Does Mouthwash Stain Clothes?

Do mouthwash stain clothes? This may seem like a silly question, but it has never stopped thousands of internet users from asking the question. While many swear by the ability of mouthwash to keep their breath fresh and teeth clean, some suggest that the ingredients and coloring of the product may cause permanent stains to clothing.

It might surprise you to lean that there is actually some truth to the rumor. Mouthwash does cause stains to clothes if not rinsed off immediately. The severity of the stain depends on the ingredients of the mouthwash as well as the type of garment.

Mouthwash stains is reported frequently among users of Listerine mouthwash, albeit the unusually large number of reports might be due to its popularity among all other products in the market.

In all situations, mouthwash stains can be removed if promptly treated. However, if left untreated, the stain can be a tough cleaning task even for a professional.

Ingredients in Mouthwash

The ingredients in a mouthwash varies according to the type. In general, there are four types of mouthwash: cosmetic mouthwash, fluoride mouthwash, antiseptic mouthwash and natural mouthwash.

That said, these mouthwash all contain several common ingredients that are essential for a clean and fresh breath. This include water, alcohol, sweeteners, flavoring agents, and essential oils.

You may be interested in: Can You Put Mouthwash in a Waterpik Water Flosser?

Fluoride mouthwash contains fluoride, a mineral that mineralizes the enamel while fighting tooth decay. On the other hand, antiseptic and prescription mouthwash contains chlorhexidine (also known as chlorhexidine gluconate), a disinfectant and antiseptic that kills bacteria; it is commonly used among patients suffering from gingivitis or periodontitis.

How to Remove Mouthwash Stains

For most clothing with a dark color, the stain would fade into a light color and become invisible to the naked eye. However, for light-colored clothing, the stain will be noticeable and needs to be treated immediately. Over the years, numerous internet users have come up with several life hacks to remove mouthwash stains on clothes. Here are some popular solutions that many have swear by:

  1. Rinse the stained area with running water and rub soap or dishwashing liquid onto the stain. Repeat the process until the stain disappears.
  2. Apply liquid detergent or hydrogen peroxide solution directly on the stained area and leave it for 10 minutes. Then, rinse off the affected area with water.
  3. Apply toothpaste on the stained area and leave it for 30 minutes. Then, scrub the stain with a toothbrush and wash it off with water.
  4. Soak the stained clothing in water and add in OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover. Leave the clothing in the solution for one to six hours depending on the severity of the stain. After that, rinse away the solution and wash the clothing as usual.
  5. Apply the stained area with a solution of vinegar and water (1 cup of vinegar with 2 cups of water) and leave it for 10 minutes. Then, wash the area with running water.

In all cases, first blot the affected area of the garment immediately with a dry absorbent towel. This helps to prevent any further staining by absorbing any excess mouthwash liquid that still remains on the garment.

Also, avoid using hot or warm water as the higher temperature may cause any residual mouthwash to settle further into the clothing material and a permanent stain.

In conclusion, mouthwash can indeed stain clothes. However, if treated immediately with care, most stains can easily be removed with the recommended solutions above. Some people may find it inconvenient to have to deal with stained clothes, while others may not mind at all. As such, we recommend you not to wear your favourite clothing when using a mouthwash!