Introduction: Homemade Toothpaste

Picture of Homemade Toothpaste

Quit throwing away your hard earned cash for name brand toothpaste like a sucker!   Get the cleanest feeling teeth of your life with this homemade toothpaste recipe that actually tastes good

Toothpaste is something you can make easily with stuff you have at home, and flavor however you like.  Your family could be brushing their teeth for a YEAR for how much you're currently spending on one tube!*  Now how does that sound?

But Scooch, you say, I've tried homemade toothpaste, and it's tastes like. . . well, like baking soda!  Now, now, I understand your concerns - I've tried them all too.  Yuck!**  So I've decided to put an end to nasty homemade toothpaste with my own recipe, designed to bring you a new level of taste and freshness from that I think you're going to love!

*not including price of toothbrushes

** not intended to offend lovers of baking soda taste

Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients

The basis of homemade toothpaste is baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.  Either one in huge doses can be dangerous, so DO NOT INGEST!

Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is a mild abrasive and has anti-bacterial properties. 

Hydrogen peroxide helps by break down bacterial films with its foaming action.  I used a 3% solution, but anything you can find at a local drug store should be ok.

Vegetable-base glycerin liquid lends a nice consistency and sweetness, but is completely optional.   You should be able to find this at a drug store, or specialty foods shop, but I got mine online from a soap-supply store.

I definitely recommend using some kind of flavoring.  It's totally optional, but adding a drop of peppermint oil will leave your mouth feeling super fresh.  Tea tree oil boosts the anti-bacterial properties and tastes good.  A few drops of cinnamon oil (my favorite!) will definitely spice things up.  Food-grade grape or bubble gum flavor oil may entice your kids to brush more regularly - just be sure to supervise them and make sure they're not ingesting it! 

Basic Ratio:

6 parts baking soda : 1 part vegetable based glycerin : 1 part hydrogen peroxide solution : flavor to taste

This makes a nice paste.  To make a smoother mix, reduce the soda.  To omit the glycerin, increase the peroxide.

Most over the counter hydrogen peroxide solutions are not suitable for ingestion.  Make sure to use supervision with children.

Step 2: Mix It Up

Picture of Mix It Up

Gather some measuring tools from your kitchen - all of these products are food safe, so clean them as normal when done.

Blend your ingredients, and adjust to taste.  Sample it by rubbing a bit on your teeth with your finger, rather than tasting it outright.  That will give you a better idea of what it's going to be like when you use it.

Combine ingredients until you get the flavor and viscosity that you prefer.

Step 3: Storage

Picture of Storage

Hydrogen peroxide is UV sensitive, so be sure to store your toothpaste out of sunlight, or in an opaque container.

I thought using a pastry bag would be cute and convenient (since I have them on hand).  The only drawback to this is that there's no way to cap it!  So I made the toothpaste extra paste-y, and problem solved.  Using a tube squeezer from a paint shop helps keep the end closed and gets out every last drop.

You can also find plastic tubes to fill at outdoor and camping stores, like REI (which I might do next time, if I can think of a cute label to put on it).

Other options include storing your toothpaste in a squeeze bottle or jar. 

Of course, if all of this sounds like too much effort, you can always just dip your toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide, and then in baking soda.  Job done.


ccronkhite (author)2016-06-09

A suggestion for the container, you can buy reusable squeeze containers for homemade baby food

joaquin123 (author)2015-12-09

that Is true

joaquin123 (author)2015-12-09

that Is true

citizen19_USA (author)2015-10-17

Bear in mind that (unstabilized) 3% hyrodgen peroxide is considered food grade edible and is safe to ingest in small quantities, it's less toxic to the inside of the body than stabilized, can be found at family dollar....NOT a good idea to mix hydrogen peroxide and baking soda and swallow it because you might create a good bit of sodium hydroxide(lye) and risk burning your insides with stomach spit it out, rinse and worry not about the trace quantities leftover....the body does not want anything more than traces of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide for the most part...

