Homemade Minty Mouthwash

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Today’s post has been sitting in my drafts since forever, so I’m glad I’m finally getting to this! I used to be really big on mouthwash for a long time…and then something happened. I eventually just couldn’t stand the really strong alcohol taste – it was just way too overpowering. So I stopped using mouthwash until they came out with “alcohol-free” mouthwash. I tried that, but again, the taste was just too much, and it felt like my mouth smelled like well, like a bottle of mouthwash, really! So I decided to just give it up altogether. I mean, if I really want to freshen my breath, I could just brush my teeth, right?

That lasted for a good while, but then the mouthwash-bug started itching again :) This time, I set out to find a homemade alternative that wasn’t too strong, but still left me with fresh breath. It took me a couple shots, but I finally made the perfect recipe:

What You Need:

homemade mouthwash

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Hydrogen Peroxide
  • 7-10 drops Spearmint essential oil (or your choice)
  • A jar with a small spout (preferably glass – I used an old glass milk bottle)

What To Do:

  1. Pour the water and peroxide into the jar.
  2. Add the essential oil.
  3. Shake gently before each use.

I can’t tell you how much I love this mouthwash – it’s mild, it tastes minty-fresh, and it actually works! It leaves your mouth feeling so fresh, but without the overpowering in-your-face artificial mint taste/smell.

Just remember to shake it up a little (really, just swish it around a bit in the jar) before each use, and to rinse your mouth out with water afterwards to remove the peroxide from your mouth.

Also, as a reader helped remind me, with regards to shelf life, make sure you keep your bottle in a dark place (I keep ours under the sink) or use a dark bottle to store the mouthwash to help filter out the light (the original peroxide bottle works well too!).

That’s it! Hope that helps, because it sure helped me :)

Where can you buy essential oils? You can find them at any health food store that sells natural and organic products. If you can’t find a store near you, you can always purchase them online. Mountain Rose Herbs has really good quality oils – love them!

Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c

HOW TO: Make Homemade Mouthwash
A homemade alternative to store-bought mouthwash.
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Hydrogen Peroxide
  • 7-10 drops Spearmint essential oil (or your choice)
  • A jar with a small spout (preferably glass – I used an old glass milk bottle)
  1. Pour the water and peroxide into the jar.
  2. Add the essential oil.
  3. Shake gently before each use.
  4. Swish around in your mouth for about 1 minute, then spit out.
  5. Rinse your mouth once, with water.



*affiliate links included in this post

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Sarah UmmYusuf is a former school teacher turned stay-at-home wife and mama with a passion for all things simple, natural, and homemade. She loves the natural world, and believes the solutions to many of the world’s ailments lie in nature. Her blog, , began as a way to document her family’s journey to a greener home, but has since become a thriving community and resource for those wishing to take small steps towards a more eco-friendly, natural and sustainable lifestyle. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

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  1. Basem says

    This works better than any mouthwash I ever used (you’ll have to ask a loved one for a real test). Put this on the shelves of stores and it would put every commercial mouthwash out of business: cheaper, healthier, and more effective!!

  2. Julia says

    Hi,I’ve been looking for a nice simple home made mouthwash for a while. Is it not best to use a flavoured oil? How long does this last for eg, can It be left for a week or so? Thanks

    • Sarah says

      Hi Sofia! I’m not sure what you mean by “flavoured oil” but I like to use spearmint oil because it has a nice minty fresh taste. Any mint oil would do, or you can even go without any oil at all since the peroxide takes care of much of the anti-septic properties.

      As far as how long it lasts, I’ve kept it for up to a week and probably even longer! The only thing is you want to make sure you keep your bottle in a dark place (I keep ours under the sink) or use a dark bottle (like the dark one used for the peroxide). I actually forgot to mention this in the post so I’m editing it to include this now :)

      Hope that helps!

    • Patti says

      I am a Licensed Dental Assistant and peroxide is a great mouthrinse but essential oils…no way. Even Mountain Rose Herbs says “Keep essential oils out of eyes, ears, nose, mouth and any body opening!” on their website. DON’T use this!!!!

      • Sarah says

        Hi Patti,

        Thanks so much for your comments! :) I do feel, however, that a few drops of essential oils diluted into a cup and a half of liquid is not harmful at all. There are also many other uses for essential oils with regards to oral and dental health; in homemade toothpaste, for oil pulling, treating ulcers, etc. Even the commercial toothpastes and mouthwashes contain a combination of essential oils in them. When I see warnings about keeping EOs out of eyes, ears, nose, and mouth, I understand that to be referring to undiluted EOs. In that case, yes, no one should ever use undiluted essential oils in any body opening!

        • MJ says

          I suggest substituting mint extracts designed for baking and cooking to replace the essential oils. You get the flavor and minimize the question of internally using essential oils, which is subject to question.

