Friday, April 4, 2008

Yummy Homemade Toothpaste!

If you are like me and use flouride-free toothpaste without SLS and other yucky ingredients, you are likely paying a lot for toothpaste. Any of the brands we have found that meet the criteria we are looking for cost about $5.00 per tube, for a not-so-family-sized tube. (If you don't understand why someone would want toothpaste without flouride, then you may want to do some homework on your own. When I found out that Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Austria, France and The Netherlands have banned fluoride, I figured it was something worth looking into. Here are a few articles to get you started: Weston A. Price  Foundation articles and Dr. Mercola's site .)

Because I have been focused obsessed with "bringing back home" (making/creating/growing our own or even eliminating our "need") all the items that I reasonably can, and our family has been making concerted efforts to end our own consumerism, I was intrigued to find instructions for making your own toothpaste on the MOMYS digest.  The fact that it is potentially cheaper is also a bonus, although I haven't yet crunched the numbers.

Here's the recipe I used~

Mix together:

~2 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil (I buy this from Mountain Rose Herbs - $121 for a 5-gallon bucket.)

~3 Tablespoons of Baking Soda

~5 drops Peppermint Essential oil

~5 drops Spearmint Essential Oil

~a pinch of Stevia powder

I have used baking soda to brush my teeth before (and felt a bit like a martyr because the taste was less-than-desirable), but this was incredible! I am so thrilled at how well it turned out! The coconut oil gives it a creamy consistency, and holds the Baking Soda together, while the Stevia and essential oils gives it a yummy flavor. (I chose to use part Spearmint instead of all Peppermint because the Spearmint doesn't have that "hot" mouth feel that Peppermint does. This is important to little people!) Note: I feel safe allowing these essential oils to be used in a situation where they could possibly be ingested because 1) the amounts are so small, and 2) both Spearmint and Peppermint essential oils are on the FDA's GRAS (generally recognized as safe) list.

It doesn't have that foamy effect that commercial toothpaste has, but I actually appreciate that - it doesn't get the bathroom sink so dirty, and it doesn't gag this pregnant woman like the foamy kind does. I was amazed at how well it turned out, but the best part was how quick it was to mix together. It literally took less than five minutes including the time it took to gather the oils from another room. Our stores change brands of toothpaste so quickly, that I couldn't have picked out toothpaste in the store as quickly as that because of reading labels. We mixed it in a tiny wide mouth half-pint canning jar, and just dip dry toothbrushes in it. Don't get grossed out... remember coconut oil is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, so it will even keep the toothbrushes more sanitary.
This business of bringing stuff back home is so much fun!


  1. It's the SLS that makes that nasty foamy stuff...another reason to be glad it doesn't foam. I can't wait to try this :)

  2. I love your posts of homemade "recipes". I just wanted to ask about the baking soda. I've been reading for some time that baking soda is a bit too abrasive for using in toothpaste as it is hard on gums and actually wears down enamel over time. Have you read anything about that??

  3. Wow! I can't wait to try this! Thanks so much for sharing. This so huge for me. I've recently been drawn to doing more things "homemade" too. I know YHWH is gently showing me the alternatives. Thanks.

  4. This is a wonderful idea. I was wondering if you could make this in a fruit flavor? My children dislike mint and I've been buying the strawberry Tom's of Maine. It taste nice but the price is ridiculous.
    Thank you for your beautiful blog.

  5. oldpathsfamilyfarmApril 4, 2008 at 6:06 PM

    I had read some about that too, but I'm not totally convinced because I have seen so much saying that it is *not* too abrasive. The fact that all toothpaste has abrasives in it (that is part of how they work), and all the baking soda toothpastes on the market, make me wonder. We have used baking soda toothpastes for years, and not found any differences in our tooth sensitivity, etc., and the dentist hasn't mentioned anything unusual... so I'm thinking I'm OK with it for now. I'll keep my eyes open just in case.

    Yes! I had thought of this, too, in case the Littles still don't like the mint. For some reason orange came to mind... lemon, orange and tangerine essential oils are on the GRAS list, so I might try some of those. The other idea I had was, "Couldn't we just use flavoring extracts? (like vanilla?)" I haven't tried that yet, though. I can't think of any reason why it has to be mint. It's just what we're all used to, I guess.

  6. AWESOME, Julie! I skipped right over this, for some reason, on Momys.

    I'm going to do it.

    Many of the oils are fine for ingestion - even by children, particularly in the amount you are speaking of using. I think the orange sounds good, too!

  7. Your timing as ussual is excellent! I had sat down to the computer to "search" for a good toothpaste replacement and as always, was very blessed to see it here!

    Question for you there anything you can think of that would help in keeping the coconut oil "softer". Right now it is much to thick to dip our toothbrushes in.

