October 15, 2013

Zero Waste Toothpaste.

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!


79 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have a similar recipe but add a bit of stevia to it too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stevia is great for it. Even if you use fresh :)

      Delete
  3. 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 :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    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

      Delete
    2. I just read an article on WebMD about brushing with baking soda, the benefits and risks, would love to have your take on this. http://www.md-health.com/Brushing-Teeth-With-Baking-Soda.html

      Delete
  4. Hello! How much can u keep this mixture (safe use interval)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This recipe makes enough for about a month and a half of paste, it shouldn't go bad for a long time.

      Lauren

      Delete
  5. can you replace the peppermint with tea tree oil?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tea tree oil should not be ingested. It is toxic.

      Delete
  6. Hello :) 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! :)
    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

    ReplyDelete
  7. Love your path through cultural, environmental, global awareness.
    Concerning the recipe, can i replace coconut oil by something else ? I hate coconut oil :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can find deodorized coconut oil, it does not smell nor taste like coconut ;)

      Delete
  8. 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 (:

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. actually cornstarch is nothing like washing soda - that would be a laundry nightmare. If you can find baking soda/bicarbonate of soda which are the same thing then you can make washing soda by cooking in the oven. It's that simple. See this link for details http://naturesnurtureblog.com/2012/05/08/ttt-turn-baking-soda-into-washing-soda/

      Delete
  9. 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)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Roxanne!!! For this recipe I use a therapeutic grade essential oil that are 100% safe and delicious! Actually every month I even change the oil that I put on it, between peppermint, cinnamon and thieves. If you are interested you can send me an email to thetransformingoils@gmail.com :)
      Ximena.

      Delete
  10. I hate coconuit too so if had with another thing I'd like to know. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Coconut oil has no aroma or taste it's just the oil.

      Delete
  11. When saw you on our national TV (globo from Brazil), I loved all ideas you shared with us. I'll start by changing the tooth paste. Do you have any recipe for shampoo?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. check out this one: http://naturallivingmamma.com/2013/01/21/easy-natural-diy-shampoo/
      But actually, try and go 'shampoo-free'. It works! I got my inspiration from here: http://naturallivingmamma.com/2012/06/11/poo-free-is-the-way-to-be/

      Delete
  12. I am exceptionally impressed with what you're doing here... BUT I've been told by dentists that baking soda is too abrasive on the teeth, and should absolutely be avoided.
    Do you have any other recipes for toothpaste?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had heard that one, too, while studying dentistry (I changed paths though, I'm not a dentist) - and now that I've read around, I wonder... Where does that claim come from? Companies who sell stuff to dentists, i.e., toothpaste companies who've come to their "own" conclusions?
      Cause all the recipes I see call for baking soda. You need some abrasive. And toothpaste is an abrasive - that's the whole point of it. Otherwise just use mouthwash and brush without paste... ??
      I know I've hated toothpaste my whole life. The taste of it, the texture of it, nauseates me. I'm going to try a few recipes for sure. :)

      Delete
  13. Vi uma matéria que passou aqui no Brasil sobre você, achei sei blog e a ideia da posta de dente é incrível. Parabéns

    ReplyDelete
  14. Très bon site internet, merci pour la recette !
    I'm french and I love your way of life !!! I learn a lot thanks to you !

    ReplyDelete
  15. 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 :-) Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Stacy!!! Since the baking soda is able to kill bacteria by itself, I believe that the essential oil is use only for taste matters. But let me tell you it is a big difference, specially if you are use to the regular comercial toothpaste. I use a therapeutic grade essential oil brand that is 100% safe, delicious and gives some extra protection from germs. If you are interested to try it out you can email me to thetransformingoils@gmail.com, I use peppermint, cinnamon and thieves (one each month). :)
      Ximena.

      Delete
  16. 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.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Handy treatments like baking soda and dilute alum solution do help with relieving pain from canker sores

    ReplyDelete
  18. I like to brush with a mixture of bicarb and sea salt diluted. It tastes fine to me, and I rinse with water after brushing.

    ReplyDelete
  19. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why was my comment removed? I think I made a pretty valid point.

      Delete
  20. I'm allergic to coconut. Can you suggest an alternative ingredient?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You could use sesame oil

      Delete
    2. I'm also allergic to sesame.

      Delete
  21. 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

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do have any evidence for this?
      I used to use baking soda to brush my teeth but recently my gums became too sore and sensitive to the baking soda so I switched.

      Delete
    2. That's basically what I had heard. Someone mentioned it could cause "dechaussement" meaning that your gums ride up and expose too much of your teeth and the nerve. This happened to me, and because of the pain I went back to commercial toothpaste. Then again I brushed with only bicarb at the time. I think I'll try this recipe, almost out of toothpaste anyway!

      Delete
    3. I found some comparisons between baking soda and other toothpastes' abrasiveness at http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/07/11/is-baking-soda-a-good-alternative-toothpaste/

      Delete
  22. Probably b/c you were using it by itself because it's too harsh. I used one T baking soda per cup of coconut oil and it seems to work for me.

    ReplyDelete
  23. 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 :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Olá, Lauren!

    Quando criança meu pai me fazia escovar os dentes com uma mistura de raspa de juá e bicarbonato, que eu odiava, mas que deixavam meus dentes limpinhos. Lembrei disso com o seu texto. A raspa de juá é adstringente e tem sabor suave.

    ReplyDelete
  25. 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.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hello,
    I'm interested in making my own tooth paste but using baking soda is a little bit worrying. Im thinking it might damage the dental enamel which doesn't ever come back once it's damaged. Do you have any other ways to make your own toothpaste? Have you done research about how the soda affects the enamel?

    -Niina

    ReplyDelete
  27. 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!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Has anyone encountered issues with Fluoride? My dentist just told me a few weeks ago that the all-natural toothpaste I was using wasn't good enough because where we live they don't add fluoride to the water. Would you just do a fluoride rinse after brushing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what I plan to do once we start making our own. While I'm really happy we don't have fluoridated water because I don't want to ingest it, we're all genetically cavity-prone in my family, and I like the little extra insurance a fluoride rinse would provide. (I know there are plenty of folks who'd disagree though!) Not zero waste though... :(

      Delete
  29. What a cool recipe! And very well rounded -- baking soda for obvious reasons, the coconut oil to cut down on the abrasiveness of the baking soda, and peppermint not only would make it taste good, but mint is a natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal! I can't wait to try this out :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. I have never tried anything other than the basic store bought toothpaste, I am going to have to make this and give it a try. Love your ideas!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Is it possible to use normal coconut oil or does it have to be the taste neutral one? or will it be weird when mixing with the essential oil?

    thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Does anyone recommend replace the coconut oil for extra virgin olive oil? It is hard to find coconut oil where I live (actually, I cannot find it) and I need to replace that ingredient for another. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you happen to live in Santiago, Chile, I know where to find it!

      Delete
  33. Love the idea of making your own toothpaste but I was always unsure about the best way to store it though. Being able to squeeze it out is convenient because you don't have to touch the paste with anything else and it stays clean. Then I got the idea that you could use reusable food pouches that are made for babies!! - etsy has some cute ones for sale here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/207925830/reusable-baby-food-pouch-5-10-or-20-pack?ref=related-1

    ReplyDelete
  34. 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...

    ReplyDelete
  35. 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...

    ReplyDelete
  36. 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! :)

    ReplyDelete
  37. Gurukul Dant Shodhak Toothpaste is ayurvedic toothpaste for teeth and it can strong teeths it can Relieves from teeth pain, smell & pyeria. You can find more at www.desichain.in for shipping in India & www.desichain.com for shipping in other countries. We ship Worldwide. Call +91-9871712741
    "

    ReplyDelete
  38. 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!

    ReplyDelete
  39. 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, Zoë

    ReplyDelete
  40. This is also a very good post which I really enjoyed reading. It is not everyday that I have the possibility to see something like this.
    happywheels , agar , happy wheels game , agar io ,

    ReplyDelete
  41. 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?

    ReplyDelete
  42. I was working and suddenly I visits your site frequently and recommended it to me to read also. The writing style is superior and the content is relevant. Thanks for the insight you provide the readers!
    fireboy and watergirl | super smash flash 2 , fireboy watergirl | ssf2

    ReplyDelete
  43. Patanjali Dant Kanti Toothpaste: Regular, Patanjali Dant Manjan (Tooth Powder) Is Used For Teeth Healthy And Strong. You can find more at www.desichain.in for shipping in India & www.desichain.com for shipping in other countries. We ship Worldwide. Call +91-9871712741

    ReplyDelete


  44. تقدم شركة الاختصاصي افضل شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض خدمات النقل والتخزين من المنزل، الى أي مكان في داخل المملكة
    . سواء كان هو نقل المنزل أو المكتب التي تحتاج إلى نقلها ، ونحن فخورون بأن نقدم الخدمات المهنية بأسعار تنافسية للغاية. بشكل جماعي، لدينا ما يقرب من خمسة عقود من الخبرة في عمليات النقل ،
    مما أدى إلى مزيج فريد من السلامة والكفاءة . يتم فحص أسطولنا باستمرار من قبل الفنيين المؤهلين لضمان أنه في حالة صالحة للسير، وضمان عملية آمنة وفعالة من جميع المركبات للنقل
    . وأيضا تدريب موظفينا بشكل كامل في مختلف التخصصات لعملية شركة نقل عفش بالرياض . سائقينا من ذوي الخبرة العالية، والدعم الإداري لدينا اللباقة والكفاءة،
    حيث تتم مراحل النقل لدينا في شركة نقل عفش بالرياض
    بعد ان يتم الاتفاق مع العميل علي موعد النقل والتكلفة الخاصة بنقل العفش بالكامل تقوم الشركة بارسال السيارة ومعها طاقم النقل المختص من عمال تحميل وتنزيل والفني المسئول عن اعمال الفك والتركيب .
    يبدا الفني في فك الاثاث الخشبي اولا في حين يقوم اخر بتغليف اغراض المطبخ من الكاسات وتعبئتها داخل الكراتين المخصصة لذلك و تغليف قطع الاثاث التي تم فكها وايضا تغليف المجالس والكنبات و والاكسسوارات البسيطة في كراتين مخصصة بذلك .
    وفرق النقل لدينا هي دقيقة عندما يتعلق الأمر فى التعبئة والتعامل مع ممتلكاتك الثمينة. النقل مع شركة الاختصاصي لنقل العفش افضل شركة نقل اثاث بجدة هو عملية سلسة وفعالة من شأنها أن توفر القيمة مقابل المال
    لجميع الاحتياجات الخاصة بك من النقل والتخزين وسوف نحدثكم أعزائنا الكرام عن العمالة المدربة والمتخصصة في عمليات نقل العفش لدي الشركة
    فيوجد لدينا العمالة اللازمة لإتمام عمليات نقل العفش علي أكمل وجه وبدون أي خسائر في العمل إن شاء ويوجد لدينا الفنيين زوي الخبرة في كل المجالات المتعلقة بالعفش
    للمزيد يرجي زيارة: شركة نقل اثاث - شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض
    شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض

    ReplyDelete
  45. can I use this with an electric toothbrush?

    ReplyDelete
  46. can I use this with an electric toothbrush?

    ReplyDelete
  47. thank you for this items, it will nice for kitchen items

    ReplyDelete
  48. Website wonderful I wish I could be like my website this site , My talking about things that are also important , such as your website,
    The first part is talking about my website is the sale of
    chef knives
    and the most important brands offered for sale such as
    global knife set review

    global knives reviews

    zwilling ja henckels knives reviews

    henckels knives reviews

    victorinox chef knives reviews

    victorinox kitchen knives reviews

    chef knives reviews

    The second is talking about the website, the problems of water leaks and how its solutions and areas that are out of our branches is
    افضل شركة
    كشف تسربات المياه

    كشف تسربات المياه بالرياض


    كشف تسربات المياه بجدة

    كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام

    كشف تسربات المياه بدون تكسير

    كشف تسربات المياه بالمدينة المنورة

    ReplyDelete
  49. I grabbed the corn starch instead of baking soda, can we still use it?

    ReplyDelete
  50. 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?!!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Where do you buy your peppermint oil? Thanks! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 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.

      Delete
  52. This is very amazing to see such work over here. Slither | Agario | Happy Wheels | slitherio Carry on the discussions over night.

    ReplyDelete
  53. 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 ?

    ReplyDelete
  54. شركة كشف تسربات بالرياض
    شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالرياض
    شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالاحساء
    شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام
    كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام
    كشف تسربات المياه بالرياض
    كشف تسربات المياه شرق الرياض
    كشف تسربات المياه غرب الرياض
    شركة كشف تسربات المياه شرق الرياض
    كشف تسربات المياه جنوب الرياض
    كشف تسربات المياه شمال الرياض
    كشف تسربات المياه بالاحساء
    شركة كشف تسربات المياه شرق الرياض
    شركة ترميم منازل بالرياض
    شركة ترميم منازل بالاحساء
    شركة ترميم منازل بالدمام
    ترميم البيت
    عزل مائي
    شركة عزل مائي بالرياض
    شركة عزل اسطح بالرياض
    شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض
    شركة نقل عفش بالرياض
    نقل اثاث بالرياض
    نقل عفش بالرياض
    نقل اثاث
    نقل عفش
    شركة تنظيف بالرياض
    شركة تنظيف منازل بالرياض
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بالرياض
    شركة تنظيف المنازل بالرياض
    شركة نظافة بالرياض
    شركة رش مبيدات بالرياض
    شركة مكافحة حشرات بالرياض
    رش مبيدات

    ReplyDelete