Mouthwashes have been a relatively recent introduction into the dental care. However, they have become widely popular due to their ease of use and immediate benefits.
Listerine is one such immensely popular mouthwash which is very effective in maintains dental hygiene and it also recommended by many dentists. It is now available in many different varieties and in multiple refreshing flavours which help in refreshing the mouth and killing germs as well.
This article brings to you the various Listerine uses along with some other hacks using it.
Listerine Uses and Benefits
Listerine is essentially an antiseptic mouthwash which eliminates and kills the germs in our mouth. Here are some claimed Listerine uses and benefits:
- Helps in making the breath fresh
- Kills harmful bacteria in the mouth
- Reduces plaque
- Prevents bacterial regrowth
- Helps in restoring the enamel
- Listerine reaches all parts of the mouth and removes 99.9% of the germs
- Reduces gum problems in just 2 weeks
The composition of Listerine is as follows:
The active ingredients in Listerine include:
- Menthol (mint) – 0.042%
- Thymol (thyme) – 0.064%
- Methyl salicylate (wintergreen) – 0.06%
- Eucalyptol (eucalyptus) – 0.092%
- Ethanol – 21.6%(in the flavoured product)/26.9% (in the original gold Listerine Antiseptic)
While most ingredients are used for getting a fresh breath and eliminating foul breath, ethanol tends to have anti-inflammatory effects and gets rid of bacteria. Listerine uses Mint, eucalyptus, thyme and wintergreen in the form of essential oils.
Listerine uses for dental hygiene
One of the foremost Listerine uses is oral care, for which one can follow this procedure:
- Take 20 ml of Listerine. There is absolutely no need to dilute it with water.
- Rinse your mouth with this for 30 seconds by moving the liquid around your mouth.
- Spit it out.
- Do not rinse the mouth with water or eat and drink anything for the following 30 minutes after using Listerine, as this will minimise its effect.
- For best and visible results, you must use Listerine in the same way, at least 2 times a day.
Listerine Uses as Life Hacks
There are multiple Listerine uses. Here are some fun and easy to do hacks which will help you to use that 1 Listerine bottle in numerous ways.
Getting rid of a toothache
We may experience a toothache for multiple reasons. One of them could be poor oral hygiene. Another very common cause of a toothache is teeth eruption. In the case of poor hygiene, using Listerine as a life hack is simply not enough.
Getting regular dental checkups done is recommended to prevent the pain from recurring. However, as a temporary solution, Listerine will be useful. To get rid yourself of the pain in a particular area in the mouth, or another toothache, you can apply some Listerine to numb the particular area and ward off the pain.
- Take a cotton ball which has been dipped in some Listerine. You may use any variety of Listerine for this.
- Do not use diluted Listerine for this as water will reduce the numbing effect.
- Now place the Listerine-dipped cotton ball over the area where you are experiencing pain.
- Dab it gently but make sure it is not dripping.
- Now let it stay in that area for 1 minute.
- Remove the cotton ball after 1 minute but if you can keep the soaked cotton ball for a longer duration of time then it would be better.
- Avoid rinsing the mouth or drinking water for the next 30 minutes.
- Do this remedy once or two times a day.
Getting rid of body odour
Body odour is a very common hygiene issue. One may encounter body odour when the sweat gets trapped in the skin area and then it begins to smell foul. This problem may be worse in some individuals. Foul body odour is linked to obesity as well. The problem of body odour gets worse during the hotter months of summer when we usually sweat a lot more.
However, Listerine can serve as a quick deodorant and a sanitizer as well. The reason why this will work effectively like deodorant is that Listerine uses the properties of its key ingredients to mask the body odour completely. It also helps one get rid of the germs in the underarms area as well, therefore, eliminating the root cause of foul body odour.
- Take a cotton pad and add some Listerine to it. It is best to use the classic variety of Listerine for this as it has no fragrance of its own. Frequent users may recognise the fragrance of other Listerine varieties.
- Now use the cotton pad in sweeping motions to deodorise the skin area of the underarms.
- You can add more Listerine to the cotton pad for removing the foul body odour.
- In case, you have been sweating a lot, place the cotton pad on the skin of the underarms and let it stay for 10-15 seconds. Then use swiping motions to clean the area.
- Repeat this for the other underarm.
- Use this remedy once a day.
Precaution: Don’t try this remedy if you have just waxed or shaved the underarms area. The skin remains very sensitive during that time and applying Listerine may lead to an intense burning sensation.
Getting rid of dandruff
Dandruff is a common hair problem which women and men suffer from alike. Dandruff is actually a fungal infestation which does not bring any harm to the scalp necessarily but can make things very inconvenient for the individual. This is because dandruff usually sheds off the scalp and this may get collected on the shoulders.
Studies show that if the dandruff is continuously shedding on the skin of the back and the face, then it may enter the pores and cause acne. Dandruff can also be a facilitating factor in hair fall. Dandruff can be very stubborn to get rid of as well. There are many hacks which can help with that and using Listerine is one of them.
- Take 1 cup of Listerine and dilute it with 1 cup of water.
- Add 4-5 tablespoons of lemon juice and mix well to prepare a solution.
- Divide your hair into different sections.
- Dip a cotton ball in the Listerine solution and apply it on the scalp and hair length directly. Do not apply it to the hair ends.
