14+ Unusual Uses for Mouthwash


Intro: 14+ Unusual Uses for Mouthwash

You probably have a bottle of mouthwash sitting around, but did you know you can use it for more than just oral care? Its antiseptic and antifungal properties make it helpful for a handful of things you do every day. When you're in a pinch and are missing the product you need, why not pull out your mouthwash and see if it does the trick!

STEP 1: What Is It About Mouthwash?

Before I get started, I want to talk about mouthwash.

For my experimentation, I chose to use Listerine Ultra Clean Artic Mint. You can use whatever you have, but in some instances it is good (and sometimes necessary) to use mouthwash that has less color (to avoid staining) and is sugar-free such as the Original Listerine mouthwash.

You may need to check out the label on your mouthwash before you use it. It is the antiseptic and antifungal qualities that make it possible to have these unusual uses.

Mouthwash, or at least specifically Listerine, was originally promoted as a germicide and surgical antiseptic in about 1881. It wasn't until years later in 1895 that it was pushed towards dentists to be used as mouthwash. Because of the antiseptic qualities it still has, mouthwash, while intended simply for oral care, can be used, in a pinch, for other unusual things.

Active Ingredients in Listerine and what they do:

  • Eucalyptol - fresh smell, cooling taste
  • Menthol - local anesthetic and counterirritant
  • Methyl salicylate - multiple uses including antiseptic and anti-inflammatory
  • Thymol - antiseptic


For some of these unusual uses, you may need cotton balls, paper towels, or measuring spoons/cups.

STEP 2: Prevent Dandruff

The anti-fungal properties of mouthwash can be helpful in preventing dandruff.

Premix some mouthwash and water. I used a 50/50 ratio, but you can make it more diluted or stronger if you have bad dandruff.

First, wash and rinse your hair as you normally would. Once your shampoo and conditioner are all washed out, take a mixture of mouthwash and water and pour it onto your scalp and let it sit for a few minutes. Then rinse it out of your hair.

If you tip your head forward (which I ended up doing) make sure your eyes are closed! It will get all over you and I advise keeping it out of your eyes.

I don't really have dandruff, so I'm not sure if it worked, but my hair was minty fresh!

If you have very dry hair, be careful using this as it can further dry out your hair.

STEP 3: Treat Nail Fungus, Athletes Foot, and Foot Soak

Since all of these relate to your feet, I decided to put them all together.

Mouthwash can be used to help treat nail fungus, athletes foot, or just as a nice foot soak.

For nail fungus, use 50/50 mouthwash and vinegar on a cotton ball. Apply it to your toe nails 2 - 3 times per day. It could take a few weeks to see any results.

For athletes foot, just use straight mouthwash on a use a cotton ball. Apply 2 times a day. You should hopefully see results in a few days.

For just a refreshing feel, you can soak your feet in a mixture of mouthwash and water. I didn't find any specific ratios on the internet, but I would start with less and add more as works for you.

STEP 4: Facial Astringent and After-Piercing Care

It would be good to have sugar-free mouthwash for these uses.

You can use a cotton ball to apply mouthwash to piercings to help prevent infection. CapnHowdy recommends using alcohol-free and to use for oral piercings.

Use a cotton ball or paper towel to apply to your face for a very refreshing feeling. Rinse your face with water after applying mouthwash.

STEP 5: Clean Toothbrush

Unsurprisingly, mouthwash can be helpful in disinfecting your toothbrush. You can simply rinse your toothbrush with some outwash, dunk it, or put it in a container of mouthwash overnight.

STEP 6: Sanitize Laundry

Use about a cup of mouthwash instead of laundry detergent when you're in a pinch. I highly recommend using a more colorless and sugar-free mouthwash for this. I used what you see and didn't have any problems, but I avoided washing any whites or nice close just in case. I did wash a tan towel and it still came out tan.

