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12 Other Effective Uses For Listerine Mouthwash Besides Fresh Breath

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Listerine isn’t just for freshening your breath and reducing plaque.  Originally in 1879, Listerine was found to be an effective antiseptic for use in surgical procedures! It wasn’t until 1914 that Listerine became the first prescription product in the US to be sold over the counter as a product to kill oral germs.

As you can see, Listerine has a long history.  Some of the other uses for Listerine are possible because of the essential oils; menthol, eucalyptol, thymol and methyl salicylate.  These work together to create a great antiseptic, bug repellant, anti-fungal treatment and more!


Why Listerine Should NOT Be Used

Mouthwash including Listerine, should only be used
Mouthwash including Listerine, should only be used for oral care, and not for Lice treatment.

So, although Listerine can kill lice, it’s not advisable to use it for this purpose.

Listerine is a medical product that is designed to prevent bad breath and gum disease, and it’s licensed as such. To be sold as a lice treatment, a product must first be extensively tested by the FDA and other regulatory agencies. Clinical trials must be carried out and the product proven to be consistently effective. Bottom line – Listerine is mouthwash, not a treatment for head lice!

Also, if you apply something to your skin, some of it will be absorbed into your bloodstream, especially if you leave it on for an extended period. Alcohol evaporates, and you will inhale some of it. Now, although that might not be an issue for adults, it could be dangerous for kids. Note that Listerine bottles carry a warning that the product should not be used by children under 12 years of age.

The warning refers to swilling a capful of Listerine around the mouth and then spitting it out. That means that hardly any alcohol would be absorbed, but even so, it’s still not recommended for use in kids. Leaving Listerine on the scalp for a prolonged period is far more dangerous.

Finally, alcohol is likely to dehydrate the skin of the scalp, leading to irritation and flaking.

How to use Listerine for dandruff treatment

Those who have used Listerine for dandruff treatment will agree with us that, of all the home cures for dandruff, one of the oldest and probably the best remedy is Listerine. Since the actual cause of dandruff is the overgrowth of yeast, fungus in your scalp, Listerine or any other mouthwash containing antifungal ingredients may really be effective in killing the fungal infection that causes dandruff.

According to Kilmer House, a blog sponsored by Johnson & Amp to educate the public about the company history. Listerine did not start as a mouthwash as we now know it today, back in 18779 it was developed as a surgical antiseptic and named after physician Sir joseph Lister who pioneered the concept of antiseptic surgery. In 1930, Listerine was used to treat dandruff.

Dermatologist and hair care experts say that the best treatment for dandruff are antifungal medications. This is because these medications prevent the yeast responsible for dandruff rather than treating the symptoms of dandruff (white dry flaky skin)

The best way to use Listerine for dandruff removal is to gently massage your scalp using the mouthwash. Somme people may choose to use baby oil and other essential oils to mix with Listerine and apply to the head to get rid of dandruff. There different ways you can use Listerine for dandruff and to relieve the itching.

Steps to take and precautions

To use Listerine for dandruff, here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Before applying Listerine on your hair, thoroughly wash your hair. You need to do this with a high-quality shampoo and some lukewarm water. If you have a sensitive skin or your scalp is broken, you should not apply the Listerine.
  2. Remember to buy the original one (original-yellow tinged formula), the old and classic version are always the best so they say.
  3. If you want to treat dandruff and relieve itching in scalp, you need to use equals amount of water and Listerine (do not use undiluted Listerine)
  4. Into a mug of ½ full cup of water, add an equal amount of Listerine
  5. Gently mix to dilute the Listerine,
  6. Squeeze the excess water from your hair and  apply the mixture gently on the scalp, massage to make sure it reaches all the parts of our scalp
  7. Leave it on for some minutes before rinsing your scalp with warm water
  8. Repeat this twice daily for a week

While applying the Listerine, till your head backward to protect your eyes.

For an even more effective remedy, you can mix Listerine with witch hazel. When applied together, witch hazel will help in soothing the scalp by reducing itching. Witch hazel is an astringent and contains anti-inflammatory properties that help provide fast relief from dandruff. Mix equal amount of Listerine with that of witch hazel. Then apply on the scalp to relieve the itching and get rid of dandruff.

Since dandruff relates to excessive dryness on the scalp, applying baby oil on the scalp may help moisturize it while treating dandruff with Listerine mouthwash.

Precaution, when using Listerine, do not use it on broken skin. Listerine is antiseptic and could burn broken skin. In case your scalp burns after applying Listerine, immediately rinse out using lukewarm water and a mild soap.

If you have wounds, ulcers or sores on your scalp, wait until they have completely healed then apply Listerine.

Do not use concentrated Listerine on dry itchy scalp. Dilute the Listerine with an equal amount of water then apply it on your scalp to reduce itching and get rid of dandruff.

The story behind Listerine

Before it was ever used for a mouthwash, Listerine was used as an antiseptic to prevent surgical infections. It was named after Joseph Lister, a pioneer of antiseptic surgery who used it in surgeries in the late 1800s. Since then, Listerine has become the most well-known mouthwash on the market today.

How to use Listerine after shampooing or conditioning:

You will need to fast wash your hair/scalp with shampoo then dry it. You will need some Listerine in a cup let’s say a ¼ full cup, and 1 cup of clean water. A more concentrated solution of Listerine will be needed for itchy scalp. In cases of itchy scalp, equal part of water and Listerine mouthwash should be used

  1. Mix a ½ cup of Listerine with a ½ cup of water
  2. gently shake or stir to mix the two to achieve a fine mixture
  3. clean your scalp thoroughly, the dry with a towel
  4. Apply the diluted Listerine directly on the scalp. make sure you apply the mixture closer to the scalp as you can
  5. Your finger to make sure all the parts of your scalp are covered
  6. Leave it on for around 20 minutes then rinse it thoroughly

Some skin and hair care experts say that using the traditional orange colored Listerine will have the best result.

When using Listerine, you need to be careful. For those people with dry hair, extra care should be observed when using Listerine. This is because, in itself, Listerine has a drying effect. You wouldn’t wish to worsen an otherwise brittle or hair liable to snap. In such case, you will need to coat the end of your hair in a conditioner, this will ensure that the Listerine you apply only riches the scalp of your head, to relieve the itching and get rid of dandruff.

When using Listerine, you will also need to avoid applying it to the broken or very irritating parts of your scalp. This can be very painful, it may cause your scalp to sting.


1)      How to use Listerine for dandruff: 

2)      Should you really use mouthwash to get rid of dandruff: 

3)      How to use a mouthwash to get rid of dandruff: 

4)      Using Listerine to cure infectious dandruff: 

5)      Using mouth wash to get rid of dandruff: