I struggle with the output of engineers every day. Our marvelous technological world is due to engineering mainly, and it is impressive. As an auto mechanic by trade, though, it seems that the manufacturer, and consumer get the better part of the deal, as all the engineering money is spent on making cars easy to manufacture, and appealing for the consumer to sit in, not so much in ease of repair.

Nonetheless, I simply can’t say good enough things about the modern toothpaste tube. Not just any toothpaste tube, but Colgate Total. It’s alright for toothpaste I guess, (I haven’t had any cavities for a long time), but it’s the engineering in the toothpaste tube that’s impressive.

I’ve grown up with toothpaste tubes since the 50’s, and they weren’t a pretty sight. Not only was it impossible to get most of the product out of them, but squeezing and rolling them up caused them to crimp, tear and eventually leak. Squeezing the tube by that time meant toothpaste coming out in at least 3 places. (That would be fine if 3 kids needed their teeth brushed at the same time,) And the tube would rust. Rust and toothpaste don’t belong on the same brush.

Toothpaste tube

Along came the 21st Century and Colgate Total. The tube doesn’t rust. and you don’t have to do any rolling of the tube to get the toothpaste out, just squeeze. When it’s used up, the tube is empty, with no rolling or anything, it just all comes out! I have no idea how they accomplish that, but it is one of life’s little joys. And the tube can stand on end, taking little space in the medicine cabinet, full or empty. The humble toothpaste tube has reached perfection.