STEP 7: Freshen Garbage

Put some mouthwash on a cotton ball or a paper towel and put it in your garbage to help keep it fresh. If you throw a lot of compostable things in there, though, I'm not sure how well it will work. I threw it right in the bottom of the bag I put in my garbage, but you can also put it right in the garbage container.

STEP 8: Reduce Body Odor

Use a cotton ball to apply mouthwash on your armpit to use for deodorant. It seemed to work okay, but I wouldn't use it if I was going to be exercising.

STEP 9: Clean and Freshen Toilet

Pour one cup of mouthwash in your toilet and let it sit for an hour. After it has sat for a while, use a toilet brush to scrub your toilet as normal.

STEP 10: Clean Wounds and Heal Blisters

Now, I wouldn't try this with really bad gashes, but if you have a cut or scrape that needs some extra treatment and you don't have any antibiotic ointment, mouthwash will do in a pinch. Just apply some mouthwash to your cut (you could use a Q-tip or cotton ball to apply it), dry it, and use a bandage as needed.

Use a cotton ball to apply mouthwash to blisters daily. This should help numb the pain and help with healing.

STEP 11: Sooth Bug Bites and Poison Ivy

Use a cotton ball with mouthwash and apply it to bug bites and poison ivy.

It should help relieve inflammation and itchiness.

STEP 12: Treat Bruises

If you bruise a lot, try applying mouthwash to your bruise using a cotton ball. It should help diminish the appearance of bruises.

Usually I'm always getting bruised, but I actually didn't have any to test this on. It sounds like it has worked for others, though.

STEP 13: Hand Sanitizer and Get Rid of Garlic Smell

In a pinch, put some mouthwash right on your hands and rub it in as best you can to use it as sanitizer. Mine had sugar in it, so I don't know if it made a difference, but it left my hands feeling weird, but they were minty smelling.

You can also rub it on your hands to get rid of strong smells like garlic.

STEP 14: Keep Flowers Fresher and Help Houseplants

Mix about 2 tablespoons of mouthwash per gallon of water in cut flowers to help them stay fresh longer. If yo have the special food that florists give out, use that, but if not, this should do in a pinch. I suggest using sugar-free mouthwash for this.

You can also mix 1 part mouthwash with 3 parts water in a spray bottle to spray on plants around the home. It should help kill mildew and fungus that can form on the leaves.

STEP 15: Clean Glass

Okay, this did not work for me, but it wasn't until after I tried this that I realized my mouthwash had sugar in it. I think if you use a sugar-free mouthwash, this should work nicely.

Take a damp rag and add some mouthwash to it. Use it to wipe down windows and then wipe it dry.

It seems to work okay, but after it dried, I tried to re-wipe the window and it just smeared it badly. I think if you have a sugar-free mouthwash, you should be good to go, but test on smaller windows or a section of a window first.

I've also read you can do this with your monitor screen (not if it is a LCD), but I wasn't brave enough to try especially after my window fiasco.

STEP 16: Other Uses?

There are a few other uses out there I read about, but didn't get a chance to try. Feel free to see if they work for you!

