Why Does Striped Toothpaste Not Mix Up?

You get to buy your favorite striped toothpaste at your grocery. But, haven’t you ever wondered or become curious why its toothpaste colors don’t get mixed up?

Science plays an important part in the creation of a tube of striped toothpaste. Keeping the stripes separate into the tube is a lot more difficult than you might think. This is so that the kinds of striped toothpaste usually have three colors. You can see the white paste in the middle, then the red, blue, or green color stripes.

In this article, we are going to walk you through why toothpaste colors don’t get mixed up in the tube. And, you will know how do toothpaste companies produce striped toothpaste

Quick facts about toothpaste stripes

Today, most of us may seem to be inclined to buy striped toothpaste than the regular ones. Striped toothpaste is something unique that most customers prefer using over plain toothpaste.

It was in 1955 that striped toothpaste was produced and invented by Leonard Marraffino. Striped toothpaste was among the first mass-marketed products to customers at the time.

To make striped toothpaste, toothpaste companies use a specific type of machine. This machine has three mixing compartments to separate the colors of the toothpaste: red, white, blue, or green. 

As the machine pushes them into the tube, it ensures that each paste is separated. Hence, this prevents them from mixing, so the colors stay separate. Then, the machine joins these compounds inside the tube. So, then the final toothpaste product may have different colors. But, it does still contain the same chemical compounds to clean one’s teeth.

A refresher: What is the matter of toothpaste?

To answer further how striped toothpaste is created, let’s get back first to what toothpaste is. Toothpaste is a semi-liquid matter which is partly solid and liquid. This means that these two properties of toothpaste allow the creation of the stripes on the tube.

Toothpaste is a suspension of insoluble particles in water. Suspensions are different from solutions and emulsions. In solutions, solutes are dissolved in a solvent. 

Furthermore, the kinds of toothpaste we use contain calcium carbonate as an abrasive agent or cleaning agent. This means too that it does not easily dissolve in water when there is no pressure put on it.

So, how do toothpaste stripes remain that way?

Gravity and pressure determine the way toothpaste gets squeezed out of its tube. As you squeeze the tube, gravity is pushing down on the toothpaste, while air pressure is trying to push it up. When you squeeze the tube of toothpaste, the different colors come out in stripes.

So, as it turns out, there’s a lot of science that goes into the creation of a tube of striped toothpaste. The secret is in the thickness and viscosity of the toothpaste. These properties make it so that when you squeeze a bit of toothpaste into your brush, it doesn’t spill the content.

Applying pressure to the tube causes the main material to issue out through the nozzle of the tube. Its composition has different colors of the toothpaste into the tube. It’s not that these two or three paste materials are not in separate compartments. What makes it so separated is that each paste is sufficiently viscous that it will not mix.


Viscosity is a measurement of a fluid’s resistance to flow or how thick it feels. Toothpaste has a high viscosity, meaning it is thick and doesn’t move easily without force.

Toothpaste doesn’t behave like liquids that we may be more familiar with, such as water or juice. As force is applied to toothpaste, it will flow slowly at first and then more quickly as the force increases. When the force is removed, toothpaste returns to its original state slowly. 

This is so that a slow return to its original state allows the different colored stripes in the tube to hold. In this way, the different colors of paste remain thick and viscous. This is one reason why these colors don’t mix since they aren’t the same density.


Toothpaste makers also use a method known as rheology to create striped kinds of toothpaste. Rheology is the science that deals with the flow and deformation of matter. This means that it tells us how things flow when under force.

As such, toothpaste companies use rheology to understand how kinds of toothpaste flow when squeezed out of a tube. They can also use this knowledge to create different colors on top of one another without blending when squeezed out.

Buying the right toothpaste: Striped or not? 

Toothpaste makers can add as many different colors as they like, but they have to be careful not to add too many.

Many people have wondered what makes the stripes in their toothpaste. The answer is that there are two different types of toothpaste in your tube.

The lower layer of toothpaste is under more pressure than the top layer. So it’s forced upward, while the top strand is being pulled downward by gravity. The two strands never mix because they’re always stuck in motion.

The first type is the “base layer.” This layer is like normal toothpaste – a gel-like substance made to clean your teeth.

The second type adds flavor and color to the toothpaste, and it’s called the “stripe coat.” It’s applied as a liquid, but once dry, it keeps its shape.

But, while there are different colors in the tube, it still contains fluoride which is essential to keep your teeth clean.

Key takeaway

So, with the trends of colored and striped toothpaste in the market, it doesn’t matter what toothpaste you use. But, do make sure to pick the right toothpaste for your perusal.

Whether you brush toothpaste with stripes or a plain one, you will get the same result. When it comes to taking care of your teeth, brush your teeth regularly to keep your oral hygiene.

At ES Toothbrush, we offer a variety of toothpaste options that would suit you best. Choose from among our featured herbal toothpaste items at a reasonable price. 

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