Backpacking Toothpaste/Tooth Powder




Introduction: Backpacking Toothpaste/Tooth Powder

About: An engineer, seamstress, cook, coder, and overall maker. Spent a summer at Instructables; got a degree in E: Neural Engineering at Olin College; made a microcontroller (; now thinking about climate...

When you're going backpacking, every bit of weight counts. One of the places where I think unnecessary weight is most commonly added is in toiletries- people bring along their regular liquid- or gel-based toiletries, so a big part of what they're carrying is just water! When I go backpacking, I like to reduce the weight in this department by making a simple, dentist-approved tooth powder. It's very simple, easy to make, and a little goes a very long way!

It doesn't taste great, though. I like to add crushed mint leaves to mine to make it taste better. I've read that you can also try adding things like wintergreen oil, though I've never tried it.

Enjoy, and happy trails!



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    13 Discussions

    I didn't see any other comments to this effect, so I thought i'd mention this: my dentist advises against using baking soda based commercial/homemade toothpaste for extended periods. the baking soda is abrasive and can actually damage tooth enamel if used too often, so although this is a great lightweight backpacking toothpaste for a 2 or 3 day hike, you shouldn't use this every day

    Oh, good call!

    :) Yeah, the salt kinda hurts. It feels really effective, though... I also highly recommend the crushed dried mint leaves; they really improved the flavor.

    I'm looking into using baking soda for cleaning my dog's teeth. I understand dogs are ridiculously sensitive to mint. I will try wrapping a cloth soaked in a strong solution round a finger. going to try washing out all the disolvables in smart price paste


    5 years ago

    What's the ratio of baking soda to salt? :)

    Baking soda is actually an excellent multitasker. It can be used, of course for brushing teeth, but can also be used as a mild abrasive when cleaning mess kits. It also helps soothe a sour stomach after that vindaloo curry. Make a sachet with the corner of a t-shirt and stick it down the toes of those nasty boots to absorb odor. I usually don't bring more than a couple of ounces in a 5-hour energy bottle.

    Something it also does is eliminate one more thing bears like: Toothpaste.

    And there is a salt crystal that is very effective at eliminating body odor, and eliminates another bear attractant: Perfumed deodorant.

    I currently use baking soda in place of commercially sold soap, shampoo and toothpaste. It cleans better.

    1 reply

    I use baking soda for cleaning and white vinegar also. I make my own bath soap. I have MCS and sounds like you could have it also.

    You may want to add some activated charcoal to this for it's teeth cleaning properties. I would not premix it in case it came in handy for accidental poisoning or stomach discomfort while on a long trek.

    2 replies

    Yes, but this is intended for weight-conscious backpackers, if you add activated charcoal you might as well just bring regular toothpaste as the weight savings would be lost.