Standard mouthwashes can be expensive and contain a whole list of complex chemicals. They may last a few weeks or a couple of months and once they run out, it’s time to discard or recycle the plastic bottle they were in and buy more plastic. In short, it’s costing you money and the process of recycling plastic requires energy and produces toxins.
I decided to save some money and find a more sustainable alternative to the mouthwashes available in shops. I chose to use 3 essential oils in my mouthwash blend: peppermint, sage and thyme. Peppermint has anti-inflammatory properties so it’s great if you’re experiencing any irritation in your gums or are prone to mouth ulcers. It’s also a natural stimulant and a smell we associate with clean and fresh breath. Thyme has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties and is excellent at warding off throat infections, colds and ‘flu. Sage is a natural deodorant and has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. The combined effects of these 3 plants create an effective mouthwash which will keep your gums healthy and your breath fresh.
Here’s what’s needed to make your own and how to do it:
Pour a dash of alcohol (around 20-30ml) into the plastic bottle. This allows the essential oils to dissolve in water. Add 10 drops of sage essential oil, 10 drops of thyme essential oil and 15-20 drops of peppermint essential oil. Alternatively, you can use a mixture of peppermint and spearmint for a slightly different taste. Fill the bottle with water and shake. Shake well before each use. Your mouthwash should stay fresh for 3-4 months. Enjoy!
Once you’ve bought the essential oils and the alcohol, you’ve got yourself around 2 years of supplies to make your own mouthwash. Each 500ml batch will cost around 80p to make and has an anti-bacterial and breath-freshening effect. If you are using a plastic bottle, recycle it after a few uses as chemicals in the plastic can begin to leach into your mouthwash – nasty! If you’re using a glass bottle, it can be used indefinitely as long as you rinse it with boiling water before refilling.