You’ll typically find toothpaste sold in plastic or metal tubes, and occasionally in hard plastic tubs. Sadly, there is a lot of confusion regarding how to recycle toothpaste packaging, and many of these containers end up in the landfill. Picture how many times you’ve tossed one of these out, then imagine every family in your neighborhood throwing theirs out as well. The mountain of tubes adds up quickly. According to a report from 2015, the United States stacks up 400 million tubes of toothpaste in landfills yearly.

In examining some of these daily essentials that result in excess packaging, a variety of DIY alternatives emerge. Making your own tooth-care products may be a step towards a zero waste lifestyle. Of course, be sure to research all your options before making a change to your oral hygiene routine.

Here are a couple of recipes for homemade toothpaste to get you started on your journey. For either recipe, start with a clean glass jar, 4 ounces or less in size. Making small batches can help keep it fresh. Experiment with amounts and ingredients to personalize your blend.

Basic Toothpowder

1-2 Tbsp Baking Soda

2 Tbsp Bentonite Clay or Charcoal

1 Tbsp Xylitol or Lo Han or 1/2 Tsp stevia as sweetener (optional)

5-10 Drops of two of Essential Oils*. Some suggestions include: Peppermint, Spearmint, Clove, Cinnamon, Lemon, Orange, Anise

Everyday Toothpaste or Gel

1/2 Cup of Organic Coconut Oil

2-4 Tbsp of Organic Aloe Vera Gel

1-2 Tbsp Baking Soda or Sea Salt

5-10 Drops of two of Essential Oils*. Some suggestions include: Peppermint, Spearmint, Clove, Cinnamon, Lemon, Orange, Anise

To create foaming action try adding 1-2 drops of unscented castile based soap, such as Dr. Bronner’s liquid baby soap.

  • Using a small spoon or toothpick stir all ingredients together until well blended.
  • Label your container with a name and date, plus the ingredients used, to save time when you make your next batch.

You can find most of these ingredients in Good Earth’s Bulk Foods, or Bulk Herbs departments.

* be sure to never use undiluted essential oils on skin.