Latest posts by Anne Donaldson (see all)
- The Best Black Electric Toothbrushes – 2019 Edition - August 23, 2019
- Homemade and Natural Antibacterial Mouthwash - August 12, 2019
- Happy Smile Digest – Issue #1 - July 30, 2019
By now you’ll have realized that my oral hygiene routine is very natural… bamboo toothbrush, homemade toothpaste, but what about the mouthwash? well, too!
They often ask me what recipe I use, the truth is that I don’t have a fixed one, there are several that I like and I change depending on the ingredients I have at home and what causes me at the time of preparing it.
To be honest, I don’t tend to use a lot of mouthwash, I don’t feel it necessary, with the toothpaste I already feel good. But sometimes I do like to have that extra refreshing breath, especially before I go to bed.
But why switch to a natural alternative?
- Reducing waste and saving money: if you are a regular buyer of mouthwash, the bill should go more or less like this: the average package brings 500ml, each time you use it you spend about 15ml, you probably use it 2 times a day, that’s 30ml a day, which means that a half-liter bottle will last you about 15 days or less, using it just you.
In addition to the money you are spending, you would be using 24 plastic containers a year. Imagine then being able to reduce your garbage by 24 plastic containers with just one small big change. And here I am talking only about you, for an average family of 4 people, the impact would be even greater.
- Natural ingredients: Knowing what you are putting in your body is something that, for me, has no price, there is only one body and you have to take care of it. Be honest with yourself, have you reviewed the ingredients of your mouthwash? Do you really know what each one is?
If you keep an eye on the internet, you’ll probably get a lot of different recipes… that doesn’t mean that one is better than the other, from my point of view, it’s a matter of taste, the important thing is to know the ingredients and the properties of each one. I also recommend you to try, change the proportions, the ingredients and find out which one suits you best.
The ingredients I use and their properties:
- Tea tree: antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal.
- Mint: antifungal, and of course, it tastes great, doesn’t it?
- Cinnamon: stops the growth of bacteria, has antimicrobial properties. The taste is also very rich!
- Cloves: highly known for relieving toothache, they are antiseptic and help fight mouth infections.
- Baking soda: cleanser, neutralizes acid production, antiseptic.
- Aloe vera: antibacterial and antifungal.
- Rosemary: antiseptic, has components that help clean, helps reduce inflammations and sores.
Keep in mind that these are the ingredients that I use more and the ones that I tend to have more at hand, you may have preference in your case to other ingredients. I like to be guided by the recipes on this page. So let’s go with the recipes!….
Homemade cinnamon mouthwash
In my opinion, the one that tastes the best reminds me of my childhood and cinnamon gum. If you have kids, they’ll love this recipe!
- 1 cup of water
- 1 teaspoon of cloves (I use whole cloves and mash them a little bit)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 5 drops of mint essence… don’t forget!
Directions: Mix all ingredients well, let stand for about 20-30 minutes. Strain (I recommend using a thin cloth and straining 2 times) and store in a glass jar.
A basic recipe
This is my favorite! Maybe it’s because the taste is closer to my toothpaste recipe. It actually feels so fresh.
- 1 cup water (freshly boiled)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 5 drops of mint essence
- 5 drops of tea tree essence
Directions: Mix well and store in a glass jar.
Don’t be scared! it doesn’t taste like aloe… in fact, all the flavor is given by the mint, from aloe you are simply taking advantage of all its super properties.
- 1 cup of water (freshly boiled)
- 1-2 tablespoons aloe vera gel (fresh and clean)
- 10 drops of mint essence (I recommend using less if you like mild flavors)
Instructions Make sure the aloe vera is clean. Cut it into small pieces or preferably pass it through the food processor or hand blender. Mix all ingredients well, let stand for about 20-30 minutes. Strain and store in a glass jar.
Rosemary Homemade Mouthwash
The more rosemary you put in it, the better it will taste. If possible, I recommend using fresh rosemary.
- 1 cup water (freshly boiled)
- 2 teaspoons dried rosemary or 3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 4-6 cloves (I use whole cloves and crush them a little bit)
Directions: Mix all ingredients well, let stand for about 20-30 minutes. Strain and store in a glass jar.
None of these mouthwashes require refrigeration, but I do recommend that you try to use them in less than 2 weeks. If you think it will take longer than that, refrigerate better.
Why water and not alcohol?
Most commercial mouthwashes contain alcohol, specifically ethanol, but the truth is that there is no scientific study showing that a mouthwash is more effective with a certain degree of alcohol.
Until a few years ago the use of mouthwash was recommended in specific cases, not for everyday use. I can tell you that during all the years that I lived with my family, in our house they didn’t buy mouthwash unless they prescribed it for something specific.
Many people tend to associate the itchiness of mouthwash or toothpaste with the effectiveness of the product (David is one of them) but the use of alcohol can cause pain or discomfort, mucosal lesions and dryness due to lack of salivation. By the way, a good level of salivation helps to avoid bad breath since food remains and bacteria do not stay in the mouth for long, avoiding cavities.
In general, according to what I have been reading, the use of mouthwashes with alcohol is not recommended… and much less in children.
Alcohol in mouthwashes has even been associated with the risk of getting oral cancer, although it is a very debatable subject, the truth is that a mouthwash is full of chemicals that, in my view, we can and should avoid.
If you prefer commercial mouthwashes, we review the best mouthwashes available here.