Colors On Toothpaste Tubes – Between Myth And Reality

A close look at the tube of a toothpaste reveals some small rectangular shapes (sometimes seen as squares) shown in different colors. We all must have seen them, but never bothered to ask ourselves what they meant…if there was any meaning behind those colors. A simple Google search leads us to an answer seemingly pretty grounded in which colors are closely associated with the chemical composition of the toothpaste.

Here is what “the original” explanation spreading on social media said: “pay attention when buying toothpaste, at the bottom of the toothpaste tube there is a color bar. And do you only know the original meaning of the color bar! Try to choose green and blue, there are four kinds: Green: natural; Blue : Natural + Medicine; Red : Natural + Chemical composition; Black : pure chemical”. Easy to understand, this led to a heated debate and many websites around the world took the information for granted and spread it accordingly.

This is where website comes into play. According to it, all these claims in the above-shown message are false. The squares, called “eye marks”, are marks used in the packaging process and do not indicate the chemical content of the tubes in any way whatsoever. The marks tell packaging machines when to perform certain tasks such as cutting or crimping tubes. A sensor reads these colors and send a message to the operating computer which oversees the whole packaging process. This is why other colors may also be seen on the tubes, except for those already mentioned. Here is a movie explaining the role of these colored codes in the packaging process.

So, in the end, in this case alone, packaging’s got nothing to do with the contents. After all, we logically wonder, why would a producer hide “the secret” of a product behind a simple color when all the ingredients that make up that respective item are listed on the tube anyway?


You may also like...