Mouthwash serves many purposes, which is why I always keep some on hand. Of course, it cleans out the mouth and whatnot, something that’s obviously important. But it’s also great when you want to initiate a passionate makeout session and don’t have time – or the need – to brush your teeth. It’s an instantaneous fresh breath blast that can even overwhelm the recent devouring of onions. You could probably eat a turd and still manage to cover it up, although I would certainly not recommend attempting that.
But they can also be expensive. To that end, it should come as no surprise that Dollar Tree carries a wide variety of mouthwashes and mouth rinses.
This is a takeoff of the brand that starts with “List”. Funny story: My first experience with this brand was as a young boy (probably four or five). It was at my grandparents’ house. And it was the “original”, gold-colored liquid. In case you’ve never tried it, it tastes like absolute shit. It’s one of those things that just sticks with you forever: I haven’t tried it since, and yet I can still taste it whenever I think about it. I don’t even understand how it still exists. Are there that many people averse to mint that have to fall back on this as a default option? Do people actually enjoy the experience? Hell, rinsing with rubbing alcohol – which would be toxic and should not be attempted by anyone – would taste better. Needless to say it took me a while to overcome that trauma, even when I learned they also offered mint-flavored varieties.
Boring story aside, Dollar Tree disappointingly offers a private label version of that terrible gold variety, as well as a blue mint. I went with the third option, spearmint, because it’s my favorite of all mint varieties. It’s not as concentrated as peppermint, which I find to be overwhelming, but packs in a refreshingly minty feeling with the added benefit of tasting good. It also works for purposes of nostalgia: Although my wife hates the smell and taste, she likes it on me because I used to chew spearmint gum all the time when we were dating. And let’s just say she tasted it a lot on me back then…
Dollar Tree’s version offers up some solid value, at least in smaller quantities. The standard $1.25 Dollar Tree price per 16.9 oz. bottle has Walmart beat on their own private label. However, once you get into the full-size bottles (which are 50.7 oz. or, three of these), then the price evens out a bit. In fact, Dollar Tree’s is a couple quarters more. The difference isn’t enough to chastise it, it’s just worth mentioning that larger bottles can be had for less elsewhere.
The taste is expected, which is a very good thing. It’s that strong spearmint flavor that instantly pierces through any bad taste, leaving breath feeling refreshed. It does contain 21.6% alcohol, which is 5% less than the name brand, but still enough to give it that trademark “burn”. And by “burn”, I mean this stuff is hot. It takes a person of certain stature to withstand the pain of swishing for the recommended thirty seconds. The first few times, it made my eyes water and my mouth virtually numb. Nowadays, I can swish for a minute with no issues, but the fact that one needs to build up a tolerance to effectively use an oral care product is kind of ridiculous.
I guess that’s also why they make some alcohol-free.
Overall: 8/10. This is a solid offering that balances value with performance. And isn’t that what a “budget” item is all about? The flavor is expectedly strong, instantly piercing through the most unpleasant tastes and oral odors. The 21.6% alcohol content is about 5% less than the national brand, but is still enough to make rinsing an unpleasant experience for the uninitiated: this stuff burns. Bad. If you can build up a tolerance, though, it leaves your breath feeling fresher than just about anything else on the market. The $1.25 asking price per 16.9 oz. bottle is also…pardon the pun…refreshing. Even if you’re not a huge mouthwash fan, it’s good to have on hand in case of emergencies.