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Homemade Mouthwash (Zero Waste)


Last Updated on February 9, 2022

Homemade natural mouthwash is easy, minimalistic, and is made with ingredients that are healthy for your teeth and gums.

bottle of homemade mouthwash

Xylitol mouthwash is gentle and much more eco-friendly than anything you can buy at the store. Made with natural ingredients, DIY mouthwash leaves your teeth looking and feeling clean. Keep reading to learn the purpose of mouthwash as well as how to use it.

I’m a minimalist when it comes to bathroom products.

I like things that have multiple functions. I gave up mouthwash a long time ago to simplify my morning routine. 

After switching to homemade toothpaste, I really wanted something that would give me the bright, fresh breath I’m used to. 

My teeth feel so clean after using my toothpowder, but my mouth isn’t exactly minty fresh.

I’m still perfecting my toothpowder, but it’s dentist approved – which makes me really happy! 

Back to mouthwash – I think we can all agree the neon blue stuff isn’t natural. I was on a mission to make DIY mouthwash that left my breath fresh, mouth healthy and still fit my zero waste lifestyle.

Well, I have perfected it and now I am ready to share this natural mouthwash with you!

the purpose of mouthwash

Besides making your mouth feel clean, it’s effective at improving your smile and overall oral health. Rinsing your mouth will help reduce the amount of plaque you have, kills germs, and gives you a fresh feeling.

ready to use all natural mouthwash

Aloe Vera

This was inspired during my research in making aloe vera gel.

Aloe vera is fabulous for dental health. In fact, there are a lot of aloe vera mouthwashes on the shelf at the health food stores. 

You can read more about the research here

Rainbow grocery has aloe vera juice in bulk, but you can also easily whip this up yourself!

I just went outside and snipped three medium sized aloe leaves. The difference will be the shelf life.

The homemade aloe vera juice will last a couple of weeks in the fridge. The store bought aloe vera will last several months in the fridge.

Here’s even more reading on aloe and dental health.


Xylitol is very popular in dental care.

I first learned about it when my Grandmother was in town for Christmas. Not only a wellness guru, but was around when toothpowder was the norm… you know before toothpaste existed. 

“Xylitol is a natural sweetener derived from the fibrous parts of plants. It does not break down like sugar and can help keep a neutral pH level in the mouth Xylitol also prevents bacteria from sticking to the teeth. This is how it protects the teeth from tooth decay.”

I bought my xylitol in bulk from Berkeley Bowl.

You may need to look in the beauty section. It wasn’t in the regular bulk food section, but you should be able to find it any health food store. I also use it in my toothpowder recipe. 

Baking Soda

We’ve talked about baking soda a lot on this blog. It’s great for dental health too. “In particular, baking soda can help you to maintain good oral health. An imbalance of acid in the body can lead to a range of health problems, particularly in the mouth. Baking soda works by balancing the levels of acid in the body.”

You should be able to buy baking soda from any bulk section or loose in a card board box. 

towel with a bottle of diy mouthwash

how to make homemade mouthwash

Makes 1 Cup, 10 Minutes

  • 1/4 Cup of Aloe Vera Juice or 3 Medium Leaves (from backyard plant)
  • 1 Cup of Distilled Water
  • 2 Teaspoons of Xylitol (bought in bulk from Berkeley Bowl beauty counter)
  • 2 Teaspoons of Baking Soda (bought in bulk from Berkeley Bowl)

Place the aloe goop in your blender (tutorial here) with all of the other ingredients. 

I blend all of the ingredients on high for about a minute and then strain it through a fine mesh sieve to keep any of the viscous plant matter out of the mouthwash. 

how to use mouthwash

step 1: brush & floss

It’s important to brush and floss your teeth before using the aloe vera mouthwash, so it can do its job properly. Having a clean mouth allows it to get into all the tiny crevices so it can kill germs and remove plaque build-up.

step 2: rinse

Put around 3-4 teaspoons of the DIY mouthwash into your mouth and swish it around. Swish for at least 30 seconds. Feel free to gargle during this time, then and spit it out when you are finished.

can you add flavor to natural mouthwash?

Yes, you can add 2-3 drops of peppermint extract to your other mouthwash ingredients for a fresh minty taste. And with all mouthwash – don’t swallow. 

If you aren’t a fan of peppermint, you could also add cinnamon, spearmint, or any of your favorite essential oils.

how often should you use mouthwash?

For best results, swish the homemade mouthwash two times a day.


Video filmed with the lovely Christine of Snapshots of Simplicity.

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  1. Do you have the recipe for your dentist approved tooth powder? I would love to have it since I have been struggling to ditch my tube of Crest.

  2. This is great! Do you keep your mouthwash on the counter? I’d make it with aloe plant too but I’ve always kept the juice in the fridge.

    1. Is it hard / annoying to keep your mouth wash in the fridge due to the aloe shelf life? I guess if you use your own aloe every week u make more mouthwash??

      1. Darn, is there anyway to make this shelf stable? I have sensitive teeth so cold mouthwash is a big no-no for me. (So is hot mouthwash but that would be weird…) Any suggestions on how to keep this shelf-stable for at least a month?

        1. To make it shelf stable for that long, you’d need a food-grade, broad-spectrum preservative. You can find these online with a bit of research, but it is very likely they will not come in zero waste packaging (they are typically designed/marketed for labs rather than for consumers).

          As an alternative, you could freeze the whole batch in ice cube trays, then either defrost one at a time in the microwave, or let it sit out to thaw the night before you need it.

          Another alternative would be to leave out the aloe in the batch. Xylitol alone will be good for your teeth. You could also add a splash of aloe juice from your fridge to your "Xylitol-Baking soda" mouthwash at the time you need it. That would be much less cold than keeping the whole thing in the fridge, tho not perfectly room temp.

  3. Hello! I would love to make this, but I can’t seem to find any 100% PURE aloe Vera juice?!? What kind do you use? Thanks! Very inspiring blog!!

  4. Hi! I’m so stoked there’s easy to find recipes here. You’ve seriously done the hard yards for us all. Thank you sincerely. But question; I know you said aloe has shelf life of a couple of weeks, is that the same for the mouthwash?

  5. Distilled water leaches minerals from your body, so I would not recommend using distilled water in this as it can de-mineralize your teeth.
    In addition, boiling water does not make it distilled water, it just makes it boiled water.

    1. You are correct. It is not distilled water. We’d have to catch the steam for that. But, distilled water or boiled water will last much longer for homemade products. It’s much safer than using tap which can grow bacteria more easily.

  6. is it ok if the peppermint oil isnt food grade? i accidentally bought without checking so i dont want to go out and get more://

  7. So cool! Love the idea!

    By the way, if you do not put preservatives in your mouthwash and you use fresh aloe vera leaves (not pre-preserved) it will only last MAX a week in the fridge before bacteria, mould and yeast can grow at unhealthy levels. You might not see them but they are there. It can look and taste find but have 100’s of thousands of bacterial colonies in it. (just read a book about this for school)

    If you use a pre-preserved aloe vera it will last longer in the fridge but not WAY longer as the food safe preservative in the aloe vera was put in at the strength to preserve just the aloe vera not the extra distilled water. Its totally safe, just replace it after a week! 🙂

    I will definitely make this mouth wash, just make sure to switch after a week to be safe! 🙂

  8. Just a warning to dog owners, store the xylitol in a place your dog can’t get into. It’s incredibly toxic for dogs!

  9. Would it be possible to use mannitol instead of xylitol? I currently have some mannitol, and it would be nice to use it up first.

  10. I am late to this article but looking for a mouthwash recipe that is all natural and non-toxic. I have tried to make this recipe and another one on a different website using aloe vera from my own plants. In both cases (one I refrigerated and this one I did not), the mouthwash started to have a nasty smell by the evening of the day I made it and it started to discolor. Not spoiled but just like the aloe vera gel had "changed" and not in a good way. I can only describe it as either fishy or chemical – although I know that neither fish or chemicals came into contact with anything i used. I put both mouthwashes in glass containers so it wasn’t that. When I first made them, they were fine. The only solution I am thinking of is to buy a small personal "bullet" type blender and keep in my bathroom with an aloe vera leaf and mix it up with some water twice a day so it stays fresh.

    1. Hey Jacob – you can find Xylitol and baking soda in bulk bins at "hippie" grocery stores. I’ve also found baking soda in bulk bins at WinCo if you have that chain near you.

      Aloe vera leaves can be grown at home (it is seriously the easiest plant of all time. I have a massive one that’s about 4 feet in diameter now that I originally bought as a little tiny guy in a 2" pot from a hardware store. I have killed soooo many plants over the years, and that aloe just kept on kicking no matter how much abuse and neglect I threw at it.)

      You can also find aloe leaves in some grocery stores in the produce section. WinCo (again) sometimes has them, but I also see them in Mexican grocery stores. They’re near the fresh herbs.

  11. Hi There! I have enjoyed reading your recipes today. Am always looking for ways to DIY and reduce cost. Just a quick comment not meant to be critical. You mention distilling your water just by boiling it. That just sanitizes it. In order to distill water to remove impurities by boiling, you then have to condense the water vapor (theoretically all that is in the vapor is pure H2O as contaminants have higher boiling points) back into its liquid state into a different container. Love your ideas, keep up the good work. 🙂

    1. To be fair, I’ve read multiple sources that say many chemicals in tap water will rise and evaporate from boiling water. Although I’m not sure which chemicals stay and which go, the ramifications would point to both boiling being closer to distilling than originally thought, and also that the vapor is not entirely pure as originally thought.

  12. What are the shelf lives of the sugar scrub, mouthwash, lotion, and tooth powder? You ma have posted it somewhere and I missed it. If so, please forgive my mistake. 🙂