  • Spray 1 cup of water with 3 tablespoons of mouthwash on areas that your cat tends to pee that you don't want them to. The minty smell should deter them from repeating this.
  • Mix 2 cups of water with 1/2 cup of mouthwash and use it to scrub tiles using a sponge to get them clean and shiney.
  • Keep your dehumidifier from getting mildew-y when not in use. Put in some water and a few tablespoons of mouthwash to deter anything from growing and gross smells.
  • More suggestions
    • iloveminpins15: mix mouthwash and water 50/50 and spray it around mouse holes to discourage them from coming back.
    • parisusa: Use in your hair and scalp to deter lice (not necessarily remove lice).
    • Flenters: Put mouthwash in spray bottle and spray to keep mosquitos away.
    • rittzzz: Deodorize steel or polycarbonate water bottles. Tested using 50/50 water and mouthwash mixture. Removed water and black tea stains and odor.
    • BeccaB00: Possibly use a 50/50 mixture of mouthwash and water and spray to keep ants away, sugar-free would be necessary.
    • struno: Use for cradle cap. Use a bath visor to prevent getting any into your child's eyes and avoid using on kids under 2 years old.
    • Yonatan24: Kill ants by pouring right on them.
    • meeshuhhE: Refresh the output from water filtered vacuum cleaner.
    • DavidS925: Clean Camelback pouches and tubing, or polyethylene cycling water bottles.
    • emit: Clean a wet dry electric shaver.
    • charlesp4: Sore throat treatment. Gargle 3 times a day or as needed.
    • salguzman517: Water, Listerine, and a little bit of Dawn dish soap kills bugs, especially roaches.
    • dawndowd: Freshen up your dog when you don't have time for a bath. Use sugar-free and apply using a sponge. Avoid eyes, cuts or sores. Won't work on skunk :(
    • MLenhart: Mix 50% amber Listerine and 50% baby oil (or olive oil?) and spray on any itchy spots on your dog's skin.
    • Katy in Nerja: 1 cup of Epsom salt, 1 cup of mint mouthwash, 1 can of cheap beer, spray on plants and around the garden; good for the plants and keeps mosquitos away.
    • bferron: Deodorize puke buckets. First, wash it and spray it with H2O to sanitize and then rinse it with mouthwash.
    • gzatto: Mix Dawn, water, and a bit of Listerine and spray it on your plants to kill aphids.
    • jwhyman: When passing a bowel movement is painful due to size and hardness, mouthwash will numb the area and pre-sanitize any tearing.
    • PareshK11: Use 1 part sugar-free mouthwash to 4 parts water in a spray bottle for a safe pesticide.
    • Donqui: Soak gum guards.
    • AnnJ28: For mosquito repellent, mix 1 large cheap bottle of mouthwash + 1 -12oz can stale cheap beer, dissolve in 3 cups Epsom Salt and put in a spray bottle.

Any other ideas? Please share your unusual uses in the comments below!


original Listerine is what I use on surfaces that come in contact with food. I use it undiluted on my countertops and cutting boards, and knives that were used on raw chicken or pork.. I haven't had any problems with staining, though you should always try it on an inconspicuous area.

I've used original Listerine (and the clones that match it) when dealing with conjunctivitis. Apply some to a cotton ball, and with the eye closed, cleanse the area gently to remove the sticky goop or crusty bits that are there. It does feel a little interesting with a slight burn, but I find it bearable.

The antiseptic properties (without the sugar) help with mitigating the itchy sensation that irritates most, but is NOT a substitute for actual medical attention. It just makes it less likely that you'll go hard on rubbing your eye while heading to the doctor's office or urgent care clinic, and thus lowers the likelihood that you'll spread the infection from eye-01 to eye-02.

... according to your description, looks like you got https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/blepharitis ...

... Procter&Gamble thank you very much (Listerine + BandAid) ... Unilever as well (Colgate) ...

Popular fly spray for horses: 1 cup Original Listerine (gold color), 1 cup apple cider vinegar, and 1/4 cup Avon Skin So Soft. Shake well before and during application.

I decided to try and see how it would work by adding it to the water in my carpet steam cleaner..worked like a charm and the carpet smells great!

Mouthwash in a spray bottle keep mosquitoes away. Just spray when necessary and they stay away for a good while.

Thanks for the tip. I always get ate up a lot every year during the bug season. And I don't like smelling like those pesticide sprays. I don't mind smelling like a big minty lifesaver. That's much better. Lol

An entymologist once told me to take B1 to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes. I started 100mg daily and have not been bitten since. It has been amazing.

Sorry, but all the research on B1 rejects the idea that it is a repellent for mosquitoes.


You go ahead and believe it. But I got bitten by every mosquito in a 10 mile radius before starting the B1. Have not been bit since. And I know at least 5 other people who will say the same thing. I don't believe everything I read. I prefer to believe what I see work with my own eyes. Not everything is for everyone, but I have yet to meet someone who started taking B1 who does not say the same thing.

take it from the ole man ... it works, now for the nay sayers, Tell me why the US army used B1 during W.W.'s if it did not work??? don't believe everything you read, just try it for yourself. I am still alive and I drank from the garden hose!!!

