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The time has come to try making your own toothpaste..

Something I have been looking to de-plasticfy (my word!) for a while now is toothpaste. You can’t not have toothpaste, so what are the alternatives to the leading brands? Here’s what I’ve found…

Lush

Lush , a brand with great ethics and environmental footprint, seem to have two options. These options do contain synthetic ingredients, so I’ve decided to try make my own first (see further down). Please note, I’ve not yet tried the Lush options, I’m just telling you what’s available!

  1. Toothy Tabs. These are like a wee tablet that you mush in your mouth to become toothpaste, that you then brush with. They seem like a viable alternative if you’re looking for an easy swap to your normal brand. At £5.95 for 45g they don’t come cheap compared to around £3.00 for 125ml for leading brand.
  2. Tooth Powder. This is a powdered form of toothpaste where your teeth come into contact with the cleaning elements directly, so you shouldn’t need as much as a toothpaste tube paste (which contains added water). £4.95 per pot, but I don’t yet know how big a pot is. The good thing about Lush is that they not only have recyclable pots, but they actually recycle and re-form their pots themselves. It’s sold as the ultimate closed-loop system. Unfortunately, plastic can’t be recycled ad infinitum, but it’s a good start.

Before I go any further, I have to give credit to Plastic is Rubbish for inspiring me as to the other options! Check it out. A useful blog. See her toothpaste post or read on to find three more options and how I made my own..

3. Salt. Great for a mouthwash occasionally but really doesn’t taste great, I wouldn’t recommend as a toothpaste!

4. Bicarbonate of soda. Similar to salt – great cleaning action, but doesn’t taste great!

5. Homemade toothpaste/ powder – a work in progress, but successful so far!

Homemade Toothpaste Ingredients

All of the ingredients below are great for oral hygiene, and natural. Check out the Aromantic website to purchase, and find out more about, these ingredients. The plastic bags are polythene so as such can be recycled. The bigger bags will mean less plastic overall, but I didn’t want to commit without trying a small amount first.

1 part chalk
1 part kaolin (brilliant cleaning action, a clay)
1 part Orris Root (from the Iris flower)
1 part bicarb

Conclusion? Easy to order and make. I added some peppermint oil and water but maybe not enough to really make it ‘taste’ like tube toothpaste, so next time I don’t think I’ll bother. What I’ve come to accept is that it tastes completely different, and that’s not a bad thing! I feel like this homemade toothpaste is doing a better job of cleaning my teeth/mouth.

The Cost of Homemade toothpaste

Kaolin 100g £2.90

Chalk 100g £2.90

Orris root 100g £11

Bicarb 100g £0.43 (Buying 1kg from this wholefoods website,  )

So 400g = 17.23

100g homemade toothpaste = £4.31 .

Cheaper than what Lush have on offer, without the extra synthetics. My guess is it will last a lot longer than standard toothpaste, so in the long run probably a lot cheaper. I’ve also not factored in buying in bulk, which often grants you great savings, the prices above are from the Aromantics site only (I haven’t looked elsewhere yet) and for small amounts of the products.

I’m no scientist, but all the research I’ve done tells me that the 4 ingredients I listed above are good for cleaning teeth and oral hygiene, and are all safe to use.

Next time, I am going to try using the ingredients as a toothpowder, as Lush do. I think as a powder, this will be easier to apply to a wet brush. However, I know from using Bicarbonate of Soda, that if too much water stays in the pot, it will go lumpy, so I’ll have to try avoid that happening.

It’s all trial and error for a good cause! Do keep chatting to me, challenge and encouragements both welcome, let me know what you think!

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