Best Alcohol-Free Mouthwash

Updated December 2020
Header Image
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

62 Models Considered
16 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
95 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best alcohol-free mouthwash

Following up with a swoosh of mouthwash after brushing your teeth can make you feel extra refreshed. Using mouthwash also adds a boost to your dental hygiene routine by helping fight bacteria. However, not everyone likes the idea of rinsing their mouths with alcohol, which is one of the main ingredients in many types of mouthwash.

If this is your concern when choosing a mouthwash, you can opt for alcohol-free mouthwash instead. There are many alcohol-free formulas available that will make your breath fresh without the harsh sting of alcohol. However, with so many options on the market, choosing the right one for you can be difficult.

At BestReviews, we’re here to answer all your shopping questions. For everything you need to know about choosing the best alcohol-free mouthwash, just keep reading our handy guide, which is full of tips and advice.

Content Image
Having a dry mouth is not only uncomfortable, it can also affect your speech and make your teeth more susceptible to cavity-causing bacteria. Using a mouthwash that doesn’t contain alcohol is a smart step to take in controlling this problem.

Benefits of alcohol-free mouthwash

Alcohol is commonly used in mouthwash because of its germ-fighting abilities. However, the ingredient also comes with some concerns. Alcohol-free mouthwash is gentler but still effective. Let’s take a look at the benefits of giving alcohol-free mouthwash a try.

No burning or stinging sensation

As you’ve probably noticed, mouthwash that contains alcohol may cause your mouth to burn or sting right after using it. This can be uncomfortable at best and even painful for individuals who are prone to mouth sensitivity and irritation. The longer you work alcohol mouthwash around your mouth, the worse the sensation feels. Although alcohol is quite effective at killing germs, this burning feeling has the tendency to prompt users to spit out mouthwash fairly quickly, reducing the germ-killing capabilities.

One of the first things you will notice with alcohol-free mouthwash is that it doesn’t burn. This is particularly welcome for individuals who have sensitive mouths. And although it’s not quite as effective at killing germs as mouthwash with alcohol, the fact that you can swoosh it around longer will increase its germ-killing abilities.


Some people are prone to mouth sores and irritations. Sores caused by dental devices like braces and retainers, mouth blisters, canker sores, sensitive gums and teeth, and other oral issues can be aggravated by using mouthwash that contains alcohol. Consumers with mouth irritations will benefit from alcohol-free mouthwash, which is gentler and unlikely to make oral problems worse or more painful.

No dry mouth

Alcohol is very drying, and it’s no different as a mouthwash ingredient. A mouthwash that contains alcohol can cause your mouth to feel dry. Although this tends to last for a short period of time for most users, the effects can last much longer for those who are prone to dry mouth. Over time, dry mouth can reduce saliva production, making teeth more susceptible to developing cavities.

Whether you are prone to dry mouth or not, using an alcohol-free formula won’t cause this problem, and it won’t make it worse. In fact, some alcohol-free brands are even hydrating, which can help ease dry mouth discomfort.

Not as harsh if accidentally swallowed

Some people, including youngsters, are more prone to swallowing a bit of mouthwash when rinsing or gargling with it. If this happens with an alcohol-free formula, it is much less concerning and not as irritating for your throat.

Smart choice for alcohol-free lifestyles

A mouthwash that doesn’t contain alcohol is also a good option for anyone who doesn’t consume alcohol. Alcohol-free mouthwash is a positive choice for individuals who are recovering from alcohol addiction.

Content Image
Did you know?
When used as directed, alcohol-free mouthwash is almost as effective at killing germs as mouthwash with alcohol.

Features to consider for alcohol-free mouthwash


Just because a mouthwash doesn’t contain alcohol doesn’t mean that the flavor isn’t pleasant. In fact, you will likely find that the mouthwash’s flavor is more pleasing without the burning feeling or occasional bitter aftertaste that can be caused when alcohol is on the ingredient list. You will find alcohol-free mouthwash in a variety of mint flavors, such as peppermint and spearmint, as well as some flavor-free options.