MsJan (author)2015-05-08

I am making a tooth paste for my little dog who is very picky. This will be made of equal parts of Aloe Vera Juice and peroxide. Anyone know of something safe I could add to this so my dog will accept it and let me put it in his mouth. His name is Wiggles and named him that because he never stops...........

oneearthchild (author)2015-03-05

I make homemade toothpaste out of white clay, vodka and either mint or fennel essential oils. Start with a cup of clay and add in the vodka and some filtered water until creamy. Several drops of essential oil and it is fabulous! I think one could also add in the baking soda and peroxide? Or at least give a rinse before or after. (Not recommended for those sensitive to alcohol)

oneearthchild (author)2015-03-05

oneearthchild (author)2015-03-05

Zobot (author)2014-04-05

I stored this in an altoid tin which turned out to be a bad idea. It instantly starting foaming and rusting. Does anyone know what happened?

MilkEggsBacon (author)Zobot2015-02-27

SCIENCENESS HAPPENED :D (author)2015-01-19


Im confused with the parts does this mean 6 cups baking soda? 6 table spoons? Can you please give me measurements perhaps in ml or such? Id love to try this out this week..thnx

I'm not the guy in charge here, but when someone says parts it means that you can use whatever quantities you like, just use the same relative measurements, so you could use 6 tablespoons of baking soda, 1 tablespoon glycerin and 1 table spoon hydrogen, or you could use 1 cup of each, or one bucket of each, it's relative measurements.

dchen3 (author)2015-01-11

idea: add stevia for a sweet taste that's sugar free.

great ibble!

haarpy (author)2013-08-23

coconut oil, olive oil, baking soda, essential oils. saltwater for a mouthrinse (sometimes chamomile tea or other infusions as well)

never glycerin it is made from corn. very bad stuff these days.

take care

haarpy (author)haarpy2013-08-23

peroxide on our brishes every few days aswell. sometimes directly in the paste if its towards the end. a tiny bit though. is all that is needed.

Flenters (author)2012-10-11

Hi Scooch,

I have been lambasted in a previous comment I made about hydrogen peroxide and the use of it. However, I have been using it without any ill efects for years. The only thing I would suggest on your ibble is to make use of 35% FOOD GRADE hydrogen peroxide, thinned down to 3.5 % with the purest water you can get. And yes, don't drink a bottle of it, but nigesting it in recomended dosage does absolutely no dammage. Just don't eat directly before or after as it could give you gas, and a lot of it lol.

To the person that told me before that I should not say this type of thing, try and google it and find out for your self, and see how many MD's recognise the benefits of hydrogen peroxide.

Thanks for this ibble scooch.

Pinky212 (author)2011-02-20

Com'on, guys. If you're an adult, why not just use baking soda on your toothbrush even though it doesn't taste so good! Sheez! You're only having it in your mouth for a couple of minutes while you brush your teeth. It isn't like you're sucking on the tail of a skunk! Get a grip and complain about something that really matters, i.e. endangered species being poached, pollution in our rivers that cause deformity in frogs and other animals that live in that water. Making a homemade toothpaste because just using baking soda doesn't taste good is not something I expected to find on a DIY site where people are practical and self-sufficient, or learning to be that way.

Rinsing your mouth with diluted hydrogen peroxide before using the baking soda on your toothbrush is a very easy way to include the peroxide part of the recipe. Just thought you'd like to know.

LisaAbejja (author)Pinky2122012-03-02

hmmm probably because it is human to want nice things and why should we put up with a terrible taste if we don't want to?

Because we are adults and have our own freedom of choice we can decide to flavour stuff up to be palatable.

Pinky212 (author)LisaAbejja2012-03-05

Please see my Feb. 22, 2011 post, and those of April 15, 2011.

I just noticed in the one written at 2:35 on the 15th, I made a big blunder. The last sentence of the fourth paragraph should have said "The doctor was NOT kidding."

I noticed now there are more typos, too. So much for my proofreading skills! LOL

You all have a great day!

mousewrites (author)Pinky2122011-02-21

And on the same DIY source we have hundreds of candy recipes, Altoid tin refashions, knitting patterns, and other recipes, from laundry soap to home-made makeup. There's a lot of important-problem DIYs on here, but Instructables is about all sorts of DIY, not just 'useful' and 'important' ones.

