Homemade Zero Waste Toothpaste:
Whether you’ve decided to transition to a plastic free lifestyle or want to avoid chemicals in commercial toothpastes, why not try making your own homemade zero waste toothpaste.
As we began reducing our single use plastic consumption the day eventually came when our plastic toothpaste tube ran out.
After doing a little research into DIY toothpastes I realised that there are actually quite a few zero waste alternatives.
My first idea was to find a brand in aluminium tubes but I have yet to find one locally. I then found a solid toothpaste stick in our local zero waste shop but couldn’t really get along with it.
I was so used to traditional toothpaste that his just felt like I had minty water in my mouth.
Next, I tried toothpaste powder but this tasted unpleasant and formed dry powdery balls in my mouth that got stuck in my teeth.
A dentist friend reminded me that the most important aspect of oral hygiene is the actual brushing. Toothpaste basically makes brushing more comfortable and aids the removal of food & plaque.
During my research into toothpaste recipes my eyes were opened to the amount of chemical ingredients in normal toothpaste.
Commercial toothpaste brands contain active chemical ingredients, such as fluoride that can polish teeth and help to prevent decay and gum disease.
Common Toothpaste Ingredients:
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
- Titanium Dioxide
- Calcium Carbonate
- Propylene Glycol
- Diethanolamine (DEA)
- Artificial Colorings
There also seems to be a big debate as to whether these chemicals are actually needed, especially fluoride. I won’t go into this here as I’m not an expert and there is a load of information available online.
I decided to try making my own.
The most basic option, other than dry brushing, contained two ingredients already in our kitchen, coconut oil & baking soda.
Organic Coconut Oil:
Coconut Oil is reported to slow down tooth decay and there is (limited) evidence that it may aid the reduction of cavity causing bacteria. It makes a good base to mix your toothpaste, soothes inflamed gums and won’t erode your enamel.
Baking Soda or Bicarbonate of Soda gently removes surface stains due to its very mild abrasive properties. It also neutralizes acids from food therefore protecting the tooth enamel by helping to maintain a natural pH balance.
Mint Essential Oil:
Essential oils can be added if desired for the taste. If used, it is important not to use too much as most have strong antibacterial properties. This can harm the delicate balance of good bacteria in the mouth. That said, some people say that a few drops are probably better than most of the chemicals in commercial toothpaste.
You can find loads of different recipes available online but this is the easiest and 100% zero waste, plastic & chemical free.
Coconut & Baking Soda Homemade Toothpaste.
- 4 Tbsp. organic coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp. baking soda
- A few drops of mint essential oil (optional),
Mix the baking soda into the coconut oil in a small jar with a teaspoon until it is blended well. Then add a few drops of peppermint essential oil if desired.
Use a spoon to add a dollop onto your toothbrush and brush as normal.
If your bathroom is too cold (below 24ºC / 76ºF) you may need to warm the jar under warm water, as the coconut oil will set. Alternatively, if your bathroom is too warm you may want to store your toothpaste in the fridge.
We’re so used to having a ‘minty fresh’ taste so the salty taste and consistency can be strange at first but my teeth always feel clean after brushing and it’s zero waste, plastic and chemical free.
I also have two other recipes that I will post about in the future: Chocolate & Coconut and White Clay & Xylitol.