Easy DIY Mouthwash That Really Works

They say the best place to start going plastic free is in your bathroom. Between plastic toothpaste tubes, shampoo and conditioner bottles, body wash and mouthwash, there is so much trash being produced just in your bathroom. 

If creating loads of trash isn’t the only thing to be concerned of, what about all the harsh ingredients in the products? There’s usually a long list of Ingredients you can never pronounce and dyes and preservatives being used in these personal care items. 

Reducing waste was always a priority of mine but so was using quality, safe ingredients that I can pronounce, and can be made with items generally found in my cupboard. Cutting down on our grocery bill was not a bad bonus. 

The first DIY bathroom product I tried about 5 years ago was mouthwash. I’ve never been a big mouthwash person myself, but my husband loves it!  Since he uses it daily if not twice a day, we were always buying the name brand electric blue stuff from the grocery store. I thought that there had to be a better option that wasn’t full of junk, cheaper, and took less than 5 minutes to make. 

After  much trial and error I finally found a recipe that worked for us. I had some criteria this DIY mouthwash had to fulfill 

  1. It had to burn your mouth like the electric blue name brand stuff, so your mouth felt clean. You know, the good, clean, refreshing burn. 
  2. It had to be cheaper than the name brand mouthwash
  3. It had to be easy! 5 minutes to make or less. 

Whether we were living in our conventional home, living in a motorhome, or now in our cabin, (click here to read our debt free story) I have kept this recipe in my arsenal and have been using it time and time again.

This recipe contains just 3 basic ingredients and water, and uses pantry staples ! Xylitol, baking soda, and essential oils. 

Why xylitol ? 

Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar that is commonly used as a sweetener. Used often in chewing gums and beverages to provide a more natural sweetener than conventional sugar. Great to keep in your kitchen but also your bathroom.  Xylitol has antiplaque properties that reduce inflammation in the gums, neutralizes the pH in your mouth, and reduces cavity-causing bacteria. Xylitol can repair and strengthen your enamel by helping your teeth absorb minerals. Because it’s antimicrobial, when used in an oral application, your mouth is left feeling clean and fresh. 

Why baking soda? 

What’s not to love about baking soda? Not only can you use it in your kitchen to get a rise in your cakes, but you can use it for oral care as well. Also known as sodium bicarbonate, it can lift the stains off your teeth. Baking soda also helps balance your pH which helps to reduce bad breath. It kills the bacteria in your mouth and some even use it entirely instead of toothpaste. Baking soda is extremely affordable and can be used in many other applications in your home such as cleaning your showers, removing odor in your fridge, and mixed with an acid such as lemon, you can also get stains off your sink. 

Essential Oils

When thinking of oral care, the two that come to mind are peppermint and spearmint. I have tried both but I prefer spearmint. 

Spearmint – has a similar methanol aroma as peppermint, and burns like the electric blue name brand mouthwash you can get at the grocery store. Spearmint has antiseptic properties, antibacterial, antifungal, and is antiviral.

Peppermint – a little less “burny” as spearmint, but still has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic properties that alleviates oral bacteria, and a natural source of menthol for pain relief.

For storage, you just need an empty vessel. I like to use a mason jar or reuse an old pasta jar. Just be sure to clean and sanitize the jar thoroughly. Another benefit of using a pasta jar is that it’s the perfect size for the recipe. Perfect fill every time, you won’t even have to reach for a measuring cup. 

To make this recipe:

In an empty jar combine baking soda and xylitol

Next add about 20 drops of your preferred essential oils. I’ve used spearmint.

Lastly, add your water. About 3 cups, which is the entire jar. So feel free to just fill to the top of the empty pasta jar. 

Give it a shake and that’s it ! Use as you would regular mouthwash. 

This can stay on the shelf for about a year. 


  • Initially, the xylitol will not dissolve. Give it a few hours before all the contents dissolve in the jar. 
  • The cloudiness will be present in the beginning because of the baking soda. This will also go away after a few hours. 

My family’s been using this for about 5 years now and love it! I haven’t had to buy mouthwash in years. One bag of xylitol lasts me about a year and the bottle of spearmint has lasted me almost 3 years.

I would love to hear what you thought of this mouthwash recipe! 


Feel free to check out some of my other posts:

Minimalist baby Essentials

Our off grid, debt free story

Better than delivery, sourdough pizza 

This page contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no additional cost to you. 

Xylitol –

Spearmint essential oils –

Baking soda –

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