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The Dentist’s Ultimate to DIY Mouthwash [with 15 Recipes]

Ultimate Mouthwash guide by Dentist Eric Mehler in Sunrise, FLLove trying new recipes?

This is kind of like that…

…but with minty freshness.

I have had so many patients who come through our dental practice here in Sunrise, Florida tell us:

Commercial mouthwashes just don’t feel right.

The problem is…

They can often make your gums and tongue feel burnt, in extreme cases even leaving ulcers.


Some commercially available mouthwashes often contain so many chemicals they seem more at home as a floor cleaner or a product used in hospital operating rooms.

(Insider note: That’s actually how one of the largest mouthwash brands available today started)

That’s why we created this “dentist’s DIY mouthwash guide” with some of the best mouthwashes from all over the internet in one place.

Want a .pdf of this article for later?

A brief history of mouthwash

history of mouthwashMouthwash has been around since the ancient Chinese Dynasties and Roman Empire. But…

They generally didn’t swish peppermint or spearmint water…

…It was more common to use human or animal urine.

Would you like to know why right?

There’s a scientific reason behind it. When left out, urine breaks down into ammonia which can be used as an effective stain remover and…

Teeth whitener!

It wasn’t until just 140 years ago that the (nicer) mouthwash we know today became a household item.

This is when:

A surgical antiseptic and floor cleaner called Listerine rebranded itself into the anti-bacterial mouth wash we know it as today.

Since then…

Mouthwash became a staple product around the world and oral health has never been better.


There are dangers to using commercial mouthwash

Commercial mouthwash can damage your health.

Studies have found that chemical mouthwashes can lead to higher blood pressure and irritation of the gums and mouth tissues.

This is especially a problem for those suffering from mouth ulcers or those who have naturally drier mouths.

That’s not all…

Most commercial mouthwashes found at your local drugstore contain stabilizing ingredients that can wreak havoc on your teeth enamel.

As a dental professional with my own practice here in Surnise Florida, I can tell you this is a big problem for people. Especially as they get older.

If that wasn’t enough to worry about…

Commercial mouthwashes get their bright neon colors from artificial food dyes.

It’s good you don’t digest the mouthwashes because:

Some of the chemical dyes used have been linked to cancer.

All the more reason to make your own natural and safe mouthwash at home.

It’s pretty easy, too. Here’s how to do it:

3 methods for making homemade mouthwash

Quick Pro Tip:

Don’t use tap water when making mouthwash. It contains too many chemicals including: Chlorine, Fluorine, Trihalomethanes, Nitrates, and Pesticides.

Most mouthwash recipes are essentially the same process, but with different ingredients.

Every recipe will differ but a general rule of thumb is:

First, pick which ingredients you would like.

Use 3 to 6 teaspoons of essential oils per one cup of distilled water, more when using organic ingredients.

Once you have your ingredients, mix them with distilled (or purified) water. There are three main methods of mixing the ingredients:

The Instant Mix Method

If you’re only using essential oils and powders you can simply add all the ingredients in a bottle or jar with water and shake until completely mixed (20 seconds or so).

The Quick Boil Method

  • Put all your ingredients in a cooking pot. Slowly bring your to a boil.
  • Allow 15 to 20 minutes at a low boil for the ingredients to infuse.
  • Strain mixture, let it cool, and bottle it. Voila.

The Long Steep Method

  • Boil water
  • Put the herbs, oils and other ingredients in a glass jar or bottle
  • Pour the hot water over the other ingredients. Close the container.
  • Allow to steep for a week, shake once a day for 10 seconds.
  • It’s ready to use.

A Dentist’s Pick for the Top DIY
Mouthwash Recipes

Quick Pro Tip:

Always shake your mouthwash before using to make sure all ingredients are mixed consistently.

People often ask me what mouthwash they should use daily for the best oral hygiene.

The simple answer is:

It depends!

Each mouthwash has different active ingredients that benefit you in different ways.

Some may soothe mouth ulcers, where others calm bleeding gums, and many….

Just for that refreshing feeling after rinsing.

Here are a few great mouthwash recipes we have found around the net to get you started on taking your oral health into your own hands.

Quick note:

Remember, no matter the recipe, you should spit out mouthwash after use. None of these recipes are designed to be ingested.

natural mouthwash iconClassic Minty Mouthwash

There’s something about mint that means freshness. Here are all the ingredients you need to make your own minty mouthwash that will also whiten your teeth and kill bacteria.

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • ½ cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 10-15 drops spearmint oil (or peppermint oil)
  • 1 tsp Aloe Vera gel extract

Suggested preparation method: Instant Mix

natural mouthwash iconApple Cider Vinegar Mouthwash

Perhaps the easiest mouthwash recipe on this list. Aside from being a great natural anti-bacterial, apple cider vinegar has many other health benefits. Including: reducing cholesterol, lowering blood sugar levels, and being a natural probiotic. Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Suggested preparation method: Instant Mix

natural mouthwash iconZesty Citrus Mouthwash

For those who love that refreshing tingling sensation of lemon to cleanse their taste buds. Here’s what you need to make a fresh tart lemon mouthwash.

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • ½ cup vodka
  • 6 drops lemon essential oil
  • 10 drops bergamot essential oil

Suggested preparation method: Long Steep

natural mouthwash iconCinnamon Lemon Mouthwash

This mouthwash relieves pesky bad breath with highly effective natural deodorizers. Cinnamon mixed with parsley and lemon creates a potent cleansing mouthwash that helps eliminate all bad oral odors. Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • Juice from 2 lemons
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • 2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp honey

Suggested preparation method: Instant Mix with warm water

natural mouthwash iconCool Rosemary Mint Mouthwash

This recipe is gentle on the gums while full of anti-fungal and anti-oxidants. It’s great as a magic mouthwash substitute or those suffering ulcers or mouth sores. Here’s how to make it:

  • 1 cup of distilled water
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tsp mint leaves
  • 1 tsp anise seeds
  • 2 tsp Aloe Vera gel extract

Suggested preparation method: Long Steep

natural mouthwash iconMinty Clove Mouthwash (2 Styles)

An anti-cavity mouthwash. The active fresh ingredients eliminate cavity causing bacteria and contain strong anti-oxidants for improved overall oral health. Great for smokers. Here are the ingredients:

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp fresh (or dried) cloves
  • 7-10 fresh mint leaves

Suggested preparation method: Quick Boil

natural mouthwash iconClove & Rosemary Mouthwash

Here’s one with a herbal aroma and great health benefits. Both rosemary and cloves contain potent antioxidants. A great mouthwash for smokers or after a night out.

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 cloves

Suggested preparation method: Long Steep

natural mouthwash iconCleansing Turmeric Mouthwash

Turmeric has many health benefits. It’s a natural anti-viral agent and anti-inflammatory. Turmeric is an effective solution to aching teeth and bleeding gums. Here’s what you need to make your own turmeric mouthwash.

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 4 drops of peppermint (optional)

Suggested preparation method: Quick Boil

natural mouthwash iconTotal Tooth Care Mouthwash

Here’s a mouthwash your dentist will love you to try. These active natural ingredients remove stains and strengthen your teeth’s enamel through a process called reminerilization. Useful for minor cavities.   Here are the ingredients:

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 1 tsp calcium carbonate powder
  • 1 tsp dandelion
  • 7-10 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • (optional: zinc)

Suggested preparation method: Long steep

natural mouthwash iconCayenne Pepper Mouthwash

Cayenne pepper stimulates blood flow and promotes the creation of natural digestive enzymes important for oral health. Cayenne is also a natural pain reliever and antibacterial. Great for those suffering from sore throats or gum disease.

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust to your preference)
  • 1 tsp raw honey

Suggested preparation method: Quick boil

natural mouthwash iconAll natural Anti-bacterial Mouthwash

A potent mixture of the strongest natural anti-bacterial ingredients. This recipe is useful for those battling gingivitis or who want something to kick bacteria to the curb. Here are the ingredients.

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 drops peppermint oil
  • 1 drop tea tree oil
  • 2 drops thyme essential oil
  • 1 tsp Neem oil
  • (optional) Honey – 1 tsp

Suggested preparation method: Instant Mix with warm water

natural mouthwash iconMuscle relaxing Mouthwash

Have frequent tense muscles around your mouth and face? This natural mouthwash will help. The ingredients in this mouthwash contain muscle relaxing and anti-spasmodic properties. Useful for persistent tickle coughs. Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 1 tsp chamomile oil
  • 1 tsp peppermint oil
  • 1 tsp bergamot oil
  • ½ tsp eucalyptus oil
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • (optional, Valerian to promote sleep)

Suggested preparation method: Instant Mix

natural mouthwash iconMint & Ginger Mouthwash

Love ginger? Here’s a mouthwash that’s not only delicious but which has all the health benefits you want. It’s anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-septic and promotes saliva production which supports proper digestion and overall oral health. Here are the ingredients:

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • Ginger root (amount per preference)
  • 1 tsp peppermint oil
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 7-10 fresh mint leaves

Suggested preparation method: Long Steep or Quick Boil

natural mouthwash iconMarshmallow Mouthwash

Good for those suffering from sore throats, canker sores, mouth ulcers or cuts inside their mouth. Marshmallow root is known to relieve dry coughs and symptoms related to Bronchitis.

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • ¼ cup marshmallow root
  • 7-10 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tsp aloe Vera gel

Suggested preparation method: Long Steep

natural mouthwash iconWheatgrass Nutrient Mouthwash

Wheatgrass contains over 90 essential minerals, plus vitamins A, C, and E. This wheatgrass mouthwash recipe helps reminerilize your teeth, remove toxins from the body and aids tissue recovery in case of mouth sores or cuts. But, use it sparingly. Wheatgrass can stain teeth.

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 2 tsp wheatgrass powder
  • 1 tsp ginger oil
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

Suggested preparation method: Instant mix

Hope you liked our dentists guide to DIY mouthwash guide.

Happy swishing from all of us here at the Eric Mehler Sunrise dentistry practice!

Dr. Eric Mehler Mouthwash Guide

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