23 Tubes 1 Bowl


Labeled image of the bowl filled with toothpaste showing which is which.

Over the years I’ve ended up with quite a few sample-size tubes of toothpaste. I dislike the strong, lingering flavors of most of these toothpastes, so I normally use Tom’s of Maine (or Trader Joe’s equivalent, but not Tom’s of Finland) plain mint toothpaste. As a result, I had a bunch of old tubes which were past expiration and needing to be thrown out. 23 tubes (and four small sample packs), in fact.

Before throwing them out I decided to squeeze them all into one bowl. Next I stirred it all together, found that a spoon will almost stand up in it, then put some on my toothbrush and brushed my teeth with it.

This multi-sample toothpaste concoction didn’t taste bad, but was overwhelmingly mint backed by a few other unidentifiable herbs. Even after rinsing my mouth a number of times the taste still lingers, but this matches my experience (and complaint) with all of the Colgate, Crest, etc toothpastes I’ve tried in the past.

Now to figure out how to dispose of it. Maybe dumping it in the trash then attempting to wash the bowl…

Here’s an index of the photos taken of the 23 Tubes 1 Bowl ‘experiment’:

· 23 small tubes and four sample packets of toothpaste from companies like Crest and Colgate.
· The 23 tubes of toothpaste and four sample packs squeezed into a bowl, surrounded by the remaining packaging.
· Labeled image of the bowl filled with toothpaste showing which is which.
· The previous image of the bowl filled with 23 tubes (and four sample packets) of toothpaste, without the labels.
· Closer view of the bowl containing 23 tubes (and four sample packets) of toothpaste.
· The bowl of toothpaste was rather difficult to stir and made an interesting swirled pattern before coming together.
· Mostly homogenized, it is almost possible to stand a spoon up in the bowl of toothpaste. It falls over after two or three seconds.
· Top down view of the nicely mixed bowl of toothpaste.
· Having mixed together all the toothpaste I decided to dip my toothbrush in and try brushing my teeth with it.
· The damage: empty toothpaste tubes, packets, boxes, and a bunch of caps.

For reference, the following brands / models of toothpaste were used:

· Colgate Total Advanced Fresh Gel
· Crest Cavity Protection Regular Paste
· Crest Kids Cavity Protection Sparkle Fun Flavor
· Crest Multicare Cool Mint
· Crest Pro Health Clean Mint
· Crest Pro Heath Clean Cinnamon
· Crest Whitening Expressions Cinnamon Rush
· Crest Whitening Expressessions Cinnamon Rush
· Crest Whitening Expressessions Extreme Herbal Mint
· Crest Whitening Expressessions Fresh Citrus Breeze
· Crest Whitening Expressessions Refreshing Vanilla Mint

60 Comments

  1. BagOfNothing.com » 23 Tubes 1 Bowl:

    […] Link […]

  2. 23 Tubes 1 Bowl, An Experiment With Left-Over Toothpaste | Laughing Squid:

    […] are Steve’s notes on his 23 Tubes 1 Bowl […]

  3. elle:

    interesting experiment… I am a super picky toothpaste kiddo too-

    ummm…. perhaps aquafresh???? ;)

  4. coxy:

    Hm, nice experiment. I am surprised and disappointed at the lack of injury sustained by taking part in this – I was at least hoping for a burning sensation in your mouth, extreme foaming, or maybe symptoms of death.

  5. Barry B:

    I too am a little dissapointed at the outcome. A bad aftertaste? What, that was it? I thought it would have resulted in ultra white teeth or extreme foaming as mentioned. Instead we get nothing. Still you did it so we don’t have to so that’s fine by me.

  6. Sally:

    Are you married?
    This type of activity is the stuff my dreams are made of.

  7. c0nsumer:

    Sally: Sorry, I’m not married but I am quite taken.

  8. cavale:

    Why didn’t you donate them to a shelter or something?

  9. dare:

    I also don’t understand why you didn’t donate them. Toothpaste is a really valuable thing to a lot of people. Oh well, maybe next time you will?

  10. Felix:

    I wish I had the energy to search her archives for proof, but Allison Bechdel originated the Tom’s of Finland toothpaste joke.

