Good For More Than Fighting Bad Breath: Listerine Hacks Most People Don’t Know About

By Luisa K

Mouthwash is a household item that most of us already have in our bathrooms. In recent years there has been more evidence to show the benefits of using mouthwash as part of your daily dental hygiene routine, but did you know that mouthwash had other uses as well? Ok, so you’re probably wondering what possible uses people could find for a standard bottle of mouthwash, despite using it to freshen your breath and maintain oral hygiene. You’re not alone. We also found the idea of using mouthwash in alternative ways a little startling to begin with, but these hacks might have you thinking otherwise. After all, mouthwash is essentially a cleaning substance, so maybe it isn’t all that strange to use it for other purposes too, such as cleaning cuts and keeping wounds free from infection. Before we jump in and divulge the different ways some people choose to use mouthwash, we want to clarify that we are not advising you to practice these methods at home. Should you do so, it is your own choice and at your own personal risk.

Clean Out Your Humidifier

A humidifier’s job is to increase the level of humidity in a room or an entire building. Due to the nature of this appliance, fungi and mildew can fester inside your humidifier. As the mildew and fungi breed, it can damage your humidifier’s functioning, and the air released into your home can be harmful to your health.

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However, you can keep your humidifier fresh and fully functioning by using mouthwash to clean your unit. The way it works is that you use the mouthwash as a cleaning product before rinsing it out with water.  It will clean your humidifier and ensure that the air you’re breathing in is clean and fresh.

Banish Odors and Leftover Food from Your Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals are so handy at times for getting rid of food waste but there are disadvantages to them too. For one, when food gets stuck in our garbage disposals it can begin to rot and it starts to smell pretty bad!

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The good news is that with the help of mouthwash, you don’t need to put up with this stench! All you need to do is pout about half a cup of mouthwash down your garbage disposal. The mouthwash will help to break down the stale food and will get rid of the bad smell too.

Deodorant Plan B

Ran out of deodorant? Don’t worry; reach for the mouthwash this time instead! Mouthwash sanitizes your skin, which stops bacteria from building up and keeps your armpits smelling minty fresh and super clean. Plus, it doesn’t leave white patches on your clothes either!


 It might not get you to convert, but it sure is a great plan B for times when you’ve run out of your normal deodorant. To use mouthwash as a deodorant, simply rub a few drops of mouthwash into your armpits and you’re good to go!

It Even Cleans Cast Iron

Who would have thought that the product you use after brushing your teeth is also suitable for cleaning cast iron too?! Understandably you need to be careful when cleaning cast iron. It’s all too easy to strip away the non-stick top coating, which spoils your pans’ performance.

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Fortunately, using mouthwash to clean your cast iron pans doesn’t damage the coating, so it’s perfectly safe to use. Try it yourself by rubbing your pans with some sea salt and a little bit of mouth wash. Once it has been rubbed in and scrubbed well, rinse off with water.

Keep Foot Odor at Bay

Foot odor can be embarrassing but instead of trying to cover it up with perfumed foot creams and cosmetics, you need to tackle the cause of the problem. Foot odor is usually caused by a build-up of bacteria, so it’s in your best interests to treat the problem properly.


While using mouthwash to solve the complaint might sound like a crazy idea, it’s actually an effective remedy to clean up the bacteria, as well as getting rid of the bad odor. A few drops of mouthwash are all you need. Mix the mouthwash into a tub of warm water and soak your feet for about half an hour. This is enough to kill the bacteria and odor.

Ease Wasp and Bee Stings

As much as we try to avoid bee and wasp stings at all costs, sometimes they are unavoidable. Not to mention that they can be very painful. There is nothing worse than trying to remove a sting while enduring so much pain!


Little did we know that mouthwash can really help in these cases. All you need to do is to apply a little bit of mouthwash on the infected area. The mouthwash will numb the pain while you remove the wasp or bee sting.

Prevent the Spread of Head Lice

Head lice can be such a nightmare. You may have remembered there being cases of it when you were at school. You’ll probably also remember the monotony of treating it if you caught lice in your own hair. Now, if you have children of your own, you’re probably reliving this experience all over again!

