Natural Homemade Mouthwash with Essential Oils

Share this post

This natural homemade mouthwash recipe with essential oils, will help freshen your breath and improve your dental health, without any toxic ingredients. 

green glass bottle of homemade mouthwash, pink pitcher with bamboo toothbrushes

There are plenty of products that we have been taught we can only buy at a store, not make ourselves. Toothpaste and mouthwash are 2 of those things. We believe that in order for them to be effective, they need to be manufactured in a lab. But people have been cleaning their teeth for far longer than we have had commercial toothpastes and mouth washes. 

I started making our own tooth powder many years ago, so I decided it was time to try making homemade mouthwash as well! 

According to the American Dental Association, there are 2 types of mouthwash: Cosmetic and therapeutic

Cosmetic mouthwashes can temporarily stave off bad breath, but have no therapeutic benefit. Therapeutic mouthwashes have a positive effect on oral health, by reducing plaque, gingivitis, and tooth decay, as well as reducing bad breath. 

Therapeutic mouthwashes can be purchased over the counter, but often contain harmful ingredients. By making your own, you can ensure you are using only the best, high quality, natural ingredients for your family. 

I’m also a fan of making my own products, because it’s less expensive, and it’s much more convenient to simply re-make an item out of ingredients I already have on hand, rather than needing to go out and purchase something over and over again. 

By making your own mouthwash, you have control over the ingredients you use – the ingredients I include are just a suggestion! You are free to tweak them to your liking, and choose which essential oils you wish to include. 

green glass bottle of homemade mouthwash, and a bamboo toothbrush on a white towel

If you’re not new to my blog, you’ll know that avoiding toxins is one of my top priorities. 

Store-bought mouthwashes often contain harmful ingredients, which we try to avoid in our family. Good health starts with avoiding toxins – a healthy environment reduces the risk of opportunistic illness. 

Here are some of the ingredients commonly found in commercial mouthwashes:

  • Chlorhexidine Gluconate
  • Methyl Salicylate
  • Ethanol (Ethyl Alcohol)
  • Sodium Laurel Sulfate
  • Fluoride
  • Saccharine
  • Parabens
  • Triclosan
  • Synthetic colors and flavors

You can avoid all these harmful toxins by simply making your own!

This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase through one of these links, I make a small amount of commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See full disclosure here.

Glass bottle

Take a look around your home, and see what you can re-purpose for a mouthwash bottle. I picked up this pretty bottle from our local thrift store. Ideally, you’ll want something with a lid or cork. 

Empty green glass bottle with a cork, on a wooden tray

If you’re using essential oils in this recipe, make sure you use a metal or glass container for your mouthwash. Avoid using plastic. Essential oils can break down plastics, which you definitely don’t want in your mouthwash. 


​While not necessary, a funnel makes it easier to get liquid ingredients into a bottle. I use my funnel a ton for all my DIY products. 

Glass Measuring Cup

You could just mix your ingredients in a mixing bowl, but using a glass measuring cup will make it easier to pour the liquid into your glass bottle. I used a 4 cup measuring cup, since I had a 1 litre sized bottle.

Small glass or shot glass

You don’t want to take your mouthwash directly from the bottle it’s stored in. Since this natural mouthwash doesn’t contain any preservatives, you want to avoid contaminating it.

I recommend keeping a small glass, like a shot glass size, next to your mouthwash container. Then you can just pour into the small glass before using.

green glass bottle of mouthwash, a small jar and a bamboo toothbrush in a bathroom
jars of sea salt, baking soda and xylitol, some essential oils, coconut oil and a glass measuring cup on a wooden tray

Filtered Water

Water will be the main ingredient in this natural homemade mouthwash, so you want to make sure you’re using good water. Even though we are on a well, I use my Berkey water filter for drinking, cooking, and my DIY recipes. This way, I can be sure there are no impurities in the finished product. 

Especially if you are on city water, you’ll want to make sure you’re using a good, clean water source. City water contains fluoride, chlorine, and other harmful chemicals. Opt for filtered water, or you can use bottled distilled or spring water if you wish. 

Fractionated Coconut Oil

Oil pulling is a ancient practice in Ayurvedic medicine. It’s a method of cleaning the teeth, by swishing coconut oil. It helps remove plaque, and improve the health of your teeth, tongue, and gums. Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties.

However, not everyone enjoys oil pulling. The texture of swishing oil in your mouth can feel unpleasant, if you’re not used to it. However, by adding a little fractionated coconut oil to your mouthwash, you can experience the same beneficial effects. 

Be sure to use fractionated (liquid) coconut oil, not regular cooking coconut oil. The cooking oil type of coconut oil will solidify at room temperature. Fractionated coconut oil remains liquid at all times. You can find this at the health food store, or most grocery stores, often in the international cooking aisle.

Sea Salt

Sea salt is an excellent ingredient for your DIY mouthwash. It kills many types of bacteria, and warm salt water rinses are often recommended after oral procedures, to help prevent infection. 

