Mouthwash is an essential part of good oral hygiene. Nothing beats that minty fresh clean feeling. In an effort to use more organic, all-natural products, I have ditched store-brand mouthwash and started making my own. Check out the ingredient list on any bottle of mouthwash, and you’ll understand why I made the change. Here are some examples:

  • Methylparaben and Propylparaben: Commonly used as preservatives and fungicides in cosmetics and food products. Currently, much controversy surrounding their use and some studies report dangerous side effects.
  • Poloxamer 407: A flavorless additive that works as a detergent and common in most store-brand mouthwashes. Some reports link it to an increased risk of certain cancers in animals, although there is no definitive link to cancer in humans.
  • Sodium Saccharin: A synthetic sweetener used for over a century. But its use in food products such a diet soda is mired in controversy. No studies have conclusively linked it to cancer in humans, but many avoid it fearing adverse health consequences.

Really, the minuscule dose of these ingredients in store-brand mouthwashes is probably harmless. But this is a personal decision. I feel more comfortable with all-natural ingredients. Bonus: it is cheaper to make than to buy!

How to Make Your Own Mouthwash:

Recipe #1


  • 6 tablespoons  unflavored vodka
  • 10 drops peppermint oil (food grade)
  • 1 drop chamomile essential oil
  • 2 drops natural lemon juice

Pour the vodka into a glass bottle that has a cap, add  the peppermint oil, chamomile oil, and lemon juice. Replace cap and shake well. Label the bottle “mouthwash” so no one accidentally drinks it (yuck). For each use, add three teaspoons of the mixture to a few ounces of warm water and stir vigorously. Keep the bottle in the refrigerator.

Recipe #2 (Alcohol Free)


  • 2 drops peppermint oil (food grade)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Add the peppermint oil and sea salt to a half cup of warm water. Stir vigorously. This recipe makes enough mouthwash for one use. If you want to make more mouthwash at one time, proportionally increase the ingredients and store the solution in the refrigerator. As with commercial brands, always spit out mouthwash. Do not swallow it.

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6 thoughts on “Breath “Savers”: How to Make Your Own All-Natural Mouthwash”

  1. Amanda says:

    WHOOOOOOAAAAA hold up you should never ever ever put tea tree oil in your mouth! This is extremely dangerous, you aren’t even supposed to risk getting tea tree oil on an open wound. Further more a word of advice on peppermint oil, this article needs to specify that it should be peppermint oil from a health food store designed for internal use. I have made soap and candles for many years and there are lots of variations of “essential” oils including peppermint. the ones designed for home fragrance, candle making, soap making etc can cause chemical burns if you get them on your skin in concentrated form I can only imagine what would happen if you put them in your mouth. This article should probably be removed or at the very least edited to remove the dangerous info.

  2. Has Coupons says:

    Wow! Someone sure wants us screwed up. I just checked out the side effects of using tea tree  oil. Here is the link: 

    It is better to use the ones that we get in the store. At least we know what we are taking!. I am quite surprised how the KCL contributor’s manager didn’t check these details before approving the article! I hope we will not get disappointed in future. 

  3. l l says:

    These recipes are NOT safe. Alcohol is drying in the mouth and it promotes bacteria growth which causes bad breath. Tea tree oil is DANGEROUS to orally ingest. This is a quote from the WebMD website about how dangerous it is to take Tea tree orally: “Taking tree tea oil by mouth has caused confusion, inability to walk, unsteadiness, rash, and coma.” 

    Save yourself the hassle and buy a safer alternative like Toms of Maine or just skip the mouth wash, you don’t have to use it to have good oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing have always been personally enough for me. 

  4. Anonymous says:

    Gotta try this! I love that they included an Alcohol Free version which is great for religious people like me :0)