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It can actually be complicated to kill head lice because catching them is one thing, and then to make matters worse, they quickly become immune to any treatment you use on them. Next time you need to treat head lice, consider using mouthwash, which prevents the spread of head lice. Soak your hair in mouthwash and leave it for two hours. It’s best to cover your hair with a shower cap during this time. Then proceed to wash your hair like you normally would.

Antiseptic Properties and Kills Bad Bacteria

We all know that we should shower daily because it doesn’t take long for bacteria to start to grow. Athletes and people who play sports should also make sure that they take their personal hygiene seriously so as not to get foot infections or bacterial problems caused by perspiration.


But even if you don’t spend large chunks of your time working out, bacteria can still form easily in the folds of our skin, like on our stomachs or under our armpits. If you feel like you need to freshen up while on the go or see signs of bacteria forming, wipe the area with some mouthwash to kill off the bad bacteria.

A Fantastic Floor Cleaner

There’s a phrase: “My floor is so clean you could eat your dinner off it!” While nobody is suggesting that you start eating your meals off floors any time soon, striving for a clean and bacteria-free floor is what we should all be aiming for!

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If you have pets or children in your home, then you do need to be mindful of what you’re using to clean your floors. Some chemicals, such as bleach, can be harmful if it comes into contact with the eyes or mouth. Fortunately, mouthwash is a fantastic floor cleaner, and it’s pet and child-friendly too. Mix a cup of mouthwash into your bucket of water and get to work cleaning that floor!

Freshens Breath

Of course, one of the known uses for mouthwash is for regular oral care. Mouthwash not only removes leftover plaque and kills off germs and bacteria, helping to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy, it also freshens your breath too.

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If you’ve eaten a tasty meal loaded with garlic or another heavily aromatic ingredient, rinsing your mouth with mouthwash will neutralize the smell on your breath, leaving a fresh and minty taste in your mouth. Mouthwash is one of the strongest breath fresheners around. It works quickly and effectively to freshen your breath without damaging your teeth.

A Handy Bathroom Cleaner

Depending on the surfaces and features in your bathroom, you may find that you need a whole host of different cleaning products to clean it properly. One product for the mirror, one for tiles, another for sinks, and yet, another for the shower cubicle.

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Although mouthwash isn’t the best replacement for these specialist cleaning products, it is a terrific last-minute replacement should you run out of your regular cleaning agents. Dilute a cup of mouthwash with water and use it to wipe down sinks, glass, tiles, and toilets.

Keep Your Pets Flea-Free

Everybody knows that pet products can be expensive. That’s one of the reasons why you should think carefully about committing yourself to having a pet. However, some pet owners have found that mouthwash is perfect for keeping your pets free from fleas!


Flea sprays and other remedies can be expensive, and the price tends to increase depending on the dog’s weight and size. But provided that your pet doesn’t have sensitive skin or any wounds, you can get rid of the fleas by mixing a little mouthwash to your pet’s shampoo or bath water before rinsing off.

Tackle Ticks

There’s a common misconception that ticks are only a threat to animals and pets, but this is not true. Humans can also get rather sick after being bitten by ticks, and the consequences could be fatal if left untreated. The most important thing to remember about tick bites, no matter whether it’s you or your pet that gets bit, is that you have to remove the embedded tick body in full.


Removing a tick can be tricky, and there’s always the worry that you’ll end up leaving part of it in your skin. Luckily, this little mouthwash tip makes the job much easier! Simply soak a paper towel in some mouthwash and place it over the tick bite. Hold it there for a few seconds, and the tick should let go and remove itself from the skin in no time!

A Cleaning Product You Can Keep in Your Handbag

Now more than ever, we should all be looking at ways to keep ourselves and our belongings clean and hygienic while out and about. One of the biggest culprits for harboring germs and bacteria in our handbags is our phone!

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Dirty phone screens can cause skin breakouts and spread germs, which is why you need to keep them clean. Make yourself a little bottle of travel screen cleaner by pouring a little bit of mouthwash into a small, sealed bottle. Keep it in your handbag and use it to clean your phone screen while on the go.

Polish Wall Decor

Wall decor can really make or break the appearance of your home. When it looks clean and polished, it improves the look of your living environment. Yet, after time it can begin to look dull and unkempt, probably covered in finger prints.


