Does Toothpaste Have a Colour Code That Reveals Its Ingredients?

The ingredients of a toothpaste tube can be found usually on its box or on the tube itself.

Published
Fit-WebQoof
3 min read
We found that the coloured boxes on the toothpaste tubes are related to the manufacturing process and have nothing to do with the ingredients. 
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A claim stating that toothpaste "colour codes" actually reveal the ingredients present in it has gone viral on the internet.

However, we found that the coloured boxes on the toothpaste tubes are related to the manufacturing process. The marks can be read by the sensors, that tells the machines where to cut, fold and pack the toothpaste tube. It has nothing to do with the ingredients.

CLAIM

One of the viral claims lists out the colours and specifies what each colour means. The claim was viral on Facebook and Instagram.

“The Color Code at the Bottom of your Toothpaste Tube :
Black = Pure Chemical
Red = Natural + Chemical
Blue = Natural + Medicine
Green = Natural
So ... Before putting the paste into your toothbrush, see what is it.”

An archive of the post can be found <a href="https://perma.cc/2FAD-5DGH">here</a>.
An archive of the post can be found here.
(Photo: Screenshot/Facebook)
An archive of the post can be found <a href="https://perma.cc/9BKH-2TR3">here</a>.
An archive of the post can be found here.
(Photo: Screenshot/Facebook)
An archive of the post can be found <a href="https://perma.cc/22VG-JSS2">here</a>.
An archive of the post can be found here.
(Photo: Screenshot/Instagram)

We also found that the same claim was being shared in 2015 on Twitter.

An archive of the post can be found <a href="https://perma.cc/3EPE-JHPV">here</a>.
An archive of the post can be found here.
(Photo: Screenshot/Twitter)

WHAT WE FOUND OUT

When we looked for the toothpaste colour codes on Google, we found a blog on Colgate that said that the colour-coding system didn’t exist.

We reached out to Pacmac, a company that manufactures tube filling machines. A representative of the company said, “The marks at the end of the tube helps the machine detect the end of the tube. That helps in making sure the printing is in the right place, and the tube is filled, cut and sealed properly.”

The tube filling process can also be seen in a video on their YouTube channel.

The colours of the marks signify different sensors or different types of packaging.

The best way to know the ingredients of toothpaste is to read the printed ingredients on the packaging, either on the tube itself or on the box it came in. Toothpaste generally contains water, abrasives, fluoride, antibacterial agents and flavouring agents.

As per the Indian government’s Department of Consumer Affairs, no toothpaste brands in India can claim to be totally “natural”.

Evidently, the claim that the coloured boxes at the end of the tube tell the ingredients of the toothpaste is false.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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