Alcohol Free Mouthwash Brands – Why They Matter


Alcohol Free Mouthwash Brands – Why They Matter for 0.0 ABV

If you just choose to not drink alcohol this may not be an issue for you but since I knew I had to avoid the stuff at all costs for my health and my body to function correctly I am fascinated by how much alcohol is in products, from creams to soap to everyday foods. So when I started this blog I never imagined I would be writing about mouthwash or alcohol free mouthwash brands, to be honest nothing could be further from what I wanted to write about. Having said that when you start digging deeper it’s absolutely right that I talk about it and if you can’t consume alcohol it’s important for you as well. So here I will talk about why, some brands I use and why it’s another difficult world to navigate through. However, it’s doable, I know I’ve done it!

Things are in everything

brand confusion

Since I came out of hospital and knowing I am an alcohol free obsessive, I say that with a smile, I have been staggered by what is everything from food to what we put on our bodies. Just like if you are “wheat free” and pop into a supermarket looking for “wheat free” it’s a kind of shock to the system. I picked up some nice sliced ham only to find it contained wheat. Here are some products I discover contain alcohol :

  • Sun cream, I literally spent a whole day trying to find some without alcohol. I eventually got some in a health food shop and I kid you not even they had a problem finding some. They had every brand out on the counter reading every ingredient. They were fantastic but it got me thinking should they not have an easy guide for this kind of stuff? After all I can’t be the only person looking for this?
  • Deodorant spray, probably true of men and women, if there is really a difference anyway apart from the smell! Again reading the back of many products many of them contained alcohol – I have to say a solution was easier to find here and I am not sure why!
  • Skin moisturizer as I am wary of the UVA rays and protecting the skin from premature aging – which alcohol can do ironically (it’s not good for the skin) – again I found a solution
  • Bath and shower gels – although there are now a few zero range products to avoid allergies and for people with skin issues so we are getting them bit by bit and by all account its helping marine life as well so a win/win
  • I have written about alcohol in food and you can read about it here.

Why does mouthwash contain alcohol?

At the end of the day mouth hygiene is important as after our baby teeth we only have one set we own for life that are really ours. So toothpaste and mouthwash is a big market, you only have to look at the supermarket shelves to realize it’s big business. However, what I had not realized until I was on an emergency ward in hospital how important dental hygiene and health is. I should say at this point that I was lucky, I dodged a bullet and fingers crossed do not need a liver transplant like many people do for various reasons.

Opposite on the ward was a guy who I think needed a heart transplant but he needed to be checked by an oral surgeon first because any mouth infection can cause serious complications. It’s the same for the liver as I understand it and advice certainly in the UK if you are on a transplant list do not use alcohol and if you are prone to bleeding gums the alcohol can easily get into the system. Bleeding can of course come from simple brushing let alone more advanced gum disease. So it seems alcohol kills off bacteria as well as helping the other ingredients penetrate the teeth. So fine unless of course you want to or need to stay away from alcohol!

The Solution – Alcohol Free Mouthwash Brands

These like some alcohol beers it can be very confusing for several reasons:


  • The packaging is almost of the same color and typeface
  • The people selling don’t understand the need for the difference
  • They are still in the minority brands
  • In some countries they are none existent
  • No separate displaying for alcohol free brands

The branding can be generally on the back of the bottle but the more clever ones now have it as an USP on the front of the bottle and this is a welcome step forward. Now is it as good? Well the claims are that it kills up to 99 percent of bacteria and germs although I am never sure what the phrase “up to” means. Does it mean anything from zero upwards or maybe I am just cynical. However, the general scientific take is it is not as good as alcohol is killing some bacteria but better at others. The answer as my dentist would say is a good combination of alcohol free mouthwash plus tooth brushing and she says my mouth hygiene is very good.

My 2 recommendations for Alcohol Free Mouthwash

Now as ever these are based on research and experience so please talk to your dentist and if you are under medical care your consultant especially if you are being considered for a transplant. However, these are clear in that they are alcohol free and feel great on the mouth.

The first is Listerine 6 in 1 which comes in a purple or green color as far as I can tell. You get the benefit without the burn and they have made it visible on the front that it is alcohol free. However please be careful as it looks almost similar to their alcohol brands and I even got sent the wrong one in an online shop because “ well it looks the same”.

The other one is used from the international brand Colgate and is called Plax. Again it is more of a backup mouthwash brand and not as good in my view as the Listerine but it’s big on bacteria and clear on its alcohol status.

As ever be aware

So regardless of whether you don’t can’t choose not to use alcohol in products and you’re committed to a 0.0% lifestyle awareness is key. I hope I have helped and you can now go about with more knowledge as knowledge is key. Most of the battle however is education of manufacturers and retailers.Watch the packaging. I would love you to join the community, add your thoughts experience and tips below, I read and respond to everyone.



10 thoughts on “Alcohol Free Mouthwash Brands – Why They Matter”

  1. Wow, my mind is blown! To think you need to read food labels but you need to read all labels. I had no idea alcohol was in so many products, that really bugs me and worries me. The power of sharing and it’s finest. Thanks for this info, I am passing it along!

    • Thanks Melissa, much appreciated and thanks for passing it along. As time moves on it will become more open and clear so we can all make informed choices.

  2. Hi there, I’m a Dental Hygienist and I can assure you there is no extra benefit to the alcohol and it certainly is more comfortable to use a mouthwash without, alway use your mouthwash at a different time of day to brushing too to get the benefit from the fluoride in your toothpaste.
    This is a great post highlighting alcohol in mouthwash products!

    • Hey Amy, fantastic to have an expert making a comment so its really valued. Thanks for taking the time out to post. Great tips as well. Phil

  3. I actually don’t mind alcohol in these products but it’s good to know that we have choices. I’m sure the dose in these products is not dangerous, but it pays to know the difference. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Ivan, much appreciated, and yes of course you are right for many people this is perfectly fine. They are what I call “choice” consumers – so only an issue of they choose to opt out. So its mainly for people who “can’t” because it could have health implications. Thanks for adding to the site I really appreciate it. Phil

  4. That’s a great article you have here! I, too, have had trouble finding alcohol-free items like medicine and mouthwash too. It’s frustrating that there are a lot of things out there that have alcohol in them. Thank you for the recommendations!

    • My pleasure Robert and interesting you have had the same challenge. I really appreciate you sharing, so thanks very much. The medcine is a good call, I will do research around that and write something. It had slipped my mind. Phil

  5. Thank you for doing the research about this subject. I did not realize how many items had alcohol in them. I ran into the same problem when I was trying to remove corn from my diet. It seemed that everything had corn it… even cheese dip🙁 Why the heck is there corn in my cheese dip before I put a corn chip in it😳


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