How can I reuse or recycle … squeezed toothpaste tubes?

Toothpaste tubeA few weeks ago, I wrote a how-can-I on those solid, upright toothpaste tubes and one of the commenters, Cadan, asked what about squeezy toothpaste tubes instead.

So what about squeezed squeezy toothpaste tubes?

They used to be metal (like tomato/garlic puree ones still are) but now toothpaste tubes – or at least the ones we used – seem to more plasticky instead. The plastic ones look like they might (MIGHT) be easier to refill – anyone got any suggestions on what they could be refilled with? The metal ones though have a tendency to weaken at the edges when they’ve been utterly squeezed dry and rolled up so I doubt they can be refilled – does anyone know if they can be recycled?

(Photo by stocker)

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30 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle … squeezed toothpaste tubes?”


  1. Traci says:

    Cut the top off, clean them out and tack then on the wall next to your desk to store a couple of pens.

  2. Kathleen says:

    Use them to store homemade icing if you’re a baker (?)

  3. fishcake_random says:

    Rinsed out well they made a fun water gun or bath toy.

  4. Hattie Blok says:

    A brand called Jason makes a really nice (though quite expensive – £6ish) toothpaste called Seafresh, which comes in the old style metal tubes, which must be recyclable. The tube doesn’t break when bent or creased either, like these metal tubes tended to in the old days…

  5. Dakota says:

    I love Jason! They make great products!

    Anyway, you could make your own toothpaste and refill it with one of those huge syringes. I’m not sure what they’re called but they’re used in cooking.

    I haven’t tried refilling the tubes, but I do make my own toothpaste.

    • jimbo says:

      how does one make their own toothpaste?

      • Lizzy says:

        I make my own toothpaste :)
        Yay!
        My family think I’m weird…..lol.

        So it’s 3 parts bicarbonate of soda (cleaning agent and whitening)
        1 part table salt (mild abrasive)
        Enough vegetable glycerin to make it a paste (you can add some water too , I’ve heard some people use coconut oil)
        Some flavouring – ATM I’m using almond and cinnamon – Almond extract and ground cinnamon. But you may just like to add some peppermint oil/extract .
        So, mix it all together and put it in a jar (or empty toothpaste tube – an old ‘water bomb’ (y’know those little baloons to fill with water) funnel may be useful there.
        =D

  6. Katz says:

    you can cut them along one side, then smooth them out then draw something (or hammer lightly) some designs or shapes on the side with labels. When you turn it over – you will have a nice convexed pattern on the tim side. You can yse it to decorate things – wrap it over an old lampshade. or cut it in strips ans wind it afound something. Other wise run a serch on ebay on Tin Art. This is what I found: http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/cr_metal/article/0,2025,DIY_13766_2268281,00.html

  7. Chris says:

    Cut them along one edge and at both ends, you can flatten out the tube and clean it. You can fold it over and, using either duct tape or colourful stitching, turn it into a small change pocket. You can also do this with ‘tetra packs’ (juice boxes). You may see large bags and purses like this for sale at eco-stores, but you can just make them yourself!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps you could ask the London Borough of Hounslow. They accept them for recycling.
    : recycling@hounslow.gov.uk

  9. renee says:

    When I go traveling I take an old toothpaste container and place emergency money in it. Just roll up the $$ and stuff it into the opening. Snip the tube open at the back end to access it.

    This has worked for me twice when I had my things rummaged through. who would want half used toothpaste? I lost the $20 in my purse but kept the $400 in the old toothpaste tube.

  10. Mick Chuckabee says:

    You can perhaps throw it away?

    • Anonymous says:

      …and thats filling up a landfill, which is bad

    • Michelle says:

      And where is AWAY? Is it some third dimension designed to be filled with disposeable crap? There is NO SUCH PLACE AS AWAY!!!!!!
      Everything has to go somewhere, and people are too quick to throw things in the bin and think its no longer a problem; Instead you make it your childrens problem.

  11. Paul says:

    A company called ECOTOP, a brazillian company use recycled Tetrapak and toothpaste tubes to make roofing material and construction boards, replacing roofing cement/Plaster boards etc.
    Transportation costs are reduced due to the low weight and it’s made from 100% recycled material

  12. annonymous says:

    a company in Indonesia make great bags, baskets and purses out of them

  13. Annie says:

    Fill them with honey or peanut butter for hiking/camping trips.

    • cheri fisher says:

      Great tip Annie! You can also put hersheys syrup in one, and marshmallow topping in another, get some grahms, and do SMORES
      at your desk, at work, when you are in between camping trips.

  14. Shorty says:

    I’d say fill them with plaster, silicone, anything paste-y. Also, I wouldn’t recommend making toothpaste from baking soda. Over time, it wears down your teeth. Real toothpaste is made from the shells of tiny diatoms from the ocean. If you brush your teeth and bite down a little, you can feel them between your teeth, it’s really cool. Also, there’s a video going around with this guy who brushes his teeth with charcoal and baking soda. NEVER EVER do that, this guy is a moron. The reason it makes your teeth whiter is that you’re scratching away a layer of your teeth, and the under layer isn’t exposed to any staining things so obviously it is whiter. But what happens when you run out of layers? I doubt your teeth will grow back.

  15. 1eyed1HORNEDflyingPURPLEpeopleEATER says:

    well, if your artsy-craftsy then you can sip the back end and refill it will homemade paint or a color you mixed yourself

  16. Josephkudner@gmail.com says:

    Remember during WW2 toothpaste tubes were surrenders to the drug store when buying a new tube.
    I assume the zinc was for our boys overseas.

  17. Laura Steel says:

    I work for the Philippine Community Fund we are a small charity based in Southampton we collect toothpate tubes as well as glossy magazine, ring pulls and crisp packets. We recycle these into products (handbags, jewellery, purses etc) which we sell to generate money for our projects which help improve the lives of families living in the most deprived areas in the Philippines.

    SO PLEASE SEND YOUR TOOTHPASTE TUBES TO US : )

    check out our website http://www.p-c-f.org you can look at our products at the online shop and learn more about what we do..

    THANKS

  18. Horsegirl says:

    clean ‘em out, snip off the end WITHOUT the cap, put money in it. use when traveleng so thieves dont think its valuble.

  19. Wenzo says:

    There are a group at our market that make cosmetic and toiletry bags out of the plasit ones by cutting the ends off, cutting down the length of the tubes and joining them together to make fantastic bags. Their web site is http://www.wozwaste.com
    They make some fantastic things and worth checking out.

  20. I use them in my jewellery and they can be used with heavy duty decorative paper punches. Take a look at the image advertising my jewellery workshop in Merseyside http://abscraft.blogspot.com/2010/12/jewellery-making-workshop.html where I will be showing how to use toothpaste tubes along with other recycled materials (only a few places left but will be running others throughout 2011). This image is really just showing using the toothpaste tube as a backing, whereas as this other image is perhaps a more creative use of the toothpaste tube http://www.flickr.com/photos/abscraft/4438042869/

  21. Red says:

    I might get some “that’s grose” comments but to each their own. Clean the tube out well. Then warm up some Coconut oil (the one for cooking not tanning) pour it into the tube. It will solidify. Keep it in the bedroom for a personal lubricant. The kids won’t be asking awkward questions when they come across your “toothpaste” ;)

  22. Happy says:

    Wash them well, cut the bottom open and use to fill with icing and squirt it unto cake or cupcakes. Happy cake decorating!

  23. Olia says:

    If you finished tube of expensive toothpaste, and tube is metal, you can unroll the back and fill it with cheap paste from dollar store. If you can’t make it, fake it.



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