Mouthwash is usually used to fight bad breath (halitosis) or dental plaque (tartar formation). However, it can also be used for other things, such as combating foot odor, whitening nails or sanitizing a gym mat.

To sanitize a gym mat

The floor mat you use for your gym or yoga exercises can be cleaned thoroughly with mouthwash. Pour a dose of mouthwash into a spray bottle for 5 or 6 doses of cold or lukewarm water. Spray the mat and wipe off excess product with absorbent paper. Rinse and let dry.

To whiten yellowed nails

If your nails are yellow, mouthwash can help whiten them. Soak your nails for 15 to 20 minutes in a bowl containing a mixture of equal amounts of mouthwash and white vinegar. Warning: the fumes can be quite strong. Turn your face if necessary. Then, with a dedicated toothbrush, rub your nails until the yellowish appearance fades. Rinse off with lukewarm water. Over the following days, repeat the operation as many times as necessary.

To fight foot odors

Pour 10 to 15 drops of mouthwash into a large container of hot water. Soak your feet in it for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse them and pat dry.

To remove fleas from your pets

Flea control products can get expensive quickly, but this alternative is cheap and works really well. Mix some mouthwash with water or dog shampoo, and bathe your pet as you normally would. Make sure that your dog does not have sensitive skin or open wounds.

Protect your piercings

New piercings are more likely to become infected than old ones, especially near the navel. Dabbing some Listerine around the piercing area can help prevent infection.

Betsy Wilson

A true science nerd and pediatric nursing specialist, Betsy is passionate about all things pregnancy and baby-related. She contributes her expertise to the Scientific Origin.