Oral health concerns

When you shop for an alcohol-free mouthwash, you will find that different formulas are designed for specific oral health needs.

The basic formula of alcohol-free mouthwash is simply for refreshing your breath, and it makes a nice finish to a thorough brushing.

Alcohol-free mouthwash with whitening agents helps brighten your smile, especially when used twice daily.

Are you concerned about fighting germs? If so, consider an alcohol-free mouthwash with antibacterial qualities that effectively kill germs. Some mouthwashes even offer protection that lingers for hours after you rinse.

Alcohol-free mouthwash is great for anyone with sensitive teeth and gums, but for even more protection against irritation, a flavor-free option is the way to go.

For those who experience dry mouth on a regular basis, alcohol-free mouthwash with added hydration helps prevent that cotton-mouth sensation.

Did you know that alcohol-free mouthwash can even help prevent plaque buildup? When shopping, pick out a mouthwash that offers multiple types of plaque prevention to get this added benefit.

Do you want to go all-natural? Then a mouthwash that contains no alcohol and no artificial ingredients is a sound option for you.


In most cases, adding alcohol-free mouthwash to your daily oral hygiene routine isn’t a costly investment. Most brands are priced from around $4 to $6 per bottle for a generously sized bottle of 16 to 32 ounces. The exception are specialty brands that run somewhat higher in price, in the range of $12 to $20 per bottle for similarly sized bottles.


  • Are you concerned about alcohol-free mouthwash’s ability to kill germs that cause bad breath? The longer you rinse the mouthwash around in your mouth, the more effective it will be at reducing germs and freshening your breath.

  • If your mouth is sensitive, or if you have the tendency to develop various types of irritations, an unflavored alcohol-free mouthwash will probably be best for you.

  • Mint is a common flavor for alcohol-free mouthwash, but each brand has its own distinctive taste. If you give different brands a try, you will be sure to find one with a flavor that suits your palette.

  • Do you have teeth with dental work like fillings or crowns? You may also benefit from rinsing with an alcohol-free mouthwash. Studies have suggested that some types of dental materials wear down quicker when repeatedly exposed to the alcohol in typical mouthwash.

  • Don’t forget to visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. While using oral hygiene products like mouthwash is good for your oral health, it’s no substitute for dental screenings, which can ward off or correct minor dental problems before they become major ones.

Content Image
While an alcohol-free mouthwash is a nice addition to your oral health routine, it doesn’t replace brushing and flossing. You’ll get the best results when you use mouthwash along with your favorite toothpaste and floss.


Q. How many times a day should I use an alcohol-free mouthwash?

A. You can use your mouthwash after each time you brush and floss your teeth. This is ideally two times a day. However, you can also use alcohol-free mouthwash several times throughout the day to keep your breath fresh in between brushings.

Q. I’ve never tried an unflavored mouthwash, but it sounds like a good option for me because I’m not fond of mint. Does alcohol-free mouthwash without flavor have a strange taste?

A. Most people who have tried alcohol-free mouthwash without added flavors find it to be a nice alternative to flavored varieties. These alcohol-free mouthwashes either have no flavor or a very mild, pleasant taste. In most cases, using an unflavored alcohol-free mouthwash is a bit like rinsing with water.

Q. I don’t like the burning feeling I get in my mouth after using alcohol mouthwash, but it does give me a refreshing sensation after the discomfort fades. Will I be sacrificing this freshness when I use alcohol-free mouthwash?

A. Most people who use alcohol-free mouthwash find it to be just as refreshing as traditional mouthwash, and they are happy to eliminate the stinging, burning sensation caused by alcohol. To ensure a fresh feeling after rinsing, we recommend choosing an alcohol-free mouthwash with a minty flavor.

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
See more
Our Top Picks