Homemade Mouthwash: A Natural Antibacterial Recipe for Fresh Breath

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Homemade Mouthwash

Our homemade mouthwash is natural, effective, and gentle, not harsh like the commercial stuff. This DIY mouthwash is simple and inexpensive!

Ever watched the clock hoping you could endure the burn of your mouthwash for a full minute? I have never been able to stand the harsh burn of commercial mouthwash. So after reading about the beneficial properties of peppermint essential oil, I did what any creative DIY’er would do, I set out to make my own.

Homemade Mouthwash

Homemade Mouthwash: A Natural and Antibacterial DIY Recipe

Our homemade mouthwash is natural, effective, and gentle, not harsh like the commercial stuff. This DIY mouthwash is simple and inexpensive!

Prep Time
5 minutes
Active Time
2 minutes
Total Time
7 minutes
4 ounces



  1. The baking soda will settle to the bottom of the jar when not in use, so be sure to shake your homemade mouthwash before each use.

  2. Swish about 2-3 teaspoons of this homemade formula in your mouth for a minute or two. As with any mouthwash, try to avoid swallowing this while gargling.

Recipe Video


Feel free to double this recipe for a larger batch. Making really big batches is not recommended because the oils will continue to blend over time and flavors can change.

We strive to create recipes that are easy to make, inexpensive, and effective. This homemade mouthwash is all that and even has antibacterial and antifungal properties to help keep bad breath at bay.

Made this recipe?

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Homemade Mouthwash is Better and Cheaper

A few years ago we paid $3.50 for a liter (nearly 34 ounces) of generic Listerine®, and that’s about the lowest price you’ll find. If we divide $3.50/34 we get approximately $0.10/ounce for the store-bought mouthwash. Our mouthwash recipe above yields 5 ounces with raw ingredients that cost approximately $0.03/ounce.

If you were to make a liter of this homemade natural mouthwash it would cost you approximately $1.00 which is $2.50 less than the store-bought.

This homemade DIY mouthwash delivers us a savings of approximately 250%.

Homemade Mouthwash 1

Xylitol Mouthwash and Other Optional Ingredients

First, xylitol is a natural sweetener proven to have a positive effect on tooth and gum health. Further, any natural dentists recommend xylitol and it is now a popular ingredient in natural toothpaste, gum, and mouthwash. To clarify, it is not a necessary ingredient for this natural homemade mouthwash but it will improve the taste and even the effectiveness. Lastly, about 1 teaspoon is recommended if you are using it in this recipe.

Matt just ran out of toothpaste and is whipping up a new batch that will include a bit of Xylitol and possibly even some coconut oil for better texture. (Purchase quality coconut oil here.)

Warning: Xylitol can be extremely toxic to dogs. It is best to keep any Xylitol products or items sweetened with Xylitol stored safely away from dogs.

Make your own homemade mouthwash today!


About Betsy Jabs

Betsy holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master's degree in Counseling, and for nearly a decade worked as an elementary counselor. In 2011 she left her counseling career to pursue healthy living. She loves using DIY Natural as a way to educate people to depend on themselves to nourish their bodies and live happier healthier lives. Connect with Betsy on Facebookand Twitter.

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DISCLAIMER: Information on DIY Natural™ is not reviewed or endorsed by the FDA and is NOT intended to be substituted for the advice of your health care professional. If you rely solely upon this advice you do so at your own risk. Read full Disclaimer & Disclosure statements here.


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  2. Niki says

    It would be wonderful if you compiled all the beauty recipes into a book like you did the cleaners. I own the book! I like having all the recipes together for ease of finding when I need them. Thanks for all you do!

  3. irene says

    Xylitol is a sugar alcohol as is malitol and should not be used by anyone allergic to alcohol or has an alcohol problem.

  4. Rose says

    What great timing! I had it on my list to find a mouthwash since my gums have been bleeding. I just tried your mouthwash and don’t like the saltiness of the baking soda. Has anyone ever tried a salt free baking soda? Also, can you use Spearmint EO in place of the Peppermint? I seem to be sensitive to Peppermint EO. Thanks.

