top of page

Alcohol-Free Mouthwashes: What Do Reviewers Say?

There are a lot of alcohol-free mouthwashes on the market besides Lokena. In our opinion, if you can kill germs and get the dental hygiene benefits you should be getting from a mouthwash without the alcohol, it’s worth a try (just run it by your dentist first). We’ve already done laboratory comparisons between Lokena and a lot of other natural mouthwashes, and those findings are here. But what do everyday users and real-life reviewers have to say?

Here are several alcohol-free or more natural mouthwash brands, along with what we found from online reviews — and a little commentary just for fun.


This mouthwash claims to “stimulate saliva flow and circulate antibacterial, oxygen-rich saliva to all areas of the mouth, directly attacking the bacteria.” TheraBreath uses ingredients like OXYD-8, Green Tea, Aloe Vera, Tea Tree Oil, and Xylitol. However, Amazon’s most critical review for this product warns of its bad flavor. “If depression had a taste, it would be TheraBreath. I really wanted to love this product; while the initial gargle and swish-swashing of the mouthwash is rather pleasant, over the following hours it leaves my mouth with a hollow emptiness, like a naked, abandoned lover. Furthermore, it taints the taste of the foods I eat throughout the course of the day.”

Wow. Aren’t there enough people feeling depressed these days as it is? Who wants to taste it? TheraBreath has some great ingredients — a few that are similar to Lokena’s — but it sounds like the taste is no-bueno.

Oral Essentials Lumineux

This mouthwash includes ingredients like aloe vera, Dead Sea salt, essential oils, and xylitol. It is clinically tested and non-toxic. Common reviews mentioned it stinging a little bit, having a weird taste, and the concern with the recall notice they received about Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the product. Some reviewers have these things to say:

“I received a recall notice about Pseudomonas aeruginosa in this product!”

  • “Stings a little, can taste salt in it”

  • “Weird smell / taste”

  • “Works for people who are sensitive”

  • “What drew me to this product was that it does not destroy your oral microbiome”

Again, some good ingredients that are otherwise beneficial to oral health, but with some drawbacks. Pseudomonas aeruginosa can actually cause infections in humans, particularly of the blood and lungs, and especially in hospital patients.


This mouthwash is made with tea tree oil, grapefruit seed extract, perilla seed extract, and aloe vera gel. It is popular on Amazon, however one rating said, “then there was the aftertaste. Pure gag. My son thought I was having a seizure, and the potential was there. I'd rather have an anchovy pizza with extra dung.”

We’re pretty sure we couldn’t say it more eloquently than that. That’s definitely one comment we’ve never heard about Lokena!

Tom’s of Maine

This mouthwash doesn’t contain alcohol, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, dyes, and sulfates. Many reviews comment on its fresh flavor, but some many people also comment on how it, “quickly leaves me with an unclean feeling in my mouth.”

Some of the other comments we read were:

  • “It works as a rinse but does not leave a ‘refreshed’ feeling in your mouth. It may not be worth the extra costs depending on what you expect.”

  • “I do feel fresh after using, and I like the ingredients but the taste is deplorable. It's almost as bad as rinsing your mouth with bad breath.”

  • “While the taste/smell is really nice and strong at first, it wears quickly leaving me with an unclean feeling in my mouth.”

  • “Great tasting mouthwash that doesn’t burn the way alcohol based ones do.”

  • “It's free of a lot of the bad stuff the regular other brands do have, but it does the same job. The taste is very nice and fresh.”

Alcohol free? Good. Feeling refreshed? Good. Rinsing your mouth with bad breath? Definitely less than ideal, if you ask us.


“Saw the mouthwash in Target last month. I bought it and fell in love! It’s such a great minty taste, doesn’t burn (no alcohol), not too sweet (xylitol & erythritol) and no fluoride!“

“If you're looking for clean ingredients, this is not a natural product. 2nd ingredient is polysorbate 80. “

“Not really feeling a cool fresh breath after use, at least after 20 mins or so. Besides from being black rinse and cool, it doesn't reach my expectations.”

hello seems to appeal to a lot of people, but with some reservations about some ingredients. If you’re looking for a natural mouthwash, you want something that meets those expectations PLUS does the job a mouthwash is supposed to do — clean your mouth.

Uncle Harry’s

This mouthwash is made with calcium carbonate, sea salt, mustard seed, and essential oils. It claims to freshen your breath, whiten teeth, reduce swelling, and strengthen teeth. It's made with ingredients like micro-filtered water, calcium carbonate, sea salt, mustard seed, and essential oils.

One Amazon reviewer wrote, "I've been using Uncle Harry's products for years, and this mouthwash really gets the job done. It is very strong out of the bottle so I would recommend mixing it with some water to cut down on the burn.”

