20 Unusual Uses For Mouthwash That Are SERIOUSLY Impressive!

20 Unusual Uses For Mouthwash That Are SERIOUSLY Impressive!


Do you use mouthwash as part of your dental hygiene routine?  It turns out, mouthwash isn't just good for getting rid of plaque! This multi-tasking product can be used in and around the home in so many different ways

Today we're sharing the many different uses for mouthwash with you, our loyal readers, to help you get the most out of this powerful product.

Editor's Note: This post was originally posted in November 2015 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in September 2018.

 Benefits of mouthwash

listerine whitening
It's not just for dental health!

Why do some of us insist on using mouthwash to get a minty-fresh mouth before heading out for the day? It's not just the scent that mouthwash has got going for it, but also its antiseptic and antibacterial properties.

These properties along with essential oils such as menthol, eucalyptol, methyl salicylate and thymol are what make it useful for such a variety of things, from cleansing skin to getting rid of ticks.

Beauty uses for mouthwash

Don't listen to everything the beauty magazines tell you - often, the solution for your beauty blunders is already hiding in your cabinet. Discover how pretty mouthwash can make you look today in the list below.

1. Nail fungus treatment

soft bare feet
Keep them looking and feeling healthy!

If your toes are showing the first signs of a fungal infection, grab a bottle of mouthwash. Make a 1:1 solution of mouthwash and white vinegar, and apply to the affected area with a cotton wool pad two to three times a day.

This treatment is also useful for preventing a fungal infection - wise as once you're infected, it's difficult to eradicate.

2. Reduce the appearance of a bruise

If you've had a little knock or bash to your body, immediately rub in some mouthwash to the area. You can help prevent the bruise from developing too dark.

3. DIY mosquito repellant

If you're on holiday and forgot to bring the mossie repellant, fret not! People claim that mouthwash has worked to discourage bugs from biting and keep their skin irritation-free - it could work for you too!

4. A travel hand sanitiser

Mouthwash is super useful for those on the go, and a DIY hand sanitizer is just one of the reasons why.

To make your own, pour some mouthwash into a travel spray bottle. Make sure your mouthwash is alcohol-based and sugar-free, to keep it free of stickiness.

5. An emergency alternative to deodorant 

Here's another handy tip for when you're travelling or if you just happen to be out of deodorant.

Apply some mouthwash to your underarms using a piece of tissue and it will keep them smelling fresh all day long.

Caution: do not use this method on freshly shaven armpits as it will sting on open wounds.

6. Refresh your feet after a long day

Tired, smelly feet?

If you've been on your feet all day, give yourself a refreshing foot soak by mixing a cup of mouthwash into a large container of water. This will refresh and soften your feet as well as kill any bad bacteria that might be brewing.

7. Treat mild cases of dandruff

plaited ponytail
Say goodbye to dandruff!

Tried everything to treat your dandruff?  A clever, budget beauty tip is to use an alcohol-based mouthwash as a rinse after shampooing your hair.

Do this a few times a week and you should start to see an improvement.

8. Look after your piercings

Piercings require ongoing care. It's extremely important to take care of your piercings, especially if they are in intimate areas like the mouth and belly.

To clean yours, dip cotton wool in mouthwash to disinfect and prevent infection.

For an alternative, try tea tree oil for piercings

9. Deep clean your skin 

An astringent is a water-based solution, that when applied to the skin, is meant to shrink or constrict the skin and close pores so skin feels tighter.

Many people use a toner as opposed to an astringent these days, but if used occasionally it can help remove dirt, makeup and oil from the skin that cleansers can miss.

Dilute mouthwash and water in your mouthwash cap and pour onto a cotton pad before applying to your skin for a fresh and bright complexion.

10. Get rid of pimples

clear skin freckles girl

As most mouthwashes are antiseptic, they can also be useful for treating spots and pimples.

Listerine is particularly renowned for its soothing and calming effect. Apply just a small amount of the mouthwash to a cotton bud and dab onto pimples to help get rid of bacteria and dry them out.

Household uses for mouthwash

Time to get out of the bathroom - mouthwash is useful for other things too. 

Check them out!

11. Garlic odour remover

garlic clove open

As well as removing the odour from your mouth, mouthwash can get rid of the smell of garlic on your hands too.

After using garlic, massage mouthwash into your hands before washing as usual - magic!

12. Clean minor cuts and scrapes

Did you know that mouthwash was first used as a surgical antiseptic before people figured out its mouth-cleaning properties?

Its antiseptic properties can disinfect minor cuts. Simply dab it on with a cotton pad - just be prepared for a little sting!

