More Than Just A Mouthwash: 40 Surprising Alternative Uses For Listerine

By: Riley Brown | Last updated: Nov 08, 2022

Listerine has become a byname for mouthwash thanks to its domination of the market as the go-to antiseptic for killing the bacteria that cause bad breath. Though it may be the world’s most recognizable mouthwash, the minty liquid has some amazing alternative uses that are known to few people. Indeed, it is a remedy for various conditions which we shall highlight here.

Getting more than one use out of household products is a great way to save money and cut down on clutter in the home. With just one bottle of Listerine, you can ward off lice and ticks, protect your plants, and treat a variety of skin conditions – all while having the freshest breath ever! Read on to discover how you can transform your daily life with a humble bottle of mouthwash. 

1. Substitute For Aftershave

Just like an actual aftershave, dabbing Listerine mouthwash after shaving will leave your skin disinfected. This eliminates the possibility that any bacteria left on the surface of the delicately shaved skin might enter the follicles and cause itching or infection.


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One doesn’t have to worry about running out of aftershave when Listerine is available. It freshens the skin just as well, and any minor cuts from shaving are sanitized by the mouthwash’s alcohol content, thus aiding in the healing process.

2. Kill Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus needs to be treated. Otherwise, it can spread out, affecting your skin and making you itchy and uncomfortable. Athlete’s foot and other nail infections can spread, creating cracks in the skin of your feet which can get painful and become a massive hindrance.



The potency of Listerine mouthwash can eliminate fungus and disinfect the affected area when added to a warm water soak. Leaving your feet submerged for 20 minutes should prevent the spread of the disease and the possible loss of the nail.

3. Toilet Sanitizer

Flushing the toilet right after use, on a regular basis, doesn’t necessarily prevent the accumulation of stains around the bowl. For those who easily get queasy, this can quickly become unpleasant. Therefore, even the cleanest of toilets could use some special Listerine treatment if they have stains or residue. 


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Without a toilet cleaning spray, the sanitizing efficacy of Listerine mouthwash can do the trick as if it were made for the job. Just pour in an ample amount and brush the surface of the toilet bowl – it will leave your throne clean and deodorized.

4. Treatment For Itchiness

Many people have itchy skin, caused by various allergies and irritants, manifests at night, preventing them from falling asleep. Mosquitoes and insect bites can give you similar trouble when it’s too late in the evening to go to the pharmacy for antihistamines.



If you have mouthwash in stock, just tap a sufficient amount of the liquid on the itch. It will die down as quickly as Listerine kills bad breath.

6. No More Flakes

Dandruff may cause an itchy scalp, and the temptation to scratch it (even in public) can be tough to ignore. When you ultimately do, the scales are loosened, settling on the fabric of your shirt or throughout your hair. Though it’s not your fault if you have dandruff, this can be embarrassing. 


Listerine can be used to treat hair flakes by massaging the scalp with it in the shower. After kneading with one’s fingertips, simply rinse it with regular shampoo, then you can finally bid farewell to dead skin cells.


7. Deodorant 

Some people just perspire more profusely than others, regardless of what the weather is like. As sweat and sebum mix with bacteria, you can end up with an icky odor that’s bothersome for anyone within close proximity.


Those who may need deodorant more than others no longer have to worry if they run out at an inopportune moment. Listerine can do the deodorizer’s work, and it takes just a few rubs to eliminate armpit smell.


8. Head Lice Prevention

The mere mention of head lice is enough to evoke an itchy feeling in your scalp, accompanied by an image of tiny, wingless insects nesting and foraging in your hair. Though this may sound intense, it’s precisely what happens with a lice infestation. Millions of children are treated for head lice each year in the United States alone.

Everyday Health

One thing mouthwash can effectively do is prevent lice infestations from spreading. After soaking, followed by a massage of the scalp with Listerine, use a cap to cover the head for 2 hours. Rinse it off, and repeat over the coming days until all eggs have been removed with no more signs of lice.


9. Mobile Phone Screen Cleaner

People have become so attached to their phones that they need to have the device close to them almost wherever they go. They bring it when jogging to store activity data, in the gym, restroom, theater, and all that jazz.

