Homemade Toothpaste Is Effective & Simple to Make

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How To Make Toothpaste

Homemade toothpaste is simple to make and requires just a few everyday ingredients. This quick DIY recipe is natural, fun to make, and will save you money.

Homemade Toothpaste: A Simple Recipe

Why make your own toothpaste?

It saves money, gives you a feeling of accomplishment, and allows you to leave out all the harmful ingredients commercial toothpaste is made of. Oh yeah, and it takes less than 5 minutes to prepare.

Simple Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt (optional – direct application of the minerals in sea salt is great for teeth, but can be left out if the taste is too salty)
  • 1 – 2 tsp peppermint extract or 10-15 drops peppermint essential oil (or add your favorite flavor – spearmint, orange, etc.)
  • filtered water (add to desired consistency)

Cost Breakdown & Savings

Here is the breakdown in cost analysis for 5.33 oz of homemade toothpaste (same amount as one tube of our old toothpaste):

  • baking soda @ 16 oz = $1.00 | 2/3 cup is 5.33 oz which = $0.33
  • fine sea salt @ 22 oz = $2.00 | 1 tsp is .17 oz which = $0.02
  • peppermint extract @ 1 oz = $3.00 | 2 tsp is .33 oz which = $1.04 | Better yet, use peppermint essential oil @ 1 oz = $13.00 | 15 drops = $0.28!

Note: you can use as much or as little peppermint, or other flavors, as you wish. Add the flavoring little by little until you reach an amount you enjoy.

Prior to making our own, we were using Tom’s of Maine Spearmint Gel® costing an average of $5.00 for a 5.2 oz tube.  Based on the calculations above the same amount of this homemade toothpaste will cost between $0.63 and $1.39 for 5.33 oz, depending on how much flavoring is used.

The cost savings will be between $4.37 – $3.61 per tube!

Aside from cost, there are many other benefits of homemade products.  By making this toothpaste not only are we cutting costs by upwards of 300%, but we also know the exact ingredients and count time spent as fun, educational, and useful for all involved!

Making Homemade Toothpaste

Remember, each batch yields the equivalent of one 5.3oz tube of toothpaste which you can store in a small storage container somewhere close to your toothbrush. When you are ready to brush, simply wet your toothbrush, scoop or spread as much paste as you like, and begin brushing.

1.  Start with these ingredients:

How To Make Toothpaste 1

2.  Mix together baking soda, optional salt, and peppermint. Add a little water at a time, stirring after each addition, until paste reaches desired consistency.

How To Make Toothpaste 2

That’s it!   You’re done.  Now go get rid of that bad breath!

Homemade Toothpaste FAQs

Isn’t baking soda abrasive?

No, on the Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA) scale baking soda is MUCH less abrasive than commercial toothpaste.

Are essential oils safe for consumption?

First, you’re not supposed to swallow toothpaste. That said, some may run down our throats – and most essential oil providers are legally obligated to print, “not for consumption” on their packaging – but we use it with confidence. Here’s our line of thought: would you rather put the essential oils of a mint plant in your mouth or commercial toothpaste that has poison control warnings on every package? We know what our answer would be, but we always encourage people to do what they’re comfortable with.

What should we store the paste in?

In a container of your choosing close to your toothbrush. We prefer to use essential oils in our toothpaste, which should be stored in glass. We use a small glass jar and store out of heat and light so oils don’t degrade.

Should we each have our own container, or can we share with others?

If cooties bother you then get your own container, if not then don’t worry about it. My wife and I share one.

How do we get it onto our toothbrush?

Simply wet your brush, scoop or spread on some paste, and brush away.

Does this really work?

Yes. I actually like it better than store bought and find it gets rid of onion and garlic breath better than any toothpaste I have ever used.

Where do I get the ingredients?

At pretty much any store, or you can buy them online through the links above.

Is this toothpaste bad for me?

No. But that is just my opinion since I am not a dentist, but the FDA does regard the ingredients as safe.

What about fluoride, don’t we need it?

Not in my opinion. The research I have done reveals fluoride as a toxic poison. Dentists typically say it is beneficial when applied to the teeth of children, but I encourage you to do a little research of your own… I’m guessing you’ll come out holding the same opinion as me.

Personalize Your Homemade Toothpaste

There are so many ways to make homemade toothpaste. We encourage you to find the proportions and ingredients for a toothpaste you’ll love. We even enjoy brushing our teeth with a homemade tooth powder now, that includes special ingredients for extra whitening! You can see the recipe here.

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About Matt Jabs

Matt loves to inspire others to save money and live more sustainably. He is passionate about eating local, living simply, and doing more things himself. He also writes about Personal Finance at Debt Free Adventure. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and his +Matt Jabs Google profile.