Others had these things to say:

Your dental hygienist will compliment you.”

“This mouthwash takes some getting used to....your mouth needs a few exposures to become habituated to the taste and the fresh effect it gives. I am so favorably impressed with the clean feeling and what I think are actually cleaner looking teeth that I believe I am now a committed lifetime user.“

“Burns my mouth horribly, will continue to use it up mixed with water, and I hope it helps my teeth but the taste is so terrible. And it really did seriously BURN my tongue. I am not sure what sort of testing they did on this but doesn't seem like it was tested enough if it can do that to a person!”

Uncle Harry’s is a good product. But a lot of people don’t appreciate the intensity of the flavor and associated burn. As for mixing it with water — it must help with the taste, but you have to wonder if this affects how effectively it can do its job.


Lokena antimicrobial mouthwash was developed over 4 years at an Ivy League infection control laboratory. It reduces bad bacteria by 99.9% or 1,000x. Lokena’s patent-pending formula is crafted from purposefully selected ingredients like Thymol, Menthol, and Methyl salicylate, enhanced by pomegranate extract, grapefruit seed extract, peppermint oil and clove bud oil to fight oral pathogens. Xylitol reduces the formation of bacteria on tooth surfaces. And just enough natural emulsifiers and solubilizers have been added to make the formula smooth and stable, so Lokena is a pleasure to use.

If you want to hear what real people have to say, take a look at these reviews. (Well, we’re real people too, but since we work here we might be biased). Hint: they seem to like Lokena.

“I’ve been using both the mouthwash and the toothpaste for about a month now. My first impressions were of how gentle the formula was and neither product burned the way other toothpastes I’ve used had. I tend to dread using mouthwash because of the burning sensation and because I have sensitive gums but both products were fine for everyday use. — Vicki

"I have autoimmune disease and get sores in my mouth. After 4.5 weeks of using Lokena, I have no more sores." — Kari

“I’m totally obsessed. It doesn’t sting your mouth and it feels really nice. The part I’m super obsessed with is the products are 1/6 moisturizer and it actually moisturizes your mouth which is really cool” — Aly


There are a lot of Listerine brands. So in fairness for this article, we chose to look at the alcohol-free version, called Total Care Alcohol Free. It is said to provide the same benefits as other Listerine formulas and still kill 99% of germs, with a less intense experience. Its ingredients include fluoride, water, sorbitol, propylene glycol, poloxamer 407, sodium lauryl sulfate, flavor, sodium benzoate, phosphoric acid, eucalyptol, methyl salicylate, thymol, sodium saccharin, menthol, disodium phosphate, sucralose, red 40, blue 1.

A few reviewer statements:

“Hurts my teeth after three rinses. Flavor is odd, leaves taste of petroleum?!? in my mouth.”

“For the last several weeks, I've woken up in the mornings with this slimy, white film coming off the inside of my cheeks... I usually have to pull it out of my mouth with my fingers...I just happened upon the reviews for this mouthwash I've been using, and boom! Here is my answer.”

“This mouthwash was recommended to me by my dental hygienist. She claimed that the alcohol in other mouthwash was not good for my developing gingivitis. This mouthwash is good, but don't be fooled - it definitely is still harsh. I have experienced the "mouth peeling" occasionally (maybe one day a week).”

“There was no feeling of freshness or clean after using it. Flavor was more like a bubble gum taste.”

“My bottles of Listerine Total Care Zero will go in the garbage after I sanitize my toilet with the contents.”

“Seriously, it’s terrible. I used it last night and woke up with the worst dry mouth sensation. Then, I slowly realized that nothing was tasting right. My coffee, breakfast, WATER!?! My mouth feels like I burned the crap out of it yesterday and I’m suffering through the aftermath.”

Several reviewers list a white film or white spots in their mouths after using it. Others mentioned the skin inside their mouths peeling off or feeling like it was going to, and many reviewers mention bad taste.

We can always get behind fighting germs without alcohol, so props to Listerine for that. Even though it’s alcohol free, you can immediately see some differences on the ingredient label between Listerine and many other alcohol-free mouthwashes: saccharin, phosphoric acid, poloxamer 407, sucralose, and colors.

Mouthwash is a personal choice. What works well for some might not work for you. And of course, you may or may not have the same — sometimes hilarious — things to say about any mouthwash you decide to use.

We formulated Lokena very carefully, because we wanted to give users all the benefits of a germ-killing mouthwash without the burn or yuck-factor. If you’ve used some of these or other natural mouthwashes, we’d love to hear what you have to say; particularly if you’ve also used Lokena and have the ability to compare. Send us an email at and tell us what you think. We might add your comments to this post.

63 views0 comments
bottom of page