Oh wow, guys. I've been doing some reconnaissance work lately. It's been dangerous, stealthy, and risky. Why would I do it? For you. To bring you the super-secret, underground recipe for Happy O'Slappy Toofpaste. I'm putting my life even more at risk right now by blogging about it. But, if I lose everything, I'll take solace in knowing that I brought information to the people. Information that you all deserve to have. You may think I'm a hero but I'm just an ordinary person.
It began by me applying for a job as a Quality Control Agent for Happy O'Slappy so I could get the real insider scoop. Mission accomplished: I got the job! After I was handed my apron, gloves and hairnet, I got a tour of the plant. Never in my life have I seen so much toothpaste. In my own bathroom cabinet, I have 2, maybe 3 tubes at a time. But when I stepped out onto the production floor at Happy O'Slappy, I probably saw hundreds of thousands of tubes on the assembly line. And all the workers had brilliantly white smiles. How did I know? They smiled a lot. It's in the job description. Part of the clock-in process for all the workers is to floss one's teeth even! They take this shit seriously.
During my orientation, I got a step-by-step tutorial on how the toothpaste is made. I had a microscopic still camera mounted on my Happy O'Slappy polo shirt's lapel, with a remote capture button in my pocket. I totally splurged on these techy purchases. Again, for the good of the people.
So, here's how it shook down. Remember...Ssshhhhhhh. Mum's the word, peeps.
The first of the three simple, pure ingredients is sodium bicarbonate. Or, baking soda. Happy O'Slappy uses Arm & Hammer but I hear that that company employs animal testing for some of their product lines so I plan to ask the Willy Street Co-op
to offer another brand that does not.
The second ingredient in the super-secret formula is vegetable glycerin(e).
Apparently, Happy O'Slappy uses whatever brand is available at the lowest price. Locally in Madison, the one on the left in the photo is available at Community Pharmacy
, off State Street, and the one on the right is available at Willy Street Co-op
on Williamson Street. Vegetable glycerin is available on such famous streets in Madison!
Finally, the ingredient proportionally lesser than the other two, but so very, very important... the essential oil for flavor. We did a taste-test of the paste pre-flavor and it was salty! After the oil, it was a little salty, but then left my mouth feeling oh-so-fresh. That's a technical phrase in the industry, btw. The batch being made on my orientation day was "clove bud" flavor. MmmmmMMM!
Look at all the flavors!
Citronella toothpaste? Apparently there's a niche market in the northwoods.
So, a rogue employee told me the proportions of these ingredients on condition of anonymity. He makes his own at home. Apparently it's even cheaper than the employee discount! So first, you pour as much baking soda into a jar as you think you want the final product portion to be. Then, you add glycerin so that the consistency is what you want. Hey, you decide! Then, you add drops of your desired flavor to the flavor strength you desire. So easy. It's all up to your own preferences.
Well, the rest of the process gets a little boring, but you can get ideas for how to package and store your home-made version of Happy O'Slappy Toofpaste. These are actually the photos of the jar I made at home. I guess I have the same countertops as my new employer has near the assembly line. Huh.
Since it's so hard to shove something into a tube at home without specialized equipment, I thought I'd use a jar and spoon. So, I used a recycled jar after I ate up some delicious salsa. I sure was ready to brush my teeth after that! But, how do I get the toothpaste out of the jar every day (twice daily and in between meals)? Genius time. Think...think...think. Ah-ha! How about that old light saber spoon that I got out of a cereal box? The light saber function failed after I maybe washed it and submerged it in water. And the spoon part snaps right apart from the saber part, trimming the size down enough to fit right into my salsa jar once the lid is screwed on. Take a look...
You could probably cut or break a plastic spoon in half if you don't possess the good fortune of owning a light saber spoon.
The retail price of a tube of Happy O'Slappy Toofpaste is $4.99. I made twice that much and have a ton of leftover supplies for a few more jars to come. Many essential oils can be purchased for $3-$8 and last forever. It only takes a few drops to make the above recipe. I also use them in cleaning solutions with vinegar and water, so they're good to have on hand for multiple uses. Baking soda is cheap, as you probably know. Also good for many uses. We put it in the fridge, in baked goods and in the litter box (all separately). So, you probably have it on hand already. Finally, that bottle of glycerin on the right in the photo above sells for $8.95 (16 fl. oz.) at Community Pharmacy
. I estimate getting 8 jars of toothpaste out of the larger bottle so my general idea of math lends me to believe that making it at home is a better deal, in addition to being customizable, fun, and conscious in multiple ways (all priceless attributes). I wouldn't go so far as saying it's delicious, but I will say that it's pleasant and leaves a fresh feeling in my mouth. Aaaah! Here's the end product, with my creative and festive touch added to the label.
So, there you go! I hope my undercover, life-risking investigation has brought some real-world knowledge and empowerment to you. I'm on the graveyard shift tonight so I better affix my hairnet and get going.