    Great post!

  11. Colt:

    [quote]even after rinsing my mouth a number of times the taste still lingers, but this matches my experience (and complaint) with all of the Colgate, Crest, etc toothpastes I’ve tried in the past.[/quote]

    Had to lol at this :) A fascinating use of time and resources – of which I wholeheartedly approve :P

  12. Felipe:

    Hehe…Essa é boa…

  13. Amanda:

    Yeah I really wish you would’ve donated these. I just kept looking at the photos thinking, “What a waste!” And I didn’t know toothpaste expired …?

  14. Emmie:

    Yep, toothpaste expires. The preservative system and active ingredients only work for so long, or the company that makes them has only tested them for that amount of time. I used to work at a toothpaste company and playing around with toothpaste can be a lot of fun, although messy.

  15. anne:

    what a waste of time…

  16. lizhaofa:

    生活要节俭

  17. nyscof:

    Oddly interesting to me. Must take this chance to tell you this. You concocted a hugely toxic bowl of poison.

    Take a look at the warnings on the toothpaste tubes and boxes. It’s something like “if just a little more than used for brushing is swallowed, call poison control”

    Of course, I wouldn’t expect anyone to eat a bowl of the stuff – but I’m just sayin’

  18. zan:

    While it is indeed nice to donate things and even stuff, he clearly states that the toothpaste is expired. Get off your high horse(s) and enjoy a little frivolity.

    Funny experiment, and nice photos!

    Cheers

  19. Picdit » Blog Archive » 23 Tubes 1 Bowl:

    […] Over the years I’ve ended up with quite a few sample-size tubes of toothpaste. I dislike the strong, lingering flavors of most of these toothpastes, so I normally use Tom’s of Maine (or Trader Joe’s equivalent, but not Tom’s of Finland) plain mint toothpaste, so I had a bunch of tubes which were past expiration and needing to be thrown out. 23 tubes (and four small sample packs), in fact. […]

  20. Lisa Hendrix:

    Mildly entertaining, but I couldn’t help think of the incredible waste. Locally, we have a center for at risk teens (kids who are living in cars or on friends’ couches) that collects sample sized (and larger) personal hygiene items so the kids can get clean. The local missions also take the small sized items to hand out to men, women, and families who come to them for help, showers, beds, etc. You could even pocket sample sized toothpastes and soaps, etc., and hand them out to pandhandlers instead of change.

    Next time you have extras, don’t waste them on silliness for the sake of a blog post. Put them where they’ll do some good.

  21. Rich Seymour:

    toothpaste is perishable? news to me. / what Lisa said, but… don’t feel guilty for not carrying around a sack of things you were about to throw away to give out to homeless people. the homeless people i know… get this… go through the trash! crazy!

  22. mwa:

    toothpaste (unused) can be used to clean sinks, jewelry (not gems), tiles, silver….

  23. Karen:

    The commenters who didn’t read the part where he says the toothpaste was EXPIRED are starting to irritate me. Would you prefer he give them to your at-risk teens, allowing them to think they’re getting fluoridation and whatnot, only to have uselessness? If the milk in his fridge expires, would you prefer that he donate that, rather than toss it?

    Sheesh.

    Beautiful photos. And congrats on getting BoingBoinged!

  24. Jeff:

    For someone who is so picky about toothpaste, your sure have a dirty toothbrush.

  25. jik:

    How does one even accumulate expired toothpaste?! Do you brush your teeth every other Thursday or something?

  26. Kat:

    To the original poster: Lots of fun, thanks! Also, great pictures.

    To some commenters:
    jik: You accumulate expired toothpaste if you buy sample sizes, try them once, and then forget about them. At least, that’s how I get them. Or you go on a trip to a hotel, forget your toothpaste, buy a little one in some nasty flavor because it’s all they have, use it on the trip and then stick it in your cabinet. You might get lots of unopened ones if you go to conferences or trade shows—or take the subway. People put the weirdest things in trade show bags, and companies give out free samples in busy subway stations all the time. Add just a little pack-rat-ism and you have 23 small tubes of toothpaste, going stale at the rate of 1 day/day.

    nyscof: It’s no more a bowl of poison than a bowl of soap. In fact, it’s a bowl of soap. Lots of things are not “poison” that are nonetheless not good to eat. Toothpaste is not food, but it’s not like he mixed bleach and ammonia.