Sea salt increases the PH of your mouth, creating a more alkaline environment, making it more difficult for harmful bacteria to thrive. Bacteria prefer an acidic environment, so using salt in your mouthwash can make your mouth less inflamed, and healthier overall. 

Sea salt contains a ton of trace minerals, which can assist in remineralizing your teeth. The salt I use for everything on our homestead, is Redmond’s Real Salt. Here is a list of all the minerals it contains

You will want to avoid using traditional table salt, which is very refined, contains harmful ingredients, and lacks the beneficial trace minerals.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is an ideal ingredient for your homemade mouthwash. I use it in my homemade toothpaste as well. 

Like sea salt, baking soda neutralizes the PH level of our saliva, making it more alkaline and less likely to corrode the enamel on our teeth. It also has anti-bacterial & anti-microbial properties, and is well-supported in its contribution to good oral health

Baking soda can help relieve pain and discomfort caused by mouth ulcers (canker sores). It’s also a natural and gentle teeth whitener. 

I’d recommend purchasing a good quality, aluminum-free baking soda. I use this type of baking soda for baking and anything I will be putting in or on my body. For general cleaning, I use a cheaper baking soda which I can buy in bulk. 


Xylitol is an optional addition to your homemade mouthwash. It’s a natural sweetener, and will add a sweet taste to your mouthwash, without using any sugars that could be harmful to your teeth. There is some scientific evidence it can reduce bacteria and development of cavities, especially when paired with sea salt as an anti-bacterial agent. 

If you decide to add Xylitol, just a couple of precautions: Xylitol is highly toxic to dogs, so store your xylitol and anything you make with it, out of reach of your pets. Xylitol can also cause gastrointestinal distress if ingested – although some people use it with no issues at all, just something to keep in mind.

Essential Oils

doTERRA essential oils on a white plate, on a wooden board

In addition to adding a fresh flavor to your mouthwash, essential oils also have many health benefits. Most essential oils have antibacterial properties, and some essential oils, such as clove oil, are specifically used to treat dental issues, due to its analgesic and healing effects. 

Essential oils can even help support your immune system.

Whenever I’m going to the trouble of making something myself, I always make sure I’m using the highest quality ingredients. Essential oils are no exception.

Over 90% of essential oils on the market are adulterated, meaning they have added fillers, fragrance boosters, or can even be entirely synthetic. 

What is most concerning, is that there are no regulations in the essential oil industry – meaning anyone can write ‘100% Pure Essential Oils’ on the label, even if it is entirely synthetic. 

It’s also important to note that most brands of essential oils will specify ‘not for internal use’, or ‘external use only’. For something I’m going to be using in my mouth, I feel safer using a brand that is pure enough to ingest. 

There is only one brand of essential oils I use and trust. The essential oils are ethically sourced, pure, high quality, and transparent with their testing – so you can verify the purity of every bottle. 

Here are some of the best essential oils to use in homemade mouthwash:

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint essential oil is a classic essential oil to use in homemade mouthwash. It helps create that clean, minty feeling in your mouth!

Clove Oil

Clove oil is renowned for its use in oral care. It has analgesic (numbing) properties which can help relieve tooth and gum pain. Clove oil is also extremely high on the ORAC scale, meaning it contains a large amount of antioxidants. Antioxidants help remove free radicals from your body, which protects cellular health. Like other essential oils, it is anti-bacterial, and helps balance the PH in your mouth. 

Caution: Clove Oil is known as a ‘hot oil’. If you use too much, it can burn your mouth. If you want to use clove oil, I’d recommend only using a few drops, and using peppermint, wild orange, or some combination for the rest of your essential oils. 

OnGuard Essential Oil Blend

Essential oil blends are a great way to get multiple essential oils in one bottle, usually for a specific benefit. OnGuard essential oil blend contains 5 different essential oils. This blend is specifically designed for its anti-bacterial benefits. A bonus is that it smells AMAZING! (If you could put Christmas in a bottle, that’s what it smells like). 

You can diffuse this in your home to purify the air, use it as a natural hand sanitizer, or rub it on your feet to help support a strong immune system. 

OnGuard contains the following essential oils:

  • Cinnamon
  • Clove
  • Rosemary
  • Wild Orange
  • Eucalyptus

Caution: OnGuard essential oil blend is considered a ‘hot’ oil, since it contains both cinnamon and clove essential oils. These oils could burn your mouth if you use too much. Use just a few drops of OnGuard, and add some peppermint and/or wild orange essential oil for the rest. 

Tea Tree Oil

While it doesn’t taste the best, tea tree essential oil is well known for its antimicrobial properties. Consider adding 1-2 drops of tea tree oil to your mouth rinse to support good oral hygiene. 

Wintergreen Oil

Wintergreen essential oil has a lovely minty taste, and can offer an analgesic (numbing) effect as well. (It’s frequently used as an ingredient in muscle rubs due to its pain-reducing qualities). 

Wild Orange Oil

Wild orange essential oil is a great addition to your homemade mouthwash. Not only does it taste great, it can have a whitening effect on your teeth. (It’s a key ingredient in my homemade toothpaste). Citrus essential oils are derived from their peels, not from the fruit itself – so you don’t have to worry about acidity. However, citrus peels are great for teeth whitening. 

