10 Surprising Uses For Listerine Around Your Home

Listerine is known as a mouthwash, but I bet you didn’t know it could be used for a lot more.

But first, how did it even come about?

Dr. Joseph Lawrence invented it and named it after Joseph Lister, an English doctor and surgeon. In 1865 (!), Lister was the first surgeon to perform an operation in a chamber that had been sterilized with pulverized antiseptic. Mortality rates went down, and, in 1879, Lawrence decided to create Listerine to kill germs in tissue, i.e., the sort in our mouths.

Here are 10 uses for Listerine that you may not have known about before. After you read the below, you’ll want to keep a bottle handy at all times.

1. Use It In Your Hair

My earliest memory of Listerine is seeing my mom put it in her hair. She said it was for her dry scalp and to prevent dandruff, and she also said it worked. She said her father had taught her the trick back in the ‘60s. HairBoutique agrees, and has additional Listerine-for-hair tips. They say it can also remove build-up from styling products, as well as make hair shinier. Just grab a spray bottle, add some water and spray it onto your damp hair after showering. Or rinse your hair with it after shampooing it. Note: Make sure you like the smell of Listerine, or perhaps test out a few scents first, as it is strong.

shiny hair photo
Photo by Sarah G…

2. Use It On A Cold Sore

My mom taught me this one, too, though others use this trick, like ColdSoreAdvice.com. To use Listerine as a cold sore remedy, put some Listerine on a cotton swab, then let it works its magic drying out your cold sore.

3. Use It On Acne

LifeCheating suggests dabbing Listerine onto a pimple to dry it out (though they admit it has a 50/50 chance of working). As someone with rosacea, I have found that Listerine does help somewhat. However, some dermatologists, like Jennifer Lucas, MD, advise against this method, as it can dry out your skin too much, causing it to be scaly and inflamed. So, exercise caution with this one and remember—less is more.

4. Use It For Cuts, Scrapes, And Bug Bites

If you have a cut or a scrape from shaving look no further than Listerine, according to The Art of Manliness. And, on a related note, want to stop the itching from bug bites or repel bugs all together? You guessed it— Listerine. Just put some in a spray bottle and use accordingly (and on your plants, too, to keep bugs at bay).

shaving photo
Photo by benjaminasmith

5. Use It As Deodorant

Listerine not only helps make your mouth smell fresh, but also the rest of you. Yep, you can use it as deodorant, advises Listerine Foot Soak. Just put some into a spray bottle and spray it under your arms, or you can put some on a cotton ball and rub it under your arms a couple of times a day.

6. Use It For A Foot Bath

Want super fresh feet? Just add some Listerine to your foot bath. Mom’s Kitchen suggests using:

  • ¼ cup Listerine
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • ½ cup warm water

Then soak for 10-20 minutes and voilà!

7. Use It To Clean Your Garbage Disposal

The Krazy Coupon Lady suggests putting a half-cup of Listerine down your garbage disposal. In the past, we’ve used lemons and limes, but we’ll definitely try this tip.

garbage disposal photo
Photo by Dean Hochman

8. Use It As A Cleaning Agent, Including For Your Toilet

Not only can you clean your counters and bathroom mirrors with Listerine (thanks again, Mom!), but you can also use it to clean your toilet bowl. For the latter, just use half a capful, as well as a toilet brush, Geeks On Home recommends.

9. Use It When Doing Laundry

Mommysavers suggests adding a cup of Listerine to a load of laundry, in addition to your detergent. This will kill germs and get your washing machine clean, in addition to your clothes. A win-win.

10. Use It To Keep Flowers Fresh

Want to keep your fresh flowers looking their best? Who doesn’t right? Just add a capful of Listerine into the vase water, per Real Simple. So easy!

fresh flowers photo
Photo by malikyounas