DIY: Mouthwash Recipe Made with Essential Oils for a Fresh, Clean Mouth

Post Type

If you look on the back of your mouthwash bottle, what you may discover is that you are actually just getting a mouthful of chemicals.

Active ingredients in mouthwash usually include Benzalkonium chloride, Methylparaben, Hydrogen peroxide, Domiphen bromide, Hexetidine, and Chlorhexidine gluconate. (You can read more about each active ingredient here.)  Other popular ingredients include foaming agents, ethyl alcohol, flavored oils, antimicrobial ingredients, colorants, preservatives and fluoride.

One of the most popular ingredients, ethyl alcohol, can weaken the lining of gums and oral cavity, which can increase the risk of damaging chemicals affecting your DNA. Research reported by Standford University suggests, though it is not conclusive, that the alcohol in antiseptic mouthwash might increase the risk of oral cancer. Read more about the study here.

Most mouthwashes also include synthetic colors, aromas, and flavorings—which are basically perfumes. These perfumes and alcohols contained in most mouthwashes may take away mouth odors temporarily, but they can also alter the basic flora and pH of your mouth and throat which can have serious side effects.

Not all mouthwashes are created equal, and some use more questionable ingredients than others. One way to freshen your mouth without the worry is to create your own mouthwash using essential oils that are antimicrobial and antiseptic in nature.

You can easily make your own mouthwash that is free of chemicals, perfumes, preservatives, artificial colors, and more with two simple ingredients—water and essential oils—which can be just as beneficial (if not more) than chemicals used in traditional mouthwashes.

Try this simple and cost effective mouthwash recipe for a clean, refreshed, and healthy mouth.


10 drops of essential oil(s)

2 cups water (distilled, filtered, or boiled water)

16 ounce dark glass bottle (you can purchase a bottle here)


1. Put 10 drops of the dōTERRA essential oil(s) of your choice into the glass bottle.

2. Pour in 2 cups of distilled, filtered, or boiled water into glass bottle. Note: If you boiled water, make sure you let the water come to room temperature before adding to bottle.

3. When using, shake first and take a small sip of your homemade mouthwash. Swish around your mouth and gargle for 30 seconds. Do not swallow.

4. You’re done! It’s that easy.

There are many essential oils you could use in your mouthwash. Below are a few suggested oils you could use, by themselves, or by combining two or more to make a blend. Be careful when using Cinnamon essential oil as it can be irritating if too much is used. Start with 1 drop and gradually increase if desired. Also, did you know you can use dōTERRA’s On Guard® Natural Whitening Toothpaste can be used as a mouthwash as well? After you’re done brushing just put a little bit of water in your mouth, gargle, and spit. Learn more about On Guard Natural Whitening Toothpaste here.

Essential Oil Suggestions:


 Note on Wintergreen essential oil:

Wintergreen is not labeled for internal use as it contains some phytochemical constituents that can make you sick when taken in large doses.  We use a child safety cap on Wintergreen because it smells like candy and don’t want kids drinking it, although it would be very hard to gag down enough to hurt someone.  Some oils are not recommended for internal use because they are either not safe or there are no health reasons to use them internally.  It does not mean they are not pure or safe; they are just not used in that way.  Some individuals use Wintergreen in small amounts for a mouthwash and it is not an issue in this regard.  However, we don’t recommend you use high levels (more than 20 drops at a time) of any essential oil internally because they are very concentrated.  It is important to remember that more is not always better.


Print Friendly

  1. Why can’t you swallow? That’s confusing to me. I would think it would do you some good if you could get past the mental anguish of swallowing your mouthwash.

  2. I’m so excited to try this! Right now, I use a drop of OnGuard oil each morning, but this will make it easy and perfect for my whole family! Thank you so much for sharing!

  3. My grandmother was a herbalist. She gave us a little bit of fresh peppermint leaves after we had dinner with garlic. It worked great. So this all makes sense to me!

