DIY Teeth Whitening

Want whiter teeth without all the horrible chemicals and shocking pricetag of a storebought kit? Try this simple method of whitening your teeth at home!

DIY teeth whitening

**Note: This post has gotten a lot of attention lately! Some people have chimed in and given some  good information about enamel, gums, etc. This recipe, which I received from a dental hygienist, might not be appropriate for everyone, and every whitening treatment carries risks. *But,* I’ve been happy with it for the last few years, and happy with the results. It seems a lot safer and gentler to use two ingredients than those whitening pastes that contain 25 or more strange chemical ingredients! If for some reason you’re uncomfortable with it, there’s always the option to buy a whitening paste such as Plus White {affiliate link}, and just use the trays!

I remember seeing a girl in college a few years back with these dazzling white teeth—seriously, the whitest, prettiest teeth I’d ever seen. I overheard someone else admiring them, and she started sharing her secret—she drank nothing but water, never ate tomatoes or any tomato products, no tea, no soda, no coffee, no fun, no happiness… I kind of shrugged to myself. Yes, lovely. But so not worth it. I love coffee. I love tomatoes. Pretty much, if it’s going to stain my teeth, then I really like the taste.

I used to buy those little whitening kits. The ones that cost almost as much as a mortgage payment. I don’t buy them anymore, what with the other things I have to buy now, like food and clothing.

Sure enough, what with my steady diet of coffee, I started to miss them before too long. My teeth weren’t awful—but they sure weren’t as white as I would prefer them to be.

Something had to be done—so I figured out how to make my own whitening kit. And unlike the store-bought counterparts, my whitening kit costs just pennies per use. I can do pennies!

Although I don’t use the same whitening agent as she does, my method was largely inspired by this video from makeup artist Kandee Johnson.

First thing you’ll need is one of these:

Sports-section mouthguards are perfect whitening trays.

Yes, it’s a mouth guard. You can find them in the sports section for a buck or two—although I got a ton of them (new in the package!) at a garage sale for $0.10 apiece. Some poor kid’s broken-collarbone-in-the-first-scrimmage-of-football-season loss was my cheap-beauty-product gain.

Directions for getting a good fit should be on the package, and to prevent any kind of accident, you should follow them. I suggest not being totally chicken about putting something hot in your mouth, as I am, because you’ll end up doing the steps to fit the tray more than once.

Kandee’s technique involves that stuff in the tube—I don’t know much about it, since I’ve never been able to find it anywhere—but mine is made with much simpler products (and if you are big on DIY, you probably already have them on hand).

Here’s the recipe:

2 parts baking soda

1 part hydrogen peroxide (found by the first aid stuff)

Mix the two together until you get a toothpaste consistency. Fill the tray like so…

Now just pop it in your mouth and let those chompers turn back into pearls!

I leave mine in for about ten minutes, mostly because by that time, I am tired of not being able to move my face and want to be done. You can leave the tray in for twenty minutes or so, but by then, the strength of the peroxide might be irritating your gums.

Remember, you’re not going to get super-white teeth overnight with this method—it might take a week or two for you to achieve the whiteness you’re looking for (which is how long most store bought kits take, anyway).

I hope you give this a try, and happy whitening!

Jaime W. (408 Posts)

Jaime is a Christian, a wife, a mom, a writer, an illustrator, and an aspiring homesteader. She loves trying to find new ways to save money and resources--but also save her time, so she can spend as much as possible with her family! !


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Comments

  1. Love it :) looks like the mouth guard I wear at night

  2. I had considered doing this but have heard that it can be quite hard on tooth enamel. I started making my own toothpaste using eggshells and coconut oil as my main ingredients, coconut oil because it is a natural whitener. I’ve been using it for a few months now and after a couple of weeks my teeth were so much whiter plus they are no longer sensitive and feel so clean.
    http://becomingkindred.com/blog/2012/11/8/homemade-toothpaste-using-eggshells-or-calcium

  3. Should you brush your teeth afterwards with regular toothpaste? Or before? Or not at all? Thanks :)

  4. samantha says:

    I read somewhere that baking soda is bad for the enamel. and plus wouldn’t the chemicals be bad for your mouth?

    • Baking soda is fine for your teeth, it’s in most toothpastes. And hydrogen peroxide is in most teeth whitening agents anyway.

      • Baking soda is in a lot of toothpaste, and it is bad for your teeth enamel.
        Reason I don’t buy baking soda toothpaste.

        • It is not bad for your enamel. Most dentists use it in the brand of toothpaste they prescribe and it is also in most leading dental waxes.

  5. What about your bottom teeth? Put it in up-side-down?

  6. Congratulations on teaching people how to ruin their teeth with this very unsafe method!!! So bad for your gums and will ruin the enamel of your teeth! How can anyone think this is a good idea?!

  7. As a dental professional, nothing bothers me more than people saving a few dollars and then coming in to see me with damage that costs thousands to repair. When bleach trays are made by your dental office, we warn the patient of how much sensitivity can occur and trays are molded to your teeth to prevent excess going onto your gums. Hydrogen peroxide sitting on your teeth in the form of this mouthguard can cause so much damage! Just buy the OTC white strips, those actually work, and you can easily find coupons to help with the cost.
    But please don’t do this without consulting with your dental professional..and patient’s with any type of gum/systemic disease- especially stay away from this.

  8. Are you crazy? BLEACH directly on your teeth? Why don’t you just have em all pulled and replaced and have done with it? You’ll be able to look at your teeth every night …. In the glass in your bathroom – crumbling but yeah, white alright – in bits in the bottom of the glass :( so don’t do it! Like your eyes, when they’re gone, they’re really gone!

