Stop using mouthwash.

For real. I’ve done it their way long enough, and my teeth just kept getting worse and worse. I would brush my teeth with the store brand toothpastes and gargle with the store brand mouthwash. My mouth would feel clean for about five minutes and then, it tasted horrible.

The only exception to the rule that i found was Listerine. So, I decided to check the bottle and see why Listerine was different. Wouldn’t you know it, it’s because it uses natural oils, the ones I have sitting in my medicine cabinet.

You wouldn’t know it because it’s disguised, but all four active ingredients are essential oils. Let me translate for you:

Methyl Salicylate= Wintergreen Oil

Eucalptol= Eucalyptus Oil

Menthol= Peppermint Oil

Thymol= Thyme Oil

Listerine also unfortunately has food coloring, sweeteners and alcohol in it. We don’t need any of those for a healthy mouth. Alcohol just turns to sugar anyway, so let’s skip the Listerine and make our own homemade mouthwash.  I know natural mouthwashes are available, but they can get expensive.


OK, well, for starters, I don’t personally recommend keeping the wintergreen oil in this mix. Wintergreen Oil is unhealthy if you have too much. Wintergreen is so strong that I don’t even like having a bottle of it in my house because I’m scared that the kids would get into it somehow. Just because something’s natural doesn’t mean that too much of it can’t hurt you.  The other oils you can over use too, but neither are quite as strong as the Wintergreen Oil. Wintergreen oil’s germ killing qualities can easily be replaced with other oils. They are less tasty but way safer. So, let’s stick to safe and skip the wintergreen.

Clove Oil!

Clove oil is pretty tasty. They made a whole flavored gum back in the day out of it, so lets use that instead. It kills germs too, quite well. Like freakishly well. If you don’t believe me, ask your dentist what that nice smelling thing they put into dry sockets is. It’s almost entirely clove oil. It tastes wonderful and is fantastic for your mouth health. We’ll use that instead.

Eucalyptus Oil?

This oil is up to you if you want to keep it or leave it. I like it, but if you want to save on cost, you can skip it. The other oils are better. I want Eucalyptus oil in my mouthwash because I have sinus issues sometimes. This is not to say it can help sinus issues, because that statement hasn’t been approved by the FDA and I am not in a position to say that legally. But I personally think it’s worth it to have this oil on hand because it can be used for many things besides just this mouthwash.

Peppermint Oil.

Peppermint Oil* is going to give you a really fresh feeling. I like it. It is a great germ killer and is great for settling the tummy, killing germs and stress reduction. I’d suggest that peppermint oil is also good for helping cleanse your body of heavy metals and for IBS too even if just gargled with, but I’m not at liberty to say that, so I’ll just say that peppermint tastes good, so let’s include it.

Thyme Oil.

As a gargle thyme oil will help reduce bacterial and viral infections in your sinuses and throat. Of course, that statement hasn’t been approved by the FDA, because no herbal remedies are allowed to be, but you could easily search and do a search for “thymol” to discover what doctors think about thyme oil’s bacterial and viral killing capabilities.


Alright… you ready to make some mouthwash that works?

Remember mouthwash it to clean your mouth, it’s not dessert. If you want it sweeter though, you can add a tablespoon of raw honey. Raw honey is being used in many new toothpastes. The sugars in it don’t hurt your mouth like HFCS or table sugars do. Raw honey will kill bacteria and promote a healthy mouth. If you want to use this, make sure you’re using raw honey, not regular pasteurized honey. Pasteurized honey has everything good cooked off of it. It won’t kill germs, it will feed them.

Take a 16 ounce bottle that you have cleaned out well. Take warm water and fill it half way up. Now is when you will add the tablespoon of raw honey. You will want the water warm so that the honey will easily dissolve. Screw the cap back on and shake it up vigorously until the honey dissolves. Open the cap again.

To mimic Listerine’s powerful ability,  you want the oils to amount to about .1% of the container. For a 16 ounce bottle (473 mL) you will want to add 10 drops of each oil. Then shake that up really well. Fill the bottle the rest of the way up with warm water. Spring water is of course the best water to use. If you have to use distilled, then dissolve some sea salt into the water to get a good pH as well.

This will not go bad and doesn’t have to be stored any certain way. You will want to re-shake the bottle before use, but that’s a small price to pay for keeping chemicals, sugars, alcohol and food coloring out of your healthy mouth routine! Leave out the honey and you can use this same blend in a spritzer bottle for a breath spray or a germ fighting, freshening body spritzer too!

Check out this additional complimentary blog I wrote to help you understand how I figured out how many drops to use.

BONUS TIP: Instead of just shoving food particles and germs around while flossing, take a drop of tea tree oil, put it on your thumb and pointer finger, then run the length of dental floss through it. Kill germs and freshen as you floss!

*IMPORTANT: Women who are pregnant should have someone else mix this for them because pregnant women should not be exposed directly to full strength peppermint essential oil. I worry about pregnant women dropping some on their skin undiluted on accident. So, please keep this in mind. Also, all essential oil bottles should be kept out of the reach of children.  Children can use this mouthwash, but should not handle essential oils undiluted.




  1. amanda

    This is awesome. I just found a woman who makes a toothpaste soap too, I’ve been using it for about a week now, I really like the way my mouth feels even hours after brushing.

  2. Knocked Up and Nursing

    i just use unrefined organic coconut oil with baking soda sprinkled on top for my toothpaste. Takes sightly and salty and scrubs my teeth! My teeth feel clean for hours!

  3. randy wild

    About using tea tree oil on dental floss, I don’t think it is a good idea. Many people start bleeding (slightly) when flossing, and tea tree oil in those bleeding areas aren’t a good idea. You can research general warnings about tea tree oil.

  4. Pingback: Stop Using Tooth Paste — Everything Birth's Blog on Midwifery, Attachment Parenting, Cloth Diapers and More

  5. Lori

    I was in the store looking for these oils and a worker asked me if I needed help so I told her what I was looking for. She immediately was concerned and said these oils are NOT for consumption, they are only for aromatherapy. Are there different kinds of oils or how do I know if I’m buying the right thing? Did you order them online? If so, could you please tell me where? I’m very interested in trying this but want to make sure I buy the right thing. Thanks!

    • Dawn

      I’ve used many different brands. Maybe ask another worker or another store? I’m not sure what brand wouldn’t be allowed in such small quantities. If you look on the back of a tube of JASONS for example it will have these oils in them.

  6. John Silvestrone

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have been looking for such a recipe since my dentist urged me to use a mouthwash (bridge) and listerine was her top choice. The CVS brand has less chemicals than listerine (and the four oils), but is still toxic, so I just bought the three oils yesterday at the health store because I wasn’t really satisfied with even their products. I already use and have clove oil so I’m in business. Great blog, wonderful website. I’m going to send it to everyone I know. Irie, Irie.

    Love John

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