Listerine is an effective antiseptic mouthwash that many people include in their daily oral health care routine. This mouthwash is known to improve oral health and has been in the market for more than 100 years.
Scientific studies have found Listerine to be effective in reducing the development of plaque and gingivitis, thanks to its antiplaque and antigingivitis qualities.
However, this mouthwash is not just effective for rinsing plaque away and improving your overall oral health. Due to its antiseptic, antifungal, astringent and sanitizing properties as well as its alcohol content, Listerine has certainly proven itself useful in our daily lives in many other ways. Make sure you use the original brown-colored Listerine, not the blue one.
Here are 10 surprising uses of Listerine mouthwash you’ve never heard of.
1. Cures Toenail Fungus and Athlete’s Foot
Whether you have a toenail fungus or athlete’s foot, your bottle of regular Listerine mouthwash can help treat the problem within a few days.
Listerine contains thymol, which has antifungal properties that help kill the fungus responsible for toenail fungus. It provides fast relief from symptoms like stinging and burning sensations and excessive itching.
Also, it acts as an antiseptic to prevent further infection.
- For treating a mild toenail fungus, dab some Listerine mouthwash on cotton balls and place them on the affected toenails. Wrap them with a small bandage or tape to secure the cotton balls. Leave them on for about 45 minutes, then gently scrub the toenails with a soft toothbrush. Wash and pat dry thoroughly. Repeat once a day.
- For severe athletes’ foot, mix equal amounts of Listerine and white vinegar. Soak your foot in the solution for 30 minutes before washing it off. Repeat 2 or 3 times a week.
2. Treats Jock Itch
You can use your regular mouthwash to treat jock itch, which causes a lot of itching and discomfort. Its cooling property can alleviate the itchiness instantly.
Listerine’s antiseptic nature reduces soreness and inflammation, while its thymol and alcohol content helps kill the fungus that causes this infection.
- Soak a cotton ball in Listerine.
- Rub it gently on the affected skin.
- Allow it to dry on its own. Then, rinse it off.
- Repeat this remedy 2 or 3 times a day for a few months for complete relief.
Along with jock itch, Listerine can be used to reduce itchiness caused by bug bites, as well as the itchy reactions to poison ivy or poison oak.
3. Whitens Yellow Nails
If your nails are discolored due to some kind of fungal infection, Listerine can reduce the yellowness and make your nails whiter than ever before.
Listerine contains several active ingredients that have antifungal properties, such as menthol, eucalyptol and thymol. These help fight the infection and restore the health of your nails.
- Mix equal amounts of Listerine and vinegar. Soak your discolored nails in this solution for 20 minutes, then gently scrub the nails with a soft toothbrush. Repeat daily for a few days until your nails become white.
- Alternatively, soak your discolored nails in Listerine for 20 minutes. Do this daily for a week, then take a break for a week, and repeat the procedure the following week.
4. Reduces Dandruff
Listerine can be used to treat dandruff, thanks to its antifungal properties and alcohol content.
- Apply some Listerine on your scalp. Massage using your fingertips in circular motions for a couple of minutes. Leave it on for 5 minutes, then shampoo your hair as usual. Follow this remedy 2 or 3 times a week.
- You can also rinse your hair and scalp with a mixture made from ¼ cup of Listerine and 1 cup of water. Later, shampoo your hair as usual. Repeat 2 or 3 times a week.
This popular mouthwash can also be used to treat infant cradle cap, which is a severe form of dandruff.
5. Kills Head Lice
Listerine works well in killing lice, an annoying problem common among school-age children. It is safe and effective for using on small children. It’s cooling menthol content also helps relieve the itching.
- Massage the scalp and hair with a little mouthwash.
- Cover the hair with a shower cap for 2 hours.
- Next, wash the hair with a mild shampoo.
- While the hair is still slightly damp, use a lice comb to remove any dead lice and remaining lice eggs.
- Do this for a couple of days, then repeat weekly, depending on the extent of infestation.
Note: When applying Listerine in your hair and scalp, make sure it does not enter your eyes and nose. Also, do not apply it on any open sores on your scalp.
6. Softens Dry, Cracked Heels
To soften dry, cracked heels, Listerine is very effective. It is often used in foot soaks to soften the heels, which can also prevent cracked heels.
It also contains thymol, an ingredient that kills the bacteria responsible for foot odor. Plus, its astringent nature helps reduce the amount your feet sweat, which helps reduce odor.
- Put 2 cups of warm water in a foot tub.
- Add 1 cup each of Listerine and white vinegar.
- Soak your feet in this solution for 20 minutes.
- Add more hot water to keep the water warm.
- Remove your feet from the solution and use a pumice stone to scrub off the dead skin cells.
- Finally, wash your feet, pat dry thoroughly and apply some moisturizer.
- Follow this remedy once a week to keep your feet soft and smooth.
7. Clears Acne
Listerine works as an effective astringent, thus helping to treat acne and other skin blemishes. When used topically, it easily penetrates into the skin and helps dry out the acne. It also reduces redness and inflammation.
Also, its antiseptic nature helps prevent skin infections.
- Wash your face thoroughly with lukewarm water.
- Dab a little Listerine on the acne before going to bed.
- The next morning, wash your face again.
- Repeat daily as needed.
8. Fights Body Odor
This germ-fighting mouthwash also works as a deodorant. It can help kill germs responsible for generating bad body odor.
It also lends a nice minty fragrance to your body and keeps you feeling fresh longer.
- Soak a cotton ball in Listerine. Rub the cotton ball on your underarms or other smelly areas.
- You can also pour Listerine into a spray bottle and spray it on the areas that sweat a lot.
9. Cleans Floors and Toilets
Believe it or not, your regular mouthwash can also be used as a floor cleaner and a toilet cleaner.
Listerine can kill odors and disinfect your toilet as well as the floors in your kitchen, bathroom and other areas. Using Listerine eliminates your risk of exposure to harmful chemicals found in commercial cleaners.
It can also help kill mold and mildew.
- Add 1 cup of Listerine to a bucket filled halfway with water and use it to clean your floors.
- To clean a toilet, pour 1 cup of mouthwash into the toilet, allow it to sit for 30 minutes and finally give it a swish with a toilet brush.
10. Sanitizes Laundry
Just like Listerine removes bacteria from your mouth, it can remove harmful bacteria from your laundry as well. Make sure the Listerine you use does not contain artificial coloring or else it may leave stains.
It can even disinfect your washing machine.
- Add 1 cup of Listerine to the regular cycle of a full load of laundry for cleaner, germ-free clothing. Allow the laundry to dry in the sun for more effective results.
- To clean and disinfect your washing machine, pour in 1 cup of Listerine and run the empty load through the cycles.