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Man Crafts: hooked toothbrush

20 August 2012 7,743 views 6 Comments

by mikeasaurus

I like brushing my teeth in the shower but don't like how the toothbrush always slips through my shower caddy and onto the floor, I also sometimes forget where I leave my toothbrush when I move it between the shower and the sink. I wanted a way to leave my toothbrush in the shower, not fall onto the bottom of the tub, and keep it within easy reach. The solution was simple, a hanging toothbrush that can be hooked onto the shower head, the shower curtain rod...just about anywhere!

I created a hooked handle for my toothbrush by heating a polypropylene toothbrush over an electric stove and bending it around a bottle neck. Making your own hooked toothbrush is easy!

Ready to make your own? Here's what you need:

tools:

  • thick (leather) work gloves
  • electric range / heating element
  • large bowl of ice water
materials:

  • Polypropylene toothbrush [NOT Styrene Acrylonitrile]
  • mandrel or other solid cylindrical object

Total: $1.00 for 5 toothbrushes


The process is easy:

  1. Turn heating element on high
  2. Prepare an ice bath using a large bowl filled 2/3 with water and fill with ice cubes, set aside
  3. Put on thick work gloves to protect your hands from the heat
  4. when element is hot, slowly rotate toothbrush handle over element.  DO NOT TOUCH TOOTHBRUSH TO ELEMENT
  5. After about 20 seconds the toothbrush handle will become soft and pliable
  6. Wrap handle around mandrel to create desired hook shape, hold in place for 10 seconds
  7. Submerge hooked handle into ice bath and let sit for another 10 seconds
  8. Repeat steps 4-7 to refine the curve if required

 

 


Good to know - Types of plastic:

Heat-bending plastic to make a new shape isn't very complicated, however the type of plastic toothbrush you use is important. There are many types of plastic which everyday things are made from, polypropylene (PP) and styrene acrylonitrile (SAN) are the two most commonly used plastics for making toothbrushes. One of these types works with this method of bending, the other doesn't. Here's a comparison:

Polypropylene (PP) toothbrush

  • Usually coloured (or clear colour)
  • More rigid
  • moulded as a single unit


Styrene Acrylonitrile (SAN) toothbrush

  • Usually white
  • more flexible
  • usually moulded with a TPE grip


The polypropylene ones work, while the styrene acrylonitrile toothbrushes melt and go all weird.


The hooked toothbrush works well and is really fun to use. A minor complaint would be that the handle is a little short, allowing only 2-3 of my fingers to grip the handle. This isn't a big deal as it's not uncomfortable and you don't really need to have all four fingers on your toothbrush anyway.
I also experimented with stretching out the toothbrush handle while the plastic was hot and pliable however found the handle proved uncooperative, snapping back to it's original shape before I could manage it around the bottle neck or would break from the stretching. After a few attempts it was clear that producing consistent, elongated, hooked handles was something that I couldn't replicate effectively.

Good luck!


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6 Comments »

  • Stephanie @ Henry Happened said:

    haha, cool idea! bending toothbrushes would be great for a number of projects.

  • kim said:

    would be great for kids!!

  • Karen said:

    This looks more like a job for sugru (http://sugru.com/). That way (1) you could use any toothbrush you like, and (2) you wouldn’t have to shorten the handle in the process. Granted, the sugru option is more expensive

  • Sherry said:

    Sorry, but considering the mildew that can grow quickly in a shower stall, nothing going into MY mouth is going to be stored there. I would ideally like my toothbrush hit by nice UV sun rays for a while every day, but at least it needs to be in a place where it fully dries out before I use it again, so the bacteria have a hard time surviving! Good luck to you, though!

  • 100 Handmade Gift Tutorials - SlapDashMom.com said:

    [...] Funky Apothecary Jar from Dream a Little Bigger 74. Fabric Scrap Dog Toy from Sew It Love It 75. Hooked Toothbrushes from Dollar Store [...]

  • Charles Johnson said:

    I brush my teeth in the shower too, and I always wanted a toothbrush like the grandkids have – one with a suction cup in the handle.

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