If you have seen the online ad that claims putting coke in gas tank saves gas, you likely have seen Colgate toothpaste and other things added to gas tanks. Just like coke, an ad made by Ecoplius showed Colgate toothpaste being added to fuel tanks to save gas.
The funny thing about those ads is they are just clickbait to lure viewers into a particular site. Because when you click on these ads, they direct you to a site selling something entirely different. Twitter and Reddit users, however, have asked if putting toothpaste in gas tank can actually save gas. Before you attempt to try it, please, read through this article.
What happens if I put toothpaste in gas tank?
What happens when you put toothpaste in your gas tank? A series of ads making rounds online that putting certain solvents, including Colgate toothpaste, in fuel tanks saves gas. Contrary to these ads, putting Colgate or any other type of toothpaste in the fuel tank does not save gas or in any way improve your car’s performance.
The toothpaste in the gas tank ad is a scam: it’s a way of tricking users into certain sites. They do this by using the ad to build curiosity amongst viewers, ultimately luring them into their websites. In fact, just like putting coke in a gas tank, putting toothpaste in your fuel tank will mess up your fuel system and wreck your engine, resulting in expensive repair bills.
Toothpaste contains certain ingredients in specific proportions. There is the therapeutic agent at 0.5%, preservative at most 0.5%, flavor at 1-2%, binder at 1-2%, water at 5-30%, humectant at about 20-70%, and abrasive at 10-40%.
While these ingredients might be harmful to your engine, those of utmost concern are the water, humectant, and abrasive since they are used in large amounts. And here is a detailed explanation why you should be concerned about these three ingredients.
Water in toothpaste
Water is denser than fuel, so if it doesn’t evaporate with engine heat, it settles at the bottom of your fuel tank. The gas pump pulls the fuel from the bottommost point of your tank. Thus, your fuel pump will eventually pick up the water instead of fuel if the water has settled under your fuel tank.
First, Water is not supposed to be found in your fuel system. Again, when the fuel injectors finally send this to the combustion chamber, it messes up your engine. This could lead to poor engine performance or even packing up the engine. Aside from air and fuel, no other liquid should enter your combustion chamber.
You might be thinking, can the scanty amount of water in one toothpaste tube cause so much damage? The probability is slim. However, while one toothpaste may not contain much water, using more than two tubes of toothpaste may accumulate enough water to ruin your engine.
Humectant in toothpaste
The humectant, like glycerol, has a high chance of turning into crystals and settling underneath your fuel tank. Your fuel pump may pick these crystals and send them into your engine. Crystals don’t do well with pistons, bearings, and other moving components of your engine. Humectants may also make their way into the fuel injectors and filters, clogging these units.
Abrasive in toothpaste
Abrasive, the highest ingredient in toothpaste, can clog your fuel filter. Abrasives are more like silica gels and denser than fuel, so it sinks down your gas tank, where it gets picked up by the fuel pump.
When finally injected by the injectors, it gums up to the fuel filter eventually and even the fuel injectors. This is apparent, especially in older cars. With the fuel filter clogged, your engine will not get enough fuel to work, leading to engine jerking and misfires.
A YouTuber tried putting this into a test to see the outcome. However, he didn’t use toothpaste in the gas tank. Instead, he poured it into the engine through the oil cap. According to the test, while the toothpaste didn’t gum up the fuel system, it caused noise in the valves and camshaft after a few minutes of running the car.
In short, what happens when you put toothpaste in your gas tank? Toothpaste in fuel tank doesn’t help save gas or improve performance. Instead, it may likely mess up your fuel system and ruin your engine.
What to do if you put toothpaste in the gas tank?
Don’t fall for the toothpaste in gas tank hoax. It’s a trick that scammers use to lure people to their websites. Using toothpaste in your petrol tank will eventually wreck your engine. If, however, you’ve already poured it in or someone has messed up with your fuel tank, here is what to do.
First, diagnose and be sure it’s truly toothpaste in your fuel tank, especially if you didn’t put it yourself. Malicious people can pour all sorts of things into your fuel tank to hurt you. Wondered how people often have oil in the gas tanks? That said, toothpaste has a minty smell, so you can take a sniff. If you are sure, it’s toothpaste, start by draining out all the fuel from your petrol tank.
