Color Code on Toothpaste Hidden Meaning?


“Toothpaste” by Ozzy Delaney (CC BY 2.0), via

Do you ever wonder about that Color Code on Toothpaste?  You know, that stripe at the end of your toothpaste tube?

If so, then you’ve come to the right place.

We not only provide the answer, but, we’ll show you exactly how the color code on toothpaste is used in a live action video.  While watching the video we will walk you step by step what to look for so you can see in action how the color code is used on your toothpaste tube.

Do You Want the BEST Teeth Whitening Toothpaste?


If you read this far, and you already know what the Color Code on Toothpaste means, then…


You are a robotic industry manufacturing guru!

The Stripe, The Myth, The Legend

Color Code on Toothpaste ExamplesMany of you may have seen claims like the following that describe what these different color codes represent:

  • BLUE = Natural or Has Medicine
  • GREEN = All Natural
  • RED = Natural + Chemicals
  • BLACK = All Chemicals

Looks like a legitimate list of characteristics doesn’t it?

Well, if you thought the list above was valid, then…


But, don’t feel bad.  I only figured this out right before writing this blog post.

If you already knew this was misinformation, then good for you!

You didn’t fall for the color bar on toothpaste hoax!

It’s All in the Manufacturing

The toothpaste stripe color meaning has much more to do with the tube than what is inside the tube.

What’s the real story?

The color stripe on the toothpaste tube is used during the manufacturing process that fills toothpaste tubes.

Norden NM 600E Tube Filler

“Norden NM 600E Tube Filler” by Gwydion M Williams (CC BY 2.0), via

The machines that fill up the toothpaste tube use these stripes as eye marks.

Here’s the deal:

An Eye Mark is a special mark on the packaging that the assembly line machine uses as a guide for the operation that it is tasked to accomplish.

An Eye Mark is used on many different products, and is likely in very different places on the packaging of different products (not just toothpaste).

For toothpaste tubes, the Eye Mark is used by the machine that is filling up the toothpaste tube.

The mark can be seen by the machinery and the machinery uses that mark to rotate the tube so that following machinery can target where to close the tube off and heat seal it on the opposite end of the tube from the cap.

What About the Different Stripe Colors?

If you are still not convinced, you might be thinking to yourself , “But, if the stripes don’t mean anything, then why are there different colors?”.

The question is…

If assembly machines are using the stripe only for knowing where to press and seal, then why would there be a need for at least four different colors of stripes?

Here’s the interesting part:

Toothpaste tube project

“Toothpaste tube project” by Joe Goldberg (CC BY-SA 2.0), via

The answer is that there are many different sizes and shapes of toothpaste.  And, many different companies that make toothpaste.

All of these companies have different budgets and different needs in terms of toothpaste tube shape.

That ends up having some companies build in house assembly machines.  And, if companies can’t afford in house, they end up purchasing machinery from various toothpaste machinery suppliers.

But, that’s not all…

If you still don’t believe me, visit this page on Alibaba.  This page is completely dedicated to providing access to almost 2,000 different machinery suppliers that all use color codes like the ones you see on your toothpaste tubes.

Many of these machines on Alibaba are not specific to toothpaste, but, a company could use them for toothpaste if the company thinks the machine meets its needs.

See The Stripe in Action

In this YouTube video, you can see toothpaste machinery using the color code stripe to line up the tube.  See my play by play description right below the video for what to look for here (it’s really not obvious at first):

Automatic toothpaste Fill and Closing Machine

The Play By Play Call

Watching the beginning of the video, the person inserts the tubes into the large bin with all of the tubes pointed in the same direction.  The head is towards the viewer of the video in the beginning.  The end of the tube with the color code is always away from the viewer.

If you watch closely, when the machine first picks up the tubes, the tubes are not always facing the same direction.

You can sometimes see the front of the tube facing up and visible.  And, other times you can see that the front of the tube is not facing up (you see the back of the tube in the video).

But, by the time the tube has made it to the place where the machine inserts the toothpaste, the tubes are all facing with the color code stripe towards the user.

What is really happening here?

In the video between 27 seconds into the video and 50 seconds is where the magic happens.

Here’s Exactly What to Look For…

During this time in the video you can see the long metal rod going up and down as it puts the toothpaste into the tube.  Just to the left of that rod and more towards the camera is a thick metal arm that is going up and down once for each tube.  There is a similar arm to the right side of the video.

But, for now focus on the metal arm on the left.  Each time it goes down, you can see past the arm to the tube that is about to be filled.  As you watch the video focus on that “next in line” tube.  The person shooting the video stays at this location long enough to see about 15 tubes go by.

Focus on those “next in line” tubes as they show up to the “next in line” position.  What you will notice is that when the tube shows up, it isn’t always facing the same way.  Sometimes you can see the color code.  Sometimes you can’t.

This Is Where the Robot Uses the Color Code


If you look closely there is a arm with what looks like a circular white arrowhead that is right above the “next in line” tube.  The white round arrowhead comes down on that tube while it is in the “next in line” position and it rotates the tube right before moving it from “next in line” to filling it with toothpaste.

This is where the color code comes into play.  That “arrowhead” piece of the robot is rotating the tube until a sensor can detect that the tube is in the “right” location.  Of course, the “right” location is to rotate the tube so that the rest of the robot can do its job inserting the toothpaste and properly sealing the tube.

This allows the machines stamp to shut and heat seal each toothpaste tube in the exactly same way for each tube.  This means after the robot is done, the flat part of the tube will rest such that you can read the label in the same way.

spider paste (with a blue color code)

“spider paste” by Vanessa (CC BY-ND 2.0), via

What Should You Care About?

Well, obviously you should not care about the color code on toothpaste tubes.

But, you should care about what is inside each tube!

So, be sure to read the ingredients and choose which toothpaste is best for you.

We’ve written several articles about various types of toothpastes.  Hopefully, one of these articles has in it what what you really need to know about your toothpaste:

Each of these articles targets a specific type of toothpaste that addresses either a concern many people have with a specific ingredient in their toothpaste, or a specific need they have with their teeth that a certain type of toothpaste is better at addressing.

Conclusion:  The Answer

Which toothpaste has green color bar?  Which one has a blue bar?

It Doesn’t Matter!!

Just pick a great toothpaste that has great toothpaste inside the tube.  One like this one.

Do You Want the BEST Teeth Whitening Toothpaste?


We hope you enjoyed our play by play descriptions of how the color code on toothpaste is used.  We just love watching robots at work and think this is really COOL!

Just remember, if you pick a toothpaste like the one we recommend, then the color code on toothpaste tubes just won’t be an issue.  The only color you will be seeing is white!

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