But it’s easy to keep wall decor clean with the help of mouthwash. This mouthwash trick works on metallic wall decor. The mouthwash acts as a polish, cleaning off dirt and polishing the surface so that it shines and sparkles once more. To try this yourself, dilute a bit of mouthwash in some water and use it to polish your wall decor, using a microfiber cloth.

Relieves and Protects Blisters

Blisters are painful and uncomfortable, but because they are so common and rarely require professional medical assistance, most people are unaware that blisters can become infected, especially if they burst. If they become infected, you will certainly know about it!


Getting a blister is sometimes unavoidable so when you do get one, try to make sure that it doesn’t get infected. You can use mouthwash to protect your blister and relieve any soreness. Just dab a drop of mouthwash onto the blister itself, using your finger or a bit of cotton wool.

Soil Purify

If you have plants in your home or workplace then you may notice that fungi and mildew can begin to form around the soil. This can spread and eventually hinder the plants’ ability to grow and even kill them off!


Should you notice any mildew or fungi beginning to form around your plants, take control of the problem by using a mouthwash solution. Combine 1 part mouthwash to 3 parts water, mix and pour into a spray bottle. Spray the liquid onto your plants’ topsoil every week to kill the fungi and keep your plants and soil healthy.

Toothache Relief

Do you suffer from a toothache? Sometimes it’s nothing but it can be something more serious, in which you will need to seek professional dental care. But while you’re suffering with that dull, achy pain, use mouthwash for temporary toothache relief.

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Whenever your toothache starts to kick in, apply a bit of mouthwash to the area that hurts. The active ingredients in mouthwash will help to numb the pain, and the antiseptic properties in mouthwash will also kill off any bacteria, keeping the affected area clean while you find the root of the problem.

Clean and Protect New Piercings

Usually, whenever you get a new piercing, you will be given a cleaning fluid to clean the newly pierced skin at least once a day. Not all piercing stores give you this fluid for free, and it can be pricey.

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Even if you already have a bottle, it can quickly run out, and you don’t want that new piercing to become infected! But don’t worry, you can always use mouthwash. Take a bit of mouthwash on a cotton pad and dab it on to the new piercing. It will keep the area clean and prevent infections.

A Minty Toilet Cleaner

You have to be careful when choosing toilet cleaners. Some toilet cleaning products can corrode the ceramic coating of the toilet dish, whereas others do little more than make the area smell nice. Mouthwash is a safe product that can be used to clean your toilet.

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Considering that most toilet cleaners have either a floral or minty scent anyway, it doesn’t seem misplaced to clean your toilet with mouthwash. Mouthwash will disinfect your toilet, as well as removing any lingering odors. Pour a bit of mouthwash into your toilet, brush it around before flushing!

Glass Cleaner

When it comes to domestic chores, cleaning your windows and glass furniture can be challenging. It’s so easy to use the wrong product to clean your glass and windows, which can make them appear smeared and foggy and probably worse than they looked, to begin with.


You might be surprised to learn that mouthwash is an excellent product for cleaning windows and any other glass objects in your home, whether it’s a mirror or glass table. Just use a couple of drops on a microfiber cloth and polish your glass as you normally would. It will make your windows and glass clear and shiny!

Removes Mold

Mold can be a major issue in your home, and it certainly doesn’t look or smell very appealing. If your home has serious damp problems, then this tip probably isn’t going to be enough for you, but if you’ve noticed mold growing in your kitchen or bathroom due to the humid environment, then mouthwash is all that you need!


Mouthwash works best at tackling mold when the mold is fresh and new. You need to act fast at treating the mold patch as soon as you notice it for this trick to work. Apply a generous amount of mouthwash to a cleaning cloth or sponge and wipe away the mold.

Gets Rid of Acne

With its high alcohol content and antiseptic properties, mouthwash is brilliant at getting rid of acne. Acne breakouts are certainly no fun, and it’s even worse if you suffer from adult acne, which can be even more difficult to fight.

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Dabbing a little bit of mouthwash on to a spot will help to dry up the spot and speed up the healing process. Using alcohol on acne will keep your skin and pores clean while working effectively on clearing up any spots you may have.

