Why make your own mouthwash?
According to the EPA, 18.5% of all Municipal Solid Waste that went into landfills in 2018 was plastic! That’s 27 million tons of plastic that wasn’t recycled, or was unrecyclable.
Plastic recycling is a resource intensive process, as well. The plastics you take to the recycling facility have to be trucked to a special processing facility, where machines consume fossil fuels cleaning, sorting, and mechanically breaking down the plastic. According to this article from the Atlantic, most plastics are not easily recyclable and end up in landfills anyway, which increases carbon consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions.
Ingredients: Alcohol, Sorbitol, Aroma, Poloxamer 407, Benzoic acid, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium saccharin, Eucalyptol, Methyl salicylate, Thymol, Menthol, Sodium fluoride, CI 42053, CI 47005
The Ecologist published these known risk factors associated with typical mouthwash ingredients:
- prolonged, repeated exposure to alcohol increases the risk of mouth and throat cancers
- “aroma” potentially neurotoxic, unfortunately manufacturers are not required to disclose the actual constituents of “aroma”
- common contamination of Poloxamer 407 linked to breast cancer
- sodium fluoride is a systemic toxin that can lead to gastrointestinal symptoms; systemic accumulation leeches calcium, loss of bone density
- CI 42053, CI 47005 are colorants that are proven carcinogens. Banned in Norway, Australia, and apparently also in the USA (how the heck did that get into my mouthwash?!?)
No thank you Listerine!!
A one liter bottle of Listerine costs $5.64 at WalMart. (Nevermind the time and gas it takes you to drive there and back). Baking soda, a pinch of salt, and peppermint tea (or even just plain water!) to make an equivalent amount of mouthwash (don’t worry, we won’t be making that much all at once!) costs $3. The savings add up!
Here at the Homestead, we want you to be empowered with safe, natural and effective ways to care for your health and overall wellbeing. Try any variation on this easy DIY mouthwash and you will never buy mouthwash again!
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup water
Put all ingredients in a glass jar, shake, et voila! Shake a little bit before you swish to make sure the baking soda is evenly mixed.
- Try using peppermint or calendula tea instead of water. Peppermint is naturally antiseptic, calendula soothes inflammation and heals damaged skin (gums, too!)
- Essential oils of rosemary (preservative), mint, tea tree, eucalyptus. 2-3 drops per cup of liquid.
- For mouth infections, add a dropperful of goldenseal extract.
Since the baking soda tends to leave a film, I prefer to floss, rinse and then brush. Store your homemade mouthwash in the fridge for longer “shelf life”, I haven’t noticed any change in quality by making only 8 oz at a time and using it within a week. Don’t forget to brush and floss!
Did you try this at home? What did you think? Do you have other recipe ideas to recommend? Let us know in the comments below!