Sunday, November 16, 2014

Still Learning: Toothpaste's Menacing Effect

Warning: Toothpaste may be hazardous to your clothing. That's the lesson I learned recently. Was the garment--my black lace blouse (above)--ruined? Not in my opinion. However, I will be more careful about when and how I brush my teeth in the future.

Recently, I had to get into work early to make a presentation at a breakfast meeting. In my rush to get out of the house, I realized I was almost completely dressed, but hadn't brushed my teeth yet. In my haste, a bit of toothpaste fell off my toothbrush and landed on my black lace blouse. I scraped the toothpaste off with my fingernail and dabbed it with cold water. I finished getting ready and headed off to work.

When I arrived at the office, I noticed the toothpaste mark was still visible. I went to the ladies room and dabbed a little soap and water on it. When it dried, the mark was still there. The mark was also there after I hand-washed the blouse later that day. Granted, it isn't a glaring stain. In fact, I've circled the mark in the photo above to make it easy to find. It's only a little bit more noticeable to the naked eye.

Still, it surprised me. I've always thought of toothpaste as innocuous. What was in the toothpaste that could cause the discoloring? I wondered. Suddenly, it dawned on me: the toothpaste's whitening ingredient. I suspect the paste's whitening agent lightened the black fabric.  

I've worn the blouse since washing it and my girlfriends assure me the mark isn't noticeable. However, in the future, I plan to be more vigilant about brushing my teeth before I get dressed.

Have you had a similar experience with a whitening toothpaste or another product you didn't expect to harm your clothes? Please leave a comment below. I'd also love to know if there was something I could have done to keep the dropped toothpaste from lightening the fabric. Thanks!