How I Whiten My Teeth For $1 or Less

Did you ever look at the price of whitening products at the store, and think that there has to be a cheaper way? With Whitening products like Crest Whitestrips costing $30 or more per set, whitening your teeth can easily take a back burner in these financially tough times.  And $30 is spare change when compared to the cost of whitening your teeth at the Dentist’s office.

Here’s what I use:

hydrogen peroxide

(image source)

This small little bottle costs $1 or less in most places. Hydrogen Peroxide?  “Why in the world do you put that stuff in your mouth,” you ask?  Well, before you automatically assume I am insane, check out what the main active ingredient of Crest Whitestrips is:

crest white strips

See my source on this, and more details on what exactly these things can cost you HERE.

That’s right.  Those whitening products that you pay $30 for are just glorified Hydrogen Peroxide. Yes, they have other ingredients in there (harmful ones, I might add), but Hydrogen Peroxide is the active ingredient that does the major whitening.  What’s in a bottle of plain Hydrogen Peroxide? 3% -3.5% Hydrogen Peroxide and filtered water. It’s the same, and actually less than most of the new whitening products.

Here’s how I whiten my teeth: I use a small amount of hydrogen peroxide as a mouth wash twice a day for 7-10 days. I’m very careful not to swallow it, just like I wouldn’t want to swallow the gel that is in over the counter whitening products.  My teeth are significantly whiter just after a week, and guess what else!  This doesn’t hurt my teeth like the whitening products do.  Every time I have used whitening gel products before, I wasn’t able to use them past three days because they made my teeth hurt so bad.

So there you have it.  For $1 or less, I have a bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide that will last me a very long time. Not only do I use it for whitening my teeth, but it’s great for disinfecting the scrapes and cuts we get around here.  Now that’s Natural and Thrifty!

Be sure to check out other posts in this series on how to whiten teeth with hydrogen peroxide.

Side note: Did you know that our own bodies make Hydrogen Peroxide for healing, and that it is currently being used by many to cure cancer and other ailments? Do a quick search on the internet and you will find a plethora of information on the subject.

crystal collins signature
  1. Do you mix it with water before you use it, or do you use it straight?


    The Thrifty Mama here:
    Since a bottle only contains 3-3.5% hydrogen peroxide and the rest is purified water, I see no need to mix it with more water.

  2. We also use it as a more natural deodorant! Spray under your arms (would need to use a spray bottle filled with it!) after your shower! Pat dry! Not only will it help keep you feeling fresh =o) It will also ‘bleach’ your under arms (which is kinda nice for summer time!)

  3. I used to highlight my hair with this stuff, but had no idea about teeth whitening. awesome

  4. I asked on of my classmates about 10 years ago how she got her teeth so white and she said her dentist told her to use hydrogen Peroxide as a mouthwash for another reason (plaque maybe) and that the added bonus was that it whitened her teeth! VERY THRIFTY! It’s good to hear that others have had success with it too. I’ll have to try it!

  5. Cool! I will definitely try that! I also use hydrogen peroxide when me or the kids are getting sick. A couple drops in each ear a few times a day will usually stop a cold in it’s tracks! The kids don’t really like the fizzing in their ears, but it really helps! If you are already sick, putting drops of hydrogen peroxide in your ears will help you get over it faster too.

  6. I haven’t done this, though I did notice that Hydrogen peroxide is an ingredient in Crest Whitestrips and in some whitening toothpastes. I think I’ll give it a try. Thanks for sharing this tip!
    .-= Tiffany´s last blog ..Site Update: NaNoWriMo =-.

  7. Wow, all really great tips! Especially the one about using it for colds! I never knew that!
    …oh yah, and lol @ the bleached under arms 🙂

  8. I have to say I was a bit turned off at 1st when I read it, but then I thought why not?? I am sure I have tasted a lot worse in my mouth with the medications these days. So how often do you actually whiten, monthly, quarterly?? Just curious! Thanks for the tip! You rock!

