The 7 Best Whitening Mouthwashes of 2022

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Byrdie / Sabrina Jiang

If you’ve been on the quest for the best products that'll leave you with a brighter smile, you’re not alone—according to Hexa Research, the global market for teeth whitening products is expected to reach over 7 billion dollars by 2024. (Yes, that's billion with a B). Accordingly, there's a wide variety of whitening products out there—and while whitening mouthwashes may not necessarily get the same attention as the uber-popular OTC whitening strips or flashy in-office treatments, they can be a great option for several reasons.

“In comparison to other whitening products, mouthwashes are the simplest to use and implement,” explains Dr. Jennifer Haddad, a cosmetic dentist based in West Hollywood. Beverly Hills-based cosmetic dentist Dr. Matt Nejad agrees, adding that they're especially great for warding off stains between professional cleanings. Translation: You may not get the dramatic whitening you’d get from other products, but given that they’re so easy to use and incorporate into your daily routine, it’s worth a swish.

Meet the Expert

Lawrence Fung, DDS, is a cosmetic dentist and founder of Silicon Beach Dental in Culver City, California. He is also the clinical instructor at the Center for Esthetic Dentistry at UCLA.  

Dr. Jennifer Haddad
, DDS, is a cosmetic dentist in West Hollywood. She focuses on minimally-invasive dentistry, and has also served as faculty for the University of South California.

Dr. Matt Nejad
, DDS, is a cosmetic dentist in Beverly Hills whose celebrity clientele including Beyoncé and Jay-Z. In addition to being a clinical instructor at the University of South California, he also leads continuing education for dentists around the world and is a leading expert in veneers.

So what exactly should we look for in a mouth wash? Most whitening mouthwashes usually contain a form of hydrogen peroxide (the same active ingredient as is found in many other OTC products and professional-strength treatments)—which, as Fung points out, whitens via its oxidizing properties.

Ahead, the best whitening mouthwashes to rinse with now.

Best Overall: Crest 3D White Glamorous White Whitening Mouthwash

Crest 3D White Glamorous White Whitening Mouthwash
What We Like
  • Effective

  • Won't cause stinging or irritate gums

  • Tastes great

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

Who else recommends it? Shape, Bustle, and Women's Health Mag all picked the Crest Whitening Mouthwash.

What do buyers say? 95% of 3,500+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

A triple-action formula makes this effective for whitening teeth, protecting against future stains, and killing the germs that cause bad breath. The brand claims you can see results in just two days, and Haddad, who’s a fan, says it does in fact work fast—even within a week. She also lauds it for being alcohol-free, so you won’t get any of that uncomfortable burning or dryness during or after use.

Active Ingredients: Hydrogen peroxide | Size: 32 fl. oz | Flavor: Fresh mint

Best Budget: Solimo Whitening Mouthwash

Solimo Whitening Mouthwash
What We Like
  • Helps remove stains

  • Inexpensive

  • No strong taste

What We Don't Like
  • Very foamy

“This is a great, low-cost alternative that still contains the same main whitening active ingredient, hydrogen peroxide,” says Dr. Lawrence Fung, DDS, founder of Silicon Beach Dental in Los Angeles. (It’s Amazon’s in-house brand, hence the super wallet-friendly price). Indeed, happy Amazon reviewers comment repeatedly on the great value, as well as the whitening effects, particularly on daily stains from things such as coffee.

Active Ingredients: Hydrogen peroxide | Size: 32 fl. oz | Flavor: Clean mint

Best Drugstore: Colgate Optic White Whitening Mouthwash

Colgate Optic White Whitening Mouthwash

Courtesy of Walmart

What We Like
  • Strong formula

  • Whitens teeth quickly

  • Helps remove stains

What We Don't Like
  • Not the most pleasant taste

Fung says this wash, which has a 2 percent concentration of hydrogen peroxide (slightly higher than many of its counterparts), works well. It’s also alcohol-free and will work even faster if you pair it with the brand’s Optic White toothpaste, which is also hydrogen peroxide-based.

Active Ingredients: 2% hydrogen peroxide | Size: 32 fl. oz | Flavor: Icy fresh mint

Best With Fluoride: ACT Anticavity + Whitening Mouthwash

ACT Anticavity + Whitening Mouthwash
What We Like
  • Helps prevent cavities

  • Easy-to-use packaging

  • A little goes a long way

What We Don't Like
  • Smaller bottle than other options

Both Fung and Haddad like this pick because it contains fluoride. “This mouthwash, compared to all others, works in a two-fold manner because it whitens and prevents against cavity formation with fluoride,” explains Haddad. You only need to use it once a day, and the bottle has a convenient dosing system that lets you squirt out just the right amount.

