothbrushes can work in a few minutes to kill bacteria, viruses, as well as mold. These potentially dangerous things often build up in bathrooms because the environment is warm and moist. A toothbrush sanitizer can be about the same size as a holder to fit on a typical bathroom counter, or mount to the wall. Battery operated and electrical versions are sometimes available, and some units have a bottom that won’t slip off of a wet counter top.


Some UV toothbrush cleaners can last for thousands of hours and hold the brushes even while turned off. These often hold multiple toothbrushes as well, so an entire family can make use of a single device. Smaller variations can include a chemical vapor that kills microorganisms. Chemical residue, sometimes left behind in such a toothbrush cleaner, can cause health problems if it gets in the mouth. There are also cleaners that use steam or heat, which can be effective in killing germs and are generally safer to use.

Many toothbrush cleaner models can sanitize one brush, and some versions are big enough to hold a few of them. A few types are built to stay in place, but there are some travel kits which use UV light, despite being smaller than the full sized versions. These can clean toothbrushes in a few minutes when people stay at a hotel or travel on an airplane, for example.

Toothbrush cleaners for children are often available as separate varieties. They can take the form of popular cartoon characters, pirates, and monsters, but accomplish the same cleaning task. If used properly, a toothbrush cleaner can eliminate germs from within the toothbrush bristles, and often prevents flu, colds, in addition to diseases of the gums and mouth.


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