It’s easy to take it for granted that the products you use every day—especially those recommended by health professionals—are safe. 

Truth is, it isn’t always like that. Oral care products, including mouthwash, can contain harsh, toxic ingredients that might do more harm than good. 

Of course, we all want fresh, non-stinky breath (and so do the people around us!), but that should never come at the expense of your health. That’s why, as always, we’ve done the research for you. We tried the best non-toxic (or less toxic) brands for mouthwash—and our findings are all in this blog. 

And if you’re looking to detoxify your entire oral care routine, check out this blog for tried and tested non-toxic toothpaste.

Non-Toxic Mouthwash In a Nutshell:

  • Most conventional mouthwash brands use a variety of harsh ingredients that may disrupt a healthy oral microbiome.

  • Instead of potentially harmful chemicals like alcohol, fluoride, and artificial flavors & dyes, look for natural and organic ingredients like hydroxyapatite, coconut oil, aloe vera, and/or sea salt.

  • Below, I’ve reviewed many of the safest mouthwash brands (including Boka, RiseWell, and more) in the hopes of saving you some time and effort!

This article contains a few affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.

Is Mouthwash Toxic?

The answer is more nuanced than a simple yes or no. Not all mouthwash is bad for you, although most name-brand companies use not-so-good ingredients, which we’ll talk about in a minute. 

However, you can find a safe, non-toxic mouthwash that supports your oral health and leaves you with fresh breath, without any of the questionable or microbiome-disrupting ingredients. 

Below, I’m listing the most common harmful ingredients found in mouthwash, so you can see for yourself if your preferred brand uses any of these! 

Most Common Toxic Ingredients in Mouthwash 

Conventional oral care companies tend to rely on the same ingredients for their formulations, which means you’ll find many of the same harmful ingredients in different brands. 

Here are the most common mouthwash ingredients that could be problematic for your oral and overall health:

1 Methyl Salicylate 

Methyl Salicylate is a prevalent ingredient in commercial mouthwash.  It’s used as an anti-inflammatory to prevent things like gingivitis, but can also be used for flavoring. This ingredient is also one of the most concerning ones—especially for children. Ingestion of products with methyl salicylate is a common source of pediatric exposure and can be fatal for kids. It can also cause allergic reactions, irritation, and reddening in adults. 

2. Alcohol

Used for its antibacterial properties, alcohol is another common ingredient you’ll find in mouthwash. The alcohol kills germs and bacteria, which helps to prevent plaque buildup and gingivitis.

The problem is that alcohol kills all bacteria in the mouth—including the good kind. This is especially true if the alcohol concentration is high. 

Fostering a healthy oral microbiome is important not just for oral health, but for systemic, whole-body disease prevention as well. A healthy oral microbiome can play a role in preventing everything from cancer and heart disease to Alzheimer’s, and more. 

Plus, alcohol can dry out your mouth, too!  

Some commercial brands use very high alcohol contents in their formulations—up to 8 times more than beer! That’s 18-26% in a bottle of certain mouthwash brands (and 3% in a beer). 

In short: the good bacteria in your mouth play an important role in your health, and you don’t want to be nuking them with the alcohol in strong mouthwash every day.

3. Artificial Colorants 

Most commercial mouthwashes use artificial colorants in their products, which is where the vibrant colors come from. Artificial colorants come under names such as Yellow No. 10, Red No. 40, and Blue No. 1 to name a few. 

The majority of these colorants are produced from coal tar or petroleum, and some have been found to be contaminated with benzidine or other carcinogens. Not only are they completely unnecessary, but they may also be harmful.

Some artificial colorants are linked to hyperactivity in children and can cause allergic reactions. There are also concerns about neurotoxicity, cancer, and irritation.

4. Menthol 

Menthol is used for a minty smell and taste in toothpaste and mouthwash and as an antibacterial. It’s also responsible for the cooling effect mouthwash can give (or burning to those more sensitive!). 

Menthol can come either from peppermint oil or from synthetic manufacturing. Although menthol is not a super concerning ingredient in mouthwash, it can be harsh for some or cause allergies for those sensitive to it. 

5. Fluoride

Fluoride does have remineralizing and anti-cavity capabilities, but it also comes to health risks.

Hydroxyapatite is a much healthier alternative that can fight tooth decay just as well as fluoride but is safe enough to swallow! You can learn more about this in our toothpaste ingredient guide.

6. Saccharine 

Saccharine is an artificial sweetener that’s used in a lot of mouthwash formulations. 

There are mixed opinions on whether this particular ingredient is “safe,” so we wanted to mention it so that you can decide for yourself.

Some consider saccharine to be safe, but there’s also concern it could cause gut dysbiosis, potentially contributing to more downstream effects such as type 2 diabetes, IBD, and cancer. (Of course, that’s more of a concern if you were to actually drink it, which is not the case with mouthwash).

These are just a few of the most commonly used toxic ingredients in mouthwash—but not the only ones! Always check all ingredients thoroughly before buying any products, or rely on tried and tested brands like the ones I list below! 