13. Get super fresh laundry

laundry load washing machine
Make it smell fresher than ever!

Sports socks and gym clothes can be particularly smelly. Plus, fabrics such as lycra make odour removal even more difficult.

Give smelly laundry a disinfecting clean to get rid of stubborn smells by adding a cup of mouthwash to your load.

14. Keep bugs at bay

Are you a keen gardener?

When planting flowers and shrubbery outside, you'll need to take extra measures to keep bugs from destroying them.

An easy, cheap and effective way to keep bugs at bay is using mouthwash. Dilute 1 part Listerine with 2 parts water and spray over plants to discourage bugs and help your plants flourish.

15. Make cut flowers last longer

It's so devastating when a beautiful bunch of flowers starts to droop.

Mix 1 tablespoon of mouthwash with 4 pints of water and replace the water in the flower vase with this mixture. It will help kill the bacteria that accelerate decomposition and make your flowers last longer.

16. Disinfect your toothbrush


toothbrush basic colours
This is so important.

Toothbrushes need cleaning too! They harbour a whole host of germs if not cleaned regularly, not only from your mouth but picked up from the bathroom too.

To clean yours, dip them in a small cup of mouthwash and leave submerged for 10 minutes. Give it a good rinse and it'll be clean and feel fresher than ever! 

17. Emergency toilet bowl cleaner

Run out of bleach? Mouthwash will do the job for now. 

Pour it around the bowl and leave it to sit for a few hours. Then give it a good scrub with a toilet brush and flush.

Do you know if you should be flushing hair down the loo? Read our guide to find out!

18. Rescue your plants from mildew and fungus

indoor house plants
They need some TLC too!

Looking after houseplants is notoriously tricky!

If your plants are showing signs of either mildew or fungus, spray them once a week with a solution of 75% water and 25% mouthwash. This should help kill off any nasties without damaging the plants.

How mouthwash can help your pets 

We're not quite done with our list yet! There are still a few uses for mouthwash that will come in handy for those of you with furry friends...

19. Prevent your cat from peeing indoors

Is your cat struggling to find its way to the litterbox?

If your cat has peed in an area they shouldn't, like a rug or the corner of a room, it's likely they'll return to do the deed again unless you get rid of the smell entirely or replace the scent of pee with something they dislike.

Enter mouthwash! Spray the area with a mix of 1 cup of water and 3 tablespoons of clear mouthwash. The minty smell won't be noticeable to humans, but cats will find it too intense.

20. Get rid of stubborn ticks on pets

black and white cat
Get them gone for good!

Do you seem to be in an endless battle with ticks?

If you're struggling to get rid of a tick on your dog, grab some mouthwash and douse an old tea towel with it. Place it over the infected area and leave it there for a minute. The tick should let go!  

Did you know there were so many uses for mouthwash? If you know of any more, please share them with us in the comments below.

Anushka F


A keen money-saver and fan of all things natural, Anushka enjoys making her own beauty products and is partial to a bit of crafting. Never short of a clever tip or two, she's always looking for new ways to make her money go even further.

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  1. Author trevor on November 11, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Have you seen the price of mouthwash? Much better to not run out of correct product.

    1. Author Anushka F on November 12, 2015 at 11:35 am

      This is true Trevor...but you could get a few bottles from Poundland and keep them on hand for those emergency situations when the correct product has run out!

    2. Author Dani on July 4, 2017 at 10:19 pm

      Just get the cheapest mouth wash and dilute it right down

    3. Author MATTEO on November 9, 2018 at 12:55 pm

      or get several bottles of the correct product from pounland

    4. Author Eugenia Drye on August 24, 2019 at 4:47 pm

      Dollar Tree $1 or order bulk online!

  2. Author David Robert Carvell on November 12, 2015 at 7:45 am

    I'm one of those people that as to see it to believe it so when I go shopping I will pick me up a bottle and let you know ???

    1. Author Anushka F on November 12, 2015 at 11:35 am

      Please do David! Let me know how you get on. If you have a Poundland near you, it might be worth a visit for the mouthwash.

  3. Author jagdish on December 2, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    I found a trick to get rid of stains on tea cloths. Wet the cloth pour Eno fruit salts on the stain let it fizz for 5 minutes and hey presto the stain gets dissolved. Rinse the tea cloths with cold water and leave to dry. Makes it feel like new.

    1. Author Anushka F on January 22, 2016 at 12:44 pm

      That's interesting, I will have to look up Eno fruit salts...