    • You guys are right about the colds. I was getting sick two days ago…and you know I have my trip coming up and REALLY don’t want to get sick, so I gargled with hydrogen peroxide and did a wash in my nose with it. Now I’m feeling fine. No cold. 🙂

  9. This is so crazy it just might work! I am thinking it probably doesn’t taste very good? I might mix it with a little of the mouthwash that my dentist hands out…

    • I would reconsider using conventional mouthwash as it contains a lot of harmful ingredients and causes over 36 thousand cases of mouth cancer per year. A good salt rinse would be nice. After my last brushing I dip my brush in baking soda, clean the teeth well and without rinsing, add a half teaspoon of vinegar to my mouth. Then you get the big foaming action, which cleans the teeth wonderfully and leaves your mouth very fresh. Vinegar kills bacteria.

      • One will ruin the enamel on their teeth using a daily vinegar mouth rinse. There are other safe and effective alternatives you can use to rinse your mouth. My personal favorite is coconut oil pulling.

        “Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to those who send him.” Proverbs 10:26

  10. What a GREAT tip! I’m going to start this today. Thanks a lot THrifty Mama!!

  11. it doesn’t really taste like anything- it does fizz when it comes in contact with any bacteria- you can use it to clean your nose or ears with a cotton swab- it’s anti bacterial- you should get a fresh bottle after about a month though- after you open it and expose it to air- it starts to break down and eventually just turns to plain water

  12. You can buy a mouthrinse called “Peroxyl” that’s made especially to rinse your mouth with if you have a mouth sore, abrasions from dental work or braces, etc. My dentist told me about it when I was having some problems with my gums. You can rinse up to 4 times a day with it–basically it’s mouthwash with peroxide in it. I’m sure you could make the same thing for much less money, it’s a good product but fairly expensive.
    .-= Charlene @ A Virtuous Woman´s last blog ..Homemaker’s Haven =-.

  13. what about coldsores and ulcers, do any of you know if this would help with them? my mother and SIL suffer terribly from both and it seems like nothing over the counter or prescribed helps them when they have a breakout. Just thinking “thriftily” outside the box! 🙂

    • put vodka on the cold sore it kills the bacteria and speeds up the healing process

    • Cold sores are caused from the herpes virus. Anti-bacterials will not work on virus things. I would recommend self heal extract or grapefruit seed extract on the cold sores.

    • L-Lysine helps with cold sore prevention, joints etc. Its sold in any drugstore. Follow directions on bottle.

      • Oil of Oregano was the best thing I found after I got a extremely painful mouth sore on the corner of my mouth after a surgery (caused from tube in throat). Well I was in so much pain, I had trouble eating and brushing teeth. I had to use popsicle stick to hold out that cheek so I could brush my teeth on that side. Anyways, I had more pain from this mouth sore than I did from my surgery. I tried core sore treatments and antibiotic creams, but nothing helped. After several days, the infection was worse than ever and I read somewhere about the Oil of Oregano, and I already had some in gel capsules to take orally. So I just cut the tip off the small gel cap and put the oil on the mouth sore. I was amazed. It burned with a warming sensation, but was a good pain that I just felt it healing immediately and it really did. I put the oil on there a couple more times, but the infection I think was immediately cured. I don’t get mouth sores on a regular basis, so I don’t know if it would work for all types, but it worked in this circumstance when nothing else even helped so I’m a firm believer in it.

  14. We use it for canker sores. (our two year old had one the other day and it even helped her). We just dip a cotton swab and rub it on, but gargling it would whiten your teeth and come into contact with all your mouth sores also! We have never used it for colds but I will surely give it a try, nothing to lose!! We use it (halfed by warm water) with a syringe (no needle attatched of course, just used to shoot it in, you could use that bulb that they use for noses too same concept) to rinse our sons ears (ped told us to) because he was full of wax, it worked. The only “discomfort” was a little bubbling.
    Awesome post Thrifty MAMA!!
    .-= gbmom2407/anna´s last blog ..C A K E! =-.