Natural Mouthwash Ingredients to Look for Instead

Instead of the potentially problematic ingredients listed above, look for the following safe ingredients that are healthier for your oral microbiome and overall health:

  • Hydroxyapatite
  • Coconut oil
  • Probiotics (such as Lactobacillus)
  • Sea salt
  • Aloe vera
  • Natural oils for freshening breath (such as peppermint)
  • Healthier anti-bacterial/anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory oils (such as cinnamon, thyme, tea tree, or citrus)

My Reviews On The Best Non-Toxic Mouthwash For Healthy Oral Care

There are way too many mouthwash brands out there that you don’t want to be swishing around in your mouth. But there are several non-toxic mouthwash brands on the market today. 

Here I’m reviewing a few good and a few great natural mouthwases, so you can make the best choice for yourself!


Price: $20 or $16 with a subscription
Vegan + Cruelty-free? Yes, but they don’t have certifications. 
Form: Tablet

BOKA is an oral wellness brand using nano-hydroxyapatite (n-Ha) as the main active ingredient in their formulations. Along with toothpaste and other oral care products, they have alcohol-free mouthwash tablets, and I decided to give them a go. 

I love the mouthwash tablet concept. Makes it very easy to travel and the plastic-free aspect is a big plus for me. 

As far as the mouthwash ingredients, they’re just okay. Not too bad but not great either. As someone with high sensitivity to allergens, the fact that BOKA’s mouthwash uses linalool, limonene, and citral gives me a bit of pause. These ingredients are associated with higher rates of allergic reactions

If those ingredients aren’t a concern for you, the mouthwash works pretty well. The tablets dissolve quickly, but pieces of undissolved tablet got stuck in my teeth from chewing them. I found this pretty annoying. I tried swishing aggressively, but I couldn’t get them to dissolve naturally. This is an issue with pretty much all mouthwash tablets. 

The flavor is nice and subtle. It’s not as strong as your typical mouthwash that kind of burns, but you still feel very refreshed after rinsing. And the freshness did last for a while!  

What I love: 

  • Plastic-free
  • Very easy to travel with 
  • Dissolves well (except for little pieces stuck in teeth)

Could be better: 

  • Uses some so-so ingredients


Price: $24 for a 4-month supply, or $20.40 with a subscription
Vegan + Cruelty-free? Yes, with no certification 
Form: Tablet

Huppy is another plastic-free oral care company with a range of products—from toothpaste tablets to floss to mouthwash. Their mouthwash comes in tablet form in a very nice tin container. 

Out of the three different mouthwash tablets I tried, this one is the one that dissolves the best (followed by BOKA, then Bite). That said, I did still have remaining pieces of tablet stuck on my teeth, but it was just a tiny bit. And most of the tablet did dissolve pretty quickly. 

The mouthwash has a pretty strong flavor with a minty and refreshing after-feel (borderline spicy, I would say). If you don’t like a mouthwash with very cooling sensations, this one might not be for you. 

In general, the ingredients are good, with a few things to note. First, they have an undisclosed “natural flavor”, which is a yellow flag. More transparency here would be better. They also use menthol and a few essential oils. 

What I love: 

  • Portable and convenient 
  • Dissolves better than any other mouthwash tablet
  • Alcohol-free

Could be better: 

  • Still doesn’t fully dissolve
  • Lacks ingredient transparency


Price: $18 or $15.30 with a subscription
Vegan + Cruelty-free? Yes, but no certifications 
Form: Liquid

RiseWell is a mineral-based oral care brand that also uses nano-hydroxyapatite (n-Ha) as the main active ingredient. They have a more typical version of mouthwash which is simply liquid in a bottle. 

In itself, the mouthwash is super nice. I love the flavor, which is strong but doesn’t burn, and leaves you feeling very refreshed. 

Of course, the simplicity is always nice, too. Just take a sip, swish, and get on with your day. It’s great at what it does and you don’t have to worry about anything getting stuck in your teeth! 

Ingredients-wise, it’s pretty good but, could be a bit better. Mostly, their formulation uses a lot of oil extracts (mint, peppermint, orange, tea tree, lemon, and others) and there are some concerns about these oils being a bit harsh on your oral microbiome. Plus, they can trigger allergies in those sensitive to them. But other than that, it’s alcohol-free, fluoride-free, and overall a pretty good option! 

Overall, I loved Risewell’s mouthwash. I appreciate that the color is clear and they didn’t feel the need to add any artificial colors. The design is also very simple and the orange branding kinda makes me feel good. 

What I love: 

  • Simplicity of traditional liquid mouthwash
  • Strong flavor but not overpowering 
  • Alcohol-free! 

Could be better: 

  • Uses lots of oil extracts


best non toxic mouthwash from bite

Price: $20 for a 4-month supply
Vegan + Cruelty-free? Yes, certified by PETA 
Form: Tablet

Bite is a plastic-free oral care brand that has gotten very popular in the last few years. Most of their products come in tablet form, including their alcohol-free mouthwash. I had to give them a try since they’re such a mainstream brand. 

The ingredients in Bite aren’t too concerning, but there are a couple of things to note. First, they have undisclosed ingredients. Specifically, a “natural flavor” that they don’t share exactly what it is, which is a red flag in my book. They also use menthol. Other than that, the rest of the ingredients are okay! 

