I once told my boyfriend that I would never brush my teeth with baking soda like he did, and went so far as to scoff at his “unhygienic” ways. I guess the alien idea of being clean without using a packaged product with miscellaneous ingredients was too farfetched and implausable for me at the time.

But here I am. Less than two years later, making my own toothpaste out of baking soda and writing about how much I love it.

My teeth have never felt so clean.

Sure, you have to get over the saltiness of the baking soda, get into using a spoon instead of a tube, and you might miss the frothing and bubbling of commercial toothpaste, but I think of it this way: There was a time when we were trained to tolerate the stinging minty paste that we all grew up with, the one that burned because it was “working.” That burning became normal – I was taught to believe that it was what clean felt like. Not because it was super clean, but because that is what my family and my authority figures said. I later realized that my aversion to brushing with baking soda wasn’t because it doesn’t work, it was because it didn’t align with how I was raised to view cleanliness.

Transitioning to a Zero Waste lifestyle has really been as simple as understanding why I believe the things I do and retraining myself to form new habits and make simple changes to my daily ritual. It has not added hardship or strife or inconvenience at all. It’s just different. Different has been great. By challenging my preconceptions about what clean means, how I should clean, and what I need to achieve “cleanliness”, I feel more immaculate than I ever did before.


Zero Waste Toothpaste Recipe:
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 1/2 tablespoons baking soda
25-30 drops Organic food grade peppermint essential oil

Mix all three ingredients in a glass dish (I use a mason jar).

To use, scoop out a little bit with a spoon and put it onto your toothbrush. Add more or less peppermint or coconut oil depending on your textural preference.

I suggest using it for a few days. Give yourself some time to adjust, I had to. It’s pretty different, but that’s OK.

Here is a great resource on why baking soda is awesome. It addressees effectiveness pertaining to using baking soda as a toothpaste.

Also, if you would like to watch me make Zero Waste toothpaste, check out this video!

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34 comments

  1. I've enjoyed going through your site and your lifestyle is inspiring! I have a few questions about this recipe:

    1. Won't the rough texture of baking soda end up scratching your tooth enamel?
    2. What oils or additives would you suggest for sensitive teeth? I suffer from daily discomfort if I don't use my Colgate sensitive toothpaste.

    Would be lovely to see a response, thank you! Love your blog πŸ™‚

    1. Hi – I have been using this recipe for years and my teeth are perfect. I would suggest trying the mixture with only a little bit of peppermint oil to see how your teeth adjust, and then add from there.

      Lauren

  2. Hello πŸ™‚ My name is Cassandra, and I just started a project to become waste free within a month, many thanks to you. You are quite an inspiration I must say! πŸ™‚
    I wonder, when you buy things such as baking soda, oils and shea butter, doesn't it come with a package, or do you buy them by pound? I have tried to find stores in London(I live close by) that sells those ingredients by pound, but with no luck.

    Cassandra

  3. Love your path through cultural, environmental, global awareness.
    Concerning the recipe, can i replace coconut oil by something else ? I hate coconut oil πŸ™

  4. Lauren ; I love the idea of making such simple recipes of everything!
    But I have a problem ; in my country we don't have coconut oil nor castile soap (for other recipes) , what substitutes can I use for coconut oil and castile soap in general for your recipes? (cornstarch could be use in substitute for washing soda for the laundry powder recipe right?)

    Thanks for everything (:

  5. Hi Lauren, I am curious as to which peppermint oil you use. I've followed similar recipes but most of my essential oils aren't safe to ingest, so need a good alternative.

    Thanks for inspiring me to keep on my mission of less waste, less toxins and a healthier life!

    Roxanne (Canada)

  6. This sounds wonderful; I have been looking into more natural ways of living and your blog is just amazing. I am inspired. My question is- is the peppermint oil just for taste? I have baking soda and coconut oil, but was wondering what your take was on leaving out the essential oil. Let me know πŸ™‚ Thanks.

  7. This stuff is awesome! My teeth feel cleaner afterwards than when I brush with store bought paste. Thanks for your video. Please keep the recipes coming! I want to make all my own products.

  8. To the people with legitimate concerns about baking soda— that is why you mix it with a carrier oil such as coconut oil. The amount is just right for a bit of texture, which cleans, but using baking soda by ITSELF would in fact be too abrasive. The key here is coconut oil. <3

  9. Hi! I haven’t read every comment, BUT I have adapted the recipe to my sensitives gums with Tea Tree Essential Oil instead of pepperment essential oil.

    I had the habit to the taste of tea tree essential oil cause I use it on my teeth paste normally, but with this recipe the taste is softer (a bit salty cause de sodium bicarbonate, a bit of tea tree oil and the coconut oil really doesnt’t taste anything).

    Well! Congratulations (from Spain), I love this recipe πŸ™‚

  10. Hi,
    I can see that mixing it with coconut oil would protect from it being too abrasive, but how does this mixture protect teeth from cavities?
    -L.

  11. Could you please tell us what your dentists have said about the health of your teeth and gums since using this mixture instead of regular toothpaste? I'm definitely interested, but not if it doesn't work as well!

  12. I'd love to make a squeezable paste too, since there are four of us using it, and I don't want to transfer my cavity-causing bacteria to my kids and husband (and vice versa). Will this recipe work in a squeeze bottle, like the GoToobs? That'd be so nice for travel too…

  13. I'm working toward a lower waste lifestyle and just tried this recipe out today. Rather salty but my teeth feel a lot cleaner than with commercial toothpaste. Thanks for posting this! πŸ™‚

  14. Hi Lauren! I have a problem – spitting out coconut oil from the toothpaste and washing it down the sink is clogging my drains in the colder months. Do you have a recipe that doesn't use coconut oil? Thank you!

  15. I started my transition a little over 3 months ago and it's a blast to find all the best ingredients and also feel like you're leaving a tinier carbon print in the disposable world we live in today. Lauren's recipies have given me the best head start on getting into the waste free lifestyle. For that I am eternally grateful! (:
    HyVee has become my best friend (I live in the Midwest).

    For this recipe I have found that the peppermint oil that tastes the best to me is "NuNaturals Peppermint NuStevia".
    You can also put this in your lemon water as a dietary supplement.
    Xx, ZoΓ«

  16. Any suggestions on what to do if you live in a town that does not add fluoride in the water and depends on the fluoride in the toothpaste for dental care?

  17. Ummmm.. what about the packaging for the Baking Soda??? In the UK it only comes in plastic containers….you don't show what packaging the baking soda came in …. I wonder why?!!

  18. Young Living Essenintial Oils is where I get mine. They have the Seed to Seal promise. I know they are Therapeutic grade and where exactly it comes from.

  19. Thank you for the recipe! But what do you mean by using it "for a few days" ? Something like 3-5 days ? And do you store it in refrigirator or at ambient temperature ?

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