Anti-Dandruff Hack

Dandruff is a skin complaint that is more common than you think. Although there are many factors that can help you fight unsightly dandruff, such as diet and skincare products, if you’re looking for a quick fix, then mouthwash is what you need!

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Mouthwash, rather surprisingly, is an effective and affordable remedy for dandruff. All you need to do is to massage the mouthwash into your scalp while your hair is dry and then wash your hair as normal with your regular shampoo.

Gets Rid of Food Smells off Your Hands

There’s no denying that some ingredients, such as onion, garlic, and fish all add heaps of taste when cooking with them. However, when working with these ingredients, the smell can get into your hands and settle underneath your skin. It’s difficult to get rid of some food smells from your hands.

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There are certain cleaning products out there that are designed to help. For one, aluminum soap is said to help remove the smell of fish from your hands. If you’re looking for a universal product to remove the scent of any potent-smelling foods from your hands, then try washing your hands with mouthwash, which is brilliant for eliminating odors.

Sore Throat Remedy

Of course, when it comes to health issues, you must always follow your symptoms to see how they persist. We are in no way acting as a replacement for professional medical advice here. However, there are claims that mouthwash can help ease a sore throat.

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Sore throats can be very uncomfortable. If you’re experiencing discomfort or just want your sore throat to clear up faster, try gargling with mouthwash. The antiseptic properties will keep your throat clean and prevent bacteria from spreading, plus it will relieve the soreness temporarily.

DIY Aftershave

It’s crazy how much people are willing to spend on perfumes and aftershaves when there is an equally effective product that costs a fraction of the price and probably already have at home. Yes, you got it! Mouthwash can also be used as a DIY aftershave.


Admittedly, you probably won’t want to give up your favorite fragrances in exchange for using mouthwash as your usual aftershave. Still, it sure is a good backup option for when you’ve run out of your normal aftershave. Splash a bit of mouthwash on in the same way you’d apply your aftershave to keep you feeling and smelling fresh and groomed.

Keep Your Toothbrush Free from Germs

Although we don’t like to think about it, our toothbrushes can harbor a lot of germs. What’s worse is that depending on where you store your toothbrush in your bathroom, there could be even more bacteria lurking in between those bristles.


Like with all personal care products, they need to either be cleaned or replaced regularly. Keep your toothbrush clean and fresh, not to mention germ-free, by cleaning it with mouthwash every now and then. Pour a little mouthwash into a glass and submerge the head of your toothbrush into it. Leave your toothbrush soaking for about 10-20 minutes before removing.

Keep Your Trash Odor-Free

No matter whether it’s your trash bin that you keep inside your home or outside, over time, our trash bins can really begin to smell. Once that smell has set in, it is difficult to get rid of, and it’s not a viable option to replace your trash bin every time it gets smelly.


When you notice your trash bin starting to smell bad, take a piece of paper towel and soak it in mouthwash. All you need to do is then throw the mouthwash-soaked paper towel in the trash. The mouthwash will neutralize the scent of old and new garbage and make your trash smell fresh and clean.

The Perfect Screen Cleaner

There are some household products that we seem to run out of constantly. Screen cleaner is one of the top items on that list. The other issue is that some screen cleaners are better suited to certain types of screens and are therefore not a universal product.


Did you know that mouthwash serves as the perfect screen cleaner? What’s more, is that most people always have a bottle of mouthwash in their bathroom cupboard! Mouthwash is ideal for cleaning almost all screens, from TV screens to phones and laptops.

Washing Machines Live Longer with Mouthwash

If keeping on top of your laundry load wasn’t bad enough, the other issue is maintaining your washing machine to ensure it stays clean and fully functioning. There is so much that clogs up and shortens the lifespan of a washing machine, but mouthwash can be a big help!

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Next time you do a laundry load, add in a cup of mouthwash along with your normal detergent. Not only will the mouthwash kill any extra germs on your garments, it will also clean out your washing machine and break down any limescale residue.

Banish Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus is no laughing matter, and while it might be something you try to hide away and dismiss, if left untreated, it can turn nasty should the infection spread. Not only that, toenail fungus can be difficult to cure, especially if you get repeated bouts of it.

