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How To Clean An Electric Toothbrush Head, Base & Handle

How To Clean Electric Toothbrush

Adding an electric toothbrush to your oral hygiene routine is a great way to ensure that your teeth remain clean, strong and healthy, and allows you to remove more plaque, debris and bacteria than can be achieved with a standard manual toothbrush.

In order to get the best results from your toothbrush, however, it is important to make sure that you keep it clean and hygienic, and there are a number of tricks and techniques that you can use to achieve this. To help, we have put together all you need to know about how to clean your electric toothbrush and keep your mouth fresh and healthy.

Cleaning An Electric Toothbrush

You can clean an electric toothbrush by making sure that you rinse it after each and every use, as well as using an antibacterial mouthwash to act as a sanitizing agent or, for best results, using a UV sanitizer for super squeaky clean results. When you clean your electric toothbrush, you need to ensure that you clean the toothbrush head as well as the base and handle – and we have more information on this below.

1. Electric Toothbrush Head

Electric Toothbrush Head

Cleaning your toothbrush head is an important part of keeping your electric toothbrush hygienic and effective at cleaning your teeth and reducing the presence of bacteria growth or germs.

How To Clean A Toothbrush Head

You can clean a toothbrush head by making sure that you rinse the head well under running water after each use, making sure that all of the bristles and plastic sections are covered in the water. This will remove any loose debris or dirt, and ensure that your head is ready for deeper cleaning.

There are a number of other options to allow you to clean electric toothbrush heads in a more effective and thorough manner, and these include:

  • Baking Soda Or Salt

One of the easiest options for cleaning your toothbrush head is to combine two teaspoons of baking soda or salt with a cup of warm water and soak your brush head for around 15-20 minutes.

  • Mouthwash
Mouthwash For Cleaning

The primary purpose of mouthwash is to eliminate the bacteria in your mouth – and this means that mouthwash can have the same impact on your toothbrush head. Simply add a dash of mouthwash to a small cup, and soak your brush head for around 15 minutes.

  • Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is another popular option that many people use to clean their brush head; use 50% hydrogen peroxide and 50% water, and soak the toothbrush head for 15 minutes.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has long been known for its antibacterial properties, which means that you can also use it to clean your electric toothbrush head. 

Once you have washed the head of your Oral B electric toothbrush, allow it to air dry completely, and repeat this process as required to keep your brush in tip-top condition.

What About Braces? One common question that many users come up with when using an electric toothbrush is: can you use electric toothbrushes with braces? The answer is yes – these types of brushes can be used with braces, and this makes it even more important that you keep your brush clean and hygienic, as keeping your teeth clean with braces can already be a major challenge.

2. Electric Toothbrush Base & Handle

Electric Toothbrushes Base Handle

In addition to your toothbrush head, it is also important that you clean the base and handle of your electric toothbrush regularly – once again, this will reduce the build-up of bacteria and germs that can occur when using an electric toothbrush, and will leave your electric toothbrush sanitary and hygienic.

How To Clean An Electric Toothbrush Base

You should never soak the base or body of your electric toothbrush in water, as this can result in an electric shock or permanent damage to your brush.

  • Bleach Solution

Mix one part bleach with ten parts water, mix well and dip a cloth into the glass. Use this to gently wipe over the surface of the handle and the base, paying particularly close attention to any areas of grime, mold or build-up. Don’t forget to wipe over the metal prong at the top of the brush – this connects the base to the brush head, and can be a real magnet for grime.

It is also a good idea to wipe over the base of the electric brush whenever you notice that it is wet – this will help to remove any mold and prevent build-up.

How To Clean An Electric Toothbrush Handle

You can clean an electric toothbrush handle in much the same way as the method described above; use a bleach and water solution to gently wipe over the surface of the electric brush handle, and then gently dry off any excess with a clean cloth.

Keep It Clean

Now that we have taken a closer look at the best way to clean your electric toothbrush, it is time to consider how to keep your toothbrush clean on a regular basis – and we have the tips you need.

How To Keep An Electric Toothbrush Clean

There are several options to help you clean your electric toothbrush each day, and ensure that your oral health is always taken care of.

• Store In An Upright Position

Upright Brush Position

One of the most important elements of keeping your Oral B electric toothbrush clean is storing it in an upright position when not in use. This helps it to dry more effectively, without laying it on its side or in a stored container, both of which can result in bacteria build-up. Set aside a place on the sink or your counter to stand your toothbrush upright, and make sure it can air dry completely after each use.

• Use A Holder When You Travel

Toothbrush Holder

If you are in a hurry, it can be tempting to simply throw your electric toothbrush into your carry-on bag as it is – but this massively increases the risks of germs and bacteria that can be transferred from your clothing, luggage and general travel straight onto the brush of your toothbrush. To help avoid this, use a cover for the toothbrush bristles, and a larger toothbrush holder or container for the main unit.