As far as the product itself, I have similar comments as with the other mouthwash tablets. I wanted to love it cause it’s so amazing for travel and I love the plastic-free aspect. However, I find that the tablets don’t dissolve very well and bits of the tablet get stuck in my teeth from biting on them. I even had bits of undissolved tablet swishing around in my mouth. 

The mouthwash does do what it’s supposed to do. It’s subtly refreshing and improves my breath. The flavor is also subtle but still noticeable and refreshing. 

What I love: 

  • Fully plastic-free 
  • Convenient and travel-friendly 

Could be better: 

  • Doesn’t fully and easily dissolve 

Fat and the Moon

Price: $20 or $18 with a subscription
Vegan + Cruelty-free? Yes, no certifications
Form: Liquid (drops)

Fat and the Moon is a herbalist-formulated body care brand with lots of handcrafted, small-batched products. I’m a huge fan of this brand, and I was excited to try their mouthwash since (as per usual with this brand) they have such a unique approach to it. 

The mouthwash comes in a small glass container with a dropper. You add ⅓ of the dropper to some water and swish away. There are many things I love about this. First, how non-bulky it is. It’s not as convenient as simply sipping and swishing, but for a non-plastic bottle that’s small and cute, I’ll do the extra step. 

The flavor is very unique. Has a small hint of mint but it’s more earthy and herby which I loved! That comes from the calendula, sage, and myrrh, which I never knew I needed in mouthwash.  Leaves you feeling refreshed but with a different sensation than conventional mouthwash. 

Ingredient-wise it’s mostly pretty good, but they do use alcohol. However, it didn’t feel harsh or give me any burning sensation so I’m assuming it’s not as highly concentrated as other more conventional brands. They also use lots of essential oils, which as I mentioned earlier, you may want to be conscious about with regard to your oral microbiome.

Overall, this was my favorite. I loved the option for (mostly) plastic-free, the unique earthy flavor, and the small packaging. I don’t love having a huge plastic bottle of mouthwash, so this truly checks many boxes for me. And of course, it left my breath smelling fresh!

What I love: 

  • Unique earthy flavor 
  • Mostly plastic-free (the bottle’s cap is plastic)
  • Small container 

Could be better: 

  • Uses alcohol (they do mention it’s organic)


non toxic mouthwash from Modere

Price: $9.99
Vegan + Cruelty-free? Yes, but no certifications 
Form: Liquid

MODERE was the first-ever EWG-verified mouthwash, so of course we had to add it to the list. This is part of MODERE’s entire line of fully verified oral care products (they also have an extensive range of natural goods including personal care, household essentials, and pets.)

It’s a traditional mouthwash, meaning it comes in a liquid form in a bottle and has only three ingredientswater, sodium chlorite, and peppermint oil. 

The taste and feel of this fluoride-free mouth rinse is super gentle. This is truly ideal for those very sensitive to the ‘spiciness’ of most mouthwashes. There is no burning sensation at all and it’s very light. Even though it’s very light, it still leaves me feeling refreshed and with good breath. The aftertaste is a very subtle (and nice!) minty flavor. 

Overall, I think this is a great mouthwash option. It’s so gentle that it kind of takes you by surprise at first, since most mouthwashes are so strong. But it works very well without any overpowering scent, flavor, or sensation. 

What I love: 

  • Gentle but effective
  • Mild minty flavor
  • Doesn’t burn and it’s not ‘spicy’

Could be better: 

  • Comes in a plastic bottle… Hopefully, they will have a plastic-free option in the future! 


lumineux non toxic mouthwash review on

Price: $20+ (for a 2-bottle pack)
Vegan + Cruelty-free? Yes, but no certifications 
Form: Liquid

Luminuex carries several different types of non-toxic liquid mouthwash: Whitening, Hydrating, Sensitivity, and Complete Care Clean & Fresh. They’re all alcohol-free and also made without things like fluoride, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), or artificial dyes.

Instead, they use safe, natural ingredients like dead sea salt, aloe, mint oil, and more. These ingredients help to support overall oral health, keep your gums healthy, and leave your breath fresh.

Abbie’s Review

I’ve been using Lumineux’s non-toxic mouthwash for a couple of years now. I really like how gentle it is. It leaves me with fresh breath but without that burning feeling in my mouth that makes my eyes water!

One time, I got distracted while I was swishing and accidentally swallowed a mouthful of the mouthwash. 😅 While I wouldn’t exactly recommend drinking mouthwash on a regular basis (lol), I was glad to know that everything I’d swallowed was completely safe.

What I love: 

  • Easy to use, with no learning curve (works just like conventional mouthwash)
  • Very gentle

Could be better: 

  • Plastic packaging

I hope this guide has helped you find a non-toxic mouthwash that’s a good fit for you and your oral care routine!

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About Ana

Ana is a sustainability-focused copywriter and the founder of Copy That Co. She helps eco-conscious businesses grow through action-driven copy, inspiring storytelling, and an honest and positive approach to marketing.

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