Lemon Oil

Lemon essential oil has all the same properties as wild orange oil, just with a lemony taste instead of orange. It would be great paired with peppermint and clove essential oils. 

Essential Oil Starter Kit

If you’d prefer an essential oil starter kit so you can have multiple essential oils to choose from at a reduced cost, I love this kit. It contains 10, 5 ml bottles of essential oils:

  • Peppermint
  • Lemon
  • Tea Tree
  • Lavender
  • Frankincense
  • Oregano
  • ​OnGuard
  • Deep Blue
  • DigestZen
  • Breathe

Plus an essential oil diffuser, so you can purify the air in your home and make it smell great at the same time. 

  1. In a glass measuring cup, mix together the baking soda, sea salt, and xylitol. (The glass measuring cup makes it easier to pour it into the bottle after it’s made).
glass measuring cup containing baking soda, xylitol and sea salt, on a wooden tray

2. Add fractionated coconut oil and essential oils, stir until well combined.

woman's hand holding a bottle of lemon essential oil, drops going into a glass measuring cup

3. Mix in your filtered water, and stir until the solids have dissolved. (Warm water will dissolve the solids better than cold water).

4. Pour into your glass storage bottle using your funnel.

funnel in a green glass bottle, homemade mouthwash being poured in

5. Place lid on your bottle, shake mixture before each use to ensure the essential oils remain distributed.

green glass bottle of mouthwash, a small glass jar, and a bamboo toothbrush on a bathroom counter

To use this homemade mouthwash with essential oils, I recommend shaking the bottle before each use. Since essential oils have a tendency to separate from water, this will ensure the oils and all other ingredients are mixed together before use. 

I usually like to brush first, rinse 2nd, but you may wish to do it the other way around. 

Pour a small amount of mouthwash into a small glass. Swish it in your mouth for 30-60 seconds, being sure to swish between your teeth to remove any food debris that you might have missed while brushing. 

Finally, gargle at the back of your throat to help clean the back of your mouth, and spit it out in the sink. 

It is recommended to rinse your mouth with mouthwash after each time you brush your teeth, so a minimum of 2 times per day.

Since this is an all-natural mouthwash with no preservatives, I recommend using a small glass to pour your mouthwash into before putting it up to your mouth. This helps keep your mouthwash bottle bacteria-free. 

Although many of the ingredients in this mouthwash are anti-microbial (such as the salt, coconut oil, and essential oils), it’s always good to err on the side of caution. 

You may wish to make smaller amounts at once (say, a week’s worth), or if you make a larger amount you could store it in the fridge. 

Due to the essential oils, and since young kids may not be great at spitting things out, I’d recommend using in kids 6 and older only. 

If using any of the ‘hot’ essential oils, such as clove or OnGuard, use only a small amount, and always shake before use to prevent the oils from pooling together at the top of the water. 

If you don’t have time to DIY your own mouthwash, but you still want to use a mouthwash that contains only simple, healthy ingredients, I recommend doTERRA’s OnGuard Mouthwash.

It contains the OnGuard blend of essential oils, plus some additional oils like peppermint. It is alcohol-free, and does not contain any harmful ingredients.

Hot Process Crock Pot Soap for Beginners
Homemade All-Purpose Cleaning Spray with Essential Oils
Simple DIY Toothpaste
Beginner’s Guide to Essential Oils

Yield: 1 Quart/ 1 Litre

Homemade Mouthwash with Essential Oils

green glass bottle of homemade mouthwash on a towel with a bamboo toothbrush

This natural, homemade mouthwash will leave your mouth clean and fresh, without the toxins!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $1.00


  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Xylitol (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon Fractionated Coconut Oil (liquid)
  • 10 Drops Essential Oils
  • 4 Litres/ 4 Quarts Filtered Water


  • Glass bottle or jar
  • Stainless steel funnel
  • 4 cup glass measuring cup


    1. In a glass measuring cup, mix together the baking soda, sea salt, and xylitol.
    2. Add fractionated coconut oil and essential oils, stir until well combined.
    3. Mix in your filtered water, and stir until the solids have dissolved (warm water will dissolve the solids better than cold water).
    4. Pour into your glass storage bottle using your funnel
    5. Place lid on your bottle, shake mixture before each use to ensure the essential oils remain distributed.
    6. To use, Pour a small amount into a small glass, swish for 30-60 seconds. Then gargle to clean the back of your mouth, and spit into the sink.


You can use any combination of essential oils of your choice. (Make sure the brand you use is safe for internal use - see my recommendations in the post).

Some oils are hot (like clove and OnGuard), so you will want to use less of those. I would use a maximum of 5 drops of a hot oil in this mouthwash. Use a citrus or mint oil for the remaining drops of essential oil.

Feel free to omit ingredients if you don't have them, or don't wish to use them. The xylitol is optional for sweetening and may help prevent tooth decay. Fractionated coconut oil adds additional anti-bacterial qualities, but is not necessasry.

Share this post

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *