Zero Waste Mouthwash: Homemade Mint + Tea Tree Recipe

zero waste mouthwash

My mom is a dental assistant, but she absolutely loves the homemade toothpaste I make. So much so, that whenever she runs low, she’s always asking me to make more. If a dental assistant approves of it, its got to be good. That made me think: What if I took it a step further and replaced our conventional mouthwash with zero waste mouthwash? My mom had no objections to this. In fact, she even admitted she doesn’t like traditional mouthwashes, saying “mouthwash with alcohol in it is too abrasive anyway”. 

It’s true there are a lot of mouthwashes on the market that contain alcohol, but they also contain a lot of other icky ingredients besides that. Stuff that shouldn’t be going down the drain (because it contributes to water pollution) or swishing around your mouth. Enter my homemade mint and tea tree recipe for mouthwash. The recipe for this kind of hit me out of nowhere and I decided to just go with it. 

This homemade mouthwash is fairly simple to make and won’t sting my mouth (like traditional mouthwash does). It’s got a very mild taste to it (similar to that of mint tea) but does a good job of gently freshening my breath. There’s nothing harsh or abrasive about it, and as my mom likes to say “it’s different in a good way.” We both use this zero waste mouthwash on the daily and so far, so good. Also, just a heads up, I do have two affiliate links in this post. It’s to other zero waste dental hygiene items I use on a regular basis (so nothing I wouldn’t recommend or use on myself). Without further ado, here’s how to make zero waste mouthwash using just 5 basic ingredients (dental assistant approved!).


Zero Waste Mouthwash
Homemade mint + tea tree recipe

zero waste mouthwash


  • 3 cups of distilled water (boil it to distill it)
  • 1 big sprig of mint (fresh or dried is fine)
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • 20 drops of tea tree oil
  • 10 drops of peppermint essential oil (Feel free to add more if you want a mintier flavor)

Ingredient benefits:

  • Baking soda: Protects the teeth from acid wear because it balances acid in the body.
  • Tea tree: Antibacterial and antiseptic, making it perfect for preventing gum diseases.
  • Peppermint essential oil: Eliminates bad breath odors in the mouth.
  • Mint sprig: The leaves contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to eliminate harmful bacteria and prevent dental problems.

zero waste mouthwash


  1. Add 3 cups of distilled water (you can distill water by boiling it) into a pot with your mint sprig. Turn the heat on medium and cover with a lid. Leave it undisturbed for 15 minutes so the mint can infuse.
  2. Once the water is infused with the fresh mint, remove from heat and let cool. Add the tea tree and peppermint essential oil, mixing it in with a wooden spoon. Funnel the mixture into the bottle of your choice. Add the tablespoon of baking soda to the bottle, cap it, and shake it up. Done!

Just a general tip, you can also put the glass bottle in the fridge to help speed up the cooling process, if the mouthwash is still a little warm.
Note on container: I bought this glass bottle at The Container Store near my local mall. I don’t remember exactly how many ounces it is, but this recipe made a lot more mouthwash than I expected. I wound up pouring the excess mouthwash in a separate small bottle (which became my mom’s mouthwash) to avoid wasting it. So just be aware you should store yours in a big container, or have at least two containers lined up to share the contents. Any empty glass bottle will do the trick!

zero waste mouthwash

I use this mouthwash in conjunction with my zero waste toothpaste, bamboo toothbrush and Dental Lace (for zero waste flossing). It works like a charm and I create absolutely no waste!

zero waste mouthwash

It’s not impossible to create a zero waste dental care routine. I hope this inspires you to give it a shot for yourself!

zero waste mouthwash

Would you give this zero waste mouthwash a try? Let me know in the comments below!

By Ariana Storniolo (Palmieri)

Ariana Storniolo is the founder of Greenify-Me, a blog dedicated to zero waste and sustainability. Her work has also been featured on Going Zero Waste, Green Matters, Mother Earth Living and several other online publications.


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