Colgate Total Charcoal Deep Clean Toothpaste Review

Lifestyle habits can cause stains to build up up on the outside of the teeth and make them look darker than they once were.

This product may make your teeth appear whiter, by removing surface stains.

It will not change the natural colour of your teeth in the same way that professional whitening / bleaching can.

Charcoal pastes like this are very on trend at present, but before buying we recommend first checking out our best charcoal toothpaste article. It contains a huge guide on using and choosing charcoal toothpaste.

If like many you are turning to charcoal to whiten the teeth, I encourage you to read our article on the best whitening methods and visit our teeth whitening hub page as you will gain a lot of insight into what works and what doesn’t and why that is.

Pros

  • Not sold on the basis of whitening
  • Feels like it is cleaning well
  • Minty flavour
  • Ease of use
  • Suitable for vegetarians

Cons

  • Screw cap
  • Busy packaging
  • Unable to confirm if any better than a regular toothpaste

Does it actually work?

We understand you want whiter teeth, but this might not be the right product for you.

Tooth whitening is a complex process and every person’s circumstances and results are different (although the adverts and claims from many manufacturers don't make this clear).

This product may work to remove surface stains from your teeth, but it will not change the natural colour of your teeth in the same way that professional whitening / bleaching will.

Teeth whitening - a quick explainer

There is a general misunderstanding of how whitening products work, which is why we've covered the topic in detail.

Some products, such as the one being reviewed here, remove stains. This is not the same as professional bleaching carried out by a dentist, and this is where much of the confusion stems from.

Before choosing a product or procedure, it’s important to understand the basics. This small investment of time will save you money and improve your oral health.

Whether opting for a stain removal product or professional bleaching, there are cost-effective options available, which we cover throughout our content.

We encourage you to learn more about teeth whitening, and the following articles (created by our in-house dentist)  are a great place to start:

If you're interested in whitening, our overall advice is to visit the dentist before using a whitening product, but you can find a more detailed explanation of this by reading the links shared above.

We've also created this short video, which further explains how stain removal products may not work the way you think:

Watch Our Teeth Whitening Video Course

Before & after results

Everyone’s teeth are different.

Our lifestyles, genetics and medical conditions all have an influence on our teeth.

Some people have heavily stained teeth, whilst others do not.

Colgate total charcoal deep clean works by removing surface stains and may make your teeth appear whiter, but it will not change the natural colour of your teeth.

The results you achieve by using total charcoal deep clean will be different to me.

I have tried many different products and have little to no staining on my teeth.

Because of these circumstances, it would therefore be inaccurate to show before and after images to suggest what results you might get, because simply put, your before and after results may be very different.

However, to give you an idea, visit our teeth whitening before and after page, and you can see the kind of results you can expect from a stain removal product such as this, and the results you can expect from professional bleaching.

Cost

The price will vary depending on the time and location from which you buy it.

At the time of writing, I purchased this from Amazon, from a retailer that had imported it from India, as it is not readily available within the UK.

I paid just under £8 for a 140g tube.

Where To Buy

At the time of writing, the only place I could purchase it from with relative ease, given the lack of availability within the UK, was Amazon.

Colgate Total Charcoal Deep Clean Toothpaste
22 Reviews
Colgate Total Charcoal Deep Clean Toothpaste
  • Each Colgate Toothpaste provides 12 hour germ fighting protection

Taste, Packaging etc

Colgate is for most a household name when it comes to dental products.

I remember the brand as a kid, with the various, often colourful pastes that I used to have to be encouraged to clean my teeth.

Here at Electric Teeth I have recently tested a couple of their electric toothbrushes, the C250 and the C350, and been impressed with the way in which they have performed.

With a diverse range of dental products, it was no real surprise that they also have a charcoal based toothpaste.

Charcoal, more specifically activated charcoal/carbon, as you probably already know, has been portrayed in the last couple of years as if it is a natural miracle for your dull and stained teeth.

If you believe some of the Instagram images, within just one brushing session you can go from dull yellowed teeth to stunning white gnashers.

I have already intimated how this might not be quite the case, but nonetheless.

