TRY AND SHARE - Caliquo's re-usable toothbrushes, France
Earlier this year, I spent some time testing and sharing with you my impressions of Colgate bamboo toothbrush. So when Caliquo, a lovely French brand of re-usable toothbrushes contacted me to present their zero-waste vision and test their own product, I did not hesitate a second. I received a few days later a nice wood-based, made-in-France brush and took some time to test it for you guys.
My impressions are genuine and not driven by any commercial interest. The present was sincerely appreciated, but the words are mine.
Gregoire and Marthe, the founders of Caliquo, wanted to reduce the amount of waste generated by plastic toothbrushes (with 7'000 tons incinerated in France each year, the room for improvement was easy to spot). In 2014 they designed a reusable, long-lasting toothbrush made in responsible materials, with the plan to reduce its discardable part to the minimum: its bristles, which can be collected and recycled via a partnership with TerraCycle.
To adapt to different tastes, the brand offers different designs: a simple one in beech wood (the one on the pictures that I have tested), another one made of 70% bioplastic, and the last one, rather fancy, in oak or walnut wood. Each share the same principle: keep the based for a lifetime, and change the bristle
Caliquo also offers other hygiene-related products in its e-shop, including solid toothpaste, shaving accessories, make-up removal pads and some more. And for the little chemists we have in our audience here, you will also find 5 recipes to create your own solid toothpaste!
Caliquo also sees its production as the best alternative to the trendy bamboo toothbrushes that are now available in zero-waste shops. Caliquo designs and produces the toothbrushes in France; its wood comes from sustainably managed forests. On the other hand more than 90% of the available bamboo toothbrushes is mass-produced in China, and floods dropshipping platforms (see an article we wrote in March already on the topic).
While you can keep the base as long as possible, the Caliquo toothbrushes are also biodegradable, so you will be able to compost them at the end of their life; this is for instance not an option, surprisingly, for bamboo-based toothbrushes, whose materials and structure oblige to go for industrial-size composting (so most likely not feasible on the individual household level) and whose heads are made of non-compostable nylon bristles and metal stitches for some.
Caliquo is also a partner of Comme Avant, that our readers will surely recognized as I have been using their products since the beginning of the year.
I have now been using Caliquo beech for the past 2 weeks as part of my zero-waste routines, and I am pleased to share my pros and cons with you:
The design of the toothbrush is pretty simple, neat, elegant. even fancy; it clearly looks better than bamboo toothbrushes which often look quite rough despite the possibility to find them in different colours.
The toothbrush is very lightly varnished, which prevents it from absorbing water, toothpaste and spit. This gives it a great sense of comfort of hygiene.
It passed the test of the Lush charcoal toothpaste tablets! These tainted the other brands' products, but here the varnish leaves it taintless.
The design is solid. I was always concerned of how long I could keep the other wooden toothbrushes after being in contact with water, already even after a few days of use. So far it had not been an issue with Caliquo. The removable bristle section is also very solid (almost too solid, as I struggled at first to try remove it).
I love the limited and sustainable packaging, it is simple and perfectly suits the toothbrush's design.
to remain solid on the long term and allow the bristle section to be properly clicked in safely, the head of the tootbrush has been designed quite broad, broader than what you would find for a regular commercial toothbrush. This means that you just need to be used to getting your mouth full when brushing, which can be a little awkward at first.
As a natural product wood reacts obviously to humidity; with the entire family getting a hot shower after the weekend's excursion in the cold, the bristle section dismantled itself naturally. It got stable again as the toothbrush completely dried off.
While the instructions on the box seem clear, I strongly advise new users to refer to the ones available on the website. For instance, forcing on the bristle while the toothbrush is dry makes you close to breaking its head; instead you are advised to leave the toothbrush in a glass of water for a few minutes. I only realized this at a later stage and did force too much.
If you decide to go wood-based and long-term, get a Caliquo. I do think the quality is much better than any other wooden toothbrushes I have tried so far, and I even consider getting a walnut-wood one whose design and colour I really like. The price is totally affordable if you consider the lifecycle of the product as well as its origins, and the care that was put in the sourcing and making.
Check out the links below to look at the products, and let us know in the comment section below what you think!
Find Caliquo online:
A big thank you to Gregoire and Lucie for contacting us and supporting OUTSIDE THE BOX philosophy!