Homemade antibacterial mouthwash

I am a bit paranoid when it comes to oral hygiene! I have had gum problems for years and suffered through two painful treatments that is usually reserved for persons over 40. Just so you know: I got my first periodontitis treatment when I was 21 and my second one just last year at the age of 31. Outch!

As my dentist keep telling me: Using a mouthwash is essential when you have gum problems, since it reaches areas between your teeth and your gum that you cannot reach using a toothbrush and toothpaste.

However, I have always found store-bought mouthwash quite harsh. Years later, when playing around with an app that tells you if a product contains potentially harmful substances, I was shocked to find out that it was almost impossible to find a mouth wash (or makeup) that didn’t contain any alarming ingredients!

Today I really don’t know why I still continued using store-bought mouthwash, despite knowing that! Now that we strive to live zero waste, I have found a safe mouthwash that works for me. And did I mention it is also a LOT cheaper than its store-bought counterparts?

What are the active agents in this recipe?

This mouthwash contains baking soda, which is great because baking soda protects your teeth from acid wear since it neutralizes acid. The tee tree essential oil is antibacterial, and the (pepper-)mint essential oil will get rid of any bad breath you might have. You can also add xylitol, which is a natural sweetener that helps prevent cavities.

I was told that some pharmacies are willing to sell you some xylitol and baking soda in bulk if you only ask. I haven’t tried this option myself, because I just keep forgetting to do so 🙈!

Update 2016/11/04: I made a video for you guys 😁! It’s my second video, and it was a lot of fun, even though I am struggling with video editing, much like learning a new language LOL

Antibacterial Mouthwash

Only takes 1-2 mins to make.


1 cup (240 ml) water, boiled and cooled down
1 tsp baking soda
5 drops (pepper-)mint essential oil
5 drops tee tree essential oil
Optional: 1 tsp xylitol


Put everything in a jar or a bottle. Shake before each use. Swish 1 tablespoon (15 ml) around your mouth for 1 to 2 minutes.

Please note that this mouth wash does not contain any preservatives! I try to remember to use the mouth wash every time I brush my teeth, and I make a new batch very 8 – 10 days or so.

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Filed under Bathroom, Health & Personal Hygiene, Toiletries, Zero-Waste Alternatives


  1. Dear Shia,

    thank you so much for sharing this. I’ve had severe tooth and gum problems for ages. I’m allergic to fluoride, so store-bought mouthwashes don’t work for me anyways. All the mixtures I’ve read about so far taste horribly. This one is perfect! Thank you again!

    (I discovered your blog because I saw you in Münster at the “Natürlich unverpackt” store – I didn’t say hi, but I stumbled across your blog on the next day and recognized you. You were just taking the photo you also posted here when I was buying my stuff. So also thanks for maintaining this blog, it’s awesome!)

  2. Catherine

    Great recipe, I think I will hunt for xylitol, didn’t know it had a benefit. As for preventing spoilage, could a 1/2 oz of vodka extend shelf life? Just a thought, I currently don’t swish daily but if I made this up…Thanks again!

  3. Stephanie L

    Question, I also want to save money with this recipe…is it possible to leave the essential oils out of this and just use baking soda? I already use pure baking soda to brush my teeth so I am wondering if I even need mouthwash or if I can just gargle what I use to brush my teeth (Sorry! I don’t mean to be gross!)

    • Hey, you can do that, but it will be less effective and lose its antibacterial property. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend it. Yes, a bottle of essential oil is tiny and quite expensive. But since you really only need a couple of drops one bottle will last for years and you will still save money compared to store-bought mouthwash :).

  4. I was just looking for a recipe and yours is the simplest (plus I have all the ingredients!) so I’m gonna try it tonight, thanks 🙂

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