    Others: Donating expired or opened (even if never used or only used once) toiletries is not okay. If it’s open or expired, you could use it to clean things, but you run the risk of staining some materials with all those bright-colored dyes—or you could use it to make pretty pictures. There’s no moral high ground in playing with something that can’t be used for its original purpose anymore.

  27. c0nsumer:

    All, if you actually take a look at this high resolution version of the image entitled “The damage…” you can see that the Colgate Total Advance Fresh stuff, which made up the vast majority of these sample tubes, expired in 2005. At one point I ended up with an entire shrink-wrapped sample bundle of these from a dentist’s office, didn’t use them up fast enough, and they got a bit lost in the back of a closet.

  28. The Daily Dairy: Calcium Fortified News And Junk:

    […] out Steve’s 23 Tubes 1 Bowl post for more strangely mesmerizing […]

  29. DS:

    The point could be that if you get toothpastes you know you won’t use, either don’t accept them or donate them immediately. At this point, moot.

  30. toothpasteconnoisseur:

    Amazing! All the different colors and close up photos are really pretty.

    Thank you!

  31. Kelly:

    To all the people who ask why he didn’t donate them or what not – PUH LEASE.

    I’m willing to bet that NONE of you would do the same or have done the same. Did you guys have a bad day or something? Need to complain about someone else doing something? F’ing sake. Let him have his fun. It’s just toothpaste.

  32. Fergis McGillicuddy:

    I wonder if it would be possible to paint with toothpaste?

  33. When nerds have too much time and toothpaste : A Different Street:

    […] images at nuxx.net. Via […]

  34. Darren:

    aww i miss tom of maine’s orange tooth paste. memories…

  35. Experiment: 23 Tubes 1 Bowl - The WebZappR:

    […] goop. He then brushed his teeth. Vigneau documented his experiment with some colorful photographs. 23 Tubes 1 Bowl (via Laughing […]

  36. Kim:

    In this economy? Sell that shit on Ebay. Package it in little wads of tinfoil and call it ‘Dr. Nuxx’s Total Whitening Mintamon Apocalypse’.

  37. Einstein:

    Hi, nice way to get rid of that horrible stuff. Did you guys know why toothpaste tastes so bad? Its because its full of SALT! Along with a host of bad things that keep dentists in business. Try toms of maine or any other non fluoride toothpaste, after brushing your mouth is seriously fresh and clean. No gross taste when drinking your morning orange juice. SLS is sodium laural sulfate, If I remember right, and fluoride was first discovered in water shortly after atomic testing in nevada. both of which in my opinion are very harmful. Also if you suffer from mouth ulcers or sores of any kind then you know regular toothpaste will aggravate them. Toms of maine is the stuff but its hard to find, just walls of colgate, crest, etc. I buy mine online or at the local health food p[ace, but online is likely your best bet. Also maybe try non-aluminum deodorant since aluminum causes a host of problems including alzheimers. Lastly throw out your table salt after checking the ingredients for aluminum as well. Sea Salt is the only way, nutrients are still in it and it doesnt contain all the harsh things they put in table salt, plus its not much more in price and totally worth the health benefits. Oh here I go again off topic. So yeah I enjoyed the pictures and I was more than thrilled to see that horrible stuff go to waste, I wouldnt wash my car tires with that stuff, let alone put it in my mouth again. Oh the things we learn too late in life could fill a lifetime.

  38. 23 pastas dentales en 1 bowl:

    […] Steve Vigneau tiene un pequeño problema, las pastas dentales le parecen muy fuertes y por eso tuvo que probar muchísimas hasta que encontró una que le siente bien. Pero ¿qué pasó con todas las pastas que probó y no le gustaron? Bueno, lógicamente, se pudrieron. […]

  39. mary:

    You should have cleaned the toilet with the toothbrush, then brushed with the toothpaste

  40. maria:

    Sounds like something I would do…. but not something I would typically blog about. Interesting none-the-less.

