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Don't Buy Mouthwash, How To Make Your Own

Make your own mouthwash

When it comes to mouthwash, you have a choice: you can purchase products with lots of added chemicals, pay a premium for all-natural products, or make your own. If you don’t buy mouthwash, you can make healthful, natural alternatives that are effective and save you money.

Should you make your own mouthwash?

You know the drill: brush after every meal, floss, and use an antiseptic mouthwash to help fight plaque buildup, bad breath, cavities, and gum disease. So you dutifully go to the store and buy an overpriced bottle of alcohol, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, dyes, and other chemicals (e.g., triclosan and parabens, both of which can disrupt the endocrine system; sodium lauryl sulfates, a possible carcinogen), most of which you can’t even pronounce, and which may also irritate your gums and mucus membranes.

Or you can make your own mouthwash using ingredients you know and trust and can pronounce. You can avoid using alcohol, which can actually contribute to bad breath, stay away from unhealthful additives, and save money as well.

If making your own mouthwash is beginning to sound tempting, here’s another plus: the ingredients are common products. All the basic natural mouthwash recipes provided here are easy to make.

Can a DIY natural mouthwash do the job?
Absolutely, if you use the right ingredients. You want to choose substances that fight bacteria, taste good, and do not irritate your mouth. Fortunately, there are many natural items that fit this description.

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Among the substances that have antibacterial properties (and are also alcohol-free) are aloe vera, anise, cardamom, cloves, fennel, ginger, goldenseal, myrrh, oregano, rosemary, sage, and tea tree oil, among others.

Numerous other ingredients are often found in DIY mouthwash recipes. Among them are the following:

  • Apple cider vinegar: Although you may think of this ingredient as belonging in salad dressing, apple cider vinegar is a potent antibacterial that can also help get rid of calcified accumulations in the mouth.
  • Baking soda: This standard does it all: freshens the breath, cleans gums and teeth, and helps prevent infections. If you also use baking soda as a natural toothpaste, you’ll be happy to know it’s a great ingredient in mouthwash as well.
  • Glycerin: This mouthwash ingredient can be found in drug stores and is mildly sweet, although it also serves as a preservative. Unlike sugar, glycerin does not promote bacterial growth and the formation of plaque on teeth.
  • Hydrogen peroxide: You may be familiar with hydrogen peroxide as an ingredient in DIY toothpaste, mixed with salt and baking soda. As a mouthwash ingredient, it can disinfect your mouth and help prevent gum disease. Use 3% hydrogen peroxide only; food grade hydrogen peroxide is too concentrated.
  • Salt: This simple ingredient is a preservative and absorbs water from bacteria, which interferes with their growth and/or kills them.

Time to make your own mouthwash
Here are some basic tips to remember when making and using your own mouthwash:

  • Use filtered, distilled, or mineral water rather than tap water, which contains various chemicals
  • Always shake your mouthwash well before use
  • Do not swallow the mouthwash
  • Store your DIY mouthwash in a cool, dry place or in the refrigerator

Minty Rosemary
24 ounces of water
1 tsp each of fresh anise seeds, mint leaves, and rosemary leaves
Boil the water and steep the herbs for at least 24 hours. Strain and place in a bottle with a tight lid.
Tea Tree Mouthwash
8 ounces of water
2 tsp baking soda
4 drops of cinnamon or peppermint essential oil
4 drops tea tree oil
1/8 tsp stevia (optional)
Mix all the ingredients well in a shakable bottle.
Minty Mouthwash
12 oz water
2 tsp aloe vera gel
12 drops lemon essential oil
Mix all the ingredients well in a shakeable bottle.
Aloe Vera Mouthwash
8 oz aloe vera juice
4 oz water
1 Tbs witch hazel
2 tsp baking soda
20 drops cinnamon essential oil
Mix all the ingredients in a shakeable bottle.
Clove Mouthwash
8 oz water
1 tsp dried rosemary
2 cloves
Boil the water and steep the rosemary and cloves for at least 24 hours. Strain and store in a bottle with a tight lid.
Mouthwash for Canker Sores
Equal amounts of water and 3% hydrogen peroxide OR
4 oz of water plus 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of baking soda
Use this mouthwash four times daily to help manage canker sores

Don’t buy mouthwash! You can enjoy fresh breath and a chemical-free cleansing experience for less when you make your own natural mouthwash.

Image: Morguefile