We’re excited to introduce our new series, “Packing Hacks,” which turns the female traveler into MacGyver. We’ll take everyday objects and come up with new uses to make your travel experience easier.
This week we’re starting with a liquid (well… paste) that can be pretty annoying to pack, particularly if it explodes in your bag: toothpaste!
Travel Size Toothpaste Refills
Ah, those pesky travel sized toothpastes. You buy one for $1 every time you go on a trip and end up tossing them afterwards, but you could easily refill them. Just press a full-sized tube up against the travel-sized tube and squeeze gently, as you would when refilling a shampoo bottle. After all, reusing bottles is better for the environment.
Make Your Own Travel Toothpaste Container
Another toothpaste hack is to find another container for your toothpaste that’s not as fragile and takes up less room. An eye dropper works great, particularly for weekend camping trips. Just squeeze enough out onto your toothbrush and you’re ready to start the day. Pictured below, we have a small squeeze bottle that could work for longer trips.
DIY Single Use Toothpaste Packs
A secondary storage option is making single use tubes of toothpaste and other liquids. Take a pair of needle nose pliers and pinch the end of a straw. Hold it over a flame to seal the plastic until you can’t see any holes. Cut the straw into one inch pieces. On the other end, squeeze one brushing’s worth of toothpaste or however much you prefer. Clamp the second end and seal with the flame as you did before. You can also punch holes in one side to put on a string. This packing hack ensures that you bring only as much as you will need for the trip.
Liquid Free Toothpaste Dots
To avoid liquids altogether, we’ve tested out Lush’s Toothy Tabs solid toothpaste that you chew to brush. But you can make your own at home with items you already have. Get a piece of aluminum foil and gently squeeze out small dots of toothpaste onto it. Sprinkle with baking soda to avoid sticking. When they’re solid, which may take three or so days, pop them into a plastic bag and you’re ready to go! Be sure to avoid gel toothpastes, as they won’t solidify. I had to test it out a few times before I changed toothpastes.
Do you have any other toothpaste packing hacks to share?