Have you been looking for a zero waste mouthwash?
I have to admit, I myself do enjoy a minty fresh mouth first thing in the morning. So, after looking for zero waste and natural toothpaste options a few years ago, I wanted to switch to a natural mouthwash too. Like the toothpaste quest, I played around with a few store-bought options as well as a few homemade ones.
Here are my favorites:
Chances are that you’ve heard of oil pulling. As it turns out, it’s a way to rebalance the oral microbiome and improve oral and dental health. One study showed that oil pulling can significantly reduce gingivitis and another concluded that it reduced microorganisms that cause halitosis. Oil pulling has roots in ancient Ayurvedic medicine in which it seemed to be prescribed for, well…almost everything. So, if you’ve been thinking about trying it then I say go for it. Many oils can be used but sesame seems to be the classic oil of choice for Ayurveda practitioners. However, coconut oil has become popular too. It’s pleasant tasting and in general, the environmental impact of coconut oil is low. Growing coconuts doesn’t require pesticides or herbicides and they’re typically hand harvested –though most are exported from Thailand so we might want to consider the impact that might have.
If you choose coconut oil, the suggestion seems to be unanimous to look for unrefined, organic, and fair trade.
How to Oil Pull
- Trash can or jar
Directions: Start by placing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth. Then, swish the oil around for 1-3 minutes. Experts suggest working up to 20 minutes but… who has that kind of time? Maybe one day but for now I usually do it while getting the kids dressed or while doing my morning skincare routine. Finally, spit it out into a trash can or jar, not a toilet or sink (the oil can clog pipes as it hardens).
I’ve also used and love this oil pulling herbal rinse which is made with locally sourced macadamia nut oil.
ihwa Prakshalana, or the Ayurvedic self-care ritual known as tongue scraping, is an oral hygiene practice that removes bacteria, food debris, fungi, toxins, and dead cells from the surface of the tongue. Dental research has concluded that a tongue scraper is more effective at removing toxins and bacteria from the tongue than a toothbrush and it may help bad breath.
If you are looking for a convient product that’s a little more ow waste, you can try these mouth wash tablets. I looked around for zero waste mouthwash options that would be easily accessible but found that many of them were a little pricey for me. I think that these cool little mouthwash tablets were a more affordable option.
They are easy to use by adding a drop of water and gargling for a healthy mouth and fresh breath. Only natural flavors are used such as spearmint and thyme, with no alcohol or harsh additives. Their design also makes them easy to carry or travel with and they are packaged in a glass bottle with a cardboard box. Though if ordering online, you may get extra plastic from shipping. I found these really fun to try but took a little getting used to. Overall I plan to use these up but would consider repurchasing them in the future.
Here are the three DIY mouthwash recipes that we liked the best.
Alcohol-Free Mouthwash Recipe
- 1/4 cup of aloe vera juice or gel
- 1 cup of distilled (or boiled and cooled) Water
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 2 teaspoons of Xylitol *optional
Blend all ingredients in a blender until well combined. Strain if needed. Add 2-3 drops of peppermint, spearmint, or clove essential oil if desired.
Shake well before using. Swish in mouth and spit out. Stores on countertop for one month or in the fridge for longer.
Herbal Mouthwash Recipe
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 tablespoons vodka
- 3 or more fresh sprigs of mint (can use dried mint too)
Steep mint in water until it becomes room temperature. Remove herbs, add vodka and shake.
Swish and spit out if desired. Stores on the countertop for 1 month and in the fridge for longer.
Herbal Tree Mouthwash Tincture Recipe
- 1 cup vodka
- 10 whole cloves
- 4 whole allspice
- 3 whole star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
Loosely break herbs in a mortar and pestle or with a large kitchen knife. Place herbs in a jar and cover with vodka. If using 80 proof vodka, then add 1 cup of water. If using lower alcohol content then omit the water. Let this mixture steep for one month, shaking it every few days. After one month, strain and cut the mixture with water. 1 parts tincture to three parts of water. Example: ¼ cup tincture ¾ cup of water. Test out the strength and adjust to your liking.
After diluting, use just as you would any other mouthwash. This stores as a tincture for up to one year (maybe even longer) and as the diluted form for 2-3 months on the countertop.
I think these are all great options if you are looking to switch to a zero waste or natural ingredient based mouthwash. Have you tried any of these out yet?