Active Ingredients: 0.02% sodium fluoride | Size: 16.9 fl. oz | Flavor: Gentle mint

Runner-Up, Best With Fluoride: Listerine Healthy White Vibrant Multi-Action Fluoride Mouthwash

Listerine Healthy White Vibrant Multi-Action Fluoride Mouthwash
What We Like
  • Helps prevent cavities

  • Can be used longer for extra whitening

  • Doesn't cause tooth sensitivity

What We Don't Like
  • Very foamy

“This is the only whitening mouthwash I use and it works well,” says Nejad. It, too, contains fluoride for cavity prevention and tooth-strengthening purposes, along with hydrogen peroxide (Nejad points out that your mouth will be bubbly from the peroxide). Pro tip: To maximize the whitening effect and stain removal, avoiding rinsing this off for 30 minutes, advises Nejad.

Active Ingredients: 0.02% sodium fluoride | Size: 16 fl. oz | Flavor: Clean mint

Best for Sensitive Gums: Dr. Brite Whitening Mouthwash

Dr. Brite Whitening Mouthwash
What We Like
  • Contains vitamin C

  • Doesn't irritate gums

  • Doesn't cause tooth sensitivity

  • Made with organic ingredients

What We Don't Like
  • Not a dramatic whitening effect

“The perk of this natural mouthwash is that it incorporates vitamin C to help soothe and nourish the gums,” says Haddad. “It also has an excellent flavor that most tend to rave about,” she adds. It’s alcohol-free as well, and the majority of the natural ingredients it contains (aloe and mint leaf oil) are organic.

Active Ingredients: Vitamin C, activated charcoal | Size: 8 / 16 fl. oz | Flavor: Mint

Best Preventative: Oral Essentials Lumineux Whitening Mouthwash

Oral Essentials Lumineux Whitening Mouthwash

Courtesy of Vita Cost 

What We Like
  • Helps prevent cavities

  • Mouth feels clean

  • Doesn't cause tooth sensitivity

  • Doesn't irritate gums

What We Don't Like
  • Not a dramatic whitening effect

This natural, hydrogen peroxide-free option relies on ingredients such as sea salt, coconut, lemon peel, and clove flower. Also in the mix is xylitol, which Haddad says gives you even more bang for your buck. “Xylitol helps prevent tooth decay," she explains. "Not only are you whitening your teeth with this product, but you’re also decreasing the stickiness of plaque, decreasing bad oral bacteria as a result." 

Active Ingredients: Xylitol | Size: 16 fl. oz | Flavor: Mint

What to Look For in Whitening Mouthwashes

Whitening Ingredients

Of course, when you are looking for whitening mouthwash, you want to make sure it does its job. There are a handful of ingredients that may help whiten your teeth, but when it comes to effective whitening using mouthwash, hydrogen peroxide is a safe bet. The strength of hydrogen peroxide will vary, but up to 2%, which is a high strength, can be found in mouthwash. Some natural mouthwashes will include activated charcoal as a whitening ingredient.

Cavity Protection

If you want your whitening mouthwash to also help prevent cavities, choose one with fluoride. Some whitening mouthwashes have hydrogen peroxide to whiten and sodium fluoride to prevent decay. While this is not a replacement for fluoride-containing toothpaste, it helps add more protection as a final step in your oral hygiene routine.


Whitening mouthwash can also help freshen your mouth and kill bacteria that can cause bad breath or decay. Look for ingredients such as alcohol, or if you do not like the burning sensation, try xylitol.

  • Does whitening mouthwash actually work?

    Whitening mouthwash can work, although results may be subtle compared to in-office treatments. These mouthwashes contain hydrogen peroxide, which can remove surface stains. It’s important to also brush your teeth and visit a dentist for regular cleaning.

  • Is whitening mouthwash safe?

    Whitening mouthwash is safe as it is regulated and approved for use. However, it is not safe to swallow, so be sure to follow the directions on the bottle. If you are concerned about specific ingredients in whitening mouthwash, speak to your dentist and/or choose a natural version.

  • Can yellow teeth become white?

    Yellow teeth can become whiter if you get an in-office whitening treatment. You can also avoid foods that cause stains, such as coffee, tea, and wine, and be sure to practice good oral hygiene, which includes whitening toothpaste and mouthwash and regular flossing.

How We Researched

To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best products on the market in this category, evaluating their key features—like ingredients, shade range, or design—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. We then used this research to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. The Best Whitening Mouthwashes for Fading Stains and Brightening Your Smile. Shape.

  2. The 5 best whitening mouthwashes. Bustle.

  3. 12 dentist-approved whitening mouthwashes that'll make a noticeable difference in your smile. Women's Health Mag.

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