Use Hydrogen Peroxide for Your Mouthwash

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

Did you know that the little brown bottle of hydrogen peroxide you likely have tucked away in your medicine cabinet can be made into an easy mouthwash? It turns out that a hydrogen peroxide mouthwash can have some positive benefit when it comes to your teeth and gums.

Read on to discover:

Bottle of mouthwash next to toothbrushes in glass and dental floss on blue background, dental care.

What is hydrogen peroxide?

You probably know the name because you've got a bottle of it hanging around in your medicine cabinet. Many people are familiar with this product, but what actually is it and why is it useful?

Hydrogen peroxide is the simplest form of a peroxide. A peroxide is a compound that contains an oxygen-oxygen single bond.

This compound is a mild antiseptic that can help kill bacteria, yeasts, and other pathogens. It is also used as a bleaching agent, cleaning product, and more.

But did you know that it can be useful for your dental health? It can actually be quite beneficial when gargled in the mouth because of its antiseptic effects.

Digital tablet next to chemistry tubes that says hydrogen peroxide with chemical formula H202.


Why is it useful as a mouthwash?

Our white blood cells (which are part of our immune system) actually make hydrogen peroxide as part of a defense mechanism. They produce it in order to kill off invaders like bacteria, fungi, parasites, yeast, or candida, for example.

Hydrogen peroxide works by destroying the cell walls of these invaders. It oxidizes the outer layer of the microbe or other pathogen.

Next, our body produces enzymes that break down and dismantle the hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. Other compounds are created in that process that will also help to sterilize the area.

That is why using hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash (or as an antiseptic or cleaning agent) can work so well. It helps to kill off the harmful bacteria, fungi, or yeasts that may be growing in your mouth.

Bacteria, mold, and fungi overgrowth can be behind common teeth and mouth problems like bad breath. And keeping bacteria at bay may even be able to support things like gum disease or gingivitis.

Hydrogen peroxide may also be able to help to whiten your teeth, as it does have bleaching and whitening qualities.

Illustrated drawing of blue mouthwash bottle with label on tan background.


How to use hydrogen peroxide for a mouthwash

Hydrogen peroxide mouthwash can help to support dental problems by killing off bacteria and disinfecting the area. It might also even be able to help whiten your teeth.

If you'd like to try using hydrogen peroxide for mouthwash, it is super simple to do so.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Find 3% hydrogen peroxide or food-grade peroxide. Usually, it is a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution that you'll find on pharmacy shelves. Make sure you use this kind.
  2. Create a diluted solution. Putting this product straight from the bottle into your mouth is not the best idea. Instead, you will want to dilute it so that you are using a lower concentration. To do this, take 1 tablespoon (15 g) of hydrogen peroxide and mix it into 4 tablespoons (60 g) of water.
  3. Swish or gargle the solution in your mouth for 30 seconds. Swish the mixture around in your mouth for about 30 seconds, making sure that you do not swallow it.
  4. Spit and rinse. Spit out the solution and rinse your mouth. You can follow up by brushing and flossing your teeth.

When used correctly, a hydrogen peroxide mouthwash is usually quite safe. Make sure to dilute it first and never swallow it.

Brown hydrogen peroxide bottle, medicine cabinet, household first-aid.


Other uses of hydrogen peroxide

This common household product has a wide variety of uses. Some other options for using it include:

  • Cleaning your veggies. Mix 1/2 C in 2 C of water, then let your veggies soak in the mixture for a few minutes. And just like that, you'll have clean veggies ready to eat!
  • Disinfecting a wound. If you've got a little cut or scratch and are worried it is infected, dabbing a little bit of hydrogen peroxide onto it can help clean the area.
  • Household cleaning projects. Whether it is scrubbing down your sink, cleaning out the dishwasher, or helping kill of mold or mildew, this may be a useful ingredient to add to your cleaning solutions.
Woman smiling with white teeth on blue background, healthy teeth and gums, oral health.


Do you have this little brown bottle in your first-aid kit? Why not give it a go as a handy mouthwash? If you follow the steps above, you'll be able to mix up an easy DIY mouthwash in seconds.

Using a hydrogen peroxide mouthwash might be able to support you with things like:

  • Bad breath
  • Gum problems or gingivitis
  • Mouth sores or irritation
  • Teeth whitening
  • Other common dental problems

If you have any serious dental concerns, always consult with your dentist. And make sure to keep up with your usual dentist checkups to keep your teeth and gums in good shape.

Have you ever used a hydrogen peroxide mouthwash? What were your results? Let me know by leaving me a comment below.

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Disclaimer: Our educational content is not meant or intended for medical advice or treatment.Editor’s

Note: This post has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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