If you want to cut your budget while cutting out potential toxins, DIY toothpaste is a simple way to do it! Here’s 2 recipes to choose from – or make both!
Probably seems like overkill to make your own toothpaste, right? Usually, toothpaste is fairly inexpensive—unless you want, you know, “good” toothpaste (think Tom’s of Maine). Normally, I wouldn’t have worried about it too much. I mean, we just spit it out. How bad could it be to just have those nasty additives and whatnot in our mouths for just a few seconds?
Then K sprouted baby-teeth. And decided that toothpaste is delicious. Chemicals in my baby = bad.
Like I said, there’s some good brands of toothpaste out there—but they get a little harder to fit into our very tiny little budget-baby (and I am adamant about not growing my budget-baby). Fortunately, it’s super easy and super cheap to just make your own!
As the title suggests, I made two separate batches—one child-safe, one whitening. For the “child safe” toothpaste, it’s okay if they swallow it. I’m still in the process of trying to teach K what I mean when I say “spit it out.” For those of you who have little ones who also swallow their toothpaste (or if you simply don’t have or don’t want to use the peroxide), this is the recipe for you.
For the “whitening” toothpaste, yes, the recipe is made in “parts.” That’s not only so that quantities can be adjusted to your liking (I imagine many households need more than a baby food jar’s worth at a time) and to your desired strength. It’s really impossible to “mess up” this recipe—as long as all the ingredients are in there, congratulations; it’s toothpaste. The texture will vary greatly though, depending on which ingredient you added in abundance. So, if you don’t like the texture, flavor, or consistency of your first batch, just keep adding and tweaking until it’s the way you want it.
To contain the toothpaste, I used re-purposed baby food jars, courtesy of my MIL (I did baby-led weaning with K, so we didn’t really have any baby food jars around here). Because the consistency of the toothpaste that I’ve made is very “squeezable,” I actually think it could work in a regular tube if you just lop off the bottom, scoop it in, and figure out a way to seal it up. If you do, let me know. I was doing that for awhile, but I couldn’t seem to keep it from squeezing out of the bottom. It was a huge mess. So, for now, we’re back to dipping our brushes into jars. Maybe a frosting bag? But then, I have problems with messes there, too—I might just be too messy for squeezy containers.
Here are the recipes:
Child-Safe Homemade Toothpaste
1/3 c. baking soda
5-8 drops peppermint essential oil (or to taste)
sweetener, such as xylitol or powdered stevia (to taste)
1 drop tea tree oil
*Mix all ingredients together and scoop into your desired container. For K, to get her used to the flavor, we started out by barely dipping the tip of her brush into it, then worked up to the tiny little amount we use now. She made a face once, but (perhaps because she’s still in the stage when toothbrushes are AWESOME), she’s never rejected the toothpaste.
Whitening Homemade Toothpaste
2 parts coconut oil
2 parts baking soda
1 part hydrogen peroxide
8-10 drops of peppermint oil (or to taste)
Sweetener, such as xylitol or powdered stevia (to taste)
1-2 drops tea tree oil
*Mix all ingredients together, and scoop into your desired container. Do not fill your container more than halfway, because it expands! I found this out the hard way. It so happened that I had not filled my container to the top anyway, but it still puffed up enough for me to have a slight spillage into my bathroom cabinet. So leave it some room to grow!
I highly recommend the addition of the tea tree oil to both recipes, because tea tree oil is a very powerful natural disinfectant (it’s also kind of pleasantly minty—but do NOT use more than called for, because the flavor is very, very strong). Your toothpaste will still clean without it, thanks to the other ingredients, all of which contribute some elbow grease (yes, even the coconut oil, which has antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties —more on that here), but it’s a nice little addition to your bad-breath and bacteria-fighting arsenal.
Please note that, because there is coconut oil in this recipe, yes, it will melt on hot days. That won’t affect anything about the way the toothpaste works, but you might need to stir it up or stick it in the fridge (since I made my first batch in September, I didn’t run into this, but I imagine I will come summer!). Also, for those with coconut allergies, you can leave that ingredient out. That will mean that your toothpaste doesn’t “bind” very well, and you might need to stir it more frequently, but it will still get your teeth clean!
God bless, and may all your budget-babies stay little!
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