I discovered how to make my own toothpaste on Saturday and now I can categorically say that I won’t be turning back. In this previous post, I explained the reasons why you might want to look into this alternative rather than your average over-packaged, chemical-ridden, animal-tested varieties… But on top of that, there is something so fun about making it yourself! Getting your nutty professor on and testing out different mixes and scents.
The mix that Shani (from Ecoburbia and The Painted Fish) showed us works well for me, but is also the first I have tried. She also gave two other recipes which I will try once I am up with this batch. But for now…this one works swell. Give it a try.
(For tips on where to get these ingredients, see Notes)
- 4 tsp Bicarb Soda (aka Baking Soda)
- 1 tsp Salt (table is fine, or crush sea salt)
- Glycerine (or Glycerol) – as much as needed to make a paste
- Recycled jar or container
- Essential Oils (like peppermint, vanilla) – make sure they are food-grade!
- Lemon or Lime peel (dried and ground)
- Mint leaves – finely chopped
- Stevia leaves – dried and ground
- Mix the Bicarb soda and salt in your container with a spoon
- Add Glycerine bit by bit while stirring until you get a smooth paste
- Add one of the optional ingredients here and stir. I used Peppermint Oil and it was lovely. It gave the traditional toothpaste-y smell which is good when you are getting used to a new taste.
Note – Where to buy
- Bicarb Soda – Found in supermarkets, deli’s etc. Try and aim for bulk to reduce packaging – Planet Ark in Freo sells it in 5kg boxes
- Sea salt – best found at stores like Kakula’s Brothers or Sisters where you can buy bulk herbs and spices for a low price.
- Glycerine / Glycerol – can be bought at chemists.
- Essential Oils – Food grade essential oils can be found at healthstores. Manna Wholefoods in Freo definitely stocks it.
The most important thing you need to realise here is also a very obvious point – this is not your standard toothpaste. You don’t have the Sodium lauryl sulfate in there to make it all foamy, there aren’t artificial sweeteners to make it taste like an after dinner mint and you have put a teaspoon of salt in the mix! At first, I was a very excited…
There is definitely a salty tang to it but there is also a sweet minty taste too (if you used the oil, as I did). The Glycerol has quite a sweet taste to it and gives it the smooth pasty consistency which is quite nice – it almost feels like you are just brushing with a wet brush. The bicarb soda acts as the cleansing agent (you can actually feel that working) and the salt is the abrasive. All in all it is not bad. Whenever I felt myself noticing it I just imagined I was at the beach and asked myself if I would mind if a little salt water got in my mouth. Nope.
But then… I lost my head. I swallowed a bit of the stuff. Shit got crazy…
I really did consider not putting that photo and tip in… and this is not only because of how physically flattering it is for my face (obviously). I wanted to be honest about the experience and not promise some amazing flavour just to get you to try it! This is not a reason to consider not trying it… It is no different to your average toothpaste: If you swallow it you are going to be met with a few fairly unpleasant sensations. Don’t swallow it. It tastes like salt. Imagining I was at the beach did nothing to help me then, although my husband (the photographer) thought it was the funniest thing he had seen all week.
After our first few teething problems I am truly sold on this DIY toothpaste. My husband has converted as well and we honestly feel that it does wonders. Our teeth look whiter and we have breath tested each other at different points throughout the day and passed with flying colours. It is also just a damn good feeling to know that you are not contributing to environmental damage, animal cruelty and an overall bad system every morning and afternoon. I hope you enjoy it.