This is a perfectly valid and wonderful Instructable. Personally, I gag doing what you suggested (straight baking soda), but don't want all the chemicals (and cost) of commercial toothpaste. So I'll be mixing up a batch of this to try, with my favorite cinnamon oil.

Question for the author: does the glycerin interfere with the cleaning properties of the toothpaste, as it's a sugar substance?

Idea Gal (author)mousewrites2011-04-11

The thing is, glycerin prevents the tooth's natural ability to regenerate. Now consider that most commercial toothpastes contain glycerin and you understand how dentists stay in business.

I use plain baking soda with a few essential oils, and I haven't had a cavity in 10 years. It's a tooth powder instead of paste. It's not sweet like commercial toothpaste, but you get used to it over time. It's so cheap.

If you start kids on it when they're young, they readily accept it, and it's a fun game for them to make their "hand cup" while you shake in the powder and they "paint" their hand with their wet toothbrush before brushing. If they already have the taste for commercial supersweet pastes, getting them to switch is a challenge. Can be hard for an adult to adjust to non-sweetened, too, but you CAN adjust over time. Remember, it takes 21 days to form a habit, so stick with it for 3 weeks and you'll be used to it.

I've heard of mixing it with aloe vera gel or almond oil on the spot, but I'm in too much of a hurry in the morning - I use a peroxide essential oil mouthwash (commercial and costly - maybe I should rethink that), then brush with my baking soda + essential oils. Different oils do different things - some freshen, some remove plaque, some kill germs. Since you're putting them into your mouth, which is a mucous membrane that absorbs both good and bad ingredients readily, I recommend buying organic essential oils, if you can find them. I use Simplers essential oils - if you're only using the oils for toothpaste, they will last you a very long time. Don't leave them in sunlight - keep in your medicine cabinet. Here are some ideas: TEA TREE, LAVENDER, (germs), LEMON (plaque: smaaalll quantities, like 1-2 drops in 1 cup of soda so you don't strip your teeth), PEPPERMINT, CINNAMON, or FENNEL (flavor / freshening).

Keep in mind essential oils are highly concentrated. Always use tiny quantities and make sure it's a kind that won't harm with ingestion. Ex. Peppermint and spearmint are fine; wintergreen EO should never go in your mouth.

An ideal container is a baby food jar which is glass and therefore safe for you (no EOs in plastic). Get baby food jars free on Freecycle - parents always have too many.

alapiana (author)Idea Gal2011-12-06

So with those essential oils, you only mix 1-2 drops of one oil per cup of b.soda? You said the different oils target different areas, do you switch it up daily? Do you use more than one type of oil per mixture? Do you mix it ahead of time and jar it?

Idea Gal (author)alapiana2012-01-24

Sorry for the delay.
In a nutshell: 10-20dr / cup. No. Yes. Yes.

I can't remember how much I had in my old recipe, but I'm thinking it was between 10-20 drops of various essential oils per cup of baking soda. There were two recipes I used (I'm sorry, the site I got them from is defunct and I just add EOs randomly now). One recipe was the lemon oil one and you were supposed to use it once per week. The other was a daily recipe and had all the germ-killing EOs and then you chose either cinnamon or fennel for flavor and the other compounds. Fennel was supposed to be more soothing if you had painful mouth issues. Mints were supposed to be good too, but stick with either peppermint or spearmint - I'm not sure at what quantity wintergreen is toxic. I mix in advance and keep in a glass jar. I stir it with an old wooden chopstick, aiming to disperse the EOs around the soda as much as I can; then I shake the jar up. Keep the lid on when not using so the EOs stay in the jar.

There's no perfect mixture. Play with the amounts aiming for effectiveness (kill germs) at a flavor level you like.

FYI, mint is contra-indicated if you take homeopathic remedies. Otherwise, it's fine.

lbooterfelden (author)Idea Gal2011-04-12

Interesting, I had on idea that EOs aren't supposed to mix with plastic! What's the rationale? Very glad I read that if it's not safe, so thank you.

I like your take on 'supersweet' pastes. It's like cereal: If we start our kids on oatmeal and fresh food instead of Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs, they'll be more likely to make wise decisions. Toothpaste is one of those things that gets a lot less attention than food, but is equally as important because it's absolutely laden with harsh chemicals.

Idea Gal (author)lbooterfelden2011-04-13

In terms of safety, it depends on your level of purism, because it seems there is something wrong with everything these days. Personally? I do whatever I can that is good for my body and the environment, but not in a way that will stress me out. Glass jars are easy enough to work with, and baby food jars are sturdy, so if your kids drop them several times, they'll probably stay intact.

So, acidic things (like tomatoes, honey, citrus) are not good in plastic containers because they leech the toxins from plastic. Any type of oil, however, is worse in plastic, and causes the plastic to break down faster, meaning whatever is in the plastic gets into whatever food or body product is contained there. I avoid plastic whenever practical.

When I travel, I do use plastic containers, because it's a short period of time and traveling with glass is a hassle. But at home, as much as I can, I use glass jars (whatever leftover ones I have from buying food at the store - i don't buy special jars). Stainless steel containers are equally safe, but you'd have to buy them rather than getting them naturally just through buying groceries, like you do with glass.

Pinky212 (author)mousewrites2011-02-22

Sheez! Did I sound snippy, or what??!! I'll blame it on being in pain from arthritus -- which is true -- but no excuse for my bad attitude! SORRY!

When I get some time, I'll browse the DIY instructables more.

I HAD to use just the baking soda when I became ill from a chemical overload from a manufacturing company I worked at. Brushing with baking soda alone was part of the detoxification process and at that point, I'd do most anything to to get my memory back and stop bumping into the right side of the door frame when walking through a doorway! I guess I just didn't notice the taste it given how ill I was at the time.

mousewrites (author)Pinky2122011-02-22

You did sound a bit snippy, but all is forgiven!

The detox regimen had you use straight baking soda? Man, now i'm even MORE concerned with what's in my toothpaste! What else did they have you do? I'm really sorry you had to go through that, but...

:: morbidly curious ::

Pinky212 (author)mousewrites2011-04-15

I also learned about MAOI's and catecholamines. They have to do with depression, but depression isn't just a mood thing. It can refer to the depressed state of an organ's functioning. In my case, my liver had depressed functioning. Some foods aid and some foods harm. The list is on my fridge yet. It's too long to include here.

Pinky212 (author)mousewrites2011-04-15

mousewrites, I was referred to an allergist for testing of the usual allergans. It was there that we found out I was sensitive to glycerine. Try finding a soap that doesn't have glycerin in it! I was not sensitive to the pine, oak, peanuts, etc. but broke out in a wide red band on my stomach from the glycerine agent used to inject the pine, oak, peanuts, etc.

I could use NO chemicals for cleaning myself or hosuekeeping! I learned to use vinegar and baking soda for all cleaning. This was back in 1986 -- before the "greening of America". I was told to eat only fresh or canned food, no beef (due to the antibiotics, etc.), range fed chicken, fish (not in any brine), and no pork (same problems as the beef. As to the canned food, the rule of thmb was: If you can't pronounce it, don't eat it!

I could use no make-up, my husband put his aftershave on outside, I couldn't iron any permapress clothes (yep, those dress shirts my hubby wore that get wrinkled after several washings) because of the fomaleyde, couldn't wear any new clothing, and we had to air out (for 2 weeks) our newly purchased home that had its interior painted.

My diet for three days was only white long grain rice. I was warned that I'd get a headache like I'd never had before because my body would be detoxifying from the chemicals the same as a drug addict's does when the addict goes off street drugs. The doctor was kidding.

He said if I doubted his recommendations, then I should go home, drink some Jello, and see how I felt. Jello is chalk full of coloring!

The therapy was a vitamin and mineral regimen determined from blood tests. Mine were completely out of wack! I was taking mega doses of some, along with selenium, an anti-oxidant. Along with the vitamin and mineral regimen was the food diet, of course, and the other chemical avoidances.

It was a long process to add one food to my diet for three days, and then another, etc. NO artificial coloring, flavorings or preservatives. My memory finally came back but there was a time when I couldn't remember my own name, and referred to the refrigerator as "that big white box that keeps our food cold".

