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Good To Know

The Myth of the Color Coded Toothpaste Tube

Jul 06, 2021

True or False: The colored stripe at the edge of your toothpaste tube is a secret way to tell what ingredients are really in your toothpaste despite what the ingredient panel tells you.


Raise your hand if you think this is false. 

You would be right; this is false with a capital F. Chalk this up to another online urban legend that’s been circulating around the internet for quite some time. If you haven’t heard about this hidden, top-secret code, the basic gist is that the stripe on your toothpaste tube is color coded to secretly tell the user what’s in the product, and if it’s healthy or not.

The mythical color code is as follows:

Green – Totally natural.

Blue – Mostly natural but they’ve added a few “medicinal” ingredients. To be honest, we’re not really sure what constitutes a “medicinal” ingredient.

Red -  A little bit natural, a little bit chemical. Hopefully the flavors are pretty strong…nobody likes the taste of chemicals in the morning.

Black – Chemical cocktail. Be careful, it could very well burn through the tube.

Again, because we can’t stress this enough, this information is not true. It’s a big ol’ myth, a fable, a tall tale, a fabrication…it’s false.

man and toothpaste 

This mysterious color wheel can’t possibly be true because the color of the stripe has no correlation with how the United States Department of Agriculture certifies products as natural or organic. Trust us when we say that there is NO possible way to have a toothpaste certified organic if it contains chemicals. There are actually three levels of USDA organic labeling: 100% Organic, 95% or more Organic, or Made with Organic (70% or more organic ingredients). 

There is a strict set of criteria a product must meet to get the USDA Organic certification RADIUS has earned. 

  1. Produced without any of the excluded methods, like genetic engineering or ionizing radiation. 
  2. Produced using allowed substances (No synthetics allowed). 
  3. Overseen by a USDA National Organic Program-authorized certifying agent, following all USDA organic regulations. In our case, RADIUS products were certified NOP by EcoCert.
  4. 95%+ of the product’s ingredients must be organic

As a side note, if the product has between 70% and 94% organic ingredients, it falls into the category label “Made with Organic” but still not allowed to call it an Organic product (like Organic Toothpaste) or use the USDA seal. If it has less than 70% organic ingredients it cannot have the term organic or display the USDA seal. Those labels really matter! 

We are proud of the hard work our team has put into earning the USDA Organic certification because our toothpastes are 98% organic. Overachievers, and proud of it.


The fact of the matter is that the colored stripes on the tubes have absolutely nothing to do with the ingredients. Colored stripes are also not limited to just toothpaste tubes. If you check your fridge and cupboards, you’ll see them on products like milk cartons and cereal boxes.

The colored stripes don’t indicate the packaging material or it’s recycling capabilities either. They’re all used in the manufacturing and packaging process and can be called “eye marks”, “registrations guides”, or “color marks”. 

When talking about toothpaste, the tubes are typically made in long hollow strips that are divided into sections depending on the size of the tube. The color mark indicates to a robotic sensor where it should stop and cut the end of each tube. The stripes are darker than the rest of the packaging so that the machine can easily read them. In fact, the color of the stripe really has no meaning, it varies by manufacturer.

Now that this work of online fiction has been debunked, you should know that the absolute best way to see what ingredients are in your toothpaste is to read the label. And, purchase from a trusted company, like us, who values transparency and honesty. What’s in our toothpaste is written on the label. No color codes necessary.

proud to be organic