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Allergic to Glycols


Does anyone have a suggestion for mouthwash that doesn't use glycol? I have been using Listerine Naturals with Fluoride, but combing through the ingredient list, I found it has "poloxamer 407" and poloxamer is on the "Household Products Database as a synonym for glycol.

I stopped using it two days ago and I already notice that the incessant itching in my mouth/nose is much less than normal. The problem is, I combed through the aisle at the store and all the other mouthwashes have glycol too.

My dentist wants me using something with fluoride, but I am willing to try any natural / homemade option (even without fluoride), providing it works.

The more I delve into this glycol allergy, the more I come to think that much of my dental problems are probably allergic (and compounded by dry mouth caused by constant use of antihistamines).

3 Replies

Hi ELang! Thank you for making me aware of "poloxamer". I did not know of its connection to PEG. I am allergic to the glycols and do not use the typical commercial mouthwashes, toothpastes or dental floss because of the contamination. A year or so ago I bought a rinse at a health food store that did not contain chemicals, but I wasn't impressed with it, so now I simply use a warm salt water rinse after brushing and flossing. (1 tsp. sea salt per 1 cup warm water). My dental hygienist says its good and confirms that my DIY toothpaste (2/3 cup baking soda; 1 tsp. salt; 1 - 2 tsps. Organic peppermint extract; filtered water to desired consistency) is not any more abrasive than commercial pastes. My floss can be bought at health food stores---"Gentle Floss" with all-natural essential oils.


Kerry, I wanted to point you to the Household Products Database website (https://householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov/) If you open up that site, then type "Glycol" into the search bar on the left hand side, then choose "find" on your internet browser (mine on the chrome browser is listed in the drop down menu where the three dots are (top right hand side). Use this find function and start typing in each ingredient in a product and it will show you if it is one of the synonyms for glycol. This is a non-specific way to search since I was only tested for dipropylene glycol and not ethylene glycol. So I avoid both. I actually do this on my phone in the store. This is how I found poloxamer. :(

For the most part I use as few products as possible, and use coconut oil for most skin needs. I've been doing the DIY way for many products for a long time (BTW some essential oils may be produced / carried in glycol, so be sure you know where the oils are coming from - the rules for listing ingredients in "natural" products are a little less rigid than products you find on the grocery store shelves).

Thanks for the recipes! I'm going to check with my dentist too. He actually went through all the products they use in office and looked up the MSDS sheets to check for glycol (i know that's not always accurate since there are so many synonyms, but it sure helped!). They keep a list on my file of the products that don't include glycol. For the first time in my life I have gone to the dentist without swelling up / breaking out!


Thanks, Emily! I am familiar with the Houshold Products site and it is helpful. Glad to hear you're into DIY recipes. I've been very happy with what I use and it's lots cheaper than store bought brands. You are definitely right about the quality of the essential oils. I only use doTerra, but know Young Living is also pure and of therapeutic quality. Have not used any internally yet.

Glad you've had success at the dentist! I was very scared last year when I had to have a crown replaced and an amalgam filling (mercury) removed. I did not seem to suffer any side-effects although I was concerned about the filling's long-term effect.