You’ll Never Guess the Unconventional Uses for Mouthwash Around Your Home

Of course mouthwash can clean … your mouth. But what else can you use it for? Perhaps this is a question you’ve never asked yourself before, and we get it. It’s a strange thing to think about. But with all the alternative cleaning methods out there, it’s not too surprising that something as simple as mouthwash has stepped into the spotlight, too.

So just what, exactly, are these magical mouthwash miracles we speak of? It’s time to find out and toss your sorry old cleaning pail for good.

Note: For the sake of this article, we’re referring to alcohol-based, sugar-free mouthwashes. Alcohol-free bottles won’t necessarily apply to every point on the list.

1. Athlete’s foot remedy

man pouring mouth wash from bottle to bottle cap

If you forgot to wear your shower shoes, give this a shot. | iStock/Getty Images

Athlete’s foot — ick. No two ways about it, athlete’s foot is a nasty, uncomfortable, highly contagious condition, and it’s one you’d rather not have to deal with. However, it’s an unfortunate fact of life for those who are in and out of gyms, shared showers, and the like. So, if you’ve come down with a mean case of athlete’s foot, it’s time to find a solution that works without having to go to the doctor.

According to, your best bet is to soak some cotton in mouthwash, and apply it twice a day. Hopefully, you’ll start seeing results in just a few days.

Next: Here’s another way you can care for your feet with mouthwash.   

2. Blister relief

woman with blisters

When the shoes don’t fit quite right. | Anyaberkut/iStock/Getty Images

Speaking of feet, most folks are prone to blisters, depending on how active they are. And boy, can they be painful. Luckily, mouthwash is the at-home remedy you’ve been searching for. All you need to do is apply some mouthwash to a cotton ball and gently dab the blister every day until it disappears. Not only will it numb your discomfort, but it’ll speed up the healing process, too.

Next: Bruise like a peach? Check this next tip out. 

3. Reducing bruising

This could be worth a try. | PeJo29/iStock/Getty Images

This one’s really up for debate. However, some say it does work. If you tend to bruise easily, try dabbing the affected area with a mouthwash-soaked cotton ball immediately after contact. You may not bruise as severely as usual. The theory behind this one is that because mouthwash contains essential oils, it could help stimulate blood flow. Therefore, it could limit your bruising.

Next: Here’s a solution for when you run out of dandruff shampoo.  

4. Replacement for your dandruff shampoo

Woman with itchy scalp dandruff

Get rid of that pesky fungus. | LarsZahnerPhotography/iStock/Getty Images

Before we get into the details here, this one comes with a caveat. Words of caution: Use clear mouthwash only, as the blue or green variety may end up tinting your hair. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk process.

It’s best to first use regular shampoo and rinse like you normally would. Then, use one tablespoon of mouthwash — remember, only the clear kind will do here — and massage it into your scalp for about 30 seconds before applying conditioner.

Apparently, the antimicrobial compounds of the mouthwash will help kill the fungus behind the flakes that form on your head. Alternatively, you can just use a 50/50 homemade solution of mouthwash and water, and use it to rinse after shampooing.

Next: The stench of cat pee in your home is just the worst.  

5. Cat pee deterrent

Norwegian Forest Cat Relaxed

Make sure Fluffy goes in the litter box. | Phil Lewis/iStock/Getty Images

Nobody likes pet odor in their home. It smells terrible, it’s gross, and, quite frankly, it’s rather unsanitary. While taking your dog out to relieve himself is a requirement for any canine owner, cats are another story. Their facilities, of course, are located right inside your perfectly clean home. And what’s the one thing they can do to really get under your skin? Pee wherever they’re not supposed to, which is pretty much any place outside of their litter box.

The trouble with cat pee is its distinct odor. Your little furball will return to the same spot it once went until you do something about it. So, what’s one way you can help aid in the fight against feline pee stench? Use a simple solution. Combine one cup water and three tablespoons clear mouthwash (similar to the dandruff shampoo situation, you’ll risk staining the carpet if you opt for a tinted variety), put it into a spray bottle, and give a few spritzes to the area. If all goes well, the minty fresh scent should be enough to keep little kitty from the spot.

Next: Mouthwash is the perfect solution when you’re in a sweaty bind.  

6. Deodorant

Sport man wearing T-shirt and sweating

You might need to freshen up. | iStock/Getty Images

Sometimes, feeling ripe is just a fact of life. Similarly, being completely out of deodorant is the reality you’re faced with when you let your supply run out before making it to the store. We get it, and we’re here to help. Just put some mouthwash on a cotton ball and dab those pits. However, make sure you’re not applying the mouthwash directly after shaving your underarms, as this will cause the area to sting.