  4. Author Jane on February 1, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    I use shaving gel to clean silver.Taps come up especially clean.you can use shaving foam too

    1. Author Anushka F on February 19, 2016 at 12:42 pm

      That's an interesting tip Jane. I will have to give it a go!

    2. Author Charline on February 25, 2016 at 6:16 pm

      Yes that's true, my husbands shaving foam went all over the bathroom, it bloo up, lol but I let you what.. The bathroom and all silver was gleaming ? I was shocked ?

    3. Author Anushka F on March 22, 2016 at 11:15 am

      Haha so it was worth it then :) anything for a gleaming bathroom!

  5. Author Av on February 25, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    Interesting. Top on cats. How or what do I put on the garden. Tried cat repekants. Only a small bed. In desperation. I am thinking of carpet fixing rods. With the spikes up!

    1. Author Anushka F on March 22, 2016 at 11:14 am

      Hi there, cats don't like citrus so maybe try leaving some orange peel in the garden beds with some citrus scented spray?

  6. Author peter on February 25, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    must be true....its alcohol

  7. Author Maureen falconbridge on May 13, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    I've used mouthwash to clean my toilet it really did work

    1. Author Anushka F on May 16, 2016 at 10:10 am

      Amazing! Very happy to hear it worked Maureen.

  8. Author Linda B on May 16, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    I have used toothpaste on the hand basin in bathroom and it cleans up lovely.

    1. Author Anushka F on May 18, 2016 at 2:02 pm

      I do the same thing Linda!

  9. Author Heather on May 25, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    you can also use mouthwash to clean your remote controls and button phones, use cotton buds dipped in mouthwash it cleans and disinfects

    1. Author Anushka F on June 1, 2016 at 2:03 pm

      Great tip thanks Heather!

  10. Author David Barker on November 21, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Most mouth-wash makers are going over to alcohol-free preparations so finding one to try may be problamatic. As one of your other correspondents commented on price - yes alcohol based mouth washes are expensive! Fond believer in the right product for a job!

  11. Author Jenny on November 21, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    You an also get own brand mouthwash for a 60p

    1. Author Anushka F on March 9, 2017 at 10:10 am

      Yes! There are some cheap mouthwashes out there.

  12. Author Sandy on November 21, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Cats do not like mothballs stopped them from using my garden as a toilet,

    1. Author Anushka F on March 9, 2017 at 10:10 am

      Interesting tip! Thanks for sharing :)

  13. Author Sandy on November 21, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    Mothballs are good for putting in garden, they stopped the cats from using it as a toilet

    1. Author Anushka F on November 24, 2016 at 11:46 am

      Oh really? Wow interesting tip.

  14. Author Mabear on November 21, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    Please could you cover the topic of harmful plants. Like Lilly's are deadly to cats,Cowslip could give a nasty burn and countless others that should be avoided in the home or garden. When I was a child we were taught which plants to steer clear of ,but today many people are unaware of the danger. On a different theme, I enjoy reading the 'hacks'( which used to be called shortcuts!).Thank you.

    1. Author Anushka F on November 24, 2016 at 11:46 am

      Hi Mabear, thank you for that great idea! It's true there isn't much awareness on plants that cab harm us or pets. I will definitely pass it onto the team. I'm really happy to hear you're enjoying the hacks/shortcuts. Anushka

  15. Author tony crawford on November 22, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    Now that the cold weather is here, if you run out of de-icer you can use alcohol based mouthwash to de-ice your windscreen. I found that out by accident.

    1. Author Anushka F on November 24, 2016 at 11:41 am

      Oh wow great tip thanks Tony.

  16. Author Dawn Hobbs on November 29, 2017 at 1:47 am

    Mothballs are dangerous used in the garden it is bad for the soil & the nature of the compound used in mothballs changes when used outside when it comes into contact with the open air & can become a lung irritant.

  17. Author jay on November 9, 2018 at 8:54 am

    Did you know Listerine was orginally marketed as a floor cleaner and a cure for a certain VD? It didn't sell and so it was decided to flog it to dentists as a cure for chronic halitosis. We've all been brainwahsed into believing that we really need this product whereas, in fact, healthy eating and cleanig teeth correctly will take care of your mouth.

    1. Author Joanne A on November 9, 2018 at 9:19 am

      Hi Jay! I had heard that but didn't know if it was true. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Author Jo on November 9, 2018 at 11:24 am

    I'm a body piercer. Please NEVER use mouth wash on a piercing. If you need to use salt and warm water - it's super budget friendly and is one of the recommended things to use.

