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Toilet cleaner? 5 surprising household uses for mouthwash

Your favorite mouth freshener is mighty impressive. Long before alcohol-based, sugar-free formulas like Listerine kept garglers kissable, they were disinfecting wounds and treating all sort of health-related problems. And they still can, and more. Here’s what mouthwash can do for you.

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See the most surprising uses for mouthwash (and freshen your washing machine!)

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See the most surprising uses for mouthwash (and freshen your washing machine!)

Play Video - 0:49

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1. Clean your toilet

Dirty, dingy bowl? No problem. Several cleaning experts recommend pouring a quarter cup of mouthwash into your toilet and letting it sit for at least 30 minutes. Swish and scrub for a bit and voila — a shiny, happy toilet.

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2. Kill laundry odor

If dirty socks and other clothing remain stubbornly smelly in spite of good laundering, the problem may be bacteria and fungi (which are both shockingly resilient). A cup of mouthwash added to the regular wash cycle should be enough to show those odors who’s boss.

3. Freshen garbage disposals

The same ingredients that destroy morning breath, also freshen foul garbage disposals. Pour four ounces of minty mouthwash down the drain and let it run until you feel like the smell is gone. Rinse and repeat as necessary.

4. Keep humidifiers humming

Moist humidifiers breed mold, mildew and bacteria — especially when stagnant or infrequently cleaned. To keep things fresh — including the air you breathe — add a few spoonfuls of mouthwash to the water

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5. Clean your screens

Streaks and smudges are no match for alcohol-based mouthwashes on computer, television and other screens made of glass (not LCDs, the alcohol will ruin liquid crystal displays). Dampen a cloth with a bit of mouthwash, and then dry with something soft and non-abrasive like microfiber. Specialty cleaners and wipes are best, but it’s a fine cheap cheat if you’re out.

This was originally published on Aug. 14, 2015.

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