When planning for post-SHTF, a do-it-yourself (DIY) mouthwash recipe is one way to keep your breath fresh, keep nasty bacteria at bay, and help your gums and teeth stay healthy. Sure, your stockpile includes some store bought mouthwash, but that will eventually run out. Personal hygiene, especially oral hygiene, is still an important part of maintaining your health.
Learning how to make your own mouthwash is easy, with practice and a little trial and error, you can find a recipe that works well for you and your family. Many people find that DIY mouthwash works so well for them that they decide to give up store bought mouthwash even pre-SHTF. In addition to being smart planning for SHTF, it’s a great way for you to save money every day, starting right now!
Reasons to Use Mouthwash
Using a DIY mouthwash is a great plan because you can customize your ingredients. There are many, many different recipes out there that you can use to make your own mouthwash. All of them can be modified to suit you and your family. As long as you include some basic ingredients, everything else can be altered to suit your preferences. Plus, you make it yourself so you know EXACTLY what’s in it.
DIY Mouthwash is chemical free. This is a huge plus if you already recognize the need to reduce the amount of chemicals you put in your body. If you don’t like a. It’s also easy to substitute other ingredients if you don’t want to use alcohol or don’t have it available post-SHTF.
The last reason to use DIY mouthwash is that it’s much cheaper than mouthwash you buy in the stores and post-SHTF, most stores will be shut down or emptied due to looting very quickly. It will take some time for stores to re-stock if and when things begin to return to normal. Why go without mouthwash if you can simply find some recipes you like now and be prepared to make some up when SHTF?
Basic Materials You Will Need to Stock or Gather:
- Several small jars or containers to mix and store mouthwash
- A fine mesh strainer or piece of cheesecloth
- At least 8 ounces of water (filtered or distilled)
- Baking Soda (used in most recipes)
- Alcohol (if desired)
- Apple Cider vinegar or salt water (instead of alcohol)
- Your choice of herbs (dried) or essential oil extracts
Possible Herb Choices:
When determining what kinds of herbs to use in your DIY mouthwash, it’s really a matter of personal preference and your own needs. Many herbs have natural antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial or antimicrobial properties, to clean, freshen, or soothe the mouth while prohibiting growth of bacteria.
Clove is well known to have multiple healing properties. It can be used in a paste or oil to relieve the pain of a toothache temporarily. Where it Grows: It’s native to the tropic areas of Asia and takes 20 years to produce buds, so be sure to stock up in advance.
Cinnamon contains antioxidants and inhibits growth of bacteria and has been proven to cut the amount of bacteria in your mouth in half. Where it Grows: Cinnamon can actually be grown at home, in soil that is somewhat dry. A cinnamon plant in a pot can thrive for years without special attention.
Echinacea is an herb that is commonly known to fight cold and flu symptoms, because of its ability to help boost the body’s immune system. Its anti-microbial quality makes it effective in mouthwash because it serves to draw out infection that causes toothache.
Where it Grows: It may not be readily available in the wild so be sure to buy this herb from a cultivated source and add to your stockpile.
Peppermint-adds that well known mint taste but also helps to freshen breath and is antibacterial. Will grow almost anywhere in the world.
Where it Grows: Can be found growing wild along ponds or streams, in rich soil that drains well. Needs partial sun but potency of oils is enhanced by full sun. Grow in containers or in beds edged with plastic or other material to prevent it from overtaking your garden. Ideally peppermint plants should be rotated to another area every 3-4 years.
Plantain typically thought of by most as just another weed, it is both antibacterial and antimicrobial. It has been used in medicinal remedies to help wounds heal faster which makes it a great addition to mouthwash if you are plagued with mouth sores.
Where it Grows: Can be found growing in almost any backyard in North America and Europe. Avoid harvesting from along a dusty road or from a ditch due to possible contamination. This herb is also very high in calcium and Vitamin A. It provides Vitamin K and Vitamin C (ascorbic acid). It’s multiple medicinal properties and adaptability to about any growing environment make it an excellent herb to have in the backyard or garden. This weed is not the same as the plantain fruit similar to a banana.