    I know that just keeping it a bit warmer would help, that is easier said then done here! Unless I store it near the wood stove.

  8. oldpathsfamilyfarmApril 7, 2008 at 4:57 AM


    Now this isn't very profound... or scientific... but what we are doing while it is still chilly in the bathrooms is to use the bottom (handle part) of our toothbrush to scoop up a little "pile" in the jar, then it is easier to scoop it up onto our brush.

    So, this doesn't keep it any softer, but it might help anyway. (Hopefully?)

  9. Could I add a little tea tree oil to this too? My husband prefers that with his toothpaste. The store bought stuff is expensive!!

  10. oldpathsfamilyfarmApril 8, 2008 at 10:22 AM


    I would think so! One of our favorites of the store bought toothpaste had a tea tree oil and cinnamon combination that was yummy... but a little to "spicy" for the children.

    I imagine we could experiment a lot with this!

  11. What kind of coconut oil do you need to make this? (I have the 76 degree melt point..for making soap.) It's only $61.50 for 50 lbs at soaper's (I say "only" but it has gone up a lot recently!) Didn't know if that would save you $ or if maybe you are buying organic stuff? They have that too. (Everything is food grade, the company is owned by Columbus Foods in OH)

    I have been wanting to do the home-made toothpaste thing...I think I'll try this recipe. Where do I get stevia?

    Thanks for sharing!


  12. oldpathsfamilyfarmApril 9, 2008 at 12:51 PM


    Yes, you could use that kind since it is food grade!

    The kind I get is virgin (expeller pressed) and organic, so that is why it is more costly.

    But I want to check out that site anyway...I am trying to find a less expensive source for the olive oil that I use for making soap. It isn't castille soap, but the amount of olive oil adds up quickly, and Sam's Club is my current source. Thanks!

  13. You can use sunflower and rice bran oil in exchange for the olive oil. I will cost less. Just keep the sunflower to 10-15% of your soft foundation oils. DO check out the site. It has the best deals around!

  14. Wonderful recipe!! Thank you so much for posting it! We also try to make as much as we can from home and follow WAP and Nourishing Traditions. I'm currently using a tooth powder that a local woman makes for me, but DH doesn't like using the power, so this toothpaste might be just the ticket! Between that and swishing around some hydrogen peroxide in my mouth after brushing, my teeth are in better shape than ever.

  15. Wow! I just stumbled over her from Tammy's Recipes. Looks like you are on the same path as I am. Thanks for passing on this recipe. I am so thrilled to find a good alternative and another wonderful use for coconut oil, since I use it in my deoderant, moisterizer, and practically everything else. ;) Can't wait to read more from you!

  16. oldpathsfamilyfarmApril 10, 2008 at 4:44 PM


    Oops... I forgot about the Stevia question. I get it from a health food co-op that delivers to my house, but I have seen it at health food stores and several of the Kroger grocery stores that have a Natural/Organic section. It is also available from tons of sites online.


    Funny to see you here! I was just at your place this week taking notes on a *certain* homemade-from-cloth-article that I am about to start making. Now... if only there was a way to make the peroxide taste good, we'd be in great shape!

    I'm so glad you dropped by! I love to have my children read courtship stories, and I look forward to having them read yours!

  17. Hey Julie...

    I'm with you on the baking soda. I don't really agree with the abrasion issue. People used it for decades with no problem.

    Also, wanted to ask if you have a "recipe" for deoderant? I have tried baking soda in a natural lotion base...and baking soda in several different bases...and it eventually stings in the pits. :)

    AND...I wanted you to know that I bought some PUL from a place on line for home-made "girl" products. I bought it in a pretty brown color, and that, coupled with some thrifted brown and pink floral flannel made up SO nice. It is waterproof, highly washable...and just excellent quality. I put a snap on it, voila'...awesome. Doesn't it feel great to be thrifty and to not rely on BIG manufacturers for things our bodies and our babies need? YAY!

    Thank you for the soaperschoice link! WOOHOO!

  18. Okay. I'm back. I LOVE the toothpaste. I didn't want to stop brushing. :)

    I'm going to let the kids choose their own oil and make their own.

  19. oldpathsfamilyfarmApril 12, 2008 at 4:53 AM

    OK, Holly-Belle,

    I'm gonna contact you with some questions on the girl stuff before I start sewing!

    I haven't come up with a recipe I like for deodorant yet. Still trying out stuff as I come across new ideas. We are sticking with the crystals for now, but I hate it that they shatter so badly when they are dropped (or knocked over by a Little Person).

    And do you know how relieved I am to hear you loving the toothpaste? I thought I was a little weird for getting so excited about it. I just ordered orange essential oil, and can't wait to try it with the Littles! Let us know what "flavors" y'all end up liking best!

    I love homemade. Homemade anything!