Next: Stinky hands, too? There’s a fix for that. 

7. Garlic deodorizer

Garlic cloves and sliced garlic on vintage wooden background.

The smell should come right out. | Dulezidar/iStock/Getty Images

Hate the smell of garlic on your hands? Once again, to fix this problem, you’ll want to moisten a cotton ball with your mouthwash and rub it onto your washed hands. Then, after letting it sit and dry, rinse your hands again thoroughly. The odors in the mouthwash should come in handy when you’ve just been working with garlic.

Next: When your detergent alone doesn’t do the trick 

8. Laundry sanitizer


For the clothes that just need a little refresh. | iStock/Getty Images

Doing laundry is a time-consuming task, but it’s important to get it right every time. Just think about it — every time you toss a load of dirty clothes into the washing machine, you risk having them come out smaller, lighter, darker, etc., which is why we could all use as many helpful tips as we can get.

Mouthwash is one solution to ridding your wardrobe of stinky odors. Simply add one cup of clear — we repeat, clear — mouthwash to your load. Odor-causing bacteria should be washed away, thanks to the alcohol and antibacterial essential oils in the mouthwash.

Next: Keeping fresh piercings clean is key. 

9. Post piercing care

Nose piercing

Keep that piercing free from infection. | AkilinaWinner/iStock/Getty Images

Just had to have that eyebrow piercing, didn’t you? Well, it’s OK, we’re sure it looks great. However, it probably doesn’t feel so great — at least not immediately following the appointment. Anyone who’s ever gotten a piercing knows they run the risk of getting an infection, which is why it’s imperative to keep the area clean. And thankfully, an alcohol-based mouthwash will do just that.

Next: Not a green thumb? No worries, there’s a trick to salvaging your plants.  

10. Plant grower

Green Leaves Of Spider Plant

Spruce that plant right up. | Tasun/iStock/Getty Images

If you struggle to keep your plants looking fresh, don’t throw in the towel just yet — you certainly don’t need a green thumb for this trick. Using one part mouthwash and three parts water, spray the mixture on your indoor plants in need of a little saving. The mouthwash-based solution should wipe out any mildew and fungus threatening the health of your plants.

Next: We can’t get enough of at-home cleaning solutions.  

11. Tile cleaner

Man cleaning tile wall

Spruce up those dingy tiles. | Di_photo/iStock/Getty Images

Next time you need to effectively clean your tile floors, try a solution made up of two cups water and ½ cup mouthwash. Mix the ingredients in a bucket, and toss a sponge in there. You’ll be killing germs while sprucing up dingy surfaces at the same time.

Next: This is the solution to healthy nails you’ve been searching for.  

12. Nail fungus fighter

Cutting nails using nail clipper - close up

Keep those nails looking nice. | MichalLudwiczak/iStock/Getty Images

Yellow nails? Who needs ’em? Nobody, but unfortunately, it’s an annoying issue that ails some folks. If you’ve had no luck fighting nail fungus, give the mouthwash method a shot.

Combine equal parts mouthwash and white vinegar. Then, you can either go the cotton ball route and use those to apply the solution two to three times a day, or you can soak your nails for 15 minutes three to four times a week. However, if you don’t start seeing results in several weeks, it may be time to make a doctor’s appointment.

Next: Can’t stop the itching? Read on.  

13. Poison ivy relief

poison ivy plant

Finally, some relief. | SBSArtDepartment/iStock/Getty Images

Poison ivy is a real thorn in the side, and the incessant itching seems like it’ll last forever. While there are several options out there, mouthwash is one way to help relieve you from all that scratchy suffering. Furthermore, applying mouthwash to the affected area can also help to reduce inflammation.

Next: No toilet bowl cleaner? No problem.  

14. Toilet cleaner

female hand with yellow protective rubber glove

It comes in handy in a pinch. | Djedzura/iStock/Getty Images

Grab about one cup of mouthwash, and pour it into the toilet. After letting it sit for 30 minutes, use a toilet brush to clean around the inside of the bowl, just as you normally would. This tip really comes in handy when your commode is in desperate need of a cleaning, and you used up the last of your toilet bowl cleaner the other day.

Next: Keeping this home appliance in tip top shape is imperative.  

15. Humidifier cleaner

Everyone knows bacteria loves moisture. | iStock/Getty Images

You don’t need much of an imagination to figure out how gross the inside of your humidifier is. As it sits, the moist environment serves as nothing more than an ideal spot for bacteria to lay their claim. Thankfully, there’s an easy fix. Clean it thoroughly, add water with a spoonful of mouthwash, and run it. This will deter any bacteria looking for a place to lounge.

Read more: Cleaning Tricks Your Grandmother Used That Still Work Today