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The phone screen needs to be cleaned up from time to time as those smudges can contain bacteria that can cause acne and other skin issues. Just dab the surface with a microfiber cloth soaked in Listerine to disinfect and wipe away the grime.


11. Make Your Pets Tick-Free

Now that we know how mouthwash can prevent the spread of infectious cooties in human hair and skin, it is wonderful to know that our furry best friends can also benefit from Listerine’s decontamination prowess. 


Listerine is much cheaper compared to specialized pet flea sprays yet just as effective in eliminating the parasites. Simply mix the mouthwash with regular dog shampoo when bathing your pet and apply as usual.


12. Quick Sting Relief

Wasps and bees generally only attack people when they feel they need to defend themselves or their nest or hive. If you keep calm, an insect that lands on you will usually just fly away. Otherwise, they may thrust a barbed stinger into your skin that will cause a large localized swelling mixed with pain and itchiness.


To relieve the skin reaction, especially the resultant pain from the sting, wash the affected area with soap and apply Listerine mouthwash as quickly as possible.


13. Toner

Forgot to bring a toner with you while traveling or camping? Listerine can be used to swab oil and dirt particles from your face and unblock your pores if your skin is looking congested. 

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To apply the mouthwash as an astringent, use a dipped cotton ball and gently massage the skin in a circular motion. Finish the process with a dash of cold water to feel fresh.


15. Disinfect Your Toothbrushes

It is advisable to replace a toothbrush every three to four months. This may seem extreme, but it’s important to remember it has been battling with a daily onslaught of germs and plaque. Thankfully, you can keep your toothbrush fresh by disinfecting it with Listerine.


Clean a toothbrush by pouring hot water over it before and after use, and, from time to time, soaking it in a glass filled with Listerine mouthwash.


16. Heal Bruises And Reduce Skin Discoloration

Some people are quick to bruise, even after minor bumps and stumbles. It is not uncommon to get black and blue marks when lifting weights at the gym, and older people get bruised easily because of their thinning skin.

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To cure bruises, which is a collection of damaged blood cells near the surface of the skin, gently press a cloth soaked in Listerine around the affected area to increase the flow of blood.


17. Computer Screen Cleaner

Dirt gradually accumulates on computer monitors after a while, making images appear blurry. Touching your screen is a common habit that could lead to invisible germs thriving there. You don’t want to know how many gross microscopic things are lurking on your fingers. 

Digital Trends

Wipe off and sanitize the surface by using a soft cloth moistened with Listerine mouthwash. Make sure not to miss the corners, and your computer screen will be germ-free and clear once again. This trick can also be used on TV screens and smartphone screens. 


18. Washing Machine Disinfectant

When clothes are dumped inside a washing machine for cleaning, millions of bacteria are essentially thrown in along with them. Shared laundry, which is not uncommon, is an eclectic compilation of all sorts of germs that will thrive even more in the low-temperature water the machine uses.

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Keep the washing machine germ-free by mixing Listerine mouthwash with your usual detergent. Simply add a cup so the clothes, along with the machine, are sanitized.


19. Quell That Garbage Smell

The garbage you throw in the bin will start to stink in a few hours as it begins to decompose. The longer it stays there mixed with other stuff, the more penetrating it will be to your olfactory system. This is due to the production of gases and chemicals that are part of the breakdown of organic and inorganic matter.


Eliminate this garbage stench by putting in a towel that’s been soaked in mouthwash. Its powerful menthol smell will subdue the odor.


20. Keep The Bathroom Clean And Fresh

Bathrooms are a haven for germs that need to be cleaned regularly to avoid developing sickness in the household, especially among those who are highly vulnerable. Toilet bowls, bathtubs, windows, and sinks, can all be high-risk spots for germ accumulation. They can be breeding grounds for pathogens and potentially harmful organisms if not sanitized. 


Listerine mouthwash is a go-to for this purpose. Its antibacterial properties will work wonders when scrubbing off hard water and killing germs on all surfaces. Just mix it with water and start wiping away.


21. Zap Bad Breath

It is recommended by the American Dental Association to brush your teeth twice a day, ideally thirty minutes to an hour after a meal. This takes out the food debris in between your teeth and brushes away acidity, while dental floss removes everything a toothbrush cannot reach.