          • says

            That’s also an option, although you’re not actually ingesting the oils since you’re spitting it out afterwards.

    • Sarah says

      You’re welcome Mrs. A! I know what you mean about the peroxide burning your mouth, which is why it took me a couple of batches to perfect this recipe. Most recipes call for a 1:1 ratio but I felt that was too strong. The 2:1 ratio is so much better and I’m sure you can even experiment to make it even milder :)

  3. Debbie says

    Where can I buy the Spearmint oil. I’ve never seen it anywhere. If I can find it I will make some. I make a lot of things from scratch.

    • Sarah says

      Hi Debbie,

      You can find spearmint oil at any health food store that sells natural and organic products. Whole Foods is an example of a big chain, but there are numerous smaller organic stores that will carry essential oils. If you’re having trouble finding a store, let me know where you’re located and I’ll try to help :)

  4. Narender says

    Hydrogen peroxide is often used as a bleach or cleaning agent and can burnt up your vocal track if you by any means inhale it. It is used to deal with odors entering wastewater treatment plants to pre-chlorinate the influent sewers, for pulp paper bleaching, to reduce the chemicals in industrial waste. You should give a WARNING line with such home made methods.

    • Lori says

      I’m sorry, but no one is breathing in or ingesting large amounts of hydrogen peroxide in this homemade mouthwash. I used to spend a lot of money on Listerine’s pre-brushing whitening rinse until I realized the active ingredient was hydrogen peroxide, a natural bleaching agent. So I bought a big bottle of hydrogen peroxide at the grocery for $1-$2. Every morning I take a swig, swirl it around for 30 sec. to a minute and spit it out. I’ve yet to ingest any of it. Does the same thing as the commercial product at a fraction of the cost. It would taste better with the essential oil, but after a day or two I got used to it.

    • Sarah says

      Hi Narender, thanks for your comment. It’s true that peroxide is used in waste water treatment, but it’s usually in a 35-50% concentration. The peroxide you find at the drugstore, and that’s used in this recipe is a 3% solution, which is then further diluted with water. So, I think the risks from any possible inhalation/ingestion are very low, if any.

    • Patti says

      Hydrogen Peroxide is perfectly fine to use as a oral debridement. Read the label! It is often recommended by dentists (I am a LDA by the way! 😉 )

    • MJ says

      One can use food grade hydrogen peroxide instead of medicinal grade safely. Often sold in natural food markets in white bottles and labelled as food grade.

  5. Anna says

    the 3% hydrogen peroxide i find at the pharmacy contains sodium phosphate and sodium stannate (stabilizers). Can i still use that to make my mouth wash ????? I can’t find any hydrogen peroxide without any stabilizer in it. I really want to try this but is afraid it’ll ruin my teeth/gums.


    • Sarah says

      Hi Anna, that’s the same kind of peroxide that I have – I think it’s the common one found in all drug stores. From my understanding of the research, these stabilizers are used in a very small quantity and shouldn’t have any negative effects on teeth and gums. Many commercial mouthwashes also use peroxide as their main ingredient. The only way that these stabilizers (or the peroxide itself) would be of any harm, is if you’re ingesting it in large quantities, which we’re clearly not doing here.

      So you should be fine, but of course if you’re concerned, I would consult your dental care professional for advice :)

  6. jamie says

    It’s best to use Spearmint Extract, which is able to be consumed. Most essential oils even say on the bottle not for internal use. You can find other extract flavors besides just vanilla and spearment, I have also seen Orange. They can be found at most healthfood stores next to the vanilla extract. I got mine at Sprouts health food Store.

  7. eks says

    Just want to mention something I read somewhere regarding white hair: it is mainly hydrogen peroxide buildup in your system that turns the hair on your head white. I don’t mean bleaching by external contact. I mean hydrogen peroxide kills the pigment formation in the hair follicles from within, thus making further hair growth unpigmented (white). So, try to minimise your use of it, as it can get into your system even through rinsing your mouth.

  8. Jack says

    If you Let light hit it, the hydrogen peroxide will die, that’s why it comes in a non-light bottle, ie. brown plastic.

    Research more before you post, You have to store in light free container. Other than that, its a great mouthwash, says so right on the bottle, just tastes bad lol

      • Stas says

        Thanks for the info.

        I think you should mention in the post that you’re using the 3% solution, we don’t want people to use
        the 35% solution, unless they really want to burn their mouths..

  9. says

    I’m glad others chimed in the essential oil warnings. I read the warning on the oils today at Walmart and decided to use mint extract instead of the essential oils.

    Great article and I’m excited to try this!

    Thank you!

    • Erica says

      Essential oils are not safe to ingest, unless under care of homeopathic doctor. BUT you are not ingesting here. You are swishing in your mouth and spitting out.


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