Homemade Clay Toothpaste

Cleaning your teeth with dirt sounds pretty oxymoronic, right?

You might be surprised to know that clay toothpaste actually leaves your teeth feeling very clean. One of the things I like best about it is that it doesn’t contain glycerin, which doesn’t clean but actually coats your teeth. This coating, while it may sound like a good thing, prevents teeth from being able to remineralize and can actually weaken teeth over time.

Many of us have gotten off of conventional brands of toothpaste and switched over to something more natural. However, most “natural” toothpastes on the market still contain glycerin (but not all– some products such as tooth soap don’t).

I wrote a while back that for the purpose of avoiding glycerin, as well as fluoride, presevatives, sodium lauryl sulfate, among other things, our family was looking for something different. We had tried homemade baking-soda based toothpaste recipes and they just didn’t do it for us at all. Instead, we found Earthpaste!

Now, I still love Earthpaste and there are a couple tubes of it in our bathroom upstairs as I write this. I highly, highly recommend it to anyone looking for a 100% all-natural toothpaste option and you can read more of my glowing praise in this post.

Much as I love it (and many of you have tried it and told me you love it too), not all of my readers can afford it (or any other health food store toothpaste, for that matter). I understand. There have been many seasons in our lives when we simply couldn’t justify purchasing a pricey toothpaste when there were so many other bills to pay and just not enough money to go around.

Seeing that it’s Make It Yourself month, it seemed like the perfect time to figure out how to to it myself!

(And besides… am I the only one who gets this strange kick of out seeing how many of the things we use that I can make myself? Call me a nut, but I do this sort of thing for fun. Last night, for example, I had a Friday night to myself after the kids were in bed. And what did I do with this jewel of an opportunity? Read? Take a bath? Go to bed early? Oh no. I mucked up my kitchen making vapor rub, facial lotion (or trying anyways), more deodorant, and perfecting my clay toothpaste recipe. Just call me a party animal.)

How to make clay toothpaste

Five simple ingredients. Well, six, if you count water.

1. Dump the powdered clay in a bowl, then add sea salt.

2. Pour in the boiling water.

3. Using a hand mixer (or a sticker blender would also work), start mixing the clay until it is well blended with the water.

The consistency that you’re going for is just thick enough to stay on a toothbrush, but still thin enough that you will be able to dip a toothbrush in and easily scoop some up. If it’s too thick, this gets harder to accomplish.

In my original recipe, I used an extra 1 tsp. of clay as well as a slightly heaping 1/4 cup of it. This gave me a nice, thick texture that was still easy to use. The only problem was that over time, taking off the lid of the jar to use it started to dry it out a little bit (it didn’t help that my 3 year old started helping herself to it because she liked the flavor, and guess who never remembered to put the cap back on? Hey, at least this toothpaste is completely edible and non-toxic!).

In this second batch, I decided to make it less thick up front, to account for that slow amount of drying out that will happen over time. Either way, it will still work fine, so I’ll leave the exact texture and thickness up to you!

4. Start adding stevia, and both the peppermint and tea tree essential oils. But, don’t put the full amounts in yet. Start with half of the drops first. This gives you the ability to taste it as you go and not end up with something sweeter/stronger than you will enjoy using.

Mix it well after you add the first of the drops. Then taste a bit on the tip of your finger. Go ahead and add more stevia and/or essential oils until it tastes how you want it. For me personally, about 20 drops of stevia, 13-14 peppermint, and 4 tea tree was perfect.

In my first batch I used about 15 drops of stevia, 12 peppermint and 8 tea tree. It was fine, but the tea tree came through too strong for my liking and I wished it was slightly sweeter, hence the recipe adjustment the second time around.

That’s it!

Scoop it up into a jar. I chose this wide mouth, shallow glass mason jar, because I thought it would make it easy to dip my brush in, and it does.

Make sure you put an airtight lid on top, and keep it screwed on whenever you aren’t using it (ie. keep it out the toddler’s reach, in my case). I used a plastic screw-on mason jar lid, which was ideal.

Another idea that I had but haven’t been able to try yet is putting it into those refillable, squeezable shampoo/conditioner bottles with the flip cap that you buy at the dollar store. Do you know what I mean? If anyone tries using one of those, please let me know how it works! That’s how I plan to try it next.

What about using xylitol?

Those who are familiar with the ingredients in Earthpaste or who have just looked around the site may be wondering why I used stevia instead of xylitol.

The answer isn’t as fancy as you may hope. Honestly, it’s because that’s what I had on hand.

I know that there are controversies over whether ingesting xylitol is good or bad for you. Obviously, I haven’t made a decision that it’s bad because we buy Earthpaste and use it regularly. I have read several articles from naturally-minded, holistic dentists who believe that it is not only non-toxic, but also very helpful for preventing cavities. I’ve also read a few things suggesting it might not be 100% safe. I haven’t made up my mind yet.

If you want to use xylitol in this recipe, go ahead! A friend of mine has tried this with great results. Substitute it for the stevia, just start with a little pinch and add more slowly until you achieve the taste and sweetness you desire.