  4. I believe you shouldn’t swallow because you don’t want to ingest the bacteria the oils will pull from your gums.

  5. I am not a medical professional, but this is what I read on a tutorial for pulling. (Pulling is basically using coconut oil or other oils as a mouth wash) As you swish it around in your mouth you are using it to get to bacteria in hard to reach places in your mouth. The longer you move it around in your mouth, the more germs are pulled from your mouth and are now in the mouthwash. If you swallow your mouthwash, you are swallowing all of that bacteria as well.

  6. I believe the reason not to swallow the mouthwash is because when you are swishing it around in your mouth you are pulling toxins out and you want to get rid of them not swallow them.

  7. It’s good to be aware that everybody can make their own care products.

    So many products contain chemicals that hurts us and we don’t even know that. Or probably know that, but we don’t know what other solutions do we have.


  8. We created our own mouthwash long before this was published – our favorite oils to use are On Guard, Peppermint, Myrrh and Thyme.

  9. Just know that boiling water can actually make some things more concentrated in your water like fluoride. Boiling does not necessarily mean “clean”!

  10. We use natural Organic Coconut Oil and 4 drops of peppermint as a detox “oil pulling” swish. Swish for 10 minutes and then a rinsing swish with the distilled water and peppermint mix. And yes, the reason to NOT swallow is the toxins being removed.

  11. Hey just as a heads up, if you leave in an area with fluoridated water, boiling it only increases the fluoride content in the water. you can check here at Thanks for the awesome recipe.

  12. Claire, when you make you mouthwash do you combine all four oils together in your mouthwash or use them separately?

  13. UV rays can effect essential oils. The darker glass bottles are to help keep the sunlight out and protect the essential oils. You can use clear glass bottle if they are stored in a dark place.

  14. An additional reason to the bacteria and germs that one would want to spit out rather than swallow, is if you do use an ingredient such as wintergreen, which is not supposed to be swallowed.

  15. Becky, I think wintergreen in small amounts can be ingested. I think it is a question of amount ingested. See the info on wintergreen at the end of the tutorial.

  16. They are best because they have anti-bacterial properties that kills the germs of mouth and stops building the dental plaque which later causes tooth decay and other problems to breath also. Essential oil mouthwash contains eugenol,thymol,phynol ,eucalypto and menthol that are good for healthy oral hygiene.below we are describing why such ingredients are necessary for your oral hygiene and the reason of using essential oil mouthwash.

  17. Will essential oils in my drinking water or mouthwash dissolve the glue that holds my dental porcelain veneers or harm the surface to them at all?

  18. Can u use dark blue bottles? I have a few of them!
    Can I use old OnGuard foaming hand wash bottles?
    Save the landfill!!!

  19. You don’t want to swallow the mouthwash because you are trying to get bacteria and gunk out of your teeth and mouth. You don’t want to proceed to swallow all that junk!

  20. Are there any plastic bottles that can be use? I would really like to make this for myself, but also my kids. I really don’t want glass bottles around my small kids. The mouth wash would mostly be for my older kids but they all share a bathroom so my younger ones could certainly get to it. Thanks!

  21. I read the clove is good for gum inflammation and pocketing. My dental hygienist wanted to put Arestin (low dose antiibiotic where the pockets are, Then I heard about oil pulling and have been using coconut oil for about a month. I’ve ordered the On guard toothpaste and want to make my own mouthwash, so thanks for the recipe. What would you recommend be mixed with the clove?

  22. Water does not dilute oil so if you wish to use an EO “mouthwash” I suggest mixing with coconut oil and swish this way to prevent and burns or any type corrosion of mouth tissue.

  23. I’ve been trying DIY toothpaste for a month and it works pretty well. Then I think ‘why not trying self made mouthwash now?’ Can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  24. I know the oil pulling time sounds lengthy, but if you swished and spit three different times you would see other particles of food still coming out. Once isn’t enough and 1 minute isn’t enough. I swish 3-4 times at 2-5 minutes each time. Sometimes with oil pulling and sometimes with mouth wash. I swish while doing my facial and bedtime routine so I get other stuff done while swishing.

    Listerine’s amazing ingredient for fighting bacteria is thymol (from thyme). It just tastes hideous. lol

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