    • Mary says

      For me, the absolute best way to deal with bleeding gums is:
      Baking Soda
      Dental Floss
      Listerine (Substitute Listerine with Dr. Tichnor’s)

      Floss each tooth, well (some discomfort and bleeding will occur but will decrease and finally disappear, the more you use this treatment)

      Stir 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 2 tablespoons of peroxide in an 8oz glass of warm water. (Mixing the baking soda with peroxide and warm water minimizes the salty taste of the baking soda).

      Swish liquid around wetting all teeth & gums & spit out (*do not swallow*)

      Brush teeth & gums with your favorite toothpaste. (Some great toothpaste for bleeding gums are: Colgate Daily Repair, Paradontax, ProNamel, Sensodyne). The Dollar Store also sells a knock-off brand that works very well if funds are too tight for buying brand name toothpastes.

      Follow by gargling and swishing with Listerine or *Dr. Tichnors mouthwash. (Dr. Tichnor’s is an extra strength mouthwash and should not be used straight; mix with a good bit of water until you find a strength that works for you).

      If your gums are bleeding, your breath is smelling. (To prove it, floss 2 or 3 teeth and smell the floss. If there is an odor on the floss, there’s odor on your breath).

      Flossing along with using the peroxide, pulls the bacteria from beneath the gum line. No amount of brushing will ever do that.

      You, your co-workers, family members, friends and (most of all) your significant other, will appreciate the results!!!

  5. Cindy says

    Thank you for your tips, I’m enjoying your website! One thing I also add to my homemade mouthwash is Aloe Vera juice or gel (anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral), and witch hazel (anti-inflammatory, and reduces bleeding gums).

    • Rose says

      Cindy, how much witch hazel and aloe did you add to the 1/c water? Thanks for posting this info as I am having bleeding gum problems.

  6. Linda says

    Yes, to one repsonse, I also only us Young Living oils, pure and can be taken internally, that way if you swallow a little while brushing it is fine.
    Question: Why is Xylitol so bad that it can cause death in dogs?

    • Betsy Jabs says

      Great question Linda. Xylitol is safe for people and doesn’t affect glucose levels in humans, but it causes a dangerous surge of insulin when ingested by dogs. This insulin surge can be deadly. It’s just a difference in the way our bodies process it.

  7. Sue says

    I find this mouthwash quite nice. Thank you. May I ask if you rinse your mouth with plain water after rinsing with the mouthwash? Would this just be a matter of personal preference or would there be advantage or disadvantage either way? Appreciate your thoughts on this. Thanks.

    • Betsy Jabs says

      You can do this depending on the consistency of your homemade toothpaste. If you’re only using coconut oil/baking soda, it won’t be pasty enough to squeeze out of a container. If you’re mixing something like pure aloe vera into the paste, it will work well in a squeeze bottle.

  8. Sue says

    I like the mouthwash recipe you gave. Thanks. I have put it in the bathroom in a sippy cup with a cover for convenience. Of course it’s just me using it, so hygiene concerns for a family would be different.

  9. Sue says

    I have heard some confusion on whether baking soda contains aluminum or not? Bob’s Red Mill sells an aluminum free baking soda, but Arm n Hammer baking soda just lists sodium bicarbonate on the ingredients and says nothing about aluminum. (Not to be confused with baking powder which can contain aluminum and can be bought aluminum free) I read that the aluminum enters in the processing and production of the baking soda and that Bob’s Red Mill uses a different process. If so, would aluminum free baking soda be better reserved for hair washing, tooth powders, deodorants, and other personal care products and the other brands okay for just cleaning? Do you have any information on this? Cost of the two brands is a definite factor, if you use a lot of it. Thanks.

  10. Lisa Brown says

    thanks for the great article! I’m just curious… why baking soda? I don’t love the taste, so I’m wondering if I can get by without it, or if it’s a pretty crucial ingredient.

  11. Jeff says

    Thank you both for your quick responses. The tea tee oil link in the recipe above points to Herbal Authority tea tree oil, so I am guessing when choosing a tea tree oil I should look for “therapeutic-grade” according to Tiffany’s response. Seems like most uses for tea tree oil is for skin issues and bug bites. I am new to this and I just don’t want use the wrong oil. Thank – you

    • Carol L says

      “therapeutic grade” is a marketing tag. There is NO SUCH thing as therapeutic grade. It is given by companies to make their products sell better.