Homemade Mouthwash Recipe 800x800

Homemade Non-Toxic Mouthwash Recipe

Most commercial mouthwashes contain some nasty chemicals. The fact that you can take medicine by placing it under your tongue (because it goes right into your blood stream) is a bit scary! So, you don’t need to swallow anything to get ill-effects. Alcohol, although not the most toxic ingredient, can be harmful to the lining in your mouth. In an attempt to kill bacteria on contact, it actually causes more problems than it solves. You know that “zing” feeling you get after you spit mouthwash out? That would be the alcohol! It is extremely drying to the mouth. Most mouthwashes can contain anywhere from 9%-26% alcohol. The strange thing is, a dry mouth breeds more bacteria. So, the effects of that clean refreshing feeling are only temporary.

You may have noticed some companies make alcohol free mouthwash. That’s a good step in the right direction BUT there are still many more improvements to make. Just looking at the bright green and blue bottles disgusts me. They are obviously artificial and I don’t want that anywhere near my mouth. It is not uncommon to find ingredients like; sodium lauryl sulfate, polysorbate, cetylpyridinium chloride and benzalkonium chloride. All of which are toxic to marine life.

We can’t forget the fluoride either! That is something I avoid even in my toothpaste and drinking water. I have read so many mixed reviews as to if fluoride is helpful or not. The fact that it is highly toxic has helped me to weight the good vs. the bad and I choose not to use it.

So, If you prefer to avoid these chemicals, as I do, then you’re in luck. There are plenty of better options out there. You just need to know where to look!

Make your own!

All you do is mix and shake. 🙂

  • Ingredients:
  • 16 oz. Distilled Water
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 6 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
  • 4 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil
  • 3 drops of Clove Essential Oil
  • 1 tsp.-1 tbsp. of Xylitol (depending on how sweet you want it)

Why these ingredients?

  • Salt- Obviously it’s very cleansing, especially when you have an open wound in your mouth. It will help rinse away bacteria.
  • Baking Soda- Again very cleansing and also helps balance the PH in the mouth.
  • Peppermint- Along with the nice mint taste and feel it is a germicide, inhibiting bacterial growth.
  • Tea Tree Oil- A triple threat; antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral.
  • Clove Oil- It is antibacterial, antiviral and relieves pain. It is perfect for sensitive teeth.
  • Xylitol- Adding this is a great way to sweeten your mouthwash because it inhibits the growth of bacteria, unlike sugar which bacteria thrives on!

Other ingredient you can use:

Of course you can customize this to your liking. That is the best part of making it yourself. You can try other essential oils like thyme, spearmint, cinnamon myrrh, lavender, rosemary, sage, or lemongrass. Thyme especially is know to help with gingivitis. You can use glycerin as your sweetener instead of xylitol or completely omit the sweetener.


This recipe is kid safe for children ages 6+. The essential oils are diluted well below .05%. You can add more if using this for an adult.

How to choose the best essential oil:

You have to be careful when buying essential oil. There are a lot of bad quality products out there. Everything from how the herb is grown to the way it is processed is important. Sometimes companies dilute their products with petroleum solvents! Opt for organic if possible. I like Aura Cacia because the quality is great and I can buy it at my grocery store. I wouldn’t say they are the top of the line though. I highly recommend Mountain Rose Herbs. They have a great selection of certified organic products. They are a zero waste and fair trade certified company! Their essential oils are by far some of the best.

If you prefer to buy some already made:

You can still avoid most of the toxic chemicals with these fluoride-free versions. Check out Tom’s of Maine and Jason. They have a great selection of toothpaste and mouthwash. I buy Jason toothpaste for my kids and I’m happy with the ingredients.

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed it!

What mouthwash do you currently use? Do you use fluoride?

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About Angela Vullo

I am a mother to three wonderful children. I love to read and write. I created this blog to share my experience and tips on trying to live a green lifestyle.

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  1. We don’t use fluoride either. I just took my son to the dentist and so far he is 8 years old and no cavities. Again no fluoride in this house. The dentist did tell him to use a antiseptic mouth wash and it has fluoride. I like your recipe but are the essential oil safe for kids?

    1. Hi Mari,

      Sorry for the delayed response. It depends on the age of the kid. For a child under 10 I would omit the essential oils and just add some peppermint oil (the one you use for baking) since it’s not as strong. If you are concerned about it’s potency you can use a tincture or make a tea from the herbs. I chose these herbs because I did research on what herbs are safe for ingestion for adults. Of course with all essential oils they need to be diluted and if you take essential oils internally as a daily medicine it is recommended to do that under advisement of a doctor or herbalist. Since it is a small amount and it isn’t swallowed regularly anyway I thought it made a good recipe.

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

    1. Hi Jeff,

      I don’t see this recipe being harmful if accidentally swallowed a few times but it may not be good on a regular basis. Just like commercial mouthwash, it isn’t recommended to drink it. As I just mentioned above, I did some research on essential oils that can be taken internally (under advisement of a doctor) and went from there. Of course this recipe isn’t meant to swallow but it’s still safe if it happens. If you plan to use this recipe with a child, make sure they know to spit most of it out. If they are still learning then try making a tea out of peppermint, clove, lavender and even thyme. The tea will keep for a few days so make small batches. You can also use tinctures. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I’ve been using a mouthwash with fluoride that was recommended to me by my dental hygienist – toothpaste, too. However, I’ve been getting a lot of canker sores in my mouth and when I researched how to prevent them, I found out my toothpaste and mouthwash may be one of the problems. I’m going to try your recipe. I only have the peppermint essential oil, so I’m going to have to do some shopping. I did make a note of the two brands you recommend.

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