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Homemade toothpaste experiment

We're running low on toothpaste and I won't get to the store for more until at least tomorrow. So I decided to try a recipe I found on the internet. After some searching I found two that appealed: this one with coconut oil and a simpler one.

Since there's no coconut oil in the house I opted for the basic baking soda, peppermint oil, and water formula. It was very easy and cheap to mix up and simple to use. Unfortunately it tasted pretty bad. Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate and it tastes unpleasantly salty, especially while brushing my lower teeth.

Next time I might try the coconut oil version. I first heard about homemade toothpaste with coconut oil on my favorite crunchy mama blog, Clean (I buy her soaps) but since I don't stock stevia and coconut oil in the house I never tried it.

Why would I replace store-bought toothpaste with homemade?
  1. Cost. I buy toothpaste every month or two, and it's $5-$6 a tube. That's $35/year for what Alton Brown calls a unitasker. My 12 lb bag of baking soda cost $8 and it cleans my whole house for over a year.
  2. Knowledge of what I'm exposing myself and my family to. I don't know what all the ingredients in toothpaste (or any other commercial formula cleaning product) are. I buy them with the expectation that they are safe, but I don't know that for certain. Using food grade ingredients reassures me that we aren't swimming in a toxic soup when we clean our teeth.
  3. Fluoride is not a concern. We drink lots and lots of tap water.
  4. Because I can! It makes me feel like a very accomplished, self-sufficient person when I make toothpaste or dishwasher soap etc etc.
  5. Environmental impact. No toothpaste tube, just a reused jelly jar.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 17th, 2010 02:48 pm (UTC)
Cost used to be a big thing for us, but if you keep an eye on the drugstore deals and coupons, you can get toothpaste for free. I haven't paid for any in 3 years...

That said, I'll be interested in your experiments. I read about a few other homemade things (I already use homemade cleaners and WAHM-made laundry detergent) but having to keep some of them in the fridge was too off-putting.
Aug. 17th, 2010 05:59 pm (UTC)
Interesting. We've been using Tom's toothpaste for a while. We don't use a lot of toothpaste per brushing, maybe -- we don't seem to buy toothpaste often.

We use coconut oil for some cooking -- it has a nice flavor. It's a bit pricey but a little goes a long way.
Aug. 17th, 2010 08:04 pm (UTC)
My dentist says baking soda is way too harsh for teeth, it'll wear the enamel right off and even though it's in commercially available toothpastes, that doesn't make it any less harsh.

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )