Homemade Baking Soda Mouthwash Recipes

A Cheap and Easy Option for Fresh Breath

Close-up of a young woman sipping from a mouthwash cup
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If you're looking for a cheap and natural way to freshen your breath, you need not look any further than your own pantry or refrigerator. While you may know that you can use baking soda to brush and whiten your teeth, did you know that it can also be used as a mouthwash? Yep, it's true.

Try these simple mouthwash recipes, and see what you think. Both recipes are alcohol-free, so they should work for everyone in your household.

Baking Soda Mouthwash

Add half a teaspoon of baking soda to half a glass of warm water, and use it to gargle. It's an instant fix for even the worst case of bad breath. Make a fresh batch each time you need it, or mix enough to last you three or four days. If you keep it any longer than that, it's likely to have degraded to sodium carbonate, which is still OK to use, but not as balancing as a fresh rinse.

Baking Soda and Salt Mouthwash

The National Cancer Institute recommends this as a mouthwash, to be used every three hours throughout the day, for people who are dealing with a dry mouth and taste changes due to chemotherapy. Just mix together one cup of warm water, 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/8 teaspoon of salt. After swishing it around your mouth; rinse with plain water. This is also a good mouthwash to use if you have canker sores, sore gums, or other mouth injuries, since baking soda and salt have both been proven to speed healing.

Why It Works

Baking soda neutralizes the odors in your mouth, rather than just covering them up. It has an alkaline pH, which balances the acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth and also counteracts the effects of acidic drinks, such as sodas and coffee. Coffee breath is the worst!

Benefits

  • Inexpensive: A box of baking soda is dirt cheap, and it's something you probably already have in your house. Pull a box from your pantry. Don't use the box that's been absorbing odors in your fridge.
  • No harsh chemicals, artificial colors or flavorings: You know what's in your baking soda mouthwash, but you probably can't say that about store-bought mouth washes -- even after you've read their label. Avoid fake ingredients, with unknown health effects, by using something that's all-natural.
  • No strong taste: The overpowering flavor of many mouthwashes can be displeasing, especially if you're going through chemotherapy or you're pregnant.
  • Alcohol-free: Many commercial mouthwashes contain alcohol. That's something you should avoid if you're in recovery, or living in a household with others who have a past or current alcohol problem. It's also something you probably don't want your kids using.This homemade mouthwash is something everyone can use.
  • Multi-purpose: Besides keeping your mouth clean and odor free, baking soda can be used to make a variety of household cleaners and beauty products, everything from shampoo and deodorant to a highly-effective kitchen degreaser. Keep your pantry well-stocked, so baking soda can become one of your household go-tos.

Tips

  1. Keep some baking soda in your purse or briefcase, and you can even freshen your breath on the go. Be sure to label the container you put it in, so you don't have to explain the suspicious white powder that you're carrying. Of course, you still may find that you have to explain your mouthwash to co-workers, at least until they get used to your new routine.If you're worried about it, just bring it pre-mixed with water. That's far less likely to raise suspicions.
  1. If you miss the flavor of store-bought mouthwash, add a drop of (food-grade) peppermint oil for a minty taste.
  2. Prefer to make big batches?  Boil your water, and add a teaspoon of baking soda for every eight ounces of water. Then, store your mouthwash in a sterilized container. Be sure to label it, so no one dumps it out, or mistakes it for something else.
  3. Keep a box of baking soda under the bathroom sink, or in the medicine cabinet, so it'll be easy to mix batches on the fly. If you make it easy to do, you're far more likely to stick to your new routine.