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 are looking for a cheap and natural way to freshen your breath, you might not need to look further than your own pantry or refrigerator. One of the many uses for baking soda is brushing your teeth, but mixed with water it also can be used as a mouthwash. Try these simple recipes.

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. You can make fresh each time from powdered baking soda, or mix enough to use for three or four days. After that period of time, it is likely to have degraded to sodium carbonate, which is still OK 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 during the day for people who have dry mouth and taste changes due to chemotherapy. Mix together one cup of warm water, 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/8 teaspoon of salt. After swishing small sips of it around your mouth, rinse your mouth with plain water. Whether or not you are undergoing chemotherapy, this can be a good mouthwash if you have canker sores, sore gums, etc.

Why It Works

Baking soda neutralizes the odors in your mouth rather than just covering them up. It is of an alkaline pH, which balances against acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and acidic drinks such as sodas and coffee.

Benefits

  • Inexpensive: A box of baking soda is dirt cheap, and you likely have some in your pantry. You can even use a box that has been deodorizing your refrigerator for a month. Using it as a mouthwash is a great alternative to tossing it out. 
  • No harsh chemicals, artificial colors or flavorings: You know what is in your baking soda mouthwash, whereas you may wonder about some of the ingredients in store-bought mouthwash and the effects they may have.
  • No strong taste: The overpowering flavor of many types of mouthwash can be displeasing, especially if you have taste changes from chemotherapy or pregnancy.
  • Alcohol-free: Many commercial brands of mouthwash contain alcohol. That is something you may want to avoid if you are in recovery or living in a household with others who may have a past or current alcohol problem.
  • Multi-purpose: Besides keeping your clean and odor free, leftover baking soda can be used for a variety of household cleaners, from shampoo to deodorant and everything in between.

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 it so you don't have to explain the white powder that could excite some concern. You still may have some explaining to do.
  2. If you miss the flavor of store-bought mouthwash, add a drop of peppermint oil for a minty taste.
  3. If you prefer to make big batches, boil your water and add a teaspoon of baking soda for every eight ounces of water. Store in a sterilized container.