Colgate misleading Toothpaste Packaging

The full tube weighs 188g

The empty tube weighs 30g , impossible to squeeze any more out.

This makes the net weight 158g.

The box and tube are labelled as net 175g.

This is a 10 percent disparity. So I would need to buy ten tubes to get the advertised weight of nine.

This is the second time this year I have measured this with the same result.

So they have been charging the same price over time, possibly, but reducing the content.

I have attached pictures to verify this information.

I sent it to Colgate with no response.


Hi @Julian, and welcome to the community.

What a great observation, and initiative in communicating with Colgate.

Your test reflects the practicality of getting the last out of the tube. This is waste if the missing quantity remains lost in the tube. Have you considered cutting the tube open on one side. Thoroughly washing and allowing to dry prior to weighing empty? Would that give you a weight for the unusable waste in the tube too?

Possibly two issues - waste plus short on quantity?


No picture got uploaded. BTW, as a new user you can only upload 1 image per post. Would you have another go?

Third issue - how could a manufacturer account for the unusable amount in a standard reproducible manner whereby all manufacturers would have to adopt the same ‘measures’?

I fully support ‘making it so’ as it would also encourage better packaging and less unusable waste.


The best way I have found to get the last drop out is to roll the tube on a hard surface with a cylindrical pencil, you will be surprised how much more you get out in comparison to by hand. Start from the non-cap end and when you get to the cap end turn the plate that holds the cap sidewise and roll it flat.


As others have highlighted, the missing toothpaste is there but is the residues left in the tube whuch is difficult to get out.

Toothpaste tubes are no different to a wide range of other packaging which results in residues being left. …a good example is tomato sauce. It is impossible to get out every drop onto a BBQ sausage…but if one waters it down, more of the residues can be recovered but may not be good for use on a snag…and may be used in cooking. There are many other examples around a supermarket.

With toothpaste, one can add a small amount of water and then squish the tube near the neck/cap for a bit…this will make the toothpaste runnier and flow from the tube. Care is needed to ensure the toothpaste doesn’t end up elsewhere other than in the mouth.

Has the toothpaste manufacturers dudded the consumer…no, as they have sold the weight of toothpaste outlined on the packaging. Should packaging allow for near 100% recovery of contents, yes, but it may be difficult to design or use (e.g. more likely to break when squeezed hard).

It is also worth noting different consumers will leave different amounts of toothpaste residues in the tube. Hand strength and level of determination will affect amount left.


Sorry about the absence of pictures, I suggest you do it yourself.

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In regard to the use of a pencil, not generally available at 6 in the morning for teeth brushing… Probably shouldn’t be necessary, but I appreciate the mechanics of getting the best out of your tube.There is a lot of fresh air in the tube to fill it out also.

Appreciate all your responses.

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This handy little gadget was a Tupperware give-away many years ago. I find it very handy for getting the last bits out of tubes :slight_smile:


The best way to get every last bit of anything in a tube is to dissect it to access the last bit. You will be surprise how much remains inside, even if it is squashed with those roller gadgets etc.


It shouldn’t be that hard to get the last ounce, sorry, milligram, out of the tube. There is more room in the tube if you remove the free ‘air’ they put in. It should be a net weight minimum, not a maximum.

Stop the presses. Breaking news folks.

Yesterday I weighed an unopened 190gm tube of Colgate Max Fresh toothpaste with our 1gm resolution kitchen scales.The reading was 200gm. I also weighed the empty tube which read 24gm.

Today I cut the bottom and top off the old tube and washed all remmants of toothpaste away and allowed it to dry before weighing it. The reading was 10gm so the contents are as stated on the packaging even though 14gm could not be accessed without destrpying the tube.


I can see this is evolution in action. In a few thousand years humans will have much more developed tongues. They will be able to whistle Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor in three part harmony, get the condensed tomato soup off the inside of the tin without cutting themselves and extract the last toothpaste from the tube without any tools. Think of the time that will be saved to spend on important things.


Forever the optimist?


Thanks for sharing that @Fred123.

So in a ‘War on Waste’ expose that’s 14 tonnes of wasted tooth paste for every one million tubes of 190gm sold in Australia each year. I guess we can all do some basic maths. 25M+ Aussies most using tooth paste from a tube. That looks like 100’s of tonnes of tooth paste each year to landfill.

Not to mention the millions of dollars in extra sales of the stuff. Depending on how you buy your Colgate it works out at between $17,000 and $42,000 per tonne. Dearer than rump steak or fillet? Fortunately it doesn’t taste so great.

Not hard to get your mind (and tongue) around that one. :wink:

I’m assuming toothpaste tubes are not recycled at the waste depot end due to the high level of contamination. They all used to be aluminium extrusions before swapping to plastic decades back in dim memory. The assumption is plastic in comparison has the lower initial one way cost.

Yes. And one could easily fold and squash those tubes starting at the bottom to squeeze out almost all the contents.


If anyone considers that they are getting short changed with toothpaste tubes, then they should take a look at deodorant sticks.

There is no way to use all the content as when it wears down to a certain level, the plastic band around the side of the contents starts to scrtach you and the band and remaining contents will separate from the screw and fall out.

This photo is for an “empty” one and the one I am currently using.

The white thing is the remaining unusable deodorant inside the plastic band with 4 radial plastic ribs in it.

It weighed 14gm on our 1mg resolution kitchen scales and the outer casing on both of the sticks stated “75ml” and the brown one also stated “75mg” so the 14mg left represents almost 20% of the total contents minus the plastic wrap.

As 75ml deodorant sticks cost upwards of $30 each, the value of the unusable product is much greater than the residual product in a toothpaste tube.

I will remove the unusable remaining product and advise the actual weight of the plastic surrounding it but I would expect that the waste is at least 10gm or 12.5%, so somewhere upwards of $3.75.

Whilst some may say that @Julian’s post may not have best fitted under Food & Drink, I reckon that mine would better fit under Scams.


Yes, I can understand your frustration, particularly if they are priced so. The cheaper types with the instruction “Push up Bottom” are confusing to say the least. I’ll say no more !