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Care Tips for your Electric Toothbrush

We often get asked about the best way to look after an electric toothbrush, how to maximise the life of its new battery, how to store it correctly and what heads to use so we’ve laid out some hints and tips below. Feel free to add any you’ve thought of!


After you’ve brushed your teeth with your electric toothbrush, remove the head and rinse both the head and the exposed shaft of the toothbrush under running water. Dry the head and the toothbrush handle on a towel.

Store your toothbrush handle lying horizontally on its back to stop water seeping down the shaft and past the seals into the inner workings of your toothbrush.

Store the head somewhere dry where it’s not sitting in a pool of water. This will minimise the growth of mould or bacteria.

Battery Life

To maximise the lifespan of the rechargeable battery inside your toothbrush there are a few habits that will delay replacing the battery.

Wait until the battery is run down before recharging it. Your toothbrush might have an ’empty’ indicator or you might just notice that the motor is slowing down significantly.

Charge the toothbrush until it indicates the battery is full, or for 24 hours, whichever comes first. Don’t exceed the 24 hours because overcharging Ni-MH batteries can shorten their lifespan.

Don’t store the toothbrush on its charger between uses, as repeated top-ups can shorten the battery’s life.

Unplug your charger when it’s not in use to save a little electricity and maximise its operational life.

17 thoughts on “Care Tips for your Electric Toothbrush

  1. I can not get the toothbrush head off. Help!

    1. It should just pull straight off if it’s an Oral-B or modern Sonicare. Try standing it head-first in water up to just beyond the joint between head and toothbrush body.

  2. Is it ok to let batteries go completely dead. We sometimes leave home for 4 months.

    1. Yes you can leave your electric toothbrush unused for an extended period. The battery will slowly self-discharge over many months but this is not a problem. Just give it a full charge before use and it will run correctly.

  3. How do I remove some rust/dirt due to very minor leak over 5 years, accumulated in the gear and offset axis transmitting the movement to the head in an Oral b Pro 5000? Spray it with WD40? Contact cleaner? Some other agent?

    1. To clean the gears wipe off as much of the old grease as you can with a cloth or cotton-buds. The re-apply some white lithium grease or silicone grease.

  4. great advice!

  5. Excellent ideas. These should extend my toothbrush life.

  6. My Braun toothbrush 3766 just started up on its own in the middle of the night! I had difficulty turning it off and it kept turning itself on again. It only stopped doing this when l put it on the charger. It was charged and working properly before this happened.

    1. This behaviour can be caused by water ingress. You can use the relevant toothbrush repair guide for your brush to help you open up the casing. Then leave it to dry out somewhere warm for 24 hours before reassembling the brush. It should then stop switching itself on.

  7. The shaft seal in my Sonicare HX6250 needs replacing but I don’t see how to get the pieces apart – do I just pry/wrench on the conical grey fitting over it until it comes off or is there a proper way to remove it?

    1. You can use our HX6250 repair guide to help you open up the toothbrush handle. Once the innards have been at least slightly slid out of the casing you can unclip/pull off the solid grey seal cover and then slide the flexible seal off the metal shaft.

  8. How much does it cost to recharge an electric toothbrush?

    1. Interesting question Chris! Batteries in toothbrushes hold around 3Wh of charge. Converted from Watt-hours to Kilowatt-hours this is 0.003kWh of electricity. Multiply the price you pay per unit of electricity by 0.003 and you’ll get your answer, which is likely to be a fraction of a penny or cent.

  9. I’m desperate to use my Braun Oral-B toothbrush which has served me well in the past.
    Model No. 3744. With great difficulty managed to separate the base from the main share, put in new batteries, cleaned away all old toothpaste from join but cannot get the base back on despite applying great pressure. Help please.

    1. Hi Lecky, if you lubricate the inside of the handle with vaseline/petroleum jelly, then heat the base cap up in some very hot water then quickly dry it off you might find it all fits back together more easily.

  10. I think the tips on battery life to apply to NiMH batteries, but not lithium ion batteries. Can you update them? Thanks!

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