How to Make Zero Waste Toothpaste
If you've wanted to know how to make your own zero waste toothpaste but haven't quite got there yet, take heart - it is so easy, it's unbelievable! Honestly, I can't find a reason to buy toothpaste again given that this option is cheaper, better for you and more environmentally kind. Here's the how and the why:
Homemade toothpaste is better for you
There is a LOT you can read online around this and, as ever, you'll find as many arguments for 'conventional' toothpaste as there are for these more natural alternatives. Do your research and discover what works for you. For me though, my understanding of the common ingredients in conventional toothpaste has led me down the homemade toothpaste route. Namely, Triclosan and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (the foaming agent) are described as potentially carcinogenic and contributing to antimicrobial resistance and, while the jury might not be fully out on this, I'd rather stay away. With the ingredients in this toothpaste there is zero risk.
Homemade toothpaste is cheaper
Technically, all you need to brush your teeth is a toothbrush - dry brushing is totally a thing. One step up and you can simply opt for using some bicarb. A 227g box (which is of course recyclable or compostable) of bicarb costs £1.47 - shake a spot of that on your brush and it costs near to nothing. I've chosen to add a couple more ingredients to my mix but the cost is still low. Other makers of homemade toothpaste suggest they save up to half the cost making it vs buying a conventional tube.
Homemade toothpaste is more environmentally FRIENDLY
When you buy conventional toothpaste it usually comes in a tube and a box. The box is, of course, recyclable but the tube? Most often this will end up in landfill. When you make your own, assuming your ingredients came in recyclable/reusable/zero waste packaging in the first place, you can just put your toothpaste in a jar and reuse it indefinitely which will seriously reduce the waste you produce in your bathroom. Pair this with homemade mouthwash and a biodegradeable toothbrush and you've got yourself a clean routine that produces a lot less waste than the average.
How to make Zero waste toothpaste
1. 3 tbsp Coconut oil
2. 1.5 tbsp Bicarbonate of soda
3. 15 drops of organic essential oil (I used peppermint)
4. 5 drops of teatree oil
5. tsp of himalayan salt (optional)
1. Mix all of the above together - if the coconut oil is a bit too solid to do this, run the jar under some hot water to melt it slightly
1. spoon a little mixture on to your brush and brush as normal. granted, it's a bit more fiddly than squeezing a spot from your normal tube, but we're talking seconds. We can do this!
If this is your first time trialling homemade toothpaste, you'll likely find the taste very peculiar. We are used to foaming for one (for which the potentially dangerous Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is to blame - a chemical that's added to most cleaning products)- something which you definitely won't find in this homemade toothpaste. Not only that but conventional toothpaste actually has quite a burny sensation - this doesn't have that either. We have been programmed to assign these sensations to cleanliness but it just isn't the case, so push through the unfamiliarity and keep going! As for the actual recipe, the great thing is that you can adjust these to what feels good for you. I added the salt as an example because the grains help act as a gentle abrasive, in addition to the bicarb, as well as having antibacterial properties. Same goes for the essential oils - play with amounts and flavours that work for you. Essentially, being made from natural ingredients, it's all good. You can't go wrong with this.