I still watch what I eat but now I'm just careful not to overload. I stay out of carpet stores, auto body shops, and anywhere else where fumes could concentrate, including rush hour traffic. If I have to drive in a metropolitan area, I go there during the wee hours of the morning (2 a.m. - 4 a.m.) Farmers spraying herbicides, etc. are something I watch for in the spring and fall, along with spraying for pest control in the apt. building where I now live. There are probably more things I did back then -- but I forget. LOL BTW, I call "cheating my diet" when I have about 6 M&M's (that colorful candy coating, you know.)

jharper3 (author)Pinky2122011-05-23

Actually, if you use ONLY baking soda and water, your breath will smell horrible because of it. My father used to do that. Also, I suggest adding mouthwash (sure, it may be an ingredient that is still out of your money, but all these ingredients still take money). The mouthwash also has the refreshing taste and good for your mouth!

love4pds (author)jharper32011-12-12

except that fluoride is actually bad for your teeth and they already add it to most water supplies so I would suggest kindly to stay away from fluoride.

fight4gipper1 (author)Pinky2122011-04-28

Dude, what is your problem? This is a free to browse site. Not everything is meant to be based on hardcore survival, or or difficult computer algorithms.

Besides except for saving a buck or two occasionally, all of this is purely for enjoyment purposes only.

yayanator (author)2012-02-03

So, I made this, then put in tubes, and all the liquid separated out and came out of the toothpaste. Now I have tubes of baking soda.

Idea Gal (author)2012-01-24

Sorry for the delay.

As for paste, you can turn it pasty each time you brush, because you probably start with a wet toothbrush and a wet mouth. You can add more water in that moment if you feel like it. Soda still provides gentle abrasion and EOs still provide cleaning power.

Stay away from hot water. It's okay to use on the spot when brushing, but you wouldn't keep your tooth powder and essential oils in hot water. I'm not even sure what using water in the recipe would do, but if you really want to try it, use filtered cold water. If you can't afford a filter, leave your water unlidded for 12 hours first to let the fluoride evaporate.

My recipe lasts me months. I am unsure how soda + water + EOs would do over months' time. A separate peroxide + EOs (no soda) is great for mouthwash and it does last.

See my other comment for more info.

mandismuses (author)2012-01-09

*sigh* Chalk up a disaster for the blonde. Tried this, and immedietly capped it into a container. An hour later my mom walked in and saw that it was swollen beyond belief on the steps (where I had put it out of sight/out of mind until I went upstairs) and poked it. Because, heck, why not I guess. It exploded EVERYWHERE. It made such a mess. So....I liked it, it tasted fine (what was left of it, anyways), but my question is- how do I get it to NOT explode so I can keep it?:)

irelands.the (author)2011-07-05

For those out there who would like to make this taste even better *AND* be even better for your teeth, I make mine with about 50% xylitol which is a naturally occuring sugar alcohol that tastes exactly like sugar, but is toxic to the *methanogenic* bacteria responsible for tooth decay (staphlococcus mutans) but leaves the beneficial bacteria alone. It's also great for reducing the bacteria that are responsible for ear infections, and bad breath! It's 100% non-toxic (except to dogs), and assists the salivary tooth re-mineralization process.

Also, as someone mentioned, glycerin prevents *anything* from adhering to your teeth, which on the surface (pardon the pun) seems like a good thing. The down side is that it acts as a barrier to the remineralization process. I am still looking for a good alternative to glycerin. I would love to make a replacement toothpaste that behaves the same convenient way.

alapiana (author)irelands.the2011-12-06

You said you use Xylitol and do you combine that with 50% baking soda and that's it?

asayers (author)2011-10-24

Flouride is added into our water supply (here in Australia too) out of habit, its a chemical by-product sold to water companies. Flouride does interfere wth brain matter, it creates a coating on the pineal gland (from what I have read).
We get everything our bodies need from a natural diet, sleep and sunshine, simple. (Thinkabout it: lycopene as a supplement is from red foods, for the heart. If you eat tomatoes and peppers (capsicums) you get exactly the same stuff, no bottles or additives. Google 'doctrine of signatures', everything in nature has medicine for us.. This idea makes little money for the 'company'...
On a toothpaste note, I use bicarb and peppermint oit (soon to be spearmint, a bit milder). bicarb at first was a bit ick, but now Im very used to it. Its cheaper, safer, and theres NO plastic stupid little plastic tubes going into landfill from it.

etira (author)2011-10-22

According to this site:

Avoid hydrogen peroxide and glycerin, which are drying and can lead to tooth sensitivity.