Remember to also wash the holders that your toothbrushes are stored in – this includes the cup by the sink where your brush lives on a daily basis, as well as any travel holders or containers.

• Allow Space Between Toothbrushes

If you live in a household with multiple toothbrushes, you should also ensure that there is space between them, particularly between the heads. As we have mentioned, it is important to keep your toothbrush upright, but ensure that the heads have space to breathe – multiple toothbrushes can spread germs to one another, increasing your chance of infection or illness.

• Clean Toothbrushes After Every Use

Regularly Clean Your Brush

Take a moment to consider the job that your brush has to do every day – not only does your toothbrush need to remove debris and dirt from your teeth, but it also needs to remove plaque and build-up. What is plaque? Well, in the simplest terms, plaque refers to a sticky film of bacteria that tends to build up and form on the teeth, producing acids on the teeth after the individual eats or drinks.

Over time, these acids will destroy the enamel of teeth, causing gum disease and inflammation. Keeping your teeth clean and free from plaque is therefore super important, and a key element of this involves keeping your toothbrush clean and hygienic.

Good care and maintenance require consistency, and this includes making sure that your toothbrush is well-rinsed after each and every use. You can achieve this by running the head of the brush under the running water and gently rubbing it with your fingers to remove any excess toothpaste or debris from the bristles. Then, allow the air to dry in a toothbrush holder.

• Disinfect Your Toothbrush

Disinfect Your Brush

In addition to a quick clean after every use, you can also help to clean your electric toothbrush more thoroughly with a regular disinfection process. Options such as UV sanitizers are becoming increasingly popular both in and outside of dental surgeries, with many of these now available for home use. These devices use UV light to remove any unwanted bacteria or microbes from the brush head and can be used once a month to really keep your electric brushes as clean and hygienic as possible.

Always do plenty of research before investing in these types of devices – it can be useful to speak to your dentist to see if they have any recommendations or preferred solutions for sanitization; you can see here our top picks for electric brushes.

Other possibilities for disinfecting your toothbrush include using boiling water to soak the brush and head, or using antibacterial mouthwash – this works to remove germs and bacteria from your teeth, and so can also work well for your toothbrush. Some experts also recommend a hydrogen peroxide solution as a method of disinfecting your toothbrush; to use this method, blend one teaspoon of peroxide with a cup of water, and leave your toothbrush to soak for around 15 minutes. Always take care to rinse your brush before using it again after each soak.

• Change Your Brush Head Regularly

Another important element to help you clean your electric toothbrush is to make sure that you purchase a new brush head regularly. According to experts, you should replace your brush head every three to four months to keep the bristles fresh, and ensure that your brush works as it should.

• Dry It Properly

It is also important that you always dry your toothbrush properly. Allow the brush to air dry, and take a moment to wipe over the base and body of the brush with a dry cloth – this will help to reduce any grime or build-up. Don’t forget to wash and dry the toothbrush holder between uses to eliminate stale water and reduce grime.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can disinfect a toothbrush using a number of different methods, including soaking the brush head and body in antibacterial mouthwash, or in boiling water for a short period of time. Some individuals may also opt for a combination of hydrogen peroxide and water – if this is the case, leave the brush head to soak for around 15 minutes, and then rinse thoroughly before using the toothbrush.

You can sanitize a toothbrush by using a UV sanitizer; these are designed to use UV lights and wavelengths to remove any unwanted germs or bacteria from the surface of the brush, leaving it clean and fresh and ensuring that there is no spread of germs from brush to teeth – this is important for improving overall oral hygiene and health.

You can boil a toothbrush to reduce bacteria, germs and unwanted pathogens from your toothbrush. Simply add your toothbrush to a pan of water, bring it to a rolling boil and boil for around 3-4 minutes. Just be careful when removing your toothbrush from the water, and place it in a bowl of cold water for 1-2 minutes to cool things down.

Many experts advise cleaning an electric toothbrush with hydrogen peroxide as a method of removing germs and bacteria. Use one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide with a cup of water and soak the toothbrush for around 15 minutes. Rinse well under running water to remove any additional hydrogen peroxide, and then use the toothbrush as usual.

You should change your toothbrush head every 3-4 months for best results – this will help to keep your brush working as it should, and ensure that your teeth are getting the best possible care. It also reduces the opportunity for bacteria and germs to build up and potentially cause illness.


Learning how to clean an electric toothbrush is an important responsibility. Not only does correct care help your toothbrush to last for longer – whether you have an Oral B electric toothbrush or a cheaper model – but it will also offer a number of positive overall benefits for your health, your teeth and your overall well-being.