The Travel Toothbrush

I’d like to tell you about a truly bad product, shoddy in design, hokey in functionality and broken after just one single use.

In my computer case I carry a travel toothbrush and some toothpaste. More than once that has come in very handy when the airline did not deliver my luggage when I arrived and I had to spend a night at a hotel without luggage. It also cures jungle mouth after a long flight or a greasy lunch during a layover.

My old travel toothbrush was the kind where the brush part could be pulled out and reversed into the handle. It was indestructible. However, it got old enough that I found traces of mould on it, so I had to get rid of it.

I went to CVS trying to find a replacement. The only “collapsible” toothbrush I found came in a two-pack for about five dollars. The two brushes looked bright and colorful. As it often is with such products, they are well encased in plastic and cardboard, so there was no way for me to test out the functionality before I bought them.

Here is what one of them looks like folded up:

The white dot on the left side is a hinge point, and as you pull the yellow part of the handle open from the left,  the brush can be folded out and the handle closed again.

This worked exactly one time. I brushed my teeth and put it back together.

The second time I opened it, I must have somehow overextended the handle, and its hinge on the right broke. Suddenly I held two separated pieces in my hand and no good way to brush my teeth.

Now the thing looks like this:

Sad, this is a product that was obviously designed for the colors and the looks, with no regard to functionality and durability. Of course didn’t keep my receipt. Who would think a toothbrush would break after one use.

I have the second one, so I’ll be more careful with the handle, and perhaps it’ll last ten times.

I would love to go after the manufacturer, but there is no brand or label on it anywhere. I have long tossed the packaging. If I went back to the store I could probably write down the company.

But then, I have already spent 15 minutes writing this post. I am not spending another 15 minutes going back to CVS, and another 30 minutes to find customer service, and another… You get the idea. It’s a five dollar product, and they have my money. And they will have many other people’s money.

Probably going to China.

God bless America.

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