- You can also apply the solution on the scalp by pressing the cotton ball on the scalp. Apply it as you divide the hair into different sections.
- Let the solution stay on your scalp for 30 minutes.
- Rinse it off with lukewarm water. There is absolutely no need to rinse it off with shampoo.
- Do this remedy once a week.
Getting rid of rough skin on the feet
Our feet can turn really dry and rough in the winter months. Often, we neglect or avoid taking proper care of our feet and over some time, dead skin cells tend to harden over the heel area and turn very rough. The skin may get piled into layers of dead skin cells and eventually begin to crack. If such a point is reached, then the risk of fungal infections in the skin cracks increases.
So, to get rid of the unwanted layers of dead skin cells, Listerine can be used. It will melt off the rough skin very easily and help you get rid of patchy skin.
- Take 6-7 cups of hot water. Make the water is only that hot as much as your feet can bear. The hot water will help to soften dead skin cells faster.
- To the hot water, add ½ cup of Listerine.
- Add 6-7 tablespoons of white vinegar and 3-4 tablespoons of lemon juice.
- Add in 4 teaspoons of salt and mix well so that it gets dissolved.
- Soak your feet in this hot water for up to 15 minutes or till the water cools down.
- Take out your feet and use a foot scrub or a foot filer to scrub off the dead skin cells from the feet.
- Wipe your feet dry.
- Do this remedy 2 times a month.
Getting rid of pimples
Pimples can erupt on the skin for multiple reasons. The most common cause of pimples is clogged pores which happen when the pores are plugged with excess oil and dirt. This is also a common problem with oily skin. In order to prevent pimples and shrink existing pimples, Listerine can be used. It is very effective in drawing out the moisture from a pimple and reducing its appearance within a matter of minutes.
Applying Listerine to the affected area can also be very helpful in reducing the redness on the skin. This is mainly because Listerine contains a significant amount of alcohol which acts as a drying agent.
- Take a cotton ball and soak it in Listerine.
- Press that Listerine soaked cotton ball over the affected area and let it stay for 15 minutes.
- Rinse it off with plain water.
- Do this remedy two times a day(with sufficient time gap) to reduce and shrink the pimple.
Precaution: It is not recommended to apply Listerine over the skin multiple times a day. It could lead to skin peeling on dry skin as well. Hence, this remedy must not be used on dry and sensitive skin. It must be used occasionally.
Sanitizing the floor
Since Listerine is effective in killing germs, it can be used as a cleaning agent as well. However, it is recommended to use Listerine in it’s concentrated form for cleaning purpose especially when being used on the floor.
- Take some Listerine on an old toothbrush that is no longer in use.
- Use this toothbrush to sanitize the floor, it can also help remove the stains present on the floor or any such surface.
Precaution: It is not recommended to use Listerine alone for cleaning the entire floor as it is specially designed to suit sensitive skin of the mouth. It may not be very effective in removing stubborn stains.
Removing fungus from plants
This may not be one of the many common Listerine uses but is surprisingly effective. Since Listerine is prepared with such ingredients to have an antibacterial and antifungal effect, it can be used for getting rid of fungus that affects the plants. It can also be used for getting rid of certain worms too that affect the plants.
However, this is not a permanent solution and in order to use Listerine effectively, it must be sprayed on the plants as soon as signs of fungus or worm infestation are seen.
- Take 1 cup of Listerine and mix it with 3 cups of water.
- Add this solution into a spray bottle and spray over the affected areas of plants 3-4 times.
- Do this remedy once a day until the signs of fungal growth are gone.
Precaution: Do not spray it over the roots of the plants or the fruits and flowers. This can cause them to dry out. Try as much as possible to spray it directly over the affected area only.
Getting rid of food smell from fingers
Cooking with herbs or vegetables in the kitchen and eating food with hands can cause the smell to linger. Handling vegetables like garlic and onions can leave an unpleasant odour on your hands since they contain high amounts of sulphur. Listerine can be used to get rid of this smell.
- Take ½ cup of Listerine and add it to 2 cups of warm water.
- Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda and mix well.
- Dip your hands in this water and soak them for 10 minutes.
- Rinse the hands with plain water and then apply some moisturiser to prevent dryness.
To get rid of stains on the glass or your windows, Listerine can be used quite effectively.
- Take ½ cup of Listerine and add it to 2 cups of warm water.
- Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda and mix well.
- Use this solution to clean glass windows or even glass cups and vases as you normally do.
- There have been issues raised about Listerine regarding its alcohol content since the high alcohol content can cause some damage to the lining of the mouth and also increase the chances of oral cancer. As a solution to this, the company has now launched the alcohol-free version of Listerine known as Listerine zero. One should consult a dentist to understand which variety will be the most suitable for him/her.
- Listerine must not be used if there are any cuts or sensitive spots in the mouth as it could irritate the bruised skin.
- It must not be used for individuals who suffer from dry mouth as this would aggravate those issues.
- Listerine must not be used by children below the age of 15 years.
There are no significant side effects associated with the usage of Listerine for oral hygiene as well as on the skin. However, any allergic reactions must be reported to the dentist. Experiencing a tingling sensation while using it in the mouth is a common effect and is not harmful. However, excessive burning may be experienced by individuals with sensitive gums.