  20. My daughter said that if you didn't like everyone dipping their toothbrushes into the jar, you could just reuse baby food jars for each individual person. I thought, GREAT IDEA!

  21. [...] is preferred over natural toothpastes because it also does not contain sodium lauryl sulfate. Homemade Toothpaste recipe - This is homemade recipe made with coconut oil, baking soda & essential oils. I have tried it [...]

  22. I saw a recipe for homemade deodorant at Use equal portions baking soda and arrowroot powder (or cornstarch). Mix in coconut oil to the consistency you like. I have made two small batches of this and am pleased. The soda absorbs odors, arrowroot/cornstarch thicken, and coconut oil is to moisturize (sp?). This will get hard as it cools and runnier as it warms. I left in a small dish and scooped out with fingers. I want to try refilling an old deodorant container with it. Hope this helps!

  23. Thanks Julie for the recipe & tips, I'm going to run right out and get some coconut oil and give it a try - we don't do flouride either.

    Hope all is well with you and your wee ones.

  24. While I was at the health food store, picking up the essential oils, I got more info on stevia versus xylitol. Xylitol is more beneficial, "Dentists & Nutritionists alike encourage the use of Xylitol due to its unique and clinically proven dental benefits. Xylitoal is a sugar alcohol that cannot be utilized by bacteria in the mouth." (I'm quoting the box.)

  25. Just wanted you to know that I tried your toothpaste recipe, and LOVE it! I used tea tree and peppermint EOs and it was EVERYTHING I was hoping it'd be. Plus, I talked to our dentist (who is also our naturopath) and he was thrilled with the ingredients. So THANKS!

  26. I LOVE YOUR SITE!!!!! I was just looking for a toothpaste recipe w/o baking soda, but I found your awesome site! Thanks for putting all these great things out here. I have alot to learn, and some things to share too!!

  27. Hey there! Thanks for the wonderful recipe, it's great. Oh, and just a heads up, I get my coconut oil for around $95 per 5gallon bucket here:

  28. Hey Mrs Julie! Yep...Im writing from Israel. i just read your most recent toothpaste blog post. lol pretty cool. well just wanted to say hi and that im looking forward to seeing your new little ones when i get home. you can check out my blog too if you wanna see pics of what we been up to here. It's im trying to keep it updated as best as i can. love you all lots, ~Meghan

  29. I used your toothpaste recipe and love it. Kids are not too keen on it yet, but I think it's still the baking soda taste they need to get used to. Instead of spearmint and peppermint oils, I use 5 drops of anise oil, 5 drops of spearmint oil, and about 10-15 drops of orange flavoring. It's Frontier Natural Flavors Alcohol-Free Orange Flavor. It's all-natural, and I found it in my local Nature's Way store. Ingredients are canola oil and orange oil. In the last batch I made, I also added 5 drops of tea tree oil and a half dropper of ginger extract. This is by New Chapter, and it's in a 2-ounce bottle with a dropper. It's called Daily Ginger Extract. I use stevia, but I am excited to try xylitol instead on the next batch I make. I really like the toothpaste. My mouth feels dentist-clean, and that feeling seems to last a lot longer into the day than regular toothpaste! Oh, I also have tried cinnamon powder in with the mix above (for flavor -- it goes well with the orange and anise). Thanks for a great site and for submitting the recipe in the first place!

  30. My dentist told me using only baking soda long term can cause teeth & gums to deteriorate.I believe I have some kind of a toothpaste allergy--definitely no cinammon. a ver common cause of perioral(around the mouth) redness and flakiness. Hydrogen peroxide not diluted is too strong and I think have sensitivity to that also. I was looking for a homemade recipe without the BS, & SLS. The tea tree oil sounds good as well as orange oil.

  31. I make my own too... just made some this morning and I have the smell of myrrh and clove on my hands. I'd like to try the coconut oil- thanks for the tip. I use olive oil, baking soda, and all these oils in one jar of toothpaste: clove, myrrh, peppermint, grapefruit (or orange),cinnamon. All those oils are good for the gums.

  32. Fabulous recipe! I am going to gather all of the ingredients and give it a try. I am so excited that so many have tried this and love it. I am sure we will also. I will let you know.

  33. So glad I found your site! What about using a squeeze bottle or a pastry bag (cloth, wax paper ) as a dispenser for the tooth paste.


  34. I am thinking the stevia is vital in this recipe because without it I couldn't call it "yummy". :o) I thought about picking some up ut I've read some concerning studies. I tried a bit of honey as a natural sweetner but it didn't help. Any other natural sweetners you would consider? Thanks!

  35. Thank you for the recipe, I have tried it with tea tree oil and without any essential oils. I have not added stevia either while it is pretty difficult to get it here and I don't like sweet taste either. Is there any other reason than getting the toothpaste more tasteful in using stevia?

