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Alternative Uses For Listerine

By Edited Nov 6, 2015 0 3

Listerine is a popular mouthwash with a long history. It has been around for a long time. Originally it was created as a surgical antiseptic. Then it was marketed as a mouth wash and became the huge empire it is today. But Listerine can be used around the house and for a number of other things as well as for helping keep your teeth and mouth clean.

Home Remedies.
Listerine can be used to aid in taking care of a number of problems that you or your family may suffer from. As a home remedy many have been praising its powers since around the 1930's. It can help with a number of issues for a number of reasons, some of which we don't even fully understand. Many of the reasons have to do with its germ killing power and its combination of essential oils.

  • Fungal infections. Some of us have to deal with fungal infections in the form of one or more problems: nail or toe nail fungus, athlete's foot, jock itch, or truckers bottom. Listerine is a great way to kill the fungus. To do this apply it with a spray bottle (new, don't ever reuse them) or a cotton ball or square. Wet down the infected area and let it air dry. For tough infections such as nail infections soaking is often more effective. Soak the area for 20 minutes and then let air dry. You can also add a couple of cap fulls to your bath for some added relief. This will get rid of the itching and help get rid of the fungus (though it will take several treatments to get rid of the fungus).
  • Dandruff. Listerine can also take care of dandruff. In fact, it was even marketed as a dandruff solution for awhile. To use it spray it onto the roots of your hair and gently massage it in. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes and then wash your hair as normal. You can repeat as necessary. Sometimes it will take several uses before the dandruff is completely gone though itching should stop almost immediately. It is also something you will likely need to repeat in the future.
  • After shave. Shaving can cause irritation to the skin. There are a wide range of products out there that can help and Listerine is one of them. The essential oils in Listerine help to sooth irritated skin and leave it soft and smooth. Plus you can choose a flavor that you like and it will leave you smelling fresh and clean.
  • Body deodorant. Listerine was created to kill bacteria. It does this very well. It can therefore be a way to kill germs that leave odor on the body. You can splash it under your arms or in other locations to fight odor and leave yourself feeling and smelling clean.
  • Wounds. You can also use Listerine as a wound care product. It kills bacteria, helps sooth, and even helps repair. You can pour it over wounds that aren't serious in the same manner that you would use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol.
  • Lice. Many people claim that Listerine is a good way of killing and treating for lice. While I can't promise that it is true, it should be noted that if it does work it would do so less expensively and safer then traditional lice removal methods. Thoroughly spray down the hair and scalp and let it sit. It is also a good idea to spray down the hair and scalp of those who don't yet have it.
  • Skin issues. There are a wide range of skin issues that Listerine can help provide relief for. To apply rub it on with a cotton ball or square, squirt it on with a clean squirt bottle, or simply slosh it on with your hand. The various skin issues that it can help with are psoriasis, shingles, various rashes, acne, and bug bites. It is also good for providing relief to allergic reactions such as those caused by nature including (but not limited to) poison oak, poison sumac, and poison ivy. Itching should stop immediately. It can be used again when itching starts back up and it will help in the rash to heal quickly.

In addition to being good for several home remedies and helping to keep you and your family comfortable, it is also good for a variety of cleaning around the house. To do your cleaning you can pour it on or use a clean spray bottle and pour it on that way. In most cases mixing 1 part water with 1 part Listerine makes for a strong enough solution to be effective everywhere you use it. Choose a flavor that you enjoy the scent of and use it all over the house making your home clean and leaving it smelling fresh.