  15. lori s,
    for cold sores and ulcers used a 50/50 mix of melox and liquid benadryl and swish for about 30-60 sec. The benadryl will make your mouth feel asleep for a minute but if you do it a couple times a day the ulcers will be gone in 2 days or less. I did this after getting my wisdom teeth our, I had HUGE sores on the roof of my mouth from tissue trauma. It works better than any prescription mouthwash the doctor can give you!

  16. Awesome! As I sipped my coffee this morning, I was thinking how I’d like to whiten my teeth without paying $20-30. (I have done it twice before, one time being for my own wedding. I always experience sensitivity as a result.) I’ll have to try this! Perfect timing!
    .-= Christina´s last blog ..It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown =-.

  17. You can also make swimmers ear stuff with a mix of half hydrogen peroxide and half rubbing alcohol.

  18. What a great tip! I’m going to have to check this out. For those folks who have never cleaned your ears with peroxide…oh man! It feels great! My mom used to do it when we were kids and we would always fight over who got to go first. One little cap full in each ear (laying down) and keep it there until it stops bubbling. It’s awesome!

  19. Thank you for the HUGE money saving tip! I have super sensitive teeth and will definitely give this a try. THANK YOU!!

  20. I see a couple people asked how long I rinse my mouth with it, and how often I do a whitening regiment. I really don’t know what to recommend, since I am not a dentist, but I can tell you that I personally started doing this two weeks ago and usually rinse my mouth out for about five minutes twice a day. I’ll probably continue doing it on a regular basis until I’m satisfied with my nicely whitened teeth.

  21. My plastic surgeon had me rinse my nose with hydrogen peroxide (using a neti pot of course!) It did wonders for my sinuses…..and helped remove my blood clots!

  22. Lori, for coldsores – as soon as your mother & SIL feel the tingle tell them to hold an ice cube on it for 20 min. do it a few times the 1st day. It halts the virus in it’s tracks and either stops the eruption or makes it much less worse then it would have been. And if the ulcers your talking about are canker sores, the white ones inside the mouth, use listerine on them. It helps them to go away faster. HTH

  23. That is so funny! My grandfather is a retired dentist so I was taught at an early age to take care of my teeth. I’m not the best at flossing everyday but I always brush and swish twice or more a day. My Mom is excellent at taking care of her teeth and brushes her teeth with high quality toothpaste (like we buy at CVS) and dips it in Hydrogen Peroxide. Our dentist says it helps whiten, disinfect and helps get rid of plaque. I highly recommend using it either way.

    It is fine to use Hydrogen Peroxide for cuts and scrapes but don’t use it on a regular basis be careful using Hydrogen Peroxide on your face because it oxidizes on your skin. I’m a huge fan of Paula B. Cosmetic cop and she has some great advice about Hydrogen Peroxide.
    .-= Holly´s last blog ..Bottom Dollar Food 11/4/09-11/10/09 =-.

  24. Great tips!

    Just be careful with the ears, ladies. In med school, they teach you to strongly advise against putting any liquid in your ears unless it is prescribed…a different temp (both warm/hot or col), if it gets through your first line of defense and further into the ear canal, etc. can all cause vertigo. You can vomit, pass out, throw off your balance permanently. So, just be careful with that one! 🙂

  25. I definitely agree with Lindsay. We thought my daughter had swimmers ear and put stuff in there when she actually had ruptured her eardrum. It was incredibly painful.


  26. I paid $80 for whitening strips at the dentist and couldn’t finish them all because they made my mouth hurt. The hygienist told me if I was sensitive, I could buy some other strips that would help. She said that I should rinse with a Listerine Whitening mouthwash because it had peroxide in it. Makes sense to cut out the middleman and go right to the source! I do have to say that the Listerine worked well, but the taste just gets to you.

  27. I also want to say that the dentist recommends any teeth whitening/bleaching after a cleaning so that you get your entire tooth.