If you want to use stevia, but not the liquid, that’s fine, too. You can use either the white powdered, or the green unrefined powder, in exactly the same method. Add it slowly, to taste. That’s it.

Have you tried clay toothpaste yet? What do you currently use for your family’s toothpaste?

This isn’t a sponsored post in any way. I’m using Redmond products because I think they’re great, and it was their Earthpaste product that got me inspired to try this in the first place. :) Also, this post includes affiliate links. You aren’t obligated to use these links, but when you do I earn a small commission which helps to support this website, so thank you!

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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Comments

  1. bebe rose says:

    Great site about clay use! I’m French and my family & I have been using clay for as long as I remember. I was always told that clay should never be in contact with plastic and metal – wood, ceramic and glass are fine.
    Clay is also safe for pets.

  2. Thank you for all the great recipes. I just wanted to mention that you show metal mixing the clay. I’m using a different brand of bentonite clay and the container says to not use anything metal to stir it. I’ve read that using metal utensils can make the clay less effective. Other than that it’s a great recipe.

  3. Love the post Xylitol can make you very gassy and cause issues with bowel movement. Probably not in everyone but be aware of can get rather severe.

  4. Pat Schline says:

    How long will clay keep.

  5. I love your recipe. One mistake I saw, though, was using a metal spoon and mixing blades. Clay should not come in contact with metal as it will pull out the metal. ( it removes toxins, right?) use a plastic, glass, or wooden spoon. If you just mix the clay well by hand, you don’t need to to use an electric mixer. Bentonite Clay mixed with water to form a liquid, ( 1-8 ) is great to drink every day as a detoxifier. Always use purified water. Also, a clay mask left on the face for about 10 minutes will make your complexion glow. As you can see, I am a huge fan of clay. It’s been used for centuries and “cures” many problems. Thanks for your post.

  6. Made some clay toothpaste not sure why you boiled the water first? I didn’t and it mixed fine.
    I have some other ingredients that I added including coconut oil and it’s good to see
    other’s recipes. I read your other post about making coconut oil toothpaste and all I can say is that Dental Hygienists are as brainwashed as NP’s and RN’s. I got the same training (pharmaceutical companies fund our schools like they do medical schools). Fluoride causes bone cancer and neurological problems. Get fluoride toothpastes off the shelves!
    We need healthier products and making them ourselves is the way to go-Great article thanks…….

  7. Thank you for posting this! I have been looking for a good toothpaste and wanted to make my own with clay. so happy to hear about Earthpaste and a recipe!
    thanks!

  8. You should use plastic only to mix clay. Metal deactivates the benefits in the clay. Thanks for the recipe….I currently use tooth powder but I think my husband would prefer the paste instead of the powder.

    • What did folks use before plastic? Would wood or glass be just as safe? I really don’t want to use plastic if I can help it.

      • I agree! I would not want to use plastic. If the clay pulls out impurities then think of all the lovely impurities that it can pull out of plastic. Plastic is petroleum based for goodness sake. I mixed my toothpaste up with a fork right in the jar that I was going to keep it in. I am not too worried about it that way. I kind of think that there is a mistaken idea here, I would think that stainless steel would be much safer than plastic.

  9. Jacqueline says:

    I make a toothpowder using Bentonite clay, baking soda, sage, peppermint E.O. and stevia. I keep a larger container and spoon it into a smaller one for each individual to prevent cross contamination. I love how clean and smooth my teeth feel.

  10. I make homemade toothpaste with bentonite powder, ground sage & baking soda. I add enough coconut oil to make a decent paste, and add peppermint and clove essential oils. I measure nothing, just eyeball. I keep a large batch of the powder mixture in the bathroom, next to a little glass dish and the rest of the ingredients. I generally stir up enough at a time to last a week, because I feel like the potency of the essential oils fades over time. It looks like mud, tastes halfway decent, and I love how clean my mouth feels. I had a problem with bleeding gums, and I find that since I started using this, I’ve seen an improvement.

  11. Made it again today! Kids loved it! Believe me, that says A LOT. They never seem to like my “healthy concoctions”. But this one was a winner! I have tried so many other toothpaste recipes but have not liked ANY of them. My skin is sensitive to baking soda so I have to find something else out there. A friend told me about this recipe so I was very eager to try it. :D

    By the way, I made this recipe about a month ago and it was terrible. Tasted like saw dust in our mouth. We just barely managed to finish the jar. I had used another type of Bentonite Clay (Aztec Secret) that I had on hand. I don’t know if I missed something in the instructions or if it was the Aztec clay, but it was not good at all. I bought the Redmond’s clay and made it again today. This time it was a complete success. As for the other ingredients, I used what I had on hand.
    1/4 cup Redmond Clay
    1/4 tsp. Celtic Sea Salt
    3/8 cup (which is 6 Tbs.) Boiling water
    1/2 tsp. powered Stevia
    10 drops Clove essential oil

    Thank you so very much for posting this recipe!
    Joanna

    • with your clay toothpaste recipe….Do you just mix by hand altogether and make it like a paste? You don’t list that how to mix….thanks, Debby :-)

    • which recipe did you use to make this clay toothpaste recipe ? the one you put on your comments on keeper of the home dot org or were you talking about how you modified it and your using the one you listed on their site?
      you were saying that one of them tasted like saw dust i pretty sure you were talking about the one they had listed… I want to make the one that is better for you and tastes better !!!!! Thanks for help !! Debby :-)

  12. I love that you are using clay since it draws out toxins as well. Going to try this.

  13. Rebecca says:

    Do you have to use salt in the recipe?