    1. Author Joanne A on November 9, 2018 at 12:04 pm

      Hi Jo, using salt and water is a great tip! Thanks for sharing.

  19. Author Savannah on March 11, 2019 at 6:41 am

    Thanks for the tips! I have a big bottle that has barely been used, unfortunately it is too harsh for my mouth. I had to switch to one for kids! Being ecoconscious I hate to discard things needlessly. I will definitely try using it as a toilet bowl cleaner since tomorrow was bathroom cleaning day anyways. Great to know it may help get rid of ticks and can be used as a hand sanitizer for the future in case I'm ever in a pinch - I love camping. Overall great advice!

    1. Author Joanne A on March 11, 2019 at 9:33 am

      Thanks for the kind words, Savannah!

  20. Author Annmarie on May 4, 2020 at 8:45 am

    If your children come home from school with the dreaded nits,mouthwash that contains alcohol will eradicate them. Run into hair and scalp leave overnight if possible,wash hair ,nits gone.

    1. Author Joanne A on May 4, 2020 at 12:32 pm

      That's interesting, Annmarie! Thanks for sharing.

    2. Author Susie Waldron on May 31, 2020 at 6:49 pm

      I've heard vodka works for nits too.

  21. Author Koll on May 23, 2020 at 11:12 pm

    Wow I have to get some listerine did you say the off brands with alcoholic work just as well

    1. Author Joanne A on February 27, 2023 at 12:27 pm

      The effectiveness of the mouthwash may vary depending on the specific formulation of the off-brand product and the concentration and amount of alcohol it contains.

  22. Author Jay Polerstock on May 23, 2020 at 11:56 pm

    Use Listerine mouthwash, to clean any glass surface like your mirrors and tv screen. It leaves no streaks and cleans better than most glass cleaners. It also works well to clean most surfaces like counter tops in the kitchen. It also kills bees that came through a screen window in our storage room. Use it full strength in a spray bottle. It works great and much safer to use than Aerosol Sprays. It can be used as an over all house cleaner such as cleaning floors. It will make the room smell very fresh and deodorized. And best of all it has no harmful chemicals.

    1. Author Joanne A on April 13, 2023 at 12:27 pm

      If you are experiencing issues with bees or other pests, it is best to consult with a pest control professional to determine the safest and most effective way to address the problem.

  23. Author AnnSmithies on June 10, 2020 at 3:26 pm

    Hi, Just rememer that there isn't enough of a percentage of alcohol to provide proper disinfecting so don't use it to get things clear of germs. Has to be at least 70 percent and there is usually only 25 percent ( on my labels in the UK) Most mouthwashes now try to avoid alcohol as it is very drying and not the best thing for a mouth. :)

    1. Author Joanne A on June 11, 2020 at 12:50 pm

      Good point! Thanks for sharing.

  24. Author Jane Cooper on June 13, 2020 at 6:10 pm

    I also use some mouthwash added to a cold wet face flannel applied over the eyes. Lie back with the flannel over your eyes for 10 minutes. Very soothing after time on the PC, and you really notice the refreshing smell of the menthol.

    1. Author Joanne A on June 15, 2020 at 4:39 pm

      Interesting idea!

  25. Author Lindsey on February 26, 2021 at 10:14 pm

    I discovered antiseptic mouthwash, with a little water, mixed with apple cider vinegar, a bit of baby oil and peroxide has done a lot. It cleaned my headlights, got rid of fabric stains as well as deodorizing them. Can be used on wipes for bodily cleaning in between showers. And antiseptic mouthwash, coconut oil and apple cider vinegar mix is what I spray and comb my cat with on a daily. It has killed her fleas, shined her coat and it healed her female surgery wounds when I sprayed it on her twice a day. Worked just as good as the $7 wound care sponges the vet tried to sell me postsurgery. Plus safer with cats licking themselves. I spray this on a cotton swab and clean her ears. This healed and prevented her from ear mites.

    1. Author Joanne A on March 30, 2021 at 3:17 pm

      Thanks for sharing!

  26. Author RJ on March 10, 2022 at 3:07 am

    The article said 30 uses . I only saw 20.

    1. Author Joanne A on November 15, 2022 at 12:23 pm

      The article says 20 uses.

  27. Author sam on March 16, 2022 at 10:56 am

    Really enjoyed your article never realised there are so many uses for mouthwash! I will be trying a few of these suggestions starting with my houseplants that have some flies and I put outside yesterday so thank you

    1. Author Joanne A on September 28, 2022 at 3:36 pm

      You're welcome, Sam!


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