Some of the best selling charcoal products presently are 100% charcoal powders.  Essentially charcoal in its rawest state, with no added extras.

Often with a gritty texture, the taste can be quite earthy and it can be a messy process.

So a paste that still contains charcoal is perhaps more appealing?

I personally like the idea of something a little less gritty, having recently tested Warpaint and Procoal.

Many powders and pastes are marketed as whitening products, when in fact they are stain removal products.  All they do is clean the tooth surfaces better because charcoal is abrasive and the porous properties of charcoal mean it is able to absorb microscopic particles.

A few, notably those with heavy staining do see colour improvements, but for most, there is little or no difference.

This applies particularly to those who have used ‘whitening’ products before and those who maintain a good oral hygiene routine.

Colgate does not make a single mention of whitening in this instance.  In fact, they focus on what is core, cleaning, or as Colgate suggest deep cleaning.  It is refreshing to see that they do not tout whiteness but instead focuses on a broader number of benefits, which does include stain removal, but also bad breath, tartar and more.

As you can learn in our guide to the best charcoal toothpaste, most dentists will advise not to use activated charcoal products because there is little evidence to suggest it works.  But, then again there is little evidence to say it doesn’t.

I have mentioned above how charcoal based powders and pastes can often be marketed in a way that is a little misleading as to what it actually does and can achieve.

It is a natural ingredient, there are some positive properties to charcoal and it has been used in medicine (for poisonings) for many years.

It can remove microscopic particles and bacteria from the body and when used in a paste is set to collect the plaque and other debris and help stick it all together to be swept away by the bristles of the brush.

At the time of writing, this Charcoal infused Deep Clean paste from Colgate was imported from India where it is more readily available.  It is also available in other Asian countries such as the Philippines.

Although others have, Colgate has yet to make it available in the UK though what I might consider the normal channels.

The two videos here and here promote the paste and demonstrate it and how it is supposed to work.

Note how the focus is on the clean, rather than the whitening.  This to me is a big win and is a very honest approach.

Whether this deep cleaning is really working as well as the adverts suggest is simply not possible for me to tell in my unscientific testing.

My teeth felt clean after use, but I could not suggest the clean was any better than regular toothpaste.

Unlike the all natural powders I have tried, this does have a host of different ingredients in it.  The ingredients list is:

Sorbitol, Silica, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, PVM/MA Copolymer (Gantrez), Sodium Hydroxide, Flavor Carrageenan Gum, Titanium Dioxide, Sodium Saccharin, Triclosan, Sodium Fluoride, Titanium Dioxide Coated Mica, Charcoal, Eugenol, in aqueous base.

Items like fluoride exist in this paste, something that does not in the all-natural activated charcoal products.

It would be nice to see a smaller list of ingredients and a more natural approach.

You can learn more about the various ingredients in toothpastes ingredients article.

Whilst charcoal is included, the concentration is unknown and the paste just has a couple of light grey stripes (the charcoal) running through what is otherwise a white paste.

The paste does not have the unappealing black colour to it and has a strong minty smell and taste, before and after the clean.

In use, it is a really frothy and foams a lot.  It verges on being too much.

I definitely got the zesty, minty punch post clean, this to me is a nice taste and sensation.

The paste is completely smooth with no grittiness.

You only need a pea sized amount when using this toothpaste and brushing is like any other.  2 minutes twice a day.

The 140g tube should last about 3 month’s and has a shelf life of 24 months from the date of manufacture, shown on the package.

A small screw cap does need to be removed to access the paste. Sadly the size and design of the tube is such that it does not stand upright.  I prefer a tube that stands upright!

The packaging is also very busy and whilst bold, lacks a smart professional finish of some others.  Not that it’s all about image, but some tubes of paste appeal to the image conscious a little more.

I noticed no side effects of sensitivity or bleeding when using, but should you; if this does not subside within a couple for days consult your dentist for assistance and stop using this product.

Overall I can’t really fault this product.  My testing is unable to confirm if indeed it cleans any better or worse than regular toothpaste, however, I suspect that it cleans as well.