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Comments

  1. sandy says

    I just discovered Earthpaste toothpaste from Redmond Clay. I ordered a tube and will NEVER buy commercial toothpaste again. I’m going to use the Redmond Clay and make my own. I’ll be using your recipe as a guideline but substituting the clay for baking soda. Or I may mix baking soda and clay.
    I use a Sonicare toothbrush and will always do so. Since using the clay toothpaste, my teeth have become whiter, my gums healthier and my whole mouth feels better. This is an excellent post and site. Thank you.
    http://redmondclay.com/

  2. Intuition says

    Hey Matt, thanks for doing this research and sharing, I’ve made my own similar versions too! *Side note* Before you suggest certain companies for people to purchase from, please do your research on who they are and what they do with their company. I’m sure you care about people, animals, plants, nature in general, so I want to share with you that Tom’s of Maine is mainly owned by Colgate-Palmolive, who still tests their products on animals. Funny thing about wanting to go “natural” is that you have to play in the mud to not get dirty. Check it out for yourself, it’s always best to take YOUR word over someone else’s! Good day! 😉

  3. JANICE says

    Since water even filtered has fluoride, should one use distilled water for rinsing after brushing?

  4. Jess says

    If anyone has any good ones for a mouthwash that doesn’t taste dreadful let me know. Also the recepie above used either peppermint oil or spearmint.

  5. Jess says

    I have always had trouble with my gums bleeding when I brush. I’ve tried softer bristles and toothpaste for sensitive teeth all to no avail. I started using a homemade toothpaste for the paste few weeks. It contains equal parts coconut oil and baking soda mixed until a nice paste forms. I have to say I was heavily skeptical as nothing else has ever worked, but since using this there has been no bleeding!! I am not a dentist, but this has made me a believer. I brush with it once daily and still use my mouthwash ( looking for a recipie

    • Christine Perry says

      I had bleeding gums & sensitive teeth in my youth. My dentist told me to increase my vitamin A intake or just take daily vitamins. Bleeding gums are a sign of Vitamin “A” deficiency. I have not had my gums bleed in 35 years! I have been making my own toothpaste for about 6 months and use coconut oil instead of water to make the paste. I also have receeding gums and have no pain or sensitivity issues since switching over. I use the homemade paste 2x per day and prior to making my own used it 1-2 times per week to help with whitening. The coconut oil seems to be the trick as it makes it feel “slicker” than when made with water.

  6. Fortucky says

    Call me what you like, but I brushed my teeth once a week with water only and did not see a dentist for nine years and had no cavities or even signs of them. Prior to that, I had only four major staining teeth with the same brushing habits and had not seen a dentist for fourteen years (at fourteen years of age). I did not eat meat or dairy or white flour or white sugar, no refined foods, no alcohol. Then I had children, my diet changed, my brushing habits “improved” (a lot more frequent brushing out of necessity!), and now I have a ceramic filling and several “watched” teeth. I have found that Philips Sonicare toothbrush line gets your teeth very clean with no toothpaste and since using it my gums no longer bleed (the bleeding started with the new, refined foods diet and children). It tastes good to use toothpaste and of course I would not buy one with flouride and it makes sense to make my own, which is why I am here, obviously. I wanted to know what other people are doing and what everyone thinks. I will say though that I don’t think it is necessary for every day situations to polish your teeth with abrasives. Eat well, chew your food thoroughly, rinse with water, brush gently when you need to, and take care of your special situations in the gentlest manner possible, and be blessed. But if it tastes better, make a healthy toothpaste and use a small amount and don’t worry so much. Even the purest of water can kill you, if you ingest too much. We have so much to be thankful for!

    • Matt Jabs says

      Thanks for the info, some of it I’ve heard before (avoiding processed foods), other parts not so much (brushing once/week). From what you’ve said I would encourage people to avoid processed foods but also to brush daily – but yeah, using toothpaste has little to do with it.

  7. Natalie says

    Saw the toothpaste recipe and thought i’d suggest to y’all to put it in large oral syringes. It is less mess and reusable, as well as sanitary.

  8. Ryan says

    Matt,

    So you personally use this ‘toothpaste’ once a day and then brush with water any other times?

    • Matt Jabs says

      I used to, now I’m using a handful of others that Betsy is making for her next book. I’m the Guinea pig; but I did use this toothpaste regularly for years.

  9. Michelle says

    Matt, Have used your toothpaste for a long time, but have always made it with a fraction of the salt called for because I don’t like a lot of salt. So many seem worried about the baking soda, but 4 tsp is a lot in 2/3 cup baking soda and a lot of abrasive action. Also, I might point out Arm & Hammer has a baking soda toothpaste on the market. Meaning if it’s so bad, why is there a commercial version of what we’ve been using for the last few years????
    And sort of off subject, I’ve toyed with the idea of substituting coconut oil for the water to create the paste. Any thoughts?

    • Donna says

      I’ve been using the Arm & Hammer commercial baking soda toothpaste and am about to switch to the homemade. The commercial toothpaste has fluoride and other ingredients in it. It’s still all about $$$$$

  10. BlogShag says

    And please people. DO NOT USE FLUORIDE. We’ve been scammed big time when it comes to fluoride. I stopped using fluoride years ago, and the health of my teeth improved! Yes, it improved.

    Do your research on fluoride and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

  11. BlogShag says

    I need to add some things to this recipe….

    a. Aloe vera juice – adds creaminess and healing properties. Fresh aloe vera is preferable here. Many people have aloe vera plants growing in their garden. You can put some of those spikey leaves to good use. Use the meat part of the leaf, not the skin.

    b. Tea trea oil — will give the paste long lasting antiseptic properties. One dose is one drop on a qtip then swabbed on a brush. Yeah, it’s that potent. Adjust accordingly to how much toothpaste you’re making

    b. Calcium powder – (will remineralize teeth, add strength) You can make your own calcium powder by grinding up supplements. If you don’t like the manual way of grinding, get a separate coffee grinder and use it as an additve maker only, or get a Magic Bullet, and keep a separate container just for dental tool recipes

  12. JANICE says

    I see that some use essential oils. I purchased spearmint 100% essential oil and on the label it states, “not for internal use”…what’s the story? All that’s in it is spearmint.

    • Michelle says

      Janice – I seem to remember that there are some essential oils used for aromatic purposes so don’t have to meet food grade standards. Ask at the health food store or double check it on line.

    • Kimber says

      Essential oils are an extremely concentrated version of the plant they came from. They are very potent. It’s easier to label it “not for internal use” than to try to educate people about how to safely use them. I have used EOs for years, mostly externally, but occasionally use them internally (one drop in a capsule). This is not one of those things for which “more is better” should ever be considered. Also, since this is toothpaste, hopefully you aren’t going to internalize it anyway.

  13. Rada Francis says

    Thanks for sharing the recipe. I will have to try this. I too oppose the fluoride and don’t want it anywhere near me. Question, I get baby toothpaste at a store which my toddler can swallow, would this recipe be safe to swallow? I don’t think baking soda can do any harm right?

  14. Sarah says

    I use straight up baking soda, in a small container. Wet my toothbrush and then dip it in (mostly because I am the only one using it and I haven’t gotten a container that easily pours onto the toothbrush). I have used it like this pretty much for a year straight, and off and on for a couple of years prior. I have noticed that my gums bleed far less than they used to at the dentist’s office, which is awesome! I was in for the first time in TWO years and they didn’t find cavities or put a watch on any of my teeth and my gums did not bleed at all!!!

  15. Jennifer R. says

    I’m interested in making a homemade toothpaste because my husband has pretty bad breath, even after brushing! So naturally I’m interested in using this recipe and dropping in some essential oils for added benefits (aparently anise, fennel, cloves, sage, and melealeuca/tea tree oil are good herbal remedies for bad breath). However, I’m a little concerned about using the baking soda after reading some comments. Here’s what I found when I googled it:

    http://www.buzzle.com/articles/brushing-teeth-with-baking-soda.html

    So, the scale Matt shared earlier shows that straight baking soda is essentially harmless. But baking soda is highly reactive–that’s why it’s so good with cleaning and baking! So as soon as it’s mixed with water it changes and oxidizes the stains. I’m still going to make this paste, but I think I’ll play it safe and only have my hubby use it twice a week tops.

  16. Pam says

    I knew someone who always used salt on his teeth. He was an older man and never used tooothpaste in his life. I don’t think he had a lot of trouble with his teeth, either. TP is a modern invention and flouride is a toxin.

  17. Abby says

    I am new to making my own products. I was so excited when we got low on toothpaste. My partner was skeptical but after using it just once, she said, “I don’t ever want to buy toothpaste again!” The only thing I did differently is using cinnamon instead of peppermint because neither of us like peppermint.

  18. Ann says

    Technically (maybe too much so), the cost per ounce may be cheaper because of the water added… when I made this, I used about 5 or 6 TBS water, which might reduce the cost per ounce further?

  19. RoxRocks says

    You should only use a TP with this much baking soda once a week- it will cause abbrasion of the enamel.
    Fl at 1450 PPM as most TPs are is safe (unless you swallow the whole tube in 1 sitting) and reduces tooth decay by more than 70% when used on a daily basis. It is extremely important it is used on a daily basis.
    Sensitive TPs use complex ingredients to block the dentine tubiles, which give the pain.
    DO NOT USE CLOVE OIL, it makes treatment required very complex as you cannot place most dental materials over the top of it.
    Companies do make money from TP – but spend years developing it for a reason.