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by Kaki Flynn

I can't stand the taste or feel of your average, store-bought toothpaste - it feels and tastes like plastic. This simple recipe is edible (anything that goes in your mouth should be!). As an expedition instructor for Outward Bound and other companies, of course having something that won't harm the wilderness is important to me as well!

  • 3 Ingredients
  • Biodegradable
  • Edible, as should all things be that go anywhere on or in your body!

Need:

  1. Small glass gar (pictured is 5 oz. size) or other container. Glass preferred.
  2. Coconut Oil
  3. Baking Soda (a couple of teaspoons is plenty)
  4. Chopped Mint Leaves (a tablespoon full)

Mix Ingredients
3/1/1 ratio (I just eyeballed it; it's that simple)

  • Heat coconut oil over low heat until just barely melted. Takes about 30 seconds.
  • Pour into container until almost 3/4 full.
  • Add Baking Soda
  • Add Mint Leaves

Shake. Will cool at room temperature.

Brusha-Brusha:
Scrape toothbrush across the top of the jar, just coating top of bristles. Brush normally.

COST: Less than $1 per jar
1.00 Glass jar/container (I reuse one from my pantry)
.99: Box Baking Soda
5.00: Jar Coconut Oil
.50: Bunch of Mint Leaves (or free from yard! Grow your own!)

While it may be $6.50 for supplies - a 5 oz. jar will cost you $1.25 tops. I used a left-over spice jar.

Making the toothpaste? Split the cost with friends. This is also a great pre-camping or backpacking activity to do with a group. It will work out to less than .50 for a month's worth of toothpaste!

Leftovers?
Literally 100s of uses for these simple ingredients:

Mint
Make a glass of iced-tea in a mason jar; and add the mint. I also throw leftover leaves into a water-bottle filled with ice water.

Baking Soda
100 uses, many listed right here on Instructables!

Coconut Oil
Spread on your lips as a quick lip gloss
melt some to pour over popcorn (I love hot sauce & coconut oil on my popcorn)
Spread it on toast instead of butter.

Happy plastic-free, delicious, planet-friendly brushing fellow Makers ...

* Sea Glass
The blue stone on top of the jar is sea glass from Cumberland Island, Georgia - a place l worked as the resident naturalist for the Greyfield Inn. Plastics are choking our oceans, as well as the pollution from the agricultural run-off from the animals we eat. The sea glass is one more happy reminder of what we protect when we change little things.

20,000 Tubes of Toothpaste
Amelia Island, my hometown, has roughly 20,000 people. Everyone easily averages at least one tube of toothpaste a year. If my tiny island committed to banning plastic toothpaste tubes, and made homemade toothpaste - we would take 20,000 tubes of toothpaste out of the ocean.

Brush Like an Egyptian:
My friend Bernadette in Egypt used spearmint from Dahab to make this! With 82 Million Egyptians - getting people to use a recipe like this would change the world from her side of the globe! My recipe is actually pretty close to one written by the Egyptians thousands of years ago (a fun thing to research on your own!).

More:
Please tweet me variations on this, from storage containers to ingredients to:

@KakiFlynn

<p>my son is allergic to coconut. Is there another type of oil you would recommend or a substitute ingredient for coconut oil? also any ideas on how to flavor the toothpaste without using essential oils? are extracts safer?</p>
Maybe olive oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil, or Rose hip oil, however you may have to play with the consistency as coconut oil hardens to a thick paste. Maybe adding starch to the liquid oils will give it the pastey texture.
<p>Good question on the coconut oil; this is one for the experts. Do you have a health food store near you? I would ask one of the many experts there. Whole Foods seems to have a pretty knowledgable staff in the &quot;Health &amp; Beauty&quot; section. After about 10 years on the road in some capacity; I'm a bit more rugged than your average Southern woman, I think.</p>
Not sure how the taste would be, and have not tried it, but maybe one could use sage? It was used by native americans for its anti-bacterial properties, and it is used as a food spice. Perhaps you could mix it with mint for a better flavor while getting the antibacterial benefits. Has anyone tried lemon grass, or lavender for taste?
<p>I've finally gotten around to making this. I used dried mint rather than fresh stuff. That could be why it didn't have any minty taste at all, so it was pretty horrible stuff last night. Gave it a good warm up tonight to try and get the mint flavouring around it more. See how I go come bed time. </p>
<p>Brevity sometimes takes away clarity, I realize! A goal for this toothpaste is to have it be not just vegan but alcohol-free, which is why I didn't use a flavoring extract, like vanilla or mint or whatever flavor you want! If you drink alcohol, I would just try the extract route. I was using the fresh mint to avoid alcohol and anything processed. Sorry your toothpaste was gross! Post any variations that you find that work here, please!</p>
I simply must try this, I do leave no trace camping. I would like to point out that baking powder and baking soda are two different things, so you might want to update your instructions to reflect baking soda throughout. Thanks for posting! :)

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