  28. Just wanted to mention that although hard for some to do it’s best if you drink teas, coffee and certain staining juices (like grape or cranberry juice) through a straw to prolong your whitening results. Allow the drink to hit the back of your mouth and swallow. Don’t swish the drink in your mouth or allow it to touch your teeth. My sister works at a dentist office and that’s what they tell patients after whitening.

  29. I’m a dental professional. It’s true that the active ingredient in the OTC whitening products is hydrogen peroxide. However, it is known to cause sensitivity. You’ll see a lot of comments about specific products saying that it causes temperature sensitivity. Also, it doesn’t really work that well. The stuff you get from the dentist is carbomide peroxide, which works very well, but also has an anti-sensitivity agent in it to prevent feeling “zingers” in your teeth. If you want something cheap and OTC that will whiten, try brushing with baking soda. That is one of the ingredients in whitening toothpaste because it is abrasive and will remove surface stains. It actually works better than hydrogen peroxide without causing sensitivity. For anything deeper than surface stains, you’ll need to see a dentist anyway.

  30. Ha! I was so proud of myself for getting Crest White Strips at the amazing price of $15… and then I looked at the package and saw that it was just glorified hydrogen peroxide. Unbelievable.

  31. I was just wondering…can I rinse my mouth out with water after swishing with hydrogen peroxide? If it has a bad taste, I might have a hard time leaving it in there without being able to rinse the taste out. Any recommendations?

    • Hey Jessica! You can definitely do that. In fact I do sometimes.Thanks for linking up to me!

  32. I know the post is old but I have to comment. I have been using this method for almost 2 years now. It is the best yet least expensive way to fight bad breathe & plaque while whitening your teeth. It is also good if you have sinus drainage that accomulates in the back of your mouth or throat while sleeping. If you gargle it for about 30 secs, It brings all of it out. I know it sounds gross but it helps to keep down congestion from common colds, flu & pneumonia.

  33. Used to have sensitive teeth and had to use sensodine. Not any more!!!
    Have been using strait baking soda on our whole families teeth for 2 years now. I just keep a jar next to the sink and I dip my wet toothbrush in it. Brush like normal. I use a Salt water rinse or hydrogen peroxide if you want whitening. We all have super white teeth, no cavities! Also no sugar!! I never ever ever have that nasty pasty plaque on my teeth. I have even gone 2 days without brushing my teeth! I know sick, but I only did that once to see. Toothpaste is a huge scam just like 90% of the personal care products out there.
    also I went through 20+ different deodorants that finally worked for me. I use the crystal which is literally a large chunk of SALT! that is it!! No more itchy armpits and no more smell and no more sweating! You can’t patent salt, hydrogen peroxide or baking soda so there is no money to be made on it.

  34. I’ll definitely be doing this, and just FYI if you do swallow it, don’t worry it isn’t harmful. Although be close to a bathroom because it makes you throw up. Seriously. We use this if our dog eats anything he shouldn’t, just a couple tablespoons and it’ll show itself in a minute or two… Very handy when our pitbull pup decided to eat a bag of quick-create.

  35. Love this idea. Just wondering, if mouthwash is a regular part of my morning/evening routine, should I use the Hydrogen Peroxide before or after brushing my teeth? Currently I use it before, but I just want to be safe.

  36. Wow. I used to do this but I stopped for some stupid reason. I’ll have to try it again! Thanks for the info!!

  37. Would taking a cotton swab dipped in the hydrogen peroxide and swiping it over your teeth work too? If I did it that way do I need to rinse and spit with water after, it doesn’t seem like I would be swallowing that much

  38. Just goes to show how over-priced and over-hyped a lot of these products really are! A little bit of knowledge goes a long way and you can get basically the same result at a fraction of the price.

  39. Hydrogen peroxide is also excellent at removing blood stains… just saturate the area where the stain is, and let it sit for a while and then rinse with COLD water. Try to get the stain saturated with the H2O2 when the stain is still very fresh, and you can see the peroxide do its work right in front of your eyes!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Password Reset
Please enter your e-mail address. You will receive a new password via e-mail.