Zero Waste Recipes – No 1. Toothpaste & Mouthwash

We see excess discarded packaging everywhere. It’s heartbreaking to see the effect it can have on the environment. I’m not sure how one begins to deal with this overwhelming situation and the only thing I can think of is to try and take some personal responsibility and try and make some changes in my own habitat.

“My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?”… Cloud Atlas

My Mum used to tell me how she never had toothpaste as a young child and often would use baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) on her finger to rub her teeth clean. Sodium bicarbonate was an ingredient used in making Irish Soda Bread and presume many households probably had this in their larder in Ireland if not for the bread then other types of baking.

So I did a bit of Googling and snooping around and thought about a homemade toothpaste using baking soda that I could make and store in a re-useable jar. I found a recipe using baking soda, coconut oil and essential oils and decided to give it a go. The toothpaste actually works really well but i will be honest with you, it tastes awful! Baking soda is a salt (and you musn’t ingest it so rinse your mouth thoroughly after using it) so even mixed with twice as much coconut oil and a generous amount of peppermint essential oils it isn’t a particularly pleasant experience.

I’ve made it now and I’ll use it but meanwhile I will look at creating a more palatable toothpaste.

Zero Waste Toothpaste Ingredients
4 heaped tablespoons of coconut oil
1-2 level tablespoons of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
Peppermint essential oil to taste (about 10-20 drops)

Mix all the ingredients together with a spoon until smooth and creamy and spoon into a glass jar.
Dip clean toothbrush into mixture and with a pea sized amount brush teeth thoroughly.
Rinse mouth thoroughly afterwards, do not ingest.

Makes enough for a couple of months.

At the same time I found a very simple mouthwash recipe and I was wondering what to do with a beautiful turquoise coloured bottle I was gifted by my daughter a few years ago so this seemed perfect!

How did the mouthwash compare with the toothpaste? I’ll be honest again, not great but definitely better than the toothpaste! Once again I will use it but seek out a different recipe next time!

Zero Waste Mouthwash Ingredients
Water 500 ml
1 teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
Peppermint essential oil to taste (20-30 drops)

Simply add all ingredients together in the bottle and shake!

C xxxx

17 thoughts on “Zero Waste Recipes – No 1. Toothpaste & Mouthwash

  1. I recently made a toothpowder from bicarb, sage and peppermint essential oil and whilst it doesn’t taste great I can cope. It certainly works out cheaper than the toothpaste I was using and a lot less packaging.

  2. I love your posts and enjoy them so much. Trying the marrow chutney tonight and have been making homemade vegan yogurt. It’s a massive money saver and no plastic packing too xxx

  3. Baking Soda and Bicarbonate of Soda are the same thing. It can be used to alleviate occasional acid reflux (1/2 teaspoon in 4oz glass of water, sip slowly) so no need to panic if you should accidentally injest the toothpaste. However essential oil of peppermint should preferably be food grade and again in the quantity in a pea sized dob of toothpaste should be safe if it should be swallowed as long as the mixture has been well shaken beforehand.

  4. Oops should have said as long as the mixture is well mixed. I would make it in small enough quantities to ensure the coconut oil has a long enough shelf life to last the period of use.

  5. Hi Carolyn, Google tooth powder using bentonite clay, saw one recipe that uses cloves and cinnamon and peppermint oil. I have been following your page for many years now and have enjoyed keeping up with your trials and victories good Luck Valerie

  6. My parents used tooth powder to save money when I was a kid. I didn’t like it, so kept dribbling water into the can, and shaking it up to make tooth paste. I remember getting fussed with several times, but they must have given up – or tooth powder went the way of the dinosaur – and we had real toothpaste. I have used baking soda on occasion, but never tried mixing it with anything else to make it easier to use. This sounds interesting. I’ll keep you posted

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