For comprehensive oral hygiene, Listerine mouthwash can be used as a cleanser to keep your breath fresh and mouth germ-free between cleans. This reduces the risk of developing cavities and gum disease, so it’s worth adding to your routine. 


22. Protect Your Plants

If the plants in your backyard are not developing as expected, or if you’re seeing crinkles in the leaves, stem rust, or bacterial spots, chances are your soil is infested with fungi. Fungi comprise the majority of plant pathogens and need to be taken out.


A concoction of 3 parts water with 1 part mouthwash has the potency to decimate fungus and mildew. Spray on the soil to protect your plants from diseases and further damage.


23. Get Rid Of Ticks

Tick bites are generally harmless. These tiny parasites are common in woodlands, and they like to stick on human body parts that are warm and full of blood. However, there are tick-borne diseases that may manifest in the form of fever, chills, headaches, muscle pain, and worse. They can be even more dangerous for pets, so it’s essential to be vigilant.

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To get rid of a tick, dip a paper towel into a glass filled with Listerine mouthwash and coat the tick with it. The menthol should upset the creature, causing it to burrow out. 


24. Mold Prevention

Though they can provide relief for the common cold or flu, a humidifier may turn harmful if mineral deposits from the water accumulate and develop mold. Once this happens, the device will blow harmful bacteria into the air, destroying its therapeutic value.

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Prevent molds, mildew, and germs from developing in a humidifier by using Listerine as a cleanser. Simply wash it off with water once you’ve finished cleaning the device. This will keep your household safe from mold-related health problems.


25. Metallic Wall Art Polish

Wall decor provides a finishing touch to your home’s interior design, setting a theme that evokes the mood you want to begin each day with. It may be expensive and require occasional dusting off, but it’s worth it. The only problem is, the metal parts may eventually lose their luster because of the air’s moisture content.


Protect your investment in the arts by polishing the metallic parts of your decor with Listerine mouthwash. Just dilute the antiseptic with water and use the formula to wipe the pieces thoroughly. Your decor will shine again!


26. Eliminate Garbage Disposal Odor

The leftovers thrown in a garbage disposal unit will soon stink as they decompose and create chemical reactions with other scraps. This offensive odor may stick in the garbage bins even after the food waste is gone.

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To eliminate this terrible odor, just pour half a cup of Listerine mouthwash into the disposal unit. The rotten smell will be gone in a few moments, and your family or housemates will be ecstatic.


27. Prevent Blisters From Getting Infected

Blisters are usually harmless but also annoyingly painful. Skin friction causes them to form, especially on the hands and feet or any body part that experiences friction, heat, or chemical burns. Though they may be on the outermost layer of the skin, blisters still need to be treated to prevent them from developing an infection. 


Once infected, a blister will start to smell. Pus soon develops, followed by fever and chills. Before it gets to this, treat the blister by wetting a cotton ball with Listerine and dabbing it on the injured skin.


28. Quick Remedy For A Sore Throat

Sore throats can often be avoided by installing a humidifier at home, which addresses dryness in the atmosphere of the room. However, they may also be caused by irritants in the environment, allergies to pets, pollen from the nearby garden, or dust, among other things.

Everyday Health

To allay the swelling of nose and throat tissues, as a quick home remedy, gargle Listerine mouthwash. Make sure you also drink a sufficient amount of water to avoid dehydration and keep the throat moist. If the symptoms persist, it’s time to see a doctor. 


29. Mollify Toothaches

Toothaches can be caused by many different things. The reasons often trace back to high levels of acidity in your food and drinks, a dental cavity, or a broken tooth that leaves the inner nerves exposed and vulnerable.

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If you need a quick remedy for this problem, especially while trying to figure out the cause, swab the area with a Q-tip soaked in Listerine. This will help numb the pain while you wait for your dentist appointment. 


30. Clear Up Acne

Pimples can sometimes discourage people from going out in public. It’s not only a bump on one’s self-esteem, but it can be physically painful too as the body ceaselessly attempts to push the bacteria back out to the skin’s surface where it belongs. This condition can be persistent, and it sometimes feels like it will never heal.

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Put a stop to this annoying condition by treating the skin with Listerine. Apply it in soft circular motions using a cotton ball. Expect a positive result in a few days.