    I wish you would have donated the unopened toothpaste to a homeless shelter or something.

  41. c0nsumer:

    maria: I understand that desire, but as most of the toothpaste had expired in 2005 I don’t see it as being particularly wise to donate. I don’t know what state it was in, how much it had decomposed, etc. People are to be helped, therefore I don’t want to give them potentially suspect trash.

  42. 23 de tuburi de pasta de dinti intr-un singur vas | Some things will never change:

    […]   Vezi cum a decurs experimentul […]

  43. BLOG FLASH 4 « LIFE.CAMERA.BLOG.:

    […] Toothpaste – disgustingly intriguing. […]

  44. 23 pastas dentales en 1 bol | Noticias, novedades, tecnología, programación - Bit & Bit:

    […] Steve Vigneau tiene un pequeño problema, las pastas dentales le parecen muy fuertes y por eso tuvo que probar muchísimas hasta que encontró una que le siente bien. Pero ¿qué pasó con todas las pastas que probó y no le gustaron? Bueno, lógicamente, se pudrieron. […]

  45. 23 pastas dentales en 1 bol : mundotapatio.com:

    […] Steve Vigneau tiene un pequeño problema, las pastas dentales le parecen muy fuertes y por eso tuvo que probar muchísimas hasta que encontró una que le siente bien. Pero ¿qué pasó con todas las pastas que probó y no le gustaron? Bueno, lógicamente, se pudrieron. […]

  46. China Days » Blog Archive » Experiment: 23 Tubes 1 Bowl:

    […] goop. He then brushed his teeth. Vigneau documented his experiment with some colorful photographs. 23 Tubes 1 Bowl (via Laughing […]

  47. Rob:

    What a grand visual delight, forget what they are. Thanks for the experience.

    When folks wash their face in the morning and use soap are they aware of the effect that chemicals in the soap have on their eyes? Think about it.

    I’d be interested to see what Fergis McGillicuddy comes up with if he uses said paste with his paint brush. Should be interesting.

  48. Milucho:

    Al pedo!!

  49. BR1AN:

    “In this economy? Sell that shit on Ebay. Package it in little wads of tinfoil and call it ‘Dr. Nuxx’s Total Whitening Mintamon Apocalypse’.”

    ROTFLMFAO No really I actually was!

    Need to throw “extreme” in there somewhere…

    Experiment away my friend and let the whiners whine!

  50. Performance, If You Will « Business Class:

    […] 23 Tubes Of Toothpaste In A Bowl […]

  51. IhaveAname:

    The author mentioned Tom’s of Maine – good stuff. All Natural Apricot changed my life, or at least how often and I brushed and whether I was disgusted by the taste or not. There are also a bunch of other varieties you can get through places like drugstore.com – nature’s gate cherry gel is another winner – for those of you who hate tasting disgusting overmentholated crest hours after brushing.

  52. 鳕鱼:

    这么多挤在一个盘子里真恶心…蜂胶那款颜色倒是漂亮啊

  53. Johnsenclan » Blog Archive » links 11/1/08:

    […] your teeth with 23 tubes of […]

  54. Linksploitation: It’s-Almost-Over Edition | Please Don’t Be That Guy:

    […] seeing this toothpaste experiment I no longer have to worry about brushing my teeth ever again, because I’m pretty sure […]

  55. reowarrigeolf:

    I don’t even know,fellow!) continued to write in the same vein, it is interesting people!

  56. bloggingfromjail - Parnell Discovers New Method For Brushing Teeth.:

    […] This man on the internet discovered that brushing your teeth with just one tube of toothpaste is very boring and not as good for your teeth […]

  57. Labels:

    Errr…I like the plane Jane Tom’s of Maine peppermint toothpaste – though I expect now that they are owned by Colgate, maybe they’ll add some sparkles to make brush time more fun :)

  58. 王思瑶:

    I come from China.

  59. 王思瑶:

    I am a girl.

  60. HVFKrj:

    361079 91032Some truly nice stuff on this site, I love it. 177510

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