Frustrated with the Toothpaste Mess

Updated on October 02, 2010
N.M. asks from San Jose, CA
17 answers

Alright, mamas. I feel so silly for asking this question, but I know you all can help me. Thanks in advance!

I am so fed up with the toothpaste mess in the bathroom! The kids' toothpaste gets all over the counter and sink and globs of it gunk up the end of the tube. I'm certain more is being wasted than used. My kids are 7 and 9 and I have tried training them over and over again how to put toothpaste on their brush so it won't make a mess. But it still happens, and it doesn't matter what type of toothpaste container we get--whether the tube or the pump or whatever. I don't really want that toothpaste gadget I've seen on TV. It's big and not-too-pretty.

Any ideas how to fix my toothpaste mess?

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So What Happened?

You ladies make me laugh. :) I'm glad I'm not the only one. I think I'm going to give them one more lesson on toothpaste application, and then have them take turns cleaning the sink every night. Less mess--less cleaning. If that doesn't work, I'll be looking for the travel toothpastes... Thanks for all the suggestions!

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answers from San Francisco on

I just started to deal with this, as my son loves to put a huge amount of paste on his brush. I am teaching him it should be a TINY amount. He then swishes and spits with water and tries to take off any paste in the sink (before it dries). Soon, he'll have to clean the sink after he brushes, but we're not there yet. He'll be reward (sticker or such) when he does a good job.
I don't expect too much as his father, still leaves a big mess in his sink and uses half a tube with each brushing (lo)!



answers from Dallas on

I also started buying the travel size tubes for my son. He likes to brush his teeth by himself before I help and so we get the mess everywhere too. It was driving me nuts! We haven't had a problem since I switched to the travel tubes two weeks ago.

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answers from Phoenix on

This is funny and so true. I didn't read your prior posts but will tell you something that works great at our house. I have 3 kids (14 spec needs, 11 and 7). They all share a bathroom. The oldest, who is special needs, takes a shower first. If the sink "is a mess", my 7 yo who is next, will go in there and say "McKenna, come clean the sink!". And she does. Then when the 7 yo is out and the 11 yo goes in, the same thing happens. And I go in after her, when they are all out, make sure the sink is still "clean", and that's it. So they learn that the next kid is going to yell at them if it's "dirty" so hopefully they are learning to clean it first before leaving. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

for the time being, maybe while they're having breakfast, you can go in the put toothpaste on their brushes for them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

so are they putting TOO much on their toothbrush???

I don't know, my kids are 4 ad 7, and we don't have that problem. But I notice if they put TOO much on their toothbrush, then it falls off or gets on the sink/counters.
And well yes, they have to apply the toothpaste ON their brush.... while looking at it.

TELL your kids as well, that if they make a mess with the toothpaste THEY have to clean it up.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My only solution to this is to put the toothpaste on yourself instead of the kids. Or make it part of their bedtime routine to wipe down the sink.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You could look at getting smaller, travel tubes. I am 30+ years old an by the time I reach the end of my tube it is a mess - LOL.
The smaller tubes could be easier for them to manuever and less squirts out (from my experience).
There is the hassle of throwing out more tubes, but for the short-term of the next few years, could be an option.



answers from Allentown on

You are not alone. My kids are 5 and 7 and still it's a messy issue. I've tried the travel tubes and the big hunky thing from t.v. The hunky thing, just became a big mess of glob too after awhile. The smaller tubes do make an improvement but I still have to deal with the sticky thick glue that sticks to the sink after they're done. Even if they or I, when I remember to, rinse the sink, it still is so gooey. Every morning when I see their sinks I think to myself there has to be another option to kids toothpaste. To get away from the sticky toothpaste tubes, I am now trying to use this plastic container where I throw in their brushes and the tubes, sticky, gooey, and all. Now, they have to touch it and most of the leftover stays off the counter. I haven't had to scrape the paste in a long while. Never to rid of it but maybe a closer solution.


answers from Seattle on

I don't know...I have the toothpaste gadget too...and my kids still manage to make the same mess :)

I am too lazy to go in and put the toothpaste on for them...every time! I just deal with the mess!

I like the idea of the small travel size toothpastes, I am gonna try that!



answers from Chicago on

We have the exact same problem at our house! So glad to see your question and the replies to know that I'm not alone. Toothpaste has been spotted all over our cabinets, towels, light switch, bathtub (which is across the room), in the bedrooms, dripping down into the cups etc. How in the world does it get all over the place?

I wish I had an answer for you. Might try the travel tubes for awhile.



answers from Augusta on

I have the toothpaste thing they show on tv and it really does help.
once the mess is cleaned up you won't care what the gadget looks like.



answers from Chico on

You could dole out the toothpaste for them; you could warn them that they will have to brush the old-fashioned way with baking soda if they keep making the mess, and then dot it! Make them brush with baking soda (gross tasting to me, anyway); or you could hover over them to make sure they do it right and then make them clean up their own gloppy mess. I would hope that they'd shape up after a week or two of your ultra-close supervision.

Hope you find a workable solution.



answers from San Francisco on

As the mother of 5 I can only tell you that your not frusrated enough if your looking at something as "to ugly" to use. We gave each child thier own tube of tooth paste and that helped alot. Sounds as if being lasy is acceptable to them.



answers from San Francisco on

I keep a dish brush under the sink and brush the paste out periodically.
To me, the sink mess is not as bad as toothpaste on the carpet or walls. I have boys, and I'm not sure what goes on to cause this...



answers from Stockton on

I would put a tub of lysol wipes and tell them to clean up after themselves. : )



answers from Sacramento on

Don't you know? It's called "toothpaste art"! Kids that age are going to play around with the toothpaste and get it all over the place. I've even heard the three year olds I take care of talking about what a certain blob of toothpaste looks like in the sink.
My best suggestion is just keep on following after them as soon as you can. Wipe out the mess and realize that it will seem like just a blink of an eye before they are grown with children of their own and then it will be their turn to put up with the toothpaste mess... while you as grandma will be enjoying cuddle times with the grandbabies and then sending them home to bug their parents with .... TOOTHPASTE MESS!
Of course, you don't stop trying to train them to do better, but just take a deep breath and relax with all of it. As my mother used to tell me about things.. "in a hundred years, no one will know the difference anyway".


answers from San Francisco on

Instead of sending them off to brush their teeth themselves I'd go up with them and load up their toothbrushes myself to insure that 1.) they can see how to do it properly since they're failing consistently at it and 2.) that as soon as a blob hits the counter you can put a paper towel in their hand so they can wipe it up immediately. I'd stop supervised teeth-brushing when I was satisfied that they were no longer being morons about it.

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