Rosemary is a strong scented herb with antioxidants. It is cooling and soothing for sore gums. Where it Grows: Can be grown in a pot or along a driveway or path as a hedge in warmer climates. Needs moist soil. In colder climates plant in pots that can be brought inside for the winter.
Tea Tree oil (Melaleuca) has been used for many centuries by aboriginal tribes because of its antibacterial qualities. To make the oil yourself from tea tree leaves, steam them first and then extract the oil. Where it Grows: Can be grown from seed in 3-inch flat tray. Careful care and watering is needed as well as transplant of tree seedlings to individual pots at 3 inches in height.
Turmeric is a popular medicinal herb, known for its anti-inflammatory qualities. Where it Grows: A tropical plant, turmeric can be grown indoors but will not handle any climate with temperatures less than 65 degrees Fahrenheit. It is grown from a rhizome or tuber, not seeds and takes as long as 10 months to develop roots. You harvest the roots not the leaves to use for your mouthwash.
There are many, many herbs that you can choose to use in your mouthwash depending on what you have available in your post-SHTF herb garden and your individual oral hygiene needs. It’s important to research the properties, including any side effects of the herbs you have stocked or plan to have available so you know best how to use them.
Typically leaves should be picked from young plants in early morning. Experiment and create your own recipes. Honey or other sweeteners can be added to just about any recipe to sweeten the taste.
Basic Steps for Most Herbal DIY Mouthwash recipes
- Boil it- bring to a boil, add enough water to cover herbs. Heating the herbs brings out the properties in the dried or raw herbs.
- Steep It—the amount of time for steeping varies according to preference. Can be as short as twenty minutes or as much as 3 weeks. Shake well once daily.
- Strain It—use a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to get all the bits of herbs from the liquid.
Some basic recipes may only call for you to mix the ingredients together and then put into a bottle with your choice of essential oils or dried herbs. It’s good practice to shake before using each time.
Quick and Easy Mouthwash
- 8 ounces of water (distilled)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2-3 drops of peppermint essential oil.
Mix all ingredients thoroughly in glass jar or container. Always shake well before using. Swish in mouth for 30-60 seconds.
Sample Herbal Recipes
- 8 ounces of alcohol such as rum (you can substitute salt water or apple cider vinegar)
- 1 TBSP rosemary (dried)
- 1 tsp clove (dried)
- 2 TBSP peppermint (dried)
Cover herbs with distilled water and boil. Pour herbs and water into glass jar, add alcohol or your substitute. Store covered in cool, darkened cupboard for 2-3 weeks. Shake mixture daily to help infuse alcohol and herbs. After 2-3 weeks, strain with cheesecloth to remove the herb particles from the liquid. Add 10 drops of essential oil (peppermint or cinnamon) if desired, close tightly and store in dark glass bottle. Use approximately 1 teaspoon each use with water and swish for 30-60 seconds.
Minty Fresh Mouthwash
- 8 ounces of water (distilled)
- 1 TBSP alcohol (vodka or substitute)
- 2 TBSP parsley (fresh)
- 2 TBSP mint (fresh)
Mix above ingredients together well. Use fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove large herb particles. Store in tightly closed dark glass bottle. Rinse each time with about 1 TBSP of the mixture.
Teeth Whitening Mouthwash
- 2 ounces of water (distilled)
- 4 ounces of aloe vera juice
- 1 tsp. of baking soda
- ½ tbsp. witch hazel
- 8-10 drops essential peppermint (or substitute) oil
Stir all ingredients together well and pour into 6 oz. dark glass bottle. Store for up to two weeks in cool, dark place.
As with any toothpaste or mouthwash, avoid swallowing when rinsing. Be sure to research any ingredient you decide to use thoroughly and check with your physician before beginning to use any recipe. Essential oils can be very potent and should be used carefully.
Have fun with some of these recipes and experiment to find the one that’s right for you and your family. Feel free to modify any of the above recipes to suit your preference and taste. If you learn and practice your DIY mouthwash recipes now, you will certainly be better prepared to maintain your oral hygiene post-SHTF. What recipes for DIY mouthwash have you tried?