Is Toothpaste Flammable? (All You Need to Know)

Have you ever left a curling iron or something similar on near toothpaste? What will happen, is the heat dangerous? Is toothpaste flammable?

No, toothpaste is not flammable. Toothpaste is a non-flammable product and you do not need to worry about it catching fire if exposed to a flame. Under a high temperature, toothpaste will only disintegrate and melt.

Is toothpaste flammable at some point? Here’s all that you need to know.

Is Toothpaste Flammable?

Sodium fluoride is one of the major ingredients in toothpaste. It is a different chemical from fluorine, which is a flammable gas. Sodium fluoride is a colorless crystalline solid or powder that is soluble in water. When exposed to extreme temperatures, it will decompose as it releases its aqueous substances in the air through evaporation. But, it is not flammable.

Why Doesn’t Toothpaste Catch Fire?

Why Doesn’t Toothpaste Catch Fire?

Although non-flammable, toothpaste contains other combustible chemicals. Flammable substances are those that can ignite a fire while combustible ones are those that will only support burning. Toothpaste usually contains saccharin, parabens, aspartame, and propylene glycol. These are slightly combustible chemicals that will only burn at high temperatures, but not necessarily ignite. The only flammable solid that toothpaste may contain is sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS).

Then, is toothpaste flammable because of sodium lauryl sulfate? Not necessarily. The SLS, as a surfactant, is an inert ingredient. It means that it is non-reactive and ineligible to start a flame. Its main function is to bind the ingredients to achieve the consistency and form of the toothpaste.

What Happens if You Light Toothpaste on Fire?

On a low-temperature fire, such as those coming from a lighter or matchstick, toothpaste will remain unchanged. At high temperatures, its components will disintegrate and begin to melt but they may still retain their shape. Applying continuous heat will reduce the toothpaste into powder. The dried toothpaste residue may still ignite fire after all its aqueous component has evaporated.

Is the Toothpaste Container Flammable?

Toothpaste tubes are made of thin aluminum and plastic laminate. It was designed ingeniously to keep the tube flexible and collapsible. The tube itself is not flammable, but will burn and melt when put into the fire.

Will a Toothpaste Container Explode When Heated?

Not much chemical change will happen to a toothpaste container when heated except melting. But when exposed to an open flame, it could burn for a few seconds before it melts.

Is Burning Toothpaste Bad for the Environment?

When heated to decomposition, the SLS component of toothpaste releases toxic sulfur oxides into the air. In fact, all kinds of indiscriminate burning are harmful to the environment because of the toxic compounds released into the atmosphere. Toothpaste tubes are also not considered environment-friendly as they are non-recyclable. Although today, many manufacturers are looking into alternative sustainable packaging to reduce their environmental impacts.

Is it Dangerous to Inhale Burning Toothpaste Smoke?

Burning toothpaste will release toxic and irritating fumes that can pose a health threat. It can trigger respiratory problems like asthma, chest congestion, and cough when inhaled during high exposure. Inhaling burning sodium fluoride will also irritate the nose, throat, and lungs.

Related Questions

Is Colgate Toothpaste Flammable? Colgate Cavity Protection Toothpaste with Fluoride, 4 ounce (2 Pack)

Colgate toothpaste is non-flammable and non-combustible. Its safety data sheet, therefore, does not provide its flash point and flammable limits.

What Happens if You Left Toothpaste Under the Sun?

Leaving toothpaste under the sun or hot car is nothing to worry about. While it may not explode or set your car on fire, it may affect the quality of the product. The high temperature will melt the toothpaste and separate its ingredients. Mint, which is also a common ingredient that acts as a breath freshener, will evaporate. So, aside from the mess, you will be left with a compromised toothpaste quality.

Final Thoughts

Toothpaste is a cleaning agent for personal hygiene use. Although labeled cleaner, toothpaste is non-flammable and may sometimes support combustion depending on its chemical contents. Generally, toothpaste hardly supports and extends the combustion.  Under the naked fire, the product will simply disintegrate and melt, leaving the residue that has not evaporated. That residue though is still capable of igniting a fire on rare occasions.

Read our related flammable products articles: