Homemade Tooth Whitening Powder with Activated Charcoal

Tooth powder. You read that right! It's time to ditch your traditional toothpaste and enjoy the benefits of using a natural tooth-whitening powder to brush your teeth, and thankfully, it's not as strange as it sounds.  This simple recipe has added ingredients like activated charcoal, bentonite clay, and peppermint essential oil to help keep those teeth pearly white as well!

Homemade Whitening Tooth Powder Recipe

Ditch the Toxic Tooth Paste

I have been using some form of “natural” toothpaste for many years.  Once I learned about the dangers of fluoride, I made the switch to natural and fluoride-free.  I've tried everything from Toms brand to baking soda to coconut oil.  I was always left feeling a bit, well, fuzzy.  You know what I'm talking about.  There's just something satisfying about running your tongue along your teeth and feeling squeaky clean.

Stumbled Upon Natural Tooth Whitening Powder

Luckily we live in an era that seems to be getting back to the basics (at least, I feel that we're leaning in that general direction), and I stumbled upon tooth powder.  The concept seemed totally crazy!  It's basically like rubbing dirt on your teeth to get them clean. Pretty silly, right? I admit it did take some time to get used to it! 

We're so conditioned to believe that foamy, sudsy, minty toothpaste is the only thing out there that will get the job done. But you can't knock it till you try it. There are lots of natural tooth-whitening powders on the market today, and I'm sure most of them are great. However, I love to make my own homemade recipes and feel like the tooth powder I'm sharing with you is right up there with the best of them. And, of course, you'll save a boatload of money over the course of a year if you make your own.

Learn About the Ingredients in this Natural Tooth Whitening Powder

Activated Charcoal

The key whitening ingredient in this natural tooth-whitening recipe is food-grade activated charcoal.  That is what makes this tooth powder a lovely grey color.  It's also what will turn you into a scary-looking monster when you brush with it.  The charcoal will turn your mouth and teeth black.  Your kids may run and hide the first few times they see you using it.  But don't worry, they'll want to join in the fun too.    It does rinse clean out of your mouth but try not to get any on your clothing as it WILL stain.

Activated Charcoal Also Works Well for Stomach Issues

Before I started using activated charcoal on my teeth, I was using it for occasional upset stomachs or for times when I was exposed to gluten.  The charcoal binds to toxins and helps get them out of your system safely.  This is the same stuff used for stomach pumping in hospitals!  If it works, it works! 

The same idea stands for tooth whitening. The charcoal absorbs and pulls stains away from the tooth enamel. Activated charcoal is a great item to have on hand.  I simply opened the capsules I had on hand but will be purchasing some in loose powder form when I run out.

Xylitol for Squeaky Clean Teeth

First, let me say that xylitol is highly poisonous to dogs.  If you do use this optional ingredient, please be sure to keep it out of reach of curious dogs. Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol.  It can now be readily found in most grocery stores near the sweeteners.  It's super sweet and can be used to sweeten drinks, baked goods, chewing gum, etc.

However, xylitol has also been found to help break down bio-film in the body.  Xlear is a brand of nasal spray that uses xylitol to help break up mucus membranes that harbor bacteria.  Stroll through any health food store, and you'll most likely see several products with xylitol as the star ingredient.  It helps break through the bio-film on your teeth, making them easier to get clean and keep clean.  That fact, along with its natural sweetness, makes a great addition to this tooth powder.

White Cosmetic Clay

The bulk of this tooth powder is made from clay.  I chose to use white cosmetic clay that I purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs.  You can also use bentonite clay, although the final product will be grittier.  Bentonite clay is a good option as it can help draw out impurities and heal teeth, but most any high-quality natural clay will do just fine.

I just found that I really like the texture of this clay, and I can also use it in other self-care items like facial masks (see my bentonite clay face mask recipe here). And my husband agrees – he refused to use tooth powder until I switched to white cosmetic clay.  He said the powder made with bentonite clay tasted and felt like sand.  And yes, my husband actually uses this tooth powder!  He hasn't touched his old tube of Crest since we switched to this.  If your hubby is as stubborn as mine, you'll understand that this is a huge testament to the effectiveness of this toothpowder.

Essential Oils for a Healthy Mouth

Peppermint essential oil is my preferred oil for this recipe but feel free to get creative. Clove essential oil is wonderful for gum and oral health.  Cinnamon would be delicious. Orange essential oil might be a great choice for kids (over 2), and it also provides extra whitening powder.  For the recipe I share below, I add about 8 drops of peppermint oil.  You can add more or less drops to your taste preferences. It's going to add freshness and aid in cleansing the mouth.

How to Use this Powder

Simply wet your brush, tap off the excess water, dip it into the powder, and tap off the excess.  I don't like to get a ton of powder on my brush, and you don't really need a lot to get the job done.

Brush as you normally would and rinse/spit till the water is clear.  I promise it won't stain your teeth!

One jar of this lasts quite a while for us. I even use this with my 2-year-old son!  He LOVES it.  We cannot brush his teeth without a “dip dip” into the tooth powder.  He hasn't quite perfected spitting, so we only dip the tiniest amount onto his brush.  Just enough to make him feel like a big boy (like Daddy).  This recipe can easily be adjusted to make a bigger batch that you can split into jars for each family member.

Make your own natural tooth whitening powder with simple, natural ingredients

So, have you ever used a tooth powder to brush with before?  Love it or hate it?  I hope this recipe gives you some inspiration to clean up your oral health products.  It is so nice knowing exactly what is in and what is not in my oral care items.  If you're feeling motivated towards a healthier mouth you can try my oil pulling chews prior to brushing.  Your mouth will feel and look amazing!


DIY Tooth Whitening Powder

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A simple and tasty tooth powder to get your teeth clean and sparkling!

  • Author: Julie – My Merry Messy Life




  1. Pour all ingredients into a small bowl and add your drops of essential oil. Using a small fork stir gently to mix the ingredients and also to break up the essential oil that may clump together. Pour into a jar that you're able to dip your toothbrush into easily.
  2. Keep out of reach of pets and children! May stain clothing, tile, etc.

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