Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may earn a small commission for qualifying purchases.

Last Updated on August 1, 2022

How to Clean the Electric Oral B Toothbrush? – Ultimate Guide for First-Time Users

oral b electric toothbrush

Scientific studies have proven that electric toothbrushes are far more effective at removing germs and bacteria than their manual counterparts. However, they can only be effective if they’re properly cleaned after each use. This may seem like a no-brainer, but there’s more to cleaning an electric toothbrush than one may think.

With Oral B electric toothbrushes, in particular, you need to remove the brush head from the handle before doing any thorough cleaning. While warm water and toothpaste are harmless to the electric brush during brushing, excess use could cause issues with any electrical components of the brush.

In this article, we’ll cover exactly how to clean an electric Oral B toothbrush. We’re also going to give you some great tips on proper electric toothbrush maintenance to increase the longevity of your toothbrush.

How to Clean Your Oral B Electric Toothbrush? 

All models of Oral B electric toothbrushes have detachable heads that must be removed before doing a thorough clean. Beyond that, it’s relatively easy to properly clean the brush. With that said, it’s vital that you follow each step carefully to ensure all bacteria and germs are removed from the brush.

Improperly cleaning your brush, or refraining from cleaning it at all, will not only result in bacteria and gunk build-up, but it can damage the toothbrush too. To clean the Oral B electric toothbrush properly,

follow these steps:

  1. Disconnect the toothbrush head.
  2. Clean and sanitize the brush head.
  3. Clean and wipe down the handle.
  4. Store the brush properly.

1. Disconnect the Toothbrush Head

Oral B electric brush heads are simple to remove and replace. To disconnect the brush head for cleaning, you should be able to gently pull it off. The brush head connects to the base with a metal piece that sticks out of the base.

While cleaning your brush head, it’s important to remember to let the brush head dry completely before putting the toothbrush back together. After the brush head is dry, you can slide the brush head back onto the base. You’ll know when it’s on all the way if you hear both pieces “click” into place.

When the Brush Head Won’t Come Off…

There may be instances when your brush head won’t come off. This inconvenience is likely due to the build-up of toothpaste inside of the crevice. When toothpaste dries in this area, it solidifies and acts a little bit like paste in sealing the area.

If your Oral B brush head is stuck on the handle, it’s recommended to run the top section of the toothbrush under warm water for ten seconds. Give it a good pull and it should dislodge and come apart.

2. Clean and Sanitize the Brush Head

Once you’ve removed the brush head from its base, you’re ready to give the brush head a thorough clean. To do this, there are two different methods you can choose from. The first of these methods is using a solution of bleach and water. For this method, mix one-part bleach into ten-parts water and soak the brush head for one hour.

The cup should be full enough to submerge the entire brush head. While the bleach works to disinfect the brush head and eradicate germs and bacteria, it’s also very strong despite the water content. Because of that, it’s best to take it out immediately when the hour is up.

If you don’t want to use bleach to clean the brush head, you can also use an antibacterial mouthwash for the same job. Once your timer goes off, rinse the brush head until you no longer smell bleach (or mouthwash). Because bleach isn’t safe to ingest, it’s vital you rinse the toothbrush very thoroughly to get rid of any bleach residue.

Use a clean towel to pat the brush head dry and let it sit until the bristles dry thoroughly. This part is important to prevent any gunk from forming inside of the handle due to wetness.

3. Clean and Sanitize the Brush Head

Once you’ve removed the brush head from its base, you’re ready to give the brush head a thorough clean. To do this, there are two different methods you can choose from. The first of these methods is using a solution of bleach and water. For this method, mix one-part bleach into ten-parts water and soak the brush head for one hour.

The cup should be full enough to submerge the entire brush head. While the bleach works to disinfect the brush head and eradicate germs and bacteria, it’s also very strong despite the water content. Because of that, it’s best to take it out immediately when the hour is up.

If you don’t want to use bleach to clean the brush head, you can also use an antibacterial mouthwash for the same job. Once your timer goes off, rinse the brush head until you no longer smell bleach (or mouthwash). Because bleach isn’t safe to ingest, it’s vital you rinse the toothbrush very thoroughly to get rid of any bleach residue.

Use a clean towel to pat the brush head dry and let it sit until the bristles dry thoroughly. This part is important to prevent any gunk from forming inside of the handle due to wetness.

4. Clean and Wipe Down the Handle

While cleaning the brush head is certainly the most important part, the handle and base shouldn’t go ignored during the cleaning process. No matter how often we wash our hands, they’re still a breeding ground for different germs and bacteria. Those germs can jump onto the handle of your toothbrush, so it’s best to clean the handle and base whenever you clean the brush head.

Before cleaning the handle or base, make sure it isn’t plugged into anything. Then, you should dip a clean washcloth or a cotton pad into a 10:1 water/bleach solution, just like with the brush head. With that said, you can’t submerge the handle in the solution like the brush head because it will damage the electrical components inside.

With the damp cloth, wipe down the handle and base. It’s best to focus mainly on areas where you notice mold or gunk from water build-up. This will ensure no more mold can grow and the area will be sanitized.

It’s also important to thoroughly clean the metal rod as that can be the source of unpleasant smells coming from your toothbrush. With the bleach mixture, use your cloth to wipe the metal rod. If you can’t reach certain parts, you should use a cotton swab to reach those. Hard to reach areas are generally where mold thrives, so it’s best not to skip over this step.

The base of your toothbrush can be wiped down with the water/bleach mixture too, but take care not to go near the charging cord. It’s best to wipe down the base any time you notice wetness to prevent mold and mildew.

Wipe the handle and base dry and let it sit until the brush head is ready to be reattached.

5. Store the Brush Properly

After everything has dried completely, you can reassemble the brush and store it for your next use. Take care to store the brush properly to avoid cross-contamination from other areas in the bathroom. If multiple toothbrushes are too close together, the bacteria from someone else’s brush can easily jump to yours.

On top of that, storing your toothbrush too close to the toilet turns your brush head into a breeding ground for all kinds of harmful bacteria. Any time you flush the toilet, fecal matter is released into the air. If your toothbrush is within a few feet from your toilet, it’s all but guaranteed to catch some of those particles filled with bacteria.

Storing your toothbrush in a medicine cabinet with the door closed is ideal, but we know not all bathrooms have one. If you don’t have access to a medicine cabinet, simply store the toothbrush as far away from the toilet as possible.

Proper Electric Toothbrush Maintenance

Beyond a regular thorough cleaning, performing regular electric toothbrush maintenance will ensure bacteria won’t build up and keep your toothbrush in good shape until it’s time to replace the head after a few months.

Thankfully, regular maintenance is pretty mindless and mostly self-explanatory. By rinsing the brush head with warm water before and after each use, only storing the brush in clean areas, and knowing when it’s time to replace the brush, your brush is sure to last as long as possible.

Rinse Before and After Each Use

You don’t need to disassemble the toothbrush every time. However, you should rinse the brush head and handle with warm water before and after each use. This will wash away any leftover toothpaste that can cause gunky build-up on the brush head.

Rinsing each time can also help prevent mold and mildew as it keeps the surface clean and smooth. Keep in mind, though, a thorough clean is still needed every few weeks because water will inevitably work its way inside of the brush head.

Use the Brush Correctly

Brushing your teeth correctly is important for your dental health. It’s equally as important for the integrity of your electric toothbrush. When using the brush, don’t push too hard on your teeth or else the bristles can fray and wear out far quicker than usual.

Only Store in Clean Covers and Holders

The bacteria on your toothbrush will inevitably travel to any covers or holders you also use alongside the brush. For that reason, it’s important to ensure your covers and holders are clean to keep excess bacteria at bay.

It’s generally recommended to clean covers and holders every two weeks. If you choose to cover the electric toothbrush after each use, make sure the entire toothbrush is dry before covering. If the toothbrush is still wet and it sits in a dark, enclosed space, the area becomes a breeding ground for mold, mildew, and potentially harmful germs.

Replace When Needed

Along with regular maintenance, it’s important to know when it’s time to replace the brush head. Generally, toothbrushes should be replaced every 3-4 months regardless of electric or manual usage. With that said, it’s easy to lose track of time so watching out for physical signs of replacement needs is more feasible.

Here’s what to watch out for when determining if it’s time to switch out your electric toothbrush head:

  • The bristles are flat or frayed. In order to properly clean your teeth and gums, your brush bristles should stand straight. If they’re frayed or bent, the bristles aren’t stiff enough to effectively remove bacteria from your mouth.
  • You or someone you live with is/was sick. Replacing your brush head after you get over sickness is essential in ensuring you won’t get sick all over again. The germs from your mouth, while you were sick, can lodge into the toothbrush, so it’s best to just replace it after you’re better. If someone else was sick in your house, it’s possible their germs transferred to your brush through the air.
  • Someone else used your brush. Whether on purpose or by accident, you should never use your toothbrush after someone else has used it. Each person’s microbiome is unique to their body, so it’s virtually impossible to effectively clean your toothbrush after the fact.

The Importance of Cleaning Your Electric Toothbrush

Our toothbrushes are what we use to ensure our dental hygiene is good. We rely on good brush habits to maintain good dental health. As our brushes tackle the germs and bacteria in our mouths, they also accumulate those same germs.

If your toothbrush isn’t properly cleaned and disinfected, those germs can spread throughout your toothbrush and you risk transferring the bacteria back into your body. To prevent this from happening, it’s generally recommended to clean your electric toothbrush at least once per month. Beyond that, you should replace your electric brush head once every three months, possibly earlier.

Cleaning your electric toothbrush is increasingly important as it maximizes the lifespan of your brush. These types of toothbrushes are more expensive than their manual counterparts. Because of that, it makes both health and economic sense to properly care for your electric toothbrush.

Parting Thoughts

While there are more steps to cleaning an electric toothbrush, it’s just as simple as cleaning a manual brush. Oral B electric toothbrushes have an easy “clicking” design that makes taking it apart to clean a stress-free process.

As long as you remember to clean each part thoroughly and let it dry completely before reassembling, your Oral B electric toothbrush is sure to last until it’s time for a periodic head replacement.

We hope this article helps you the next time you need to clean your electric toothbrush!

Rate this post