Cleaning in Tight Spaces

I love TBG readers!!  Thanks to Karen Bowen, I have the ideal cleaning tool for a bunch of tiny crevices.  And free, too!

Okay, so using an old toothbrush for cleaning isn’t anything new.  But have you ever wished that you could bend or twist the head in relation to the handle so that you had better leverage or weren’t scraping your knuckles — or just to reach something?  I know I have.

How do you get gunk out of various nooks and crannies in the galley, around fiddles and other tight spaces? Make your own perfect tool out of an old toothbrush!It’s so easy to do that I’m ashamed I never thought of it.  Just hold the toothbrush handle over a flame (I used a long-handled lighter; Karen says she uses a candle) for about 5 seconds until the handle is slightly soft, then twist away.  Either hold the bend in place until it cools or run a bit of cool water over it.

In the photo of my bent toothbrush, you might notice that it got a little funny looking at the bend.  Some would say burnt.  Yeah, I held it too close to the flame and actually caught it on fire.  A quick blow and it went out, but it’s a good idea to do this over the sink just in case.

Karen says that she has created two sets with a variety of angles to reach all sorts of different places.  And the reason for two sets?  The ones she had for the galley kept disappearing into the tool box!

Reading online for some craft projects (did you know that you could make a bracelet out of a toothbrush??  brush and all??!!), it seems that you can also soften the entire toothbrush by boiling it for 5 to 10 minutes.  This could be helpful for more complex twists and bends, but be sure to use pliers to handle it when it’s hot.  I also learned that it’s usually easier to bend cheap toothbrushes.

Okay, I still don’t love cleaning.  I’d rather be out snorkeling or hiking.  But with this and my bottle of Krud Kutter (read about it here — another great tip from a reader), cleaning doesn’t take me nearly as long as it used to.  And I do like living in a clean place.

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