Instructables

Travel Toothpaste Refiller - SUGRU STYLE

Featured
Picture of Travel Toothpaste Refiller - SUGRU STYLE

If you travel, you have probably purchased a small quantity of some product that you already buy in regular quantity or bulk.
Toothpaste often comes in 6.4oz tubes or greater, but the TSA allows 3oz or less.

For the last several years, I have occasionally transferred toothpaste from a large tube into a small tube in order to travel by plane, and actually, I am a minimalist and I prefer using a travel tube at home so that it takes up less room on the vanity.

I am frugal, and creative, and for years i simply made a little bit of a mess while squeezing the big into the small and I end brushing my teeth with the over-fill or spillage (quantity 3-5 times more than normal brushing)

This easy tool will save me time and money and will probably last the rest of my life.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: WHAT DO YOU NEED???

Picture of WHAT DO YOU NEED???
WHAT DO YOU NEED???
- at least 2 toothpaste tubes(or LIDS) to start with.
one "sachet" of SUGRU (uncured silicone rubber)
scissors (to carefully open SUGRU)
drill with proper drill-bit

OPTIONAL:
Tweezers to remove drilling shreds if there are any

Step 2: SUGRU is awesome 1 million uses

Picture of SUGRU is awesome 1 million uses

I used this one sachet for 5 purposes:
1) 1st toothpaste converter
2) 2nd toothpaste converter
3) a dab for the top of a silly towel-hook that always lets the towel slip off
4) 6 dabs to make the spigot near my garage a little grippier
5) a cord holder on the rear edge of my desk

all in about 30 minutes
and after 24 hours I was ready to finish the toothpaste converters

Step 3: Less is more! It is very Powerful stuff.

Picture of Less is more! It is very Powerful stuff.

There are plenty instructions on SUGRU so read 'em

Make a ring on one of the lids first.
ddevine22 years ago
I travel quite a bit, and the brand of toothpaste I like best is just not available in small tubes. With this method.. I can switch brands and get exactly what I want. Brilliant!
EnergyHandyman (author)  ddevine22 years ago
I want to see your photos
banker2 years ago
These work great. I used hot glue on mine. Clean them out after use with hot water and a toothbrush. Ha Ha.
caps.jpg
AmyLuthien2 years ago
Ah! Smart idea! Now that's thinking with your noodle!
Excellent idea! Now if I could just learn how to refill the travel sized shaving cream cans I'd be all set!
Damien.Wise2 years ago
Elegant hack!
This is what SUGRU is all about. :)
erwin2 years ago
Love it!!!
Great idea!
EG
Manny B2 years ago
Holy bahjebus! It's awesome seeing this Instructable. About 10 years ago, i mentioned to someone that the small toothpaste things were convenient but wasteful. I wondered if they could be refilled someway using a DIY cap system. Man, i was laughed out of the room and called 'cheap' :(
Thanks for putting this out there.
iOskr2 years ago
Goood Idea!!!
Mr.Sanchez2 years ago
so clever...
I love this, it's awesome :)
Putting toothpaste back in the tube is said to  be like putting the cat back in the bag.  In fact both of those phrases are used figuratively in the English language to describe processes that are easy to do, but difficult to undo.

But now conventional wisdom might have to rethink the cliche about putting toothpaste back in the tube.  Nice instructable!

nickodemus2 years ago
Great instructable!
EnergyHandyman (author) 11 months ago
Thanks Guys! So now it has become a game, that when I need SUGRU for something (I often need just a fraction of a pouch) to have other potential projects lined up, so do the clipping and drilling ahead of time, and mix and match all your old lids. YES! The thread varieties are increasing.
Telvroi2 years ago
Whats the point in this?
EnergyHandyman (author)  Telvroi1 year ago
to get toothpaste all over yourself and the bathroom before you go on a plane,
to buy toothpaste in the least economical amounts,

no really,

if you don't get it, it's not for you!
3366carlos1 year ago
very cool. you beat me to it. Thanks.
JakeBlanton2 years ago
I made something similar a couple of years ago, but instead of gluing the two tops together, I put both of them into the flame of a gas burner just long enough to get the ends molten (but not burning) and then pressed them together so that the two plastics fused together. I soon learned that not every toothpaste tube has the same size / screw threads.

More often than not, I just grab the two tubes of toothpaste, hold them firmly together and squeeze from the large tube to the small tube. If you don't do it right, you will have a bit of a mess on your hands...
Its all about the free hand squeeze! What mess?
EnergyHandyman (author)  lanceearlhaines2 years ago
You are sooooo amazing that you can do it freehand with no mess.

just kidding,

I consider myself incredibly coordinated, but it is tricky to get the transfer to work when the source tube is nearly empty, let alone trying to keep it neat, and this device really makes it super easy, even for my wife, whose thumbs bend like Gumby
To each their own....solution and flavor of paste. LOL
It works better if the source tube is nearly full. You just grab it in your fist as squeeze. If the source tube is not pretty full, I don't use it without the adapter...
I will make these for our toothpaste and for hair color tubes because my daughter and I are cosmetoligists and use a lot of hair color.

I also have several of these 'Tube Keys' that we use on toothpaste, hair color,Neosporin, Hydracortzone cream, hand lotion and anything else that comes in a tube. They are $2 each but we didn't pay that much for ours because we got them at a beauty supply store in packages of 12. Add this to your cool refiller and you'll save some money and feel better about not being wasteful. It keeps a lot of empty tubes out of the landfill, too.

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=tube+key&hl=en&qscrl=1&nord=1&rlz=1T4MOOI_enUS441US442&prmd=imvns&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.,cf.osb&ion=1&biw=1366&bih=554&wrapid=tlif132096847324410&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=9834854737315582061&sa=X&ei=KGG8ToekNpGlsAKU85jdBA&ved=0CGIQ8wIwAA#
this is what the TUBE KEY is
z.jpg
Those things worked a lot better with the old soft metal type toothpaste tubes... The new tubes that are made from plastic just keep unrolling...
dpitts42 years ago
Just a little add to make faster and easier. I am a painter and use a paint tube extuder for both toothpaint and my paint tubes. It is awesome and my kids love to use it (only when present ;) ) Anyway here is a link for one on amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004WQINJS/ref=asc_df_B004WQINJS1772090?smid=AZS5DWT1I69ME&tag=shopzilla_mp_1182-20&linkCode=asn&creative=395105&creativeASIN=B004WQINJS
rickets dpitts42 years ago
tried to use the link......unable to get it to go through in address bar and won't go on amazon
link worked for me.
dpitts4 rickets2 years ago
soory about that. Here try this one http://www.dickblick.com/products/tube-wringer/

you can also find it by google paint tube wringer or paint tube squeezer
mkanoap2 years ago
What's a GOOG bond?
scm642 years ago
The rule is that you're supposed to change your toothbrush every few months and more often if someone is sick. It seemed to me that rubbing your toothbrush against the same tube of toothpaste as everyone else in the house is the same as sharing the same toothbrush. I don't know how bad it actually is but because it gives me creepies, I buy a travel size tube for everyone in the house....our own personal tube.

If I were to make the refillable thingy, I'd make one for each member too. I'm not really a big germ-a-phobe in other areas. But when I heard about how often to change toothbrushes and how they should be covered when you flush the toilet, I got a bit anal about it. (ohh. no pun intended).
bio_Med2 years ago
I found an even simpler way to do this, and I've been doing it for years.
http://www.instructables.com/id/Toothpaste-Tube-Refill/

will show you how!
agis682 years ago
well when i did this some summers ago with the suntan creme my wife said iam too stingy....ofcorse the coming green thinking approved my "stingy" job....hhehehehe
check out this video by Do The Green Thing, it's lovely :)

 
excellent video!!! with great big band era music
mik17002 years ago
I like the idea, nice job. I have always thought of something like this, but in the end, I just put the two tops together and squeeze one into the other. Works every time, no tools necessary.
Any time I see people doing projects like this with products that touch food (or other ingestibles) I have to recommend J B Weld. The product is safe if you aren't using it at cooking temperatures.
cvbritton2 years ago
Great idea. I started carrying small tubes when backpacking (before TSA).

In step three you'll notice that most caps have a sizable indention opposite the threads. I use epoxy for these 'adapters' and fill the indention. This makes it easier to clean out the adapter after the filling is done. I keep a 'set' of adapters in a drawer rather than on the big tube.

The variety of thread sizes keeps expanding.
EnergyHandyman (author)  cvbritton2 years ago
The less my toothpaste touches foreign chemicals the better.
The fewer materials needed the better.

I want to see pictures of your version.

The whole point is to save time, and for that reason I am just gonna leave the tubes connected to empty travel tubes and never clean anything. it is actually easy to keep the toothpaste off the threads.
Not much to see really.
I used epoxy BETWEEN the caps instead of your RTV AROUND the caps.
I chose a slightly larger drill bit also (or so it would seem).

I gave 'adapters' to two friends who also appreciate the ability to 'put toothpaste back into the tube'.

I rinse the 'adapter' after I use it.
Don't use it that often now that I'm doing less backpacking and other traveling.
Pro

Get More Out of Instructables

Already have an Account?

close

PDF Downloads
As a Pro member, you will gain access to download any Instructable in the PDF format. You also have the ability to customize your PDF download.

Upgrade to Pro today!