    • It’s not bleach on the teeth…read the recipe.

      • Peroxide is a bleaching agent.

        • When I was a teenager , I got a infection in my gums, my dentist had me bush my teeth with this same mixture. I dont remember seeing any whiting, but then again I was only a teenager so my teeth were already still pretty white, but I wonder if this would work just brushing with it instead of having it set on your teeth. May take longer to get results. They do sell toothpaste with both of there in it.

        • Hydrogen peroxide is safe: even on the bottle is says “Oral (Mouth) Debriding Agent, Used as a topical agent or a rinse”

  9. I’m using baking soda and lemon juice, just brushing no guard….but every now and then adding a small amount od peroxide wouldn’t be to bad….maybe every two wks….brushing with soda alone once a day will make a huge difference….

    • Lemmon juice (along with anything that acidic) is HORRIBLE on your enamel. As is full strength hydrogen peroxide. If you are going to use hydrogen peroxide, you should at least dilute it by 4 X’s with water. (1 part hydrogen peroxide to 4 parts water) it takes longer but won’t ruin your teeth as much. I’m in dental hygiene school and we are just learning this.

    • Lemon juice has got to be hands down the worst thing for teeth enamel. Its so acidic it just eats right through. I would HIGHLY suggest you stop using lemon juice,

  10. While everyone is being super rude and berating this girl for her post, did anyone bother to look into the main and active ingredient for Crest White Stripes? You guessed it, hydrogen peroxide. Most bottles are only 3.5% peroxide and the rest is purified water. Everyone is going to have a different opinion, just like one day something is a super food and the next day it causes cancer, but you don’t have to be rude. Thank you for the post, I’ve been needing a frugal way to whiten, and after doing research, I think this is the method I will go with.

    • Thank you for adding this. There are many extremely rude comments on this page.
      If you were to do this every single day for the rest of your life, I would imagine there is a chance that the ingredients could cause harm, just as with everything else that is taken over the top.
      But, my dentist has told me to gargle with peroxide regularly to help with the canker sores I get regularly.
      I guess he knows nothing. *eye roll*

  11. I remember when I was younger and my family didn’t have money to take us to the dentist, (NO we were never on Medicaid or other government assistance) we had to save up so I could go because I had a tooth that was bothering me. The Dentist told me to brush with Baking soda, salt and a little peroxide for 2 weeks then go back for him to fix my tooth. After reading all these comments on here, guess he didn’t learn anything when he was in school! Yikes!!

    Jaime, thanks for sharing your idea. If someone does not want to use it then they will find something else. You aren’t forcing anyone to do it, so sorry you are getting so many negative comments about it.

  12. Melissa Morrow says:

    Just a few facts for all the negative comments…Baking soda is actually far less abrasive than any commercial toothpaste (look it up) and H2O2 sold over the counter is usually only 3.5% whereas the lowest percentage of H2O2 gel sold in the dental office is usually 9% but they typically give patients a much higher percentage then that. As a dental professional, I see nothing wrong with this at home DIY other than that it may take a little longer than the professional methods. One should be careful letting H2O2 sit on your gums for too long. If it starts to burn or if you notice the inside of your lips or cheeks starting to “peel”, I would discontinue use. But never fear! As long as you use common sense, any “damage” will heal. If you start to notice tooth sensitivity (as is common with any whitening treatment), try a sensitivity toothpaste and leave the whitening solution on for less time. No one treatment is the right choice for everyone! Happy whitening! Thanks for the post :-)

  13. Why viewers still use to read news papers when in this technological globe the
    whole thing is presented on web?

  14. Rachael F says:

    Just tried this.. I lasted the whole of four minutes before I had to spit it out. By far the most disgusting thing I have ever tried from Pinterest! I could barely stop myself from gagging!
    Looks like I’ll be going back to whitening strips!

  15. I tried it. It didn’t work too well because I couldn’t keep any of the mixture inside the trays…as gross as it sounds I drooled it all out before 20 minutes came.

    I think it is a good idea, but my suggestion would be to look at Groupon or other discount sites to find an at home whitening kit. My problem with the at home whitening kits is that the trays are usually to large for my mouth and do not make contact with my teeth – even after molding them. I think it would be beneficial to purchase the whitening gel and use the idea from this post to buy a mouth guard rather than a custom made tray. For this, I purchased 2 youth sized mouth guard (one for top, one for bottom) and after boiling them and cutting off some of the ends they fit my mouth very well.

    After brushing my teeth and getting the mixture off – my mouth does feel a lot cleaner than when I normally use toothpaste, floss and mouth wash. That is the benefit of the peroxide as a gargle/rinse. I know a male that dips a lot. He rinses his mouth with peroxide as a mouth wash each day. His teeth are amazingly white!!

  16. One problem not mentioned in the previous comments is the danger of using hydrogen peroxide with amalgam (mercury) fillings. There is good data that shows MORE mercury is released in your mouth when those fillings are exposed to hydrogen peroxide. This is not a good thing. If you have no fillings… whiten away with this method. But if you DO have “silver” fillings, please do some research first.

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  18. I put a little baking soda in a small cup with a lid, then pore in a little peroxide. Shake that to mix, then put a little bit of toothpaste on my tongue and then take a swig of the mixture. I’ll swish that like mouthwash. Maybe a minute or two. I usually do it right before stepping in the shower a couple times a week or so. It seems to work really well and leaves my mouth feeling very clean.

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