I am most definitely gong to try taking B1. I thought I was the only one that the mosquitoes waited around all year to bite. I'm really relieved to know that it is not just me this happens to. Thanks for the tip.

Just a single 12-ounce bottle of beer can make you more attractive to the insects. But even though researchers had suspected this was because drinking increases the amount of ethanol excreted in sweat, or because it increases body temperature, neither of these factors were found to correlate with mosquito landings, making their affinity for drinkers something of a mystery.

5 human scents that attract mosquitoes

  • Carbon dioxide – mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide we exhale, both the scent and the amount. There are many sources of CO2 in nature, so it isn’t just the carbon dioxide that attracts mosquitoes. Every time we exhale, we release chemicals like lactic acid, octenol, uric acid and fatty acids that combine with CO2 to form our own unique carbon dioxide cocktail. This combination of scents is what clues mosquitoes that there is a human target nearby. And some of these particular combinations are more attractive to mosquitoes. Additionally, the more CO2 we emit, the easier we are to recognize. The scent and amount of carbon dioxide you exhale is unique to you and your genetics, and unfortunately there isn’t much you can do to change your attractiveness other than mask your scent. Larger people exhale more CO2, which is why adults are more likely to be bitten than children. Pregnant women also exhale above average amounts and are therefore more attractive to mosquitoes.
  • Body odor – Bacterial colonies combined with sweat generate that sweet (if you’re a mosquito) human scent we call body odor. Without the bacteria, our sweat would be odorless; with the bacteria, our sweat is one of the more attractive scents for mosquitoes, particularly the malaria-carrying Anopheles gambiae, which prefers to bite humans. There are measures you can take like washing regularly to reduce body odor; however be careful of fragrant perfumes and scents that can also draw mosquitoes. Fresh sweat is not as attractive because it has not combined with bacteria.
  • Secretions – About 80% of us are “secretors” or people who secrete compounds known as saccharides and antigens through their skin and indicate blood type. Mosquitoes are magnets for secretors. Once again, your classification as a secretor or non-secretor is determined by your biology and there isn’t anything you can do to put yourself in the non-secretor category.
    • Blood type – Depending on the type of blood you have, you secrete different scents. Studies have shown that mosquitoes are most attracted to Type O blood and least attracted to Type A. No changing your blood type either.
  • Lactic acid – Lactic acid is emitted through your skin when you are active or eating certain foods. Mosquitoes are more attracted to people with a greater build-up of lactic acid on their skin. You can reduce lactic acid by washing with soap after exercising and thoroughly drying.
    Scent is the primary indicator for mosquitoes that a human target is within striking distance. There are also other indicators like body heat, moisture, movement and color that attract mosquitoes’ highly attuned receptors.
  • Mosquitoes landed on people with Type O blood nearly twice as often as those with Type A. People with Type B blood fell somewhere in the middle of this itchy spectrum


  • They had me until the blood types, I'm O rest of family A and I've watched them walk over me and bite the others. Think its more to do with sweat and odour

    That's interesting about Vitamin B1. It has worked for my cat and my dog who both had fleas at one time. The B vitamin we get out of flake yeast you can get at the health food stores. It's amazing. It takes about a month. Just start sprinkling it over their crunchy munchies every day and you will never again ghave flea problems. If you mention that to a vet they will tell you it's an old wives tail, here buy this $80 dollar package of pills or here I'll give your dog or cata shot for $100. On top of that those medications are not nutritional they are toxic to your pet.

    That is true. And the B1 is neither toxic nor expensive.

    http://www.popsci.com/vitamin-b-can-increase-lung-cancer-risk Sounds toxic to me

    That article is talking about a study on men who smoke as well as taking much higher doses than the recommended daily allowance of B6 and B12.

    Large doses of vitamin B might cause more harm than good. KEYWORD-MIGHT.

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