It Won’t Fit! How to Fit Toothbrushes in Toothbrush Holders

Toothbrush holders built into your bathroom seem like a convenient addition, since your toothbrushes are always in reach but out of danger of falling or getting dirty. However, the older your bathroom is and the newer your toothbrush is, the more likely you are to find that your new toothbrushes won’t fit. Many newer toothbrushes have larger handles than in past decades, and your home may be several decades old and built for smaller toothbrushes. There are a number of solutions to this problem.

Update the Vanity

Redesign the bathroom vanity if you love the convenience of built-in holders. Modern designers create vanities — including “antique” style designs from the last few years — with the awareness that toothbrush handles have become increasingly large. Thus, the built-in slots for toothbrushes are larger than they were in decades past.

Look at the redesign as an opportunity to build the bathroom of your dreams, starting with the vanity. Use the opportunity to completely update the bathroom or simply swap in a vanity set of similar size and shape in the existing spot.

Buy Smaller Toothbrushes

If entirely changing the vanity is out of the budget but you love built-in holders, become a savvy shopper. Not every toothbrush on the market is too large for the older holders. Look at the handles of the toothbrushes you encounter before buying them. Measure the diameter of the holes and the diameter of the handles in the store if you can’t accurately eyeball the size. If you get a large-handled toothbrush from your dentist or some other source, don’t open it. Instead, exchange it with a friend or family member for an unopened smaller-handled model.

Buy Bigger Holders

If you’re willing to give up on the built-in holders in the wall and your budget won’t accommodate a new, more modern vanity, buy a cup toothbrush holder. You’d be surprised at the variety of designs available, from sleek and modern chrome cups to gorgeous glass to antique copper varieties. Look at the measurements for the holes and opt for the larger-holed variety.

Most of these holders allow you to remove the cover with the holes in order to clean the cup. If the holes are too small but you like the design, keep the cover off and drop the toothbrushes directly into the cup’s opening.

Make Your Own Holder

You don’t even have to buy a cup toothbrush holder if you can’t find a design appealing to you, even though it shouldn’t be a budget issue because they’re one of the most affordable bathroom accessories. If you’re a fan of do-it-yourself projects, make your own toothbrush holder by doing the following:

  • Choose an old, large plastic cup from your cupboard you no longer    want to use or buy a cup specifically for this purpose. Preferably,  choose a clear one, unless you like the cup’s existing design.
  • Clean and dry the cup thoroughly.
  • Flip the cup over and draw two to three circles on the bottom that will  fit the desired toothbrush. Trace the bottom of a toothbrush handle if  necessary, but add a little wiggle room, especially if it looks like the  handle gets bigger nearer the top. Use a compass if you want a  perfect circle.
  • Use a hobby knife to cut the circles out of the bottom of the cup. Be careful not to cut yourself. 
  • Paint the cup with a design that matches your bathroom décor. Make  sure the paint is intended for plastic surfaces.
  • Let the paint dry for one to two days.
  • Use your handmade toothbrush holder. Every few days, pick it up and  clean the counter beneath it. The water from the toothbrush will  dribble down.

Having toothbrushes too big for your toothbrush holders seems like a silly problem, but it is a daily inconvenience, as The New York Times reports. It’s a shame to have the holders built right into your vanity and not take advantage of them, but you do have a number of options for dealing with the problem. Whether you have the budget to redesign the bathroom or you opt for a DIY project, choose whatever works best for you.


About the Author: Wilfred Hewlett is a contributing writer, carpenter and DIY blogger. When not writing about DIY projects around the home, he’s transforming his clients’ homes into more convenient and beautiful places.