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Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Getting Every Last Dollop of Conditioner and Toothpaste Out of the Tubes

A common frugal move is to cut the bottom off of toothpaste and other beauty care tubes when the tube has been squeezed to the point nothing else will come out. A friend was mentioning that she had just done this with her toothpaste, hoping to scrape out another few brushings worth of toothpaste. I said I do that too, and I also slit up the length of the tube from the bottom, then snip the back near the neck of the tube into wings. I'm able to get every last bit out. With some products this is very helpful. Anyway, my friend suggested I post photos of what I was explaining, here.

My hair dye kits come with this great conditioner. The conditioner comes in plastic tubes that can only be squeezed so much, then the last little bit just won't come out. If you remember, I "shampoo" my hair with conditioner now. Earlier this week, I checked the conditioner supply in the shower and found 2 of these nearly empty, squeezed tubes of conditioner. 

I knew I wouldn't be able to get much out while standing in the shower, so after cutting off the end, I slit the back of each tube with scissors and snipped the "wings". 

The result was I was able to scrape out enough conditioner to co-wash my long hair from these 2 opened up tubes.

My toothpaste also comes in those plasticky tubes. I slit the backs of the tubes and snip wings on those, too. It may only be a little bit of extra product, but 1, 2, or 3 extra portions every couple of weeks adds up.


  1. I do the same with bottles of body lotion. I can get about 1/4 cup or more of lotion out of a bottle that someone would otherwise throw away.

    I do a similar thing with food bottles like ketchup, mustard, salad dressing, soy sauce, sesame oil. For these I add a bit of water and shake until all the goodness comes off the sides of a bottle.


    1. Hi Alice,
      Good job! I do the same with food bottle, rinse out with liquid. I figure I have to wash these bottles out anyway before putting in the recycling bin, so I may as well rinse them to add to cooking. It sometimes surprises me just how much ketchup is stuck to the inside of the bottle when I rinse it to add to a casserole of baked beans.
      And just think how much "extra" lotion you have gotten out of bottles over the course of a lifetime!

  2. Your friend was right. A visual is helpful. Do you occasionally use shampoo on your hair or does conditioner always do the job?

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      I started co-washing (conditioner-only washing) 2 years ago and have used shampoo twice in that time, once to get styling product out and the other (this summer) when it had been hot and my whole head felt like it could use some shampoo. But I didn't like the way my hair looked afterward -- all frizzy. Shampoo can lift the cuticle on the shafts of hair, whereas conditioner will coat the strand and make the cuticle lie flat. With fine hair, lifting the cuticle will make the hair look fuller. But with my coarse and curly hair, lifting the cuticle makes each hair strand stand apart from the other, making it look frizzy. The bulk of the cleaning on my hair is done through the warm water in the shower and scrubbing my scalp with my fingers. The conditioner doesn't just coat the hair, but it also helps my fingers get through the hair easily while scrubbing under water. After this first co-wash, I also add more conditioner to tame the curls. I will say, my now-clean hair is a different feeling from shampoo-clean. Almost like I've been working out and am sweaty, but I'm not. It's just conditioner on my scalp (like lotion on skin) that feels slightly damp or clammy. Doesn't sound pleasant, but I'm used to it now and my hair looks better than it's ever looked without extra styling. I'll also add that the hair dye I use (Clairol Natural Instincts) acts a bit like shampoo. So if I wasn't covering some grays, I'd probably use a bit of shampoo every now and then (once every other month, likely).
      Co-washing is definitely not for everyone. It's most effective for coarse and/or very curly hair that tends to look frizzy or is dried out.

  3. I have frizzy hair, but it is very fine, so I don't think conditioner only would work for me. However, I do just use water from time to time.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      I think this is one of those things where you have to find what works for you.


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