15 Household Uses for Mouthwash (Outside of Your Mouth)

15 Household Uses for Mouthwash (Outside of Your Mouth)


Illustration for article titled 15 Household Uses for Mouthwash (Outside of Your Mouth)

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Before Listerine killed germs in your mouth, it killed bacteria on bathroom floors. Yes, back in the late 1800s, Listerine, which was originally developed as a hospital-grade antiseptic and later used as “a pharmaceutical specialty for dentists,” was commonly sold to consumers as an all-purpose cleaner, used to sanitize floors, clean feet, and douse smelly armpits.

The product didn’t become a household name until the 1920s, when the Lambert Pharmacal Company invented the bad breath “disease” known as halitosis and marketed Listerine as the cure. It was a profitable move for Lambert—according to the book Freakonomics, “[i]n just seven years, the company’s revenues rose from $115,000 to more than $8 million.”

Since then, people have been swishing this one-time household cleaner around in their mouths in the hopes it will freshen their breath. And sure, you can keep gargling that floor cleaner—but here are 15 other household uses for the terrible-tasting mouthwash.



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