Homemade Toothpaste + How to Dispose of Bamboo Toothbrushes
400 million toothpaste tubes are discarded every year in the United States alone. On a global level, that number rises to 1.5 billion discarded toothpaste tubes. The tubes can not be commonly recycled because they are often a mix of different materials.
There are several options for zero-waste toothpaste, you can now get toothpaste tabs, jars, and powder (like ZippNadas Toothpowder). Additionally, depending on your preference it is also one of those things that are so easy and cheap to make!
Zero-Waste Toothpaste Recipe
For one reason or another, my quest for “zero-waste” toothpaste began when I started reacting to conventional toothpaste. Everything was fine until one day I begin getting painful sores in my mouth- similar to the one you get when you drink too much orange juice or bite your lip when you are chewing a little too aggressively...I tried switching up toothpaste, I tried different natural kinds of toothpaste, and yet the sores persisted in annoying pain. I was already on my way to making the transition to zero-waste oral care. I just purchased my first bamboo toothbrush and was exploring some zero-waste toothpaste options. What I found were expensive and being the frugal gal I am, I decided to try my hand at making my own. After three or four recipes I found one that was:
- Simple to make
- I already had all the ingredients on hand
- Tasted and had the texture I enjoyed
- Long shelf life
- Didn’t give me sores
After voicing my concerns to my dentist he informed me that I was probably sensitive or allergic to a common ingredient in toothpaste- this explained that once I switched to my homemade toothpaste the painful abrasions faded away and I was once again able to enjoy food without any irritation. Because the recipe is so budget-friendly, eco-friendly, and health-conscious I decided to stick with what was working for me.
***I want to note before I share my recipe- I am not a health professional or a dentist. I am simply sharing what has worked for me and my body. Everybody is different so what works for me may not work for you. Take what serves you and leave the rest***
That said here is my zero-waste toothpaste recipe:
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon bentonite clay
- 2 drops mint essential oil
- 2 drops On-Guard essential oil
Mix all contents, wait to harden or you can put it in the fridge.
Wet toothbrush, dip in the container (little goes a LONG way) brush teeth as normal.
Plastic toothbrushes are a wasteful issue filling up our landfills. The United States alone discards over a billion toothbrushes (50 million pounds of waste) Every.Single.Year. These brushes harm wildlife that mistake it for food and pollute our waterways by leaching harmful chemicals.
Bamboo toothbrushes take around six months to compost compared to the hundreds of years a plastic one takes to just break down into smaller pieces. They last just as long as conventional plastic brushes and are a fast-growing grass which requires no fertilizer, self-regenerates from its roots making it a wonderfully sustainable material. When compared to conventional toothbrushes bamboo toothbrushes are a more sustainable option, not perfect, but rather a big step in the right direction. Although the handle is compostable the bristles are made of nylon and are not compostable (bristles need to be removed by pliers before the base can be composted). Today, pig hair remains the only biodegradable option – and it is a very controversial material due to ethical reasons. Please beware of other companies selling “biodegradable bristles” – no such thing currently exists.
- The bristles should be removed first.
- To remove the bristles use a pair of pliers to carefully pull them out of the bamboo.
- Compost the bamboo part of the toothbrush by putting it in a compost heap in your garden.
- Alternatively you can use base as a garden marker
Thanks for reading! Tag ZippNada on social media if you try this zero-waste toothpaste recipe as always- wishing you best,