Just more information for your powerful decisions about what to use or not.

nelsonk (author)2011-07-26

i am slightly confused so this tooth paste isnt bad for me right????

SparkyGage (author)nelsonk2011-08-21

If you swallow it, it could make you sick. Just like store bought tooth paste. It's not likely to kill you unless you eat a plate full, but if you swallow it instead of spitting it out, you could get a stomach ache - again, just like store bought tooth paste. There is nothing in this that isn't in several name brand tooth pastes. You can actually use the baking soda and peroxide to "boost" you favorite toothpaste.

One other ingredient that can be added is a dash of salt - it's good for the gums and preventing canker sores.

psm1964 (author)2011-06-15

Is there an ingredient you can add to the toothpaste for sensitive teeth?

lassensurf (author)2010-07-01

Now if you could get some fluoride or at the least calcium into the mix to help put the minerals back into your teeth like most other toothpastes do, you'd really have something. Maybe get some liquid fluoride supplement (not sure if it's widely available anymore, be careful with it) and add a few drops of it to the toothpaste batch (again, don't eat it). Calcium carbonate is like limestone and doesn't dissolve except in acidic solution that'll dissolve your teeth as well, so don't try that. Also, licorice has been shown very well to kill a lot of oral bacteria (including the ones that help form cavities), so if you like the taste of licorice that'd be a top recommendation.

aerayne (author)lassensurf2010-07-26

Fluoride is highly toxic and has never been safe for human use even in small amounts. The science foundation says the ONLY safe amount is zero. Please take it from someone who lives with toxic fluoride poisoning. It is an incurable illness that causes extreme pain, fatigue and a number of other issues. Sound familiar? It should. Google "toxic fluoride poisoning" and research it before it's too late. I wish I had. On a positive note, I make very simple paste using baking soda, water and mint. I am going to be trying peppermint oil next time. For now, I'm using fresh peppermint. And really, since when did toothpaste taste good after you were too old for the kids stuff?

mbakken (author)aerayne2011-05-17

You could use coconut oil as a base, it makes a great one!

lbooterfelden (author)lassensurf2011-04-12

If you get enough fluoride in your meals, your teeth will get a share of the nutrients. Too much is damaging to brain matter!

articice (author)lassensurf2010-07-02

Fluoride is _harmful_ for your teeth ;(

Fluoride is an important trace element that prevents caries (among other benefits). Granted, a significant overdose of fluoride is bad. It's the same as with many, many other substances -- too little is bad, too much is bad too. Take table salt, for instance, or even water, at that. You die if your intake is to low, but you can klill yourself also by overdosing the stuff. Ever heard of water poisoning? It exists. Does that make you say, "Water is harmful for your heatlth"?

No, I never heard of water overdose. But I know that nature and evolution designed things that way, that you can't overdose by things that exist in wild nature - take vitamins for example - you can't get hypervitaminosis unless you eat synthetic ones in large quantities, that can't be reached by eating fruit or whatever. Finally, your arguments don't prove anything, you can't just apply the same principles everywhere (read my other replies to Eirinn, please). We aren't just a bag with a mix of all the existing chemicals that must be kept within specific ranges - you must admit there are things that must stay out of us anyway.

I don't know where you are taking your wisdom from, but you should check your sources. There is an important difference between belief and scientifically solid knowledge. Water poisoning is a simple medical fact, and so is hypervitaminosis, which existed already a long time before the arrival of the first synthetic vitamins. Granted, you can't cause much damage by eating fruit, but that is simply because they contain very little fat-soluble vitamins, and that's the ones that can cause hypervitaminosis. On the other hand, negative effects of a lack of fluoride are a medical fact too, not only in the teeth but also in the bones and even in the nerve system. Of course, when just googling such terms, you'll find a huge lot of nonsense, conspiracy theories and all sorts of other weird things, and it's difficult to separate the chaff from the wheat, but there's very little doubt among real scientists.

About This Instructable




Bio: Former Living & Food editor here at Instructables, now running! Follow me @sousvidely
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