Growing up, my mom always threatened to wash my mouth out with soap. I personally don’t think I was ever a bad kid but I’m a little biased. Being young and curious, I didn’t understand what the fuss was in this empty threat. After watching the importance of brushing your teeth on Sesame street, I decided to kill two birds with one stone. I went to the bathroom, rubbed my toothbrush on a bar of Ivory soap … yes, I washed my own mouth out with soap. I taught myself a valuable lesson. If you’re gonna wash your mouth out, it should be with something refreshing.
Fast forward 30 years … I have been using Listerine Zero and pretty content with it. I was running out and wanted to pick up another vat from Costco. Costco being Costco, stopped stocking items I like. I checked out natural alternatives. Tom’s of Maine makes good products but their mouthwash is $10 for a little bottle! What the hell Tom?
I looked up mouthwash in my Reader’s Digest Homemade book for a recipe. I wasn’t completely sold on what was in there. Why would I use peroxide in my mouth? Is it safe if some of it went down my throat? Why would I use vodka for an antiseptic mouthwash? What a waste of vodka or some other good alcohol!
There are a wide range of online recipes. I decided to mix a combo of RD Homemade and online:
- 1 cup/250mL of Distilled water
- 4 teaspoons of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of vegetable glycerin
- 5 drops of tea tree oil
- 5 drops of peppermint oil
I poured all these ingredients that I already have on hand into an empty Listerine bottle. It’s a 250mL bottle that fits perfectly in my medicine cabinet so why not reuse? Put the cap on and shake it up.
Voila! What I call Zero Listerine! Again, it’s super salty on the taste buds but who cares? You’re not swallowing it. Take it from me, it’s a hell of a lot better than Ivory! When you swish it around and spit it out, it leaves your mouth feeling quite refreshed. Depending on where you find your ingredients, this won’t even cost you $0.50! I can certainly get use to salty swishing for that price.
INGREDIENT UNIT COST COST/AMOUNT USED 4L Distilled Water $1.25 $0.08 Baking Soda $1.00 $0.04 Vegatable Glycerin $10.99 $0.12 Tea Tree Oil $8.24 $0.05 Peppermint Oil $8.00 $0.05 TOTAL $0.34