Yes, you can compost your bamboo toothbrush. Once the bristles have been removed, you can add the handle to your home composter or bury it in your garden soil. If you are without a composter or garden, you can put the handle in your regular bin, but we would not recommend as this will take much longer to biodegrade.
How to Remove Bristles From Bamboo Toothbrush
To remove the bristles from your bamboo toothbrush, use a pair of pliers to pull the bristles out. We'd recommend that you pull a small selection of bristles at a time. It usually works best to pull a cluster that are in the same hole.
If you are without pliers, you can snap the head of the toothbrush off. Just grab the toothbrush head with one hand, and bend the handle in the other direction.
Once removed, the bristles can go in your plastic recycling bin as these are made from nylon.
How Long Do Bamboo Toothbrushes Take To Decompose?
Bamboo toothbrushes can take as little as 3 to 6 months to decompose. However, this number is dependent on a number of factors, like atmosphere, temperature, the humidity of soil and the type of composter it is in.
A bamboo toothbrush in an industrial composter will biodegrade the fastest (in a number of weeks), but one buried in your garden soil can take up to 3 years.
This is still a huge improvement from plastic toothbrushes, which can take over 500 years to decompose — contributing to harmful plastic pollution.
To speed up the process, experts recommend that you chop or shred the bamboo handle into smaller pieces to accelerate the decomposition process.
Benefits of Composting Your Bamboo Toothbrush
Other than the environmental benefits, there are some other, hidden benefits to composting your brush.
- If you plan to use your compost for fertilizer, bamboo has large levels of silica, which facilitates photosynthesis and chlorophyll composition in plants, as well as improves plant growth.
- Silica also helps strengthen cell walls, which protects plants against environmental stresses and fungal diseases.
Alternatives to Composting Your Bamboo Toothbrush
Before you compost your brush, consider if you can get more use out of it. You can reuse and recycle your bamboo toothbrush for a range of tasks around the house and garden.
- Clean hard to reach spots, like in between tiles.
- Clean mud from the small spaces in your shoes.
- Remove crumbs from keyboards, and other hard to reach areas.
- Remove dust from vents and electrical components, like your hairdryer.
- Use for arts and crafts projects.
- Make garden plant pot markers.
You should replace your bamboo toothbrush every 2-3 months, making sure you clean and care for it between uses.
Looking For Other Eco Dental Alternatives?
Toothpaste tablets are an effective alternative to traditional toothpaste in a tube. You pop it in your mouth, chew, brush and spit like normal.
Like bamboo toothbrushes, toothpaste tablets clean the teeth and gums as well as traditional toothpaste, but are much better for the environment. They are also easier to transport and resistant to temperature changes.
Brush Fresh Co. is founded and run by a group of UK-based dentists, who specialise in environmentally-friendly and sustainable dental products. From biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes to zero waste toothbrush tablets, our product range has been designed to put both your dental health and the environment first. For more information and dental care advice, head over to our blog page or get in contact with us here.