  • Disinfectant. Listerine is a powerful disinfectant and because of that it can be used all over the house to kill germs. Use it in the kitchen for a product that is safe for your family and for use near food, but kills dangerous germs, and leaves the space smelling fresh.
  • Toilet cleaner. Listerine is also a good toilet cleaner. It kills germs and bacteria, leaves it smelling fresh, and is even good at getting rid of tough stains and mineral build up. Pour a cap full or two in the toilet, let it sit for a time, and scrub out using a toilet brush.
  • Floor cleaner. You can also use it on your floors for clean floors that have less germs. Simply add a cap full to your mop water and use it instead of dangerous chemicals to get the job done.
  • Mold and mildew killer. Many of us have to deal with mold and or mildew at some point in our lives. One great way to deal with it is to spray Listerine on it. Let it sit for a few minutes and then scrub with a brush. It will kill the mold and mildew, stop its spread, and even help get rid of the stain left behind (however it doesn't always remove all the stain on the caulking).

Listerine was first available for surgery. Then the dentists had it as a prescription based mouth wash (in the days before mouth wash took up an entire aisle). Then Listerine was marketed as a mouth wash (the first mouth wash available without your dentist). Some also claim it was marketed at various times in history as a dandruff aid, a floor cleaner, and a toilet cleaner. No matter what all it has been sold for, it has a wide range of uses all over the house.


Oct 8, 2009 6:12pm
For an aftershave I wouldn't recommend anything but the original Listerine. The other flavors have more sugar & leave your skin feeling tacky or slightly sticky. It's not pleasant.
The original uses caramel for a flavoring.
Jul 16, 2011 7:11pm
This is the experience of a mountain man.

Today's version of the original Listerine (and many generics, read the back)is completely different from many other Listerine brand products. Just because it says Listerine on the label doesn't mean it is interchangeable with the original product in all uses.

Alcohol, benzoic acid and other benzoates, make it effective as an anti fungal. The alcohol kills the surface parts of the fungus, and helps the benzoates soak in for a more effective result; as well as speeding the drying that inhibits fungus growth.

Alcohol and the alcohol esters kill the bacteria, kill and repel bugs, and deodorize. The alcohol esters (eucalyptol, menthol, thymol, as well as the somewhat related methyl salicytate) also relieve many skin irritations, as well as prolonging or aid the above effects (including the anti fungal) for a time after application and drying.

I live in a somewhat harsh winter environment where flowing water isn't a convenience when the ground freezes sufficiently, and heat is spot radiant or caused by insulation. In the past, my feet have developed various fungal infections due to the inability to keep the boots and my feet dry in a camping like environment. Topical anti fungals are nothing in comparison to saturating my socks and boots with Listerine and wearing the boots for the day. Doing this and rotating boots and socks has, for me, caused these problems to go away and cure things that would otherwise require systemic drugs.

To be reasonably effective as a toe fungus killer, one must practically pickle one's feet in Listerine; and do so often when dry shoes are hard to come by. Clipping nails as short as is safe and removing dermal debris help it soak in, and leaves less opportunities for re-infection. Before I got this under control, I'd pickle, clean and debride, then re-pickle in a daily cycle. Now it's gone and keeping it so isn't nearly as big a deal.

While it doesn't replace the joyous experience of a good hot shower in a heated bathroom after cutting wood in a foot of snow, bathing in Listerine does the job. And since it doesn't completely strip away the sebaceous skin protection, while still removing the bad stuff, it doesn't cause dry skin as much as most soaps or (much stronger) rubbing alcohol.

One notable health concern: benzoates (particularly benzoic acid), combined with ascorbic acid (and to a lesser extent, citric acid), inside the body in solution, causes benzene to form. Since Listerine is used topically, this usually is no problem, and time of risk is a few hours. Just stagger diet and cleaning to minimize this (take your vitamins, drink you juice, eat your fruits and veggies, etc. in between cleanings; not directly before or after). Don't apply skin lotion containing vitamin C to an area washed with Listerine in the area of an open wound or particularly thin skin, without waiting a few hours after drying in between.

This is the combination of my reading and experience. If I got this (or some of this) wrong, please let me know.
Dec 19, 2011 7:03am
Well I have been seeing Listerine for ages but never thought that it could be used for anything other than a good mouthwash. Interesting info.
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