    • Hi! wanted to reply to you about trying the plastic squeeze bottles for toothpaste. I make a concoction of coconut oil, magnesium calcium powder, baking powder, salt, raw honey, trace minerals and spearmint e.o, blended it and stuck it in one of those bottles with my fingers crossed. It works! I usually dont like using plastic when using essential oils, but I like it better than dipping in a container. I bet your recipe above would have a good consistency to use a squeeze bottle:)
      Thanks for all the great ideas!

      • Using refined sugar (honey) to brush your teeth seems like a really bad idea.

        • Michelle says:

          Actually, honey is antibacterial. It is a myth that sugar on your teeth causes carries. Carries are caused by nutritional deficiencies. In order to keep critical levels of minerals in our blood, our body will de-mineralize your teeth if it gets desperate.

  14. Just completed trial run #1 of this recipe and I’m really excited about it! I have braces. I’ll leave some feedback after a few more uses.

  15. Hazel Brooke says:

    I was reading your recipe for the toothpaste and was wondering if you have ever used Turmeric in any of the recipes you have tried? I ask because I was reading how good it was for your gums. And I was just diagnosed with gingivitis and was looking for a more natural way to heal the gums then having “Scaling” done. Do you have any suggestions/ Thank you for your time.

  16. Thank you so much for this recipe. I would be a bit concerned with cross contamination with dipping a used tooth brush into a jar so I went for the squeeze bottle for storage. Getting the paste into the squeeze bottles is a snap. Just put the prepared product into a pastry bag, (or even a plain plastic storage bag after the product is in the bag just snip enough of a corner off to fit the end of the bag into the squeeze bottle.) This not only eliminates any waste but also saves the tussle of trying to scoop the product into the squeeze bottle with a spatula or spoon. Again thanks for sharing this awesome recipe.

    • I keep a plastic knife in the bathroom that I use to put the toothpaste on with, no cross contamination. Could also use a Popsicle stick or something like that to avoid plastic. Just toss as needed

    • If one was going to use a plastic container anyway, seems you could just keep it in the ziploc or pastry/decorator bag. Some even come with caps, I think. Even if not, that tiny opening shouldn’t allow much drying out to happen. Then you could just squeeze it onto your brush.

      • Oh, no! I just read on another site that bentonite will not only pull the metal out of metal implements, it will pull plastic toxins out of plastic, too, once it is activated by getting wet. I won’t be using plastic to store mine.

  17. There is a thing called “go tubes” that I think would be perfect to put this toothpaste in. They are squeezeable and also have a big enough opening for lotion or conditioner. If I wanted to make a cinnamon flavored, do you use cinnamon essential oil vs. liquid flavoring?

  18. Can’t wait to try out this recipe! Have all my ingredients and just need to figure out how I’m going to store it.

    2 things:
    1) any concern about contamination with germs from dipping a toothbrush into the same jar every day, multiple times? maybe it’s no different than the squeeze tubes…(?)
    2) maybe the concern with Xylitol lies in where it comes from – I certainly wouldn’t want the kind that comes from corn since most corn is GMO – I’ve read that xylitol from Birch is the best, and that’s what I selected to try for my toothpaste (found it on Vitacost – it’s called “The Ultimate Sweetener 100% Pure Birch Sugar” – in fact, I’m not even sure it came up under a search for “xylitol” on their website – I kinda happened across it and was THRILLED to find a BIRCH xylitol rather than one from corn).

    Just some food for thought. No pun intended. ;)

  19. MamaRhino says:

    I am new to trying out homemade toothpaste and made my first batch today before finding this recipe – which I plan to try! Thank you for the new twist on toothpaste, I never would’ve thought of putting clay in it, but I do have some bentonite clay and I didn’t really like the recipe I tried today (not yours by the way).
    Anyway, in my search for a better toothpaste recipe today I did find some interesting ways to store and use the toothpaste. One that I really liked particularly (probably because I am a licensed cosmetologist) is using a CLEAN hair dye bottle that has a little cap. I thought this would be more user friendly and easier than to open yet another jar every morning. Anyway, thank you again for the recipe. I will try it after I get some Stevia or xylitol, whichever I find first.

  20. Can you leave out the Stevia?

  21. Thanks for the toothpaste recipe! I was just looking at my clay toothpaste and my jar of clay on my bathroom counter the other day and thought there just had to be a way to make it myself instead of buying it next time.

  22. Jeri Poole says:

    Do you know if this is safe for braces?

    • Jameson says:

      It won’t hurt your braces, but it will leach metals from them, which could hurt you. Also, people with metal (mercury) fillings, bentonite will leach mercury out of your fillings, and it can make you sick. If you have fillings, stick to something with a larger particle size, baking soda, etc.

Trackbacks

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