Luckily, the answer to your problems lies in your bathroom in the form of humble mouthwash. Mix together a little mouthwash with some warm water and soak your feet in the solution for about twenty minutes. Repeat this regularly to banish your toenail fungus quickly and effectively!

Clear Up Bruises Faster

Bruises can be a major inconvenience, especially if you find yourself with a huge bruise on the part of your body that can’t be easily covered up. Some people bruise more easily than others, and therefore you might feel as though you are constantly covered in bruises.


Mouthwash can work to clear up bruises quickly. Whenever you have a bruise, apply a few drops of neat mouthwash to some cotton wool and place it on the bruise. The mouthwash press will increase fresh blood flow to the area, which will help speed up the healing process.

Pain Relief for Stings and Bites

Insect bites and stings can be really uncomfortable, not to mention painful sometimes too! There are many products on the market that claim to relieve the pain and discomfort caused by insect bites but not all of them are that effective at the job they claim to do.


Next time you get bit by a bug, try using mouthwash to numb the pain and control the itching sensation. Mouthwash works instantly, and its active ingredients work to heal up the bite faster. It’s really simple, just add a few drops of mouthwash onto some cotton wool and press it over the bite.

Stop Itching

You might think that using mouthwash on your skin would cause itching and irritation. This could be true if you have eczema, sensitive skin, or another skin condition. However, if an allergy or sting has caused your skin irritation then mouthwash is excellent for stopping itching!


If you’ve suffered an allergy from a prickly plant, such as holly or ivy, and can’t stop the itching sensation, then all you need to do is rub the infected area with a little mouthwash. The mouthwash will stop the itching instantly!

Rid Your Home of Bugs

It doesn’t take much for your home to fall victim to an infestation of bugs. The worst thing is that once you get them in your home, they can be difficult to get rid of. Bug sprays work quickly and effectively, but they can be harmful to your environment and dangerous to breathe in.


Next time you need to rid your home of unwanted bugs, take a bottle of mouthwash and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray the mouthwash into the air in your home. Not only will this make your home smell light and fresh, but it will also get rid of the flies and other insects invading your home, and even better, it will stop them from coming back!

An Antiseptic for Cuts

Any product that contains alcohol is usually fantastic for treating cuts and scrapes. Alcohol kills germs and prevents infection, which is just what you need for cuts and wounds. Mouthwash has antiseptic properties, which will clean up the cut before you cover it up to heal.


Please note that alcohol does not give the same effect as drinking it. So there is no way of preventing nasty cuts by glugging a glass of your favorite tipple…in case you were wondering! But by all means, keep an alcohol-based product in your first aid kit to treat cuts!

Put an End to Coughing Fits

Do you ever have those times when you feel a cough coming on and then realize it’s going to be one of those continuous coughing fits? Not only can they be uncomfortable, but they can also make you feel awkward, as they always seem to come at the worst possible times.

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It’s worth trying this mouthwash hack to cure your coughing fit the next time one occurs. A coughing fit is usually brought on by bacteria in the respiratory system, which is why gargling mouthwash for a couple of seconds helps to end the coughing fit quickly. The mouthwash breaks down the bacteria and cures the coughing!

Prolong the Life of Your Flowers

How is it that flowers never seem to last when we are left to our own devices to look after them?! Caring for flowers is a bit of an art, so you definitely need to consider taking on board all the helpful tips and tricks that come your way.


And here’s a good one to try: mouthwash! Add a few drops of mouthwash to the water in your vase. Don’t overdo it, though! Work to the ratio of 2 tablespoons of mouthwash to one gallon of water. This will help to prolong the life of any fresh-cut flowers you have in vases.

Facial Cleanser

This sounds painful, but actually, it’s not. Although you shouldn’t apply mouthwash to broken or sensitive skin, the dental product works great as a simple facial cleanser. The alcohol properties cleanse the skin and help to fight acne.


Simply apply a few drops of mouthwash onto a cotton pad and work it into the skin. Facial cleansers can be expensive, but mouthwash is a relatively inexpensive product that works just as well as a facial cleanser as it does to keep your mouth healthy!