How do I dispose of the toothbrush?
This is a fantastic question! Our toothbrush handles, being bamboo, are entirely compostable – and you can just bury it in the garden, or even use it to prop up plants or demarcate certain herbs in your veggie garden… get creative! We ask that you please remove the bristles before doing this though – just take any pair of pliers and yank them out. It’s easy and actually pretty satisfying! As is discussed below, toothbrush bristles can unfortunately not be compostable at the time of writing. So once the handle rots away, if the bristles aren’t removed they’ll be little pieces of plastic polluting the earth. Just pop them in your eco-brick once you’ve removed them.
What are your toothbrush bristles made from?
This is a common question, and a good one. It’s great to ensure that what you’re buying is actually helping the environment.
Our toothbrush bristles are made from Nylon-6. This means that they are BPA-free, but not biodegradable. Unfortunately, truly compostable and hygienic toothbrush bristles do not exist. There is a plastic called Nylon-4 that can be used for bristles, which does biodegrade under specific conditions, but it is rare and not readily available. The only option that is compostable is pig hair bristles, but these are not hygienic at all since they harbor bacteria, and don’t last nearly as long.
We recommend removing the bristles after the toothbrush gets old, and eco-bricking them. When you think about it, compostable and hygienic bristles are impossible – bristles need to be anti-bacterial to prevent them from decomposing during the life of the toothbrush. If they were compostable, what’s to stop the bristles from decomposing while the toothbrush is in use? Considering the immense amount of bacteria and germs in the mouth, if there’s one thing you’d want to be non-compostable, it’s your toothbrush.
How long do bamboo toothbrushes last?
Our bamboo toothbrushes last just as long as an ordinary plastic toothbrush. Dentists recommend that toothbrushes be used for 3 months before replacement, but our toothbrushes usually last considerably longer. There’s really no need to replace a perfectly good toothbrush unless the bristles have frayed – that’s just marketing talk.
How should I store a bamboo toothbrush?
Just store it in a cup or toothbrush stand, as with a plastic toothbrush. As long as the toothbrush isn’t standing in water, it’ll be fine. Obviously, the toothbrush can’t remain wet constantly – it’s not good for the wood. Under normal conditions, the toothbrush just works as you’d expect.
Won’t I get splinters in my mouth from the wood?
No, not at all! Our handles are smooth and splinter-free. We’ve never had a report of a splinter from a customer before.
Where are your bamboo toothbrushes manufactured?
To our knowledge, there is only a single bamboo farm in South Africa, with a single bamboo species indigenous to SA: “giant bamboo”, or Bambusa balcooa. China and India have the largest bamboo forests in the world, by far. It simply makes more sense to produce it there, so that’s where our toothbrushes are manufactured. We ensure that the bamboo we use is sustainably grown, and our toothbrushes are FSC-certified to confirm sustainability.