If you already drove the car, the toothpaste ingredients would have circulated in your fuel system and possibly gum up the fuel filter. So you would need to flush your fuel system as well as replace the fuel filter. This would prevent contamination and allow for proper fuel circulation when new fuel is poured into your gas tank.
Thankfully, if you have a dishwasher tablet in a petrol tank, WD-40 in a gas tank, or any solvent, this method works well in eliminating them from your fuel system. However, be sure you can do it. Suppose you don’t; have a mechanic do it for you.
If you have not driven the car after the toothpaste was added, have the vehicle towed to your mechanic if you can’t do it. Not driving will prevent the toothpaste from circulating. So all you may need to do is drain the fuel tank, invariably reducing the bills you pay.
Does toothpaste help with gas mileage?
Does putting toothpaste in gas tank help save fuel? Toothpaste does not help with gas mileage. The toothpaste in gas tank ad making rounds online is a tricky way scammers lure you into their website. You may also have seen the coke in fuel tank or sugar in gas tank ad, all claiming to help save gas consumption.
Don’t fall for them, or else you may damage your engine and accumulate unnecessary repair bills. You will pay money to have it removed from your fuel tank and engine or have to repair engine parts or even the engine if it already has affected your engine.
If you are concerned about improving gas mileage, there are other ways you can explore. Start by replacing certain parts that help drive and provide air and fuel for combustion. You can replace the air filter, spark plugs, oxygen sensors, mass airflow sensors, and even your tires. There are also some driving techniques that are fuel efficient.
Accelerate mildly; harder acceleration causes you to use more fuel and maintain a particular speed. Avoid driving at higher speeds; the faster you go, the more fuel you use. If you can, avoid traffic and suppose you’re already in traffic, keep a reasonable distance between you and the vehicle in front of you; the more you stop, the more you use the brake pedal and the more fuel you use.
Other ways to save gas are to avoid idling for long, don’t carry too heavy loads, and heavier loads use more fuel. Use air conditioning sparsely; you can open the windows for fresh air to enter when driving in the city and if at all you use the A.C., use the re-circulate alternative, as it reduces the amount of fuel used.
If you were already thinking, does toothpaste in a gas tank work to save gas and remove such thoughts from your mind? There are many ways one can save gas, but putting toothpaste in the fuel tank is just not one of them.
What does toothpaste do to cars?
While using toothpaste in gas tanks, it also has its benefits around other car parts and other things. Toothpaste has a mild abrasive that can smoothen and polish surfaces. It is useful in eliminating scratches from your car.
It does this by helping to even out the scratch, invariably erasing or lessening the appearance of the scratch depending on how deep it is. It’s worth noting that only normal toothpaste, like Colgate, not gel toothpaste, will help remove the scratch as they have little grit that helps do the work.
More importantly, toothpaste will not fix chipped or peeling car paint like those deep enough to contain your finger. If the scratch is deep enough to hold your finger, you probably need another kind of treatment.
Just like it helps lessen and eliminate car scratches. Toothpaste in the toilet sink can also help your toilet sink stay clean, smell fresh, and be mildly disinfected. All you need to do is cut or pierce as many holes in the toothpaste tube as possible and place the toothpaste in your toilet sink.
Every time you flush, a small quantity of toothpaste is released, not only disinfecting but also letting your toilet smell fresh. Moreover, you can also use toothpaste to clean your dirty toilet. However, the said toothpaste must have menthol as this agent gives it that minty fresh smell.
If you are thinking about those Toothpaste in gas tank ads you saw online and intend to give it a try, you know the consequences to face by now. On no account should you put toothpaste in gas tank. It does not help save gas, as claimed by these scammers. They use the ad to lure you into that site. Trying the toothpaste in gas tank trick is intentionally accumulating unwarranted bills for you.
Now, to the question most people may ask, can you put toothpaste in gas tank? Obviously, you can; the tube will not slap you for wanting to put it. The right question to ask is, should you put toothpaste in your fuel tank? No, you shouldn’t; it will mess up your fuel system and harm your engine, leading to repair bills. If you already have, flush your fuel tank and system and change the fuel filter.