Home-made Mouthwash

Listerine is expensive, and there’s some controversy about whether it may lead to mouth cancer. (Mouth cancer!) We’ve been making our own for a while, and I thought I’d post the “recipe” (it’s not much of a recipe) for you all.

You will need:

  • A glass jar (mine holds about 1.5 to two cups)
  • Baking soda or non-iodized sea salt (I like to use both)
  • tea tree oil
  • peppermint oil or peppermint extract

Put everything into the jar. I just made a batch with the following proportions: 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, six drops tea tree oil, four drops peppermint oil. (When I have used peppermint extract in the past, I’ve used about half a teaspoon.) Add enough hot water to dissolve and mix everything, then fill with cool water. You may need to adjust the amounts so it tastes all right. You will not get that sting you get after rinsing with Listerine, but, um, I think that’s a good thing.

11 thoughts on “Home-made Mouthwash

  1. oslowe

    January 27, 2009 at 10:31am

    I like saying “Tea tree oil” because even though it IS what it sounds like (oil from a tea tree), it sounds like something ELSE! Teetree oil… teepee? Teetree!

  2. oslowe

    January 27, 2009 at 10:32am

    Tsetsre oil? Teatwee oil? Tortuga?

  3. kara marie

    January 27, 2009 at 1:18pm

    This is awesome! And, I suppose if you wanted that alcohol burn, you could just um… add vodka or something!

  4. Annika

    January 27, 2009 at 1:32pm

    Yech. There are so few reasons to put vodka in your mouth, and this is not one of them!

    Seriously, though. The tea tree oil does have an astringent feel, so there’s that. It just takes a little adjusting, getting used to the feel of one’s mouth being ACTUALLY clean rather than the Listerine “clean” feel we’ve become accustomed to.

    On a related note, since we started washing our hair with baking soda our scalps all smell so good and I’ve realized that newborns only lose that delightful smell because we wash them with harsh soaps – even baby soaps are harsh compared to baking soda. I don’t miss nice-smelling shampoos at all.

  5. existential waitress

    January 27, 2009 at 1:49pm

    Thanks for posting this recipe. I’ve recently started brushing with baking soda and I really like it. I’m going to try this mouthwash now too.

  6. Nana

    January 27, 2009 at 7:16pm

    how can it work without a blue-green dye to give it that special essence?

  7. leah

    January 27, 2009 at 9:52pm

    thanks so much for posting this! do you know if there is a way to add fluoride to the recipe?

    listerine is bad stuff, after the 2nd bout with strep the doctor suggested i rinse with it for a week or so to help in healing. my teeth were aching, literally after using it for a week.

    currently we’re using act b/c it’s got a high level of fluoride but i love the idea of making my own. i just started making my own fabric softener sheets and spray.

  8. leah

    January 27, 2009 at 9:53pm

    p.s. i’m going to try that baking soda hair washing too, i miss that baby smell :)

  9. Annika

    January 27, 2009 at 10:56pm

    I am clueless about fluoride but if you find any useful info please let me know!

  10. Will Campbell

    January 28, 2009 at 2:01pm

    With my last can of shaving cream running dry a couple weeks ago I decided to convert from store-bought to homemade. No recipe, just regular bar soap lather. Saves money, saves having to store the fulls and pitch the empties. Plus I’m washing my face as I’m denuding it of stubble. That a triple win. Maybe even a double-double!

  11. leah

    February 3, 2009 at 10:59pm

    ok, i had an idea. you can buy fluoride enhanced drinking water, so i’m going to try and mix that with your recipe and see how goes it.

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