The Zero-Waste Chef

Plastic Microbead-Free Toothpaste

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Please don’t tell my dentist…

For many years (probably about a decade) too many of my teeth had hurt when I ate not just hot or cold foods, but when I drank a mere glass of water or rinsed my teeth with water after brushing them. Then last year I started using plastic-free tooth powder from Aquarian Bath. I really liked it but when it ran out, I decided to go back to making toothpaste, this time using bentonite clay as a base, the main ingredient in the tooth powder, rather than baking soda as I had in the past.

I’m not sure when the change occurred, but one day several months ago, I noticed that my teeth no longer hurt. This is somewhat miraculous. Although I have no scientific proof, I think the tooth powder and homemade stuff are the reason.

So that’s one big reason for me to continue to make my own toothpaste. But here’s an even bigger one: mine contains zero plastic microbeads.

Companies like Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble add plastic microbeads to their personal care products because these tiny bits of plastic cost much less than natural exfoliants such as crushed walnut shells. But those tiny plastic beads go down the drain—excluding those that wind up in our bodies!—and enter our waterways where they wreak havoc. 

Your toothpaste and other personal-care products contain plastic microbeads if you see any of the following ingredients listed on the label:

The short video below from The Story of Stuff outlines the many problems with plastic microbeads.

Homemade Toothpaste


Don’t worry about exact proportions. I hadn’t really been measuring the ingredients out until I made the batch pictured down below for this post.

I purchased all of these in bulk except for the essential oil, which you can leave out. I’ll reuse the bottle to store seeds.


  1. Stir together dry ingredients.
  2. Add melted coconut oil to dry ingredients and stir until the mixture forms a smooth paste.
  3. Add peppermint oil if desired.
  4. Store in a clean jar in the bathroom.
  5. Use about a large pea size to brush your teeth as usual.

This stuff really doesn’t taste like anything. Perhaps I have grown accustomed to the flavor. It certainly smells fantastic! If you want it to improve the flavor, you can add some xylitol.