At this time, until it is available at a better price, a regular toothpaste really is my recommendation.

Ingredients

Sorbitol, Silica, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, PVM/MA Copolymer (Gantrez), Sodium Hydroxide, Flavor Carrageenan Gum, Titanium Dioxide, Sodium Saccharin, Triclosan, Sodium Fluoride, Titanium Dioxide Coated Mica, Charcoal, Eugenol, in aqueous base.

Safety

If it not already clear, the way I test products for Electric Teeth are not via some science lab, breaking down and testing all components of a product.  But instead just like you would at home.

Toothpaste and powders that contain activated charcoal have come under some scrutiny because it is not always clear how damaging they are to the teeth.  In truth, there is limited evidence available to support either side of the argument.  However, some brands like Curaprox and Beverly Hills Formula have conducted some independent testing to get their pastes rated for their abrasivity.

In both instances, their abrasivity was less than you might have expected when compared to the raw powder.

I did reach out to Colgate asking about the safety of this paste.

Whilst they provided no specific evidence they did acknowledge the abrasive nature of charcoal, in its raw form:

“In response to your specific query, our offering, Colgate Total Charcoal toothpaste with activated charcoal as a part of the formulation, combines the science of Colgate Total with Charcoal. The product uses a clinically proven, anti-germ technology which fights germ build up on mouth surfaces. It is pertinent to note that while Charcoal is abrasive in the instance of direct application, our studies confirm that the same is safe for use as part of Colgate Total Charcoal formulation. We re-iterate, the product is absolutely safe for use.” – Puja Sinha – Consumer Affairs – Colgate Palmolive Ltd

One assumes that if tested, it would rank similarly to the other charcoal infused toothpaste.

Fluoride is considered a key ingredient by many dental professionals as it can help protect the teeth, this paste does include it.

To some peoples, dissatisfaction will be the inclusion of Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) which although considered safe is said to have some health implications.

Is it eco-friendly?

Colgate total charcoal deep clean is not advertised or suggested to be environmentally friendly.

It does come packaged in a tube which can be hard to recycle, and ultimately will more than likely end up in landfill, which isn’t ideal.

That said, Colgate is one brand who is trying to change this with its oral care recycling scheme.

What we would like to see improved

Unlike many other brands who have and continue to sell charcoal under the pretence it is some miracle whitening agent for your teeth, Colgate don’t.  Therefore, I cannot criticise them or ask them to improve on their claims around this.

Perhaps they could consider removing some of the contentious ingredients from the paste, but that is really another topic altogether.

Ratings / Conclusion

As we’ve mentioned in the results section, it’s difficult for us (or anybody else) to systematically test numerous whitening products.

For this reason, we have chosen to omit star ratings.

However, below you can find a summary of our closing thoughts.

When sold on the premise of clean teeth, rather than ‘whiter’ teeth like many of the other charcoal based products, there is a confidence win here for me. Colgate is not promising something they cannot necessarily deliver and in fact their marketing focuses on the cleaning abilities of charcoal than anything else.

Did or does it clean better than any other toothpaste?  I don’t think it did.

It is certainly minty fresh and left my mouth feeling clean. The price and lack of evidence on the ‘deep clean’ at this time leave me unable to really advise going for this product over a conventional toothpaste.

Colgate Total Charcoal Deep Clean Toothpaste
22 Reviews
Colgate Total Charcoal Deep Clean Toothpaste
  • Each Colgate Toothpaste provides 12 hour germ fighting protection

FAQ

  • Where can I buy Colgate Total Charcoal Deep Clean toothpaste?
    • At the time of writing the only place, I could purchase this from without importing it myself from India was Amazon.
  • Does it contain peroxides?
    • No.
  • What does it taste like?
    • There is a distinct mint flavour
  • How much should I use?
    • A pea sized amount, like regular toothpaste.
  • How long should I brush for?
    • The standard 2 minutes.
  • Does it hurt?
    • I had no sensitivity, pain or side effects from using this.  Should you should gain additional sensitivity or side effects as a result of using it, stop doing so and consult a dentist.
  • How long does it last?
    • A tube like this should last about 3 months.
  • Is it safe? / Does it damage the enamel on my teeth?
    • Yes, according to Colgate.  Although they did not provide any specific evidence, they suggested their studies had concluded that this was perfectly safe and that only when charcoal in its raw form is used on the teeth is it abrasive.

Your Opinions

Do you own or have you used the Colgate Total Charcoal Deep Clean toothpaste?

Are there certain things that you really like or dislike?

Let me and other readers of this article know what you think, by commenting below.  Your feedback and opinions are incredibly valuable.

Related Posts

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Colgate Total Charcoal Deep Clean Toothpaste

Leave a comment or question

7 thoughts on “Colgate Total Charcoal Deep Clean Toothpaste Review”

  1. Hello, Jon!

    I looked all over the Internet but didn’t manage to find Colgate’s studies on the safety and efficiency of their activated charcoal-based toothpaste. As a supporter of the trend myself, I’m always looking for more scientific evidence regarding the use of activated charcoal in dentifrices and thus would love it if you could provide a link to those studies/statements from the company.

    Thank you for the awesome job you’re doing on this website!

    Carol

    Reply
    • Hi Carol.

      I too have not been able to find links to those studies.

      Perhaps I should have followed up on this in more detail at the time I reviewed the product, but I think I was reading between the lines in that the volume of charcoal in the paste is so low it falls within the normal RDA levels for what would be considered a ‘safe’ toothpaste. Essentially, because the charcoal is diluted within the paste it is less abrasive than the likes of a pure charcoal powder would be for example.

      I am sure their customer service team would gladly answer any specific questions you might have.

      Reply
      • Hello, Jon!

        Thank you very much for replying so quickly (I apologize for not seeing it earlier, sorry!)! From the information I’ve gathered, many activated-charcoal based dentifrices aren’t really that abrasive – at least, not more than a regular whitening toothpaste -. Sadly, many people, including scholars, still mistake activated charcoal for regular charcoal, and their difference is astounding.
        A high-quality grain of activated charcoal is small, porous, highly adsorbent and soft to the enamel, unlike ordinary charcoal. This is supported by studies such as the one conducted by Dr. Norman Horn, from My Magic Mud, and the abrasivity analysis made for Carvvo, a Brazilian dentifrice manufacturer. According to the official analysis (which was made by professionals from the Indiana University), Carvvo’s RDA is relatively low, hitting a mark of 92.
        That’s why I was looking for activated charcoal support from more established brands, just to see whether it would help consumers and health professionals alike perceive the possible odontological benefits of activated charcoal and its potential role in dentistry and patient self-care.

        Thank you very much for your time and support!

        Carol

        Reply
        • Hi Carol.

          I am not entirely sure that I agree with you that scholars mistake charcoal for activated charcoal, but it is possible that some would.

          I have written quite extensively about activated charcoal toothpaste products and the research I undertook showed a difference of opinion, with most professionals urging caution.

          There may well be some benefits, which in some instances such as My Magic Mud, have been proven. But, ultimately what it comes down to is that there have been no real long term tests to see what the effects of activated charcoal are on the teeth.

          Dr Norman Horn looks primarily at the whitening and not specifically at the abrasivity. He makes reference to this but deems the activated charcoal powder safe as it falls within the upper limits set within the Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA) scale. Although I can’t contest it falls with the safe limits, I think most people would prefer to brush their teeth with a less abrasive product, even if it was still considered safe.

          There is without doubt different grades and levels of quality – not all products are made equal. Sadly, the average consumer does not know this or is unaware of what is a good or bad product, so professionals have to err on the side of caution to help consumers avoid making potentially damaging mistakes.

          Reply
  2. I used it and there was a slight improvement to my teeth. Like the article said we are all different so results vary. All I say is that it was a pleasant experience.

    Reply
  3. Hi! I totally agree with you. This toothpaste looks incredible but my stains are still here. It doesn’t do anything. The only benefit I got from this product was that I feel my mouth fresh. After all most of toothpastes make yiur mouth feel fresh… I don’t recommend it at all.

    Reply
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