  36. This sounds great ~ we are making effort as we go along to make homemade things as much as possible.

  37. i was just wondering how to store this toothpaste in heat? i made an altered version of coconut oil baking soda and salt, it stayed great in the winter but now that it is hot outside as well as in, the mixture has gotten soupy and i'm afraid it will go rancid.

  38. I found this recipe looking for natural toothpastes for my dog and it works great (I left out the mint). He likes the taste much better than other toothpastes for dogs. My concern however is the amount of sodium in the baking soda since he is just a 10 lb guy so I am going to try powdered calcium instead. Wish me luck! Thanks again, Jess

  39. SweetLeaf Stevia makes liquid flavored stevias that would work wonderful for children. Some of the flavors we like are grape, orange, and rootbeer. They now have a new berry flavor I haven't tried yet. We use them to sweeten and flavor our homemade lemonade, but I was thinking that might be the answer to getting the children to like the taste? I'm anxious to give this recipe a try! Thanks for posting it.

  40. Hi, I just made your toothpaste recipe, and I'm wondering if my toothpaste should taste salty? I followed your recipe, except for the spearmint flavor (I couldn't find it so I used just peppermint). The stevia helped (I used a whole individual packet of it though) and closer to 15 drops of peppermint, so it's nearly tolerable, but it still seems really salty.

    Is this normal?

  41. Finally, a good and faithful servant! God bless you sister. I have never signed up for a blog until today. I cannot bring myself to play the worldly games anymore. I know the Good News, and I can hardly wait for our Lord to return, until then, we stay obedient and press on loving one another as He loves us.
    To God be the Glory!
    P.S. do you carry a prayer list?

  42. Blah Blah Black SheepAugust 31, 2009 at 10:32 AM

    Coconut Oil! Holy cow, why didn't I think of that? I've been using baking soda for a while now, and while it works at superficial cleaning (and a tad antiseptic due to all the sodium neutralizing acids), I wanted something with a little more sanitary kick. One site talked about using glycerin, but it's a real pain trying to find that these days at places other than yuppie/hippie health stores for expensive amounts. I got a little tea tree oil, and mixed a drop or two of that in with some baking soda (and water), and that's works well. But I'd like a little more creaminess...something that will stay in my mouth instead of making a runny mess when I brush. I'm going to try this. Coconut oil + Baking Soda + 1-2 drops Tea Tree Oil + Peppermint oil. Awesome. Thanks!

  43. Thanks so much for the toothpaste recipe. I tried it and liked how it tasted and felt in my mouth, but didn't care for the oiliness of from the coconut oil all over my face, toothbrush and sink. Also, I was concerned with all that coconut oil going down the pipes...after multi-day use over several months it might cause some clogging.

    I tried the same recipe without the coconut oil to make a tooth powder --still with mint oils and stevia and I love it!!! It is even fresher feeling than my regular natural toothpaste. I thought this might be an option for others that are concerned about the coconut oil.

  44. I love a mixture of spearmint and fennel seed essential oil (tastes like licorice). About the pipes thing, as long as you send down some hot water you should be fine as coconut oil melts above room temp. Also, as a quarterly pipe maintenance thing we put about 1/2 cup baking soda down each drain, 1/4 cup vinegar, plug it with a washcloth so it doesn't bubble out, then wait thirty minutes and pour a kettle full of boiling water down. This eliminates all the clogs we've encountered with natural vegetable based hygiene products.

  45. [...] sulfate (not sure how I missed that before!), I decided it was time to make my own. I found an easy recipe using only 3 Tbsp baking soda, 2 Tbsp coconut oil, a pinch of stevia, and 5 drops each of [...]

  46. [...] I used an only slightly modified version of The Yummy Toothpaste Recipe from Seeking The Old Paths: [...]

  47. Thank you for this recipe!! We have been using expensive herbal toothpaste for a few years now and really like it ... but do not like the cost. I'll be using this from now on.

    Have a wonderful day!

    In Christ,

  48. Xylitol is highly recommended by our dentists.
    We've had trouble with our pipes from 'coconut oil lotions' that I applied in the steamy shower and found a biodegradeable drain cleaner that has worked beautifully to clear out that awful rancid smell. (made by 'Ecover')

    the Lord be with your spirit, Grace be with you,
    Jackie -:¦:-
    (2 Timothy 4:22)

    ~♥~♥~♥~ ~♥~♥~♥~ quote of the note ~♥~♥~♥ ~♥~♥~♥~

    "When I met Christ, I felt that I had swallowed sunshine." ~E. Stanley Jones

  49. PS: We used the environmental drain cleaner AFTER we experimented (for a longish while) with vinegar/soda, etc. methods. :)

    Did I mention how highly regarded XYLITOL is with our dentists?


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