Why You Can (And Totally Should) Make Your Own Toothpaste

Oh, the irony. So many of the products we use for personal hygiene are actually full of not-so-clean chemicals. Fortunately, we now have more transparency about ingredients, so we can decide what to put on our shelves.

It may take some time and money to give your entire bathroom cabinet a health makeover, so it’s important to prioritize. First up? Toothpaste.

We all use toothpaste at least twice a day, so it only makes sense to make mindful choices about what we put on the brush. Many big-brand toothpastes contain propylene glycol and sodium fluoride, which pose moderate risks of toxicity according to GoodGuide, a top health-conscious rating site. Some of the most famous commercial brands boast cringe-worthy rankings, like a 4 out of 10. Who wants to swallow traces of methylparabens?

Fortunately, homemade toothpaste is incredibly easy to make and only takes a few ingredients and a few minutes.

A couple weeks ago, a friend and I pulled up a recipe from Wellness Mama, put in an order on Amazon (because who has calcium carbonate on hand?) and got to work the next weekend. The most surprising part is how easy it is to make. Just mix the items together—that’s it. Suddenly, you get a minty paste that is remarkably like store-bought toothpaste, with enough leftover ingredients to make more batches for months to come.

On my first brush, I noticed a pretty strong baking soda flavor, similar to Arm & Hammer toothpaste. It’s not the extra-spearmint, foamy-lather kind of toothpaste that I’m used to, but that’s precisely the point. The lack of foam is due to the lack of sodium lauryl sulfate, which I’m more than happy to omit. Instead, this toothpaste uses a simple base of coconut oil. (One side note: coconut oil hardens in colder temperatures, so if your bathroom gets chilly in the winter, you may need to break out a chunk with a spoon or popsicle stick instead of simply scooping it out. It still brushes just fine once you get water on it.)

Happy brushing!

5-Ingredient, 5-Minute DIY Toothpaste (inspired by Wellness Mama)

  • 5 T. Calcium carbonate
  • 2 T. Baking soda
  • 3 T. Xylitol (optional, for taste)
  • 4 T. Coconut oil
  • A few drops of essential oils (optional, for scent)

Mix together the calcium carbonate, baking soda, and xylitol. Slowly add the coconut oil until it achieves the texture of a paste. Flavor it with essential oils if desired.