In our quest to become more self reliant, we are always on the lookout for ways to make things for ourselves rather than buying them ready-made. Often the results are healthier for us and kinder to the planet — as well as costing less.

Recently, I decided we should start making our own toothpaste. I have seen various recipies for toothpastes and tooth powders in books and on the Internet. This one, which I found on Path to Freedom, appeals to us because it consists of just a few easily obtained ingredients.


6 teaspoons baking soda

1/3 teaspoon salt

4 teaspoons vegetable glycerin

15 drops natural peppermint essence (optional)
Combine all ingredients, mix well, and store in an airtight container.

Note: Kevin and I like a thicker toothpaste, and don’t mind if it’s not very sweet tasting, so we halve the quantity of glycerin in each batch. Also, we like to make at least a double mixture, since the quantity this recipe makes is pretty small.

We get a lot of satisfaction from this toothpaste. It contains no saccharin, no artificial flavourings or colourings, no flouride, no sodium laurel sulphate, no sodium laureth sulphate. . . to name just a few of the less desirable ingredients that can lurk in commercial toothpastes. It’s easy to make, and our teeth feel shiny and clean after using it.

But what say we ran out of vegetable glycerin, or even baking soda? Or what if we wanted to buy even fewer ingredients? Then what? Well, we could always clean our teeth with salt and sage leaves. We bought a tiny sage plant at the market last Saturday, so perhaps we’ll be able to try this before too long.

8 Responses to “Toothpaste”

  1. g..k..s..t..r says:

    Hello, where do you get vegetable glycerin from? I’m keen to try out this toothpaste.

  2. Rebecca says:

    We get the vegetable glycerine from “It’s Healthy,” the health food store in Kaitaia. I think that any well-stocked health food shop might have it, or be prepared to order some for you. You could also try a natural health-oriented chemist shop, though I’ve found that chemists tend only to stock the “regular” petrochemical glycerine.
    I hope this helps. Good luck with the toothpaste.

  3. Kevin in Boston says:

    I’ve been trying this recipe for the past month or two, minus the flavoring. Recently I stopped using the vegetable glycerin as well, as I found that it was somewhat expensive (compared to the baking soda and salt, which are dirt cheap!) and not as environmentally friendly being that it comes packaged in plastic. I found that leaving out the glycerin doesn’t make a difference as long as one first wets the toothbrush before dipping it into the container.

  4. Rebecca says:

    Hi Kevin,
    I’m interested to hear that the simple baking soda and salt mixture works so well. The glycerine is the most expensive element for us, too, though we are lucky to be able to buy it in re-fillable glass bottles. Eliminating the glycerine would surely make the recipe much more economical.
    Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  5. Deva says:

    You can use pure peppermint oil only. 2 drops on wettened brush.
    Healthy too – if you swallow any, it does nothing more than helping digestion. No sandpaper action, or unnecessary bleaching action. Tooth enamel is best spared those things. Excellent for gum health – anti-bacterial.

  6. Rebecca says:

    Hi Deva,
    Pure peppermint oil sounds like a great idea, and very gentle on the teeth. We’ll have to try that. Thanks for your comment.

  7. Julie says:

    Can anyone tell me where I can get 30-50ml jars or bottlesfrom in NZ?
    Orange ess and a drop of clove makes great tasting toothpaste too!

  8. Julie says:

    Hi Rebecca
    Just looked at your site
    You must have your baby by now!
    I expect you are very busy!
    I have made washing powder with old bits of soap and washing soda
    Its been very sucessfull
    1kg of washing soda 125g grated soap in the blender
    1 TBS per load Works well in cold water
    Blessings Julie