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Home made plastic free toothpowder

Home made plastic free toothpowder

My toothpaste was one of my first personal care items that I swapped for a plastic free home made alternative.

My first batch was made of bicarb soda and mint. The Builder being his usual supportive self gave my toothpowder a go. The first two weeks went by and we were happy with the switch to plastic free toothpowder. Then the mint began to fade. Instead of the fresh zing we started with we were left with a bicarb taste. It was not pleasant and the Builder fell off the wagon and swapped to an organic toothpaste.

The minty taste was not lasting and it could never mask the bicarb flavor enough. Out of determination and stubbornness I stuck with it and began experimenting using different ingredients. It was not just the plastic and packaging that kept me away from store bought toothpaste. After all TerraCycle allows fans to recycle their toothpaste tubes. It was the different chemical compounds plus the added fear of plastic microbeads in popular toothpastes that guided me to make the switch for a homemade tooth powder. Since I brush my teeth twice a day, everyday I wanted what ever I use to be safe, friendly and taste good. I wrote here about my promise that I would only put ingredients onto my body that I can put into my body. Simple. Kind. Handmade by nature. 5 ingredients or less. Making my own products affords me the knowledge and reassurance that there is nothing toxic and harmful making its way into my body or the environment.

I tried different combinations of coconut oil, mint, activated charcoal, salt and clove oil. But none of the recipes out there left a good taste in my mouth. I liked the hint of clove as it had a lovely fresh taste. I decided to match clove oil with sweet orange oil, cinnamon and bicarb to create a warming toothpowder. If you are from the northern hemisphere this will have you thinking of Thanksgiving and Christmas.


Clove, Cinnamon, Sweet Orange Plastic Free Toothpowder

Ingredients
5 tablespoons bicarb soda
10 drops clove oil
10 drops sweet orange oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder

Method
Add the bicarb into a jar. Add the clove oil. Put the lid onto the jar and shake vigorously. Open the jar and add the orange oil. Close and shake again. Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder and give a final shake.

If you want to make it a paste melt down 2-4 tablespoons of coconut oil and add to the mixture.

Home made plastic free toothpowder


Clove oil is antimicrobial, anti-fungal, antiseptic, and antiviral. Used for centuries in dental care clove oil continues to be a popular ingredient in mainstream toothpastes. You might see it on ingredients list as eugenol. Even though this is a natural product use with care. It is a painful product if used incorrectly.

Sweet orange oil is anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antispasmodic, antiseptic and boosts immunity. Plus it blends well with clove oil.

Cinnamon is also antimicrobial, antiviral and anti-fungal. 

This toothpowder has the thumbs UP from the Builder. I try not to make more than 5 table spoons at a time. This is so the powder keeps its taste. This quantity will last 3-4 months between the two of us.

You might think that paying between $15-20 for a oil is a bit much. Remember that these oils hold multiple uses and usually have around 100 drops per bottle. Clove oil is great for mould and mildew. Orange oil is perfect in home made household cleaning products.

I have a dentist appointment due in two months. I won't tell them what I use just to get an open and honest assessment of my teeth. Dentist approved!

Essential oils are not the perfect plastic free or zero waste item to buy. Check out Tiny Yellow Bungalow's recommendation on whether essential oils are necessary and choosing a more eco friendly option.

Do you make your own plastic free toothpaste/toothpowder?

35 comments

  1. Excellent! Definitively prefer with coconut oil, much more easy to spread!

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    1. It is :) I am going to wait until it is a little warmer here so i can get some oil into mine easier.

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  2. This is so interesting! Please share with us how the dentist appointment goes would love to find out :) x

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    1. I will thanks Kamina. Fingers crossed my mouth is healthy.

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  3. This is so cool, I'm definitely going to have to give this a try one day. Excited to see if your dentist can tell a difference.

    xx Sarah | Loser Girl Wins

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    1. Thank Sarah. I will do a detailed post about my dentist experience. Probably won't happen until December. x

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  4. Such a unique recipe, thanks for sharing. Never thought to put orange in toothpaste, though I loved that Marvis flavor. Will have to try this right away!

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    1. Tell me how you go. I am thinking of new flavors all the time. I really do not like the bicarb taste :(

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  5. Hi Erin, I know this is such a late comment but I only just discovered your blog. I thought i'd share my experience with natural toothpastes. I used to use bicarb and coconut oil but it was too rough for me and my gums bled whilst brushing. So I changed to bentonite clay and it's been great ever since. This is the recipe I use:

    2 tablespoons Bentonite Clay
    1 tablespoon Cinnamon Powder
    20 drops Peppermint oil
    Pinch of Salt
    Water until the mixture is paste (according to yr preference of thickness)

    There are variations of recipes out there, I tweaked mine to my preference of taste :) I find that this fills up a 100ml bottle and mine lasted 5 months (I use this alone, no family members share this practice)

    I have to say that this paste will thicken a bit more over the next few days. Maybe adding more water to it might help but I don't worry about it because it's still "paste-y" enough for me to take a scoop out of the jar and onto my toothbrush.

    P.S. you need to use a wooden spoon or ice cream stick for stirring. When I did my research, it was advised against using metal bowls or spoons since the clay absorbs the metals and becomes less effective.

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    1. P.S. I LOVE your blog! Been reading post after post and cant get enough :) So happy to find someone in Melbourne who lives the life I aspire (many bloggers I come across are mostly overseas)....my change is a slow progress as I'm a student and live with 5 other family members who live a traditional lifestyle if I can call it that? I am the odd one in the family but they don't mind :)

      Also I never knew about bulk foods! I'm excited to try it and make the chg to no plastic. I'm working towards living a Permaculture lifestyle...step 1: learning to grow my own food.

      Anyhoo I look forward to reading many more of your wonderful posts :)

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    2. Thanks Sharal - I did look into bentonite clay some moths ago but could not find it anywhere package free. Do you get yours in Melbourne package free?

      Thanks for the kind words about my blog. It's great to connect with a fellow Melburniun. Check out the Bulk App if you have not already. It is a fantastic resource.

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    3. Oh I didnt even think of that :( I bought mine online several months ago and it did come in plastic packaging. Feel really silly right now. Reducing plastic is going to be a real challenge...i dont want to go back to normal toothpaste and i cant do bicarb. Hmmm....i need to do some serious research to find bentonite in plastic free packaging. Thank you for making me aware Erin. Wish me luck!

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    4. There might be someone in Melbourne who could do it plastic free - Try www.bronevanskinesiology.com. I emailed them ages ago and she would allow me to leave a container and she would fill it up from her own supply. I live on the other side of the city and never got over there to do it. Hope that is of some help :)

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    5. Thank you so much! Will email them and will let you know how it goes :)

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    6. Hi,
      Have just been reading your blog.
      Did you ever find Bentonite package free? I just thought I'd mention that Biome sell it in glass jars.

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    7. Yes, I have. I did try it but didn't like the taste. My local Source Bulk Foods has it in stock.

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  6. If you have a fireplace try using soot (Yes!) the carbon makes the teeth sparkle and was widely used in Victorian times. It also deodorizes. My grandparents used it. These were coal-burning fireplaces so not sure wood is the same. Might want to check it though. It doesn't leave your mouth all black either.

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  7. Myrrh used as a mouthwash is excellent for healing gums.

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    1. We don't have a fireplace at our house. I have tried activated charcoal on my teeth and you are right, it makes them very white. Thanks for the tip about myrrh.

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  8. Are you still using this recipe? No problems at the dentist?

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    1. Hi Tam, Yes this recipe is still in use. No issues at the dentist and I still have all my teeth :)

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  9. Thank you for the recipe! I'd like to give it a try. I don't have access to organic oils and those available might be of questionable quality. My friend brought be a case of high quality oils which contain no clove oil. What would you recommend to substitute it with? There's orange oil in the set. And also tea-tree, peppermint, lemongrass, eucalyptus, lavender.Thank you!

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    1. I know some people will put salt in their homemade toothpaste and team it with peppermint. I am not sure how salt and orange would mix together. Clove oil has been used for dental hygiene for a long time.

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  10. Hi Erin,
    Just wondering if you use floss?

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    1. No I don't and have yet to find a floss that has no plastic. It's very hard! I just make sure to brush my teeth well.

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  11. I've been using the toothpowder we made after your talk at the St Kilda Town Hall and it's ACE!! I'm so happy with it. My previous recipe tasted awful and was much too harsh on my gums. This recipe is fantastic. My teeth are squeeky clean! Also, now Lush has decided to put their Toothy Tabs in plastic bottles instead of a cardboard box, there is no other alternative to go plastic free but to make your own. I will keep using this for sure.

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    1. Yay!! I am so happy to hear you are enjoying the tooth powder. It's a shame that Lush have decided to discontinue the cardboard packaging.

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    2. I found that Lush were more than happy to put the toothy tabs in my own container, they can then re-use the container for someone else. Try asking them :)

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    3. Hey B La'Belle, that is great to hear! I'll be sure to check this out too.

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  12. Hi Erin,
    I have been using bicarb soda, coconut oil, and peppermint essential oil for a couple of months now. When I'm in Melbourne next I'm going to pick up some oils to try your recipe!
    I was just wondering how your dentist appointment went?

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    1. Dentist has given me the A-OK :) You might be able to get the clove oil from your local chemist.

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  13. Anonymous6/05/2016

    Hi, where do you get your oils from? I've looked at oils and haven't found any without a plastic lid. Thank you!

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    1. I have not found anywhere in Melbourne that sell oils in bulk or without a plastic lid yet.

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  14. Hi Erin, I just wanted to tell you how wonderful and amazingly lovely this tooth powder is. I am super pleased with the mouthfeel of this powder and how clean my teeth feel after. Would it be okay with you if I shared your "recipe" on my blog, linking it back to you and giving you credit for originality. My blog is address is "stayhomeinstead.blogspot.com.au"

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    1. Hey Fiona, I am so happy to know you like it so much. You are more than welcome to share it on your blog. Thanks, Erin

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