Save Money with Homemade Mouthwash

Ingredients I have on hand for making my own homemade mouthwash. Salt, baking soda, essential oils, and water.
Ingredients I have on hand for making homemade mouthwash. Salt, baking soda, essential oils, and boiled water.

Homemade Mouthwash to Save Some Cash

Are you looking for ways to save money and still keep your breath fresh and clean? I like using mouthwash to rinse my teeth after meals and snacks. However, I hate shelling out a bunch of money for bottles of mouthwash packaged in a bunch of plastic. So I started making my own years ago and I don’t miss the green stuff one bit! It’s easy to create a homemade mouthwash solution with items you probably already have on hand!

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Tips for Homemade Mouthwash

Some of these homemade solutions shouldn’t be used too often or swished around in your mouth for too long. These include mouthwash made with vinegar, salt, baking soda, or hydrogen peroxide. These should be swished around in your mouth for up to 30 seconds, then spit out and rinse with plain water. These are also fine for gargling to cleanse your throat.

You may use any of the following mouthwash solutions 3 or 4 times a day to help keep your mouth feeling fresh. These also have the advantage of killing the bacteria that cause bad breath.

  • 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water and 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup water and 3 tbsps aloe vera juice (refrigerate any leftover mouthwash)
  • 1/2 cup water and 6 drops lemongrass oil
  • 1/2 cup water, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 or 2 drops peppermint oil
  • 1/2 cup water and 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water and 2 to 6 drops of sweet orange, cinnamon, lemon, or peppermint food-grade essential oil

Place the ingredients (from one of the lines, above) in a jelly jar or bottle and shake well before use. Store in a cool, dark spot and. Use within a few days. If you wish to make up a larger batch of mouthwash, either boil the water first and allow it to cool, or use distilled water. I use boiled water instead of purchasing distilled, saving money and reducing plastic waste, too. Boiling the water kills bacteria that might grow in your mouthwash over time.

Use essential oils that are 100% steam distilled or certified food-grade quality.

*Any leftover aloe vera mouthwash should be refrigerated.

Tip: Aloe vera for free mouthwash!

Just scoop the pulp from the fleshy leaves (1 tablespoon will do) and swish this around in your mouth for 30 seconds. Spit the juice out and rinse with plain water. Store any unused leaves in the refrigerator and use them within 2 or 3 weeks.

How Much Money Can You Save With Homemade Mouthwash?

This will depend a great deal on how much mouthwash you use and which ‘recipe’ you followed. Here is the approximate cost for each of these, assuming that you boil your own tap water instead of purchasing distilled water.

  • 1/4 cup peroxide – approximate cost $0.15
  • 1/2 tsp salt – approximate cost less than $0.01
  • 2 tbsps aloe vera juice – approximately $0.25
  • 6 drops of lemongrass oil – approximately $0.12
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda – approximate cost less than $0.01
  • 2 drops peppermint essential oil – approximately $0.02
  • 3 tbsps apple cider vinegar (storebought) – approximately $0.23

These prices are from sources in my local area in 2023. As you can see, some of these homemade solutions cost just a few pennies, even if you scale up and make a quart jar of mouthwash. In particular, making a saltwater solution to rinse your mouth would cost less than 8 cents! Now, let’s compare that to a generic brand of mouthwash that costs about $3.10 for 33.8 ounces (1 liter).

Storebought generic mouthwash $3.10 vs Homemade $0.08

No Salt Mouthwash with Peppermint Essential Oil

Not a fan of the saltwater mouthwash? Try using the solution made with 1/2 cup water, 1/2 tsp baking soda, and a couple of drops of peppermint oil. Multiply this recipe by 8 to make a one-quart batch (boil the water) at a price of about 4 cents for the baking soda and 24 cents for the essential oil for a grand total of $0.28. I like the flavor of this mouthwash and this is what I use on a regular basis. (Note: I did not include the cost of boiling the water, since I usually do this on my woodstove.)

Even if you ‘splurge’ and use lemongrass oil (a natural preventative for gingivitis) you’ll still spend less than $1 per quart for this natural mouthwash.

Do you miss the colorful bottle of mouthwash from the store? Try adding a drop of green food coloring if you really want the addition of color. I prefer to leave the food coloring out but I do like the minty-fresh flavor of a few drops of peppermint essential oil in my homemade rinse.

Any way you look at it, making your own mouthwash at home is a great way to save some money on your personal care products and reduce the amount of plastic waste you’re creating. Even better, you don’t have to buy a bunch of expensive ingredients to make up a batch of your own mouthwash right now!

You might also like to try my Peppermint Lip Balm and Sore Muscle Rub from scratch recipes.

Has this information been helpful? Please share your ideas for a homemade mouthwash that is inexpensive and easy to make!



  1. Carol L
    • Lisa Lombardo

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