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How to Whiten Your Teeth (The Best Alternative to Professional Whitening)

How to ACTUALLY Whiten Your Teeth Without Leaving the House

February 2016 Update
I've revised this article. It is better than ever before.

The ingredients, when combined, make a noticeable difference immediately and a big time difference when used for a couple of week. This inexpensive combination is BY FAR the best home treatment, better (and easier to use) than teeth whitening trays.

How to Whiten Your Whiten Your Teeth For Cheap
(Something that Actually Works For Once)

From the first week that I created Good Looking Loser, guys have been asking for an affordable, at-home, safe teeth whitening method that is worth a damn.

Until now, I've had nothing much to give you.

Nothing that good and nothing you haven't heard of.

I've tried a lot of methods too -

Teeth whitening strips, apple cider vinegar, mouthwash products that promise to whiten, well-known 'whitening' toothpastes and gel whitening trays/mouth guards and professional (ZOOM) