Man Crafts: hooked toothbrush
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:
Total: $1.00 for 5 toothbrushes
The process is easy:
- Turn heating element on high
- Prepare an ice bath using a large bowl filled 2/3 with water and fill with ice cubes, set aside
- Put on thick work gloves to protect your hands from the heat
- when element is hot, slowly rotate toothbrush handle over element. DO NOT TOUCH TOOTHBRUSH TO ELEMENT
- After about 20 seconds the toothbrush handle will become soft and pliable
- Wrap handle around mandrel to create desired hook shape, hold in place for 10 seconds
- Submerge hooked handle into ice bath and let sit for another 10 seconds
- 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
||Styrene Acrylonitrile (SAN) toothbrush
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.
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