Over time, many common liquids like coffee, tea, and red wine, can cause brown stains on teeth. For some, smoking and chewing tobacco products over the years leads to staining. Although there are many over the counter and prescription products that can be used to help whiten teeth, these products often contain harsh chemicals and toxic ingredients. There are many alternatives to these store-bought products that can be made right at home.

The remedies in this article are not definitive and for more troublesome and dark brown stains, please take the advice of your dental healthcare provider.

woman with stained teeth

1. Baking Soda

Baking soda is a common ingredient used in toothpaste for its whitening properties. It can be used in a homemade mouthwash to whiten teeth or as a paste.

Dilute two tablespoons of baking soda in one cup of cold water. Use as a rinse two to three times per day to reduce brown stains on teeth. If a paste is preferred, mix one teaspoon of baking soda with two teaspoons of water until it is a palatable consistency. The consistency should not feel gritty at all and should be a bit runnier than normal toothpaste. This paste can be used two or three times a week to remove brown stains. If using a paste, do not use it every day because it can be abrasive and damage the enamel of the teeth.

2. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen Peroxide is used in commercial over the counter bleaching kits and in higher concentrations as prescribed by a dentist. It can be used at home in lower concentrations to remove brown stains on teeth. Like baking soda, it can be useful in a mouthwash or as a paste. As an added bonus, hydrogen peroxide is an antimicrobial agent and can help prevent gum disease like gingivitis.

Before using hydrogen peroxide mixture to whiten the teeth, brush the teeth as usual. The concentration of the hydrogen peroxide should be 1.5% or % to avoid side effects like tooth sensitivity. Use a mixture of half hydrogen peroxide and half water to swish around the mouth for one minute. Rinse with plain water afterward. If using as a paste, mix two teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide with one teaspoon of baking soda. Rub the mixture on the teeth for thirty seconds and then rinse well with water. This should only be used a few times a week to avoid eroding the tooth enamel.

3. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has been praised for its natural healing properties in moisturizers and cleaners. It can also be used as a natural teeth whitener.

A spoonful of coconut oil can be swished around the mouth and in between the teeth for fifteen to twenty minutes. Coconut oil is a solid at room temperature, so it may need to melt a bit in the mouth before it can be swished around. It can also be put on a toothbrush and brushed on, or on a washcloth and rubbed on. Do not spit the coconut oil into the sink or toilet when finished because it can return to its solid state inside the drain pipes and cause a clog.

Like hydrogen peroxide, coconut oil has antimicrobial properties making it great for cleaning and protecting the gums. Because coconut oil is not acidic or corrosive to the enamel of the teeth, it can be used daily.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a natural antibiotic and cleaner. Studies suggest that it is even better than traditional commercial products for whitening the teeth. Apple cider vinegar is naturally acidic and its pH can break down plaque and other staining substances that stick to the teeth.
To use apple cider vinegar, place a small amount on a toothbrush or on a finger to rub it on the teeth. Because it is acidic, it is important not to use too much or to brush too hard. After applying it to the teeth, it must be rinsed or brushed off with a regular toothpaste to avoid damaging the tooth enamel. It should be used for at least a month to see optimum results.

5. Lemon

Lemon is a bleaching agent, part of the reason girls used to use it in their hair in the summertime. It also has antimicrobial properties to fight stain-causing bacteria.

To make a solution to rub on the teeth, take the juice of two lemons and mix it with one teaspoon of salt. Rub the solution on the teeth with a fingertip or cotton swab. Rinse and brush the teeth afterward to avoid allowing the acidic lemon to sit on the teeth for too long and damage the enamel.

6. Orange Peels

Citrus fruits, like lemons and oranges, are acidic and work similarly to apple cider vinegar to remove stains from the teeth.

To make a paste using orange peels, use the peel of one orange. Mix the peel with half of a cup of warm water in a blender. Add one teaspoon of tea tree oil and blend for five minutes to create a paste. This great smelling toothpaste can be used daily to remove brown stains on teeth. Because of the acidic nature of these fruits, it is important to rinse and brush the teeth after applying to avoid erosion of the tooth enamel.

7. Strawberries

Strawberries contain malic acid which may remove discolorations on the teeth when used in conjunction with baking soda. Like other acids, excessive use can erode the tooth enamel, so it should only be used a few times per week.

To use strawberries, mash up a fresh strawberry and mix it with a bit of baking soda to form a paste.

8. Pineapple

Pineapples contain an enzyme called bromelain. Toothpaste containing bromelain has been shown to be more effective at whitening teeth and removing stains than standard toothpaste. Although no studies have shown that eating pineapple produces the same effect, they are delicious and eating them certainly will not hurt.

9. Activated Charcoal

Charcoal is known as a substance that absorbs toxins and other poisons in the body. When used on the teeth, it can absorb stain-causing plaque, leaving white teeth behind. It can also help absorb brown stains on teeth.

To use for teeth whitening, mix one tablespoon of charcoal, one teaspoon of salt, and two teaspoons of coconut oil together to form a paste. Use this paste on a toothbrush and brush the teeth for three minutes. Rinse off with water.

10. Banana Peel

Banana peels contain potassium and are a milder abrasive than remedies like baking soda. This mild abrasive property can help scrub away brown stains on teeth.

Take the peel of one banana and put it in the freezer for ten minutes. Rub the inside of the peel on the teeth for three minutes. This can be done twice a day until the stains are gone.

11. Table Salt

Salt can be used to remove stains from clothing and fabrics, but it can also be helpful in removing stains from the teeth. It can either be used as a rinse or as a paste.

To use as a mouth rinse, mix two tablespoons of salt in one glass of water. To use as a paste, mix with baking soda and rub it on the teeth. If it is used as a paste, it should only be used two to three times a week since the baking soda and salt are both abrasive and can be damaging to enamel.

12. Apples

Apples contain vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, which has a whitening effect on teeth without being as harsh to the enamel as citrus fruits. No need to brush or rub the apple on the teeth, simply eating an apple every day can help to remove brown stains and keep new stains from forming.

13. Basil

Basil leaves not only give Italian dishes an aromatic flavor, they can also be used to treat bleeding gums and whiten teeth.

In order to use basil leaves on the teeth, fresh basil should be picked or bought and left out in the sun to dry. The leaves are then ground into a dry powder that can be used on the teeth. Apply the dry powder to the teeth using clean fingers or mix the powder with regular toothpaste or baking soda to form a paste and brush on the teeth. This can be repeated once a day.

14. Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice known for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Because it helps get rid of stain-causing plaque and bacteria, it is an effective tool for whitening the teeth.

To use as a mouthwash, mix one half of a teaspoon of turmeric powder with one-half cup of water. This rinse can be used once daily. The powder can also be added to regular toothpaste to enhance whitening and stain removing benefits.


While these are all great ways to help remove brown stains on the teeth, avoiding the stains in the first place is best. Common culprits of browning stains include red wine, coffee, cigarette and cigar smoke, and tobacco chewing products. These things can be difficult to avoid consuming, but rinsing the mouth out and brushing the teeth after consuming can help to avoid stains. Another option when consuming stain-causing liquids is to use a straw to help eliminate direct exposure to the teeth.

Staining of the teeth can be a troublesome cosmetic ailment. The ingredients in over the counter and prescription teeth whiteners can have side effects and may contain harsh ingredients. Try using on these home remedies for removing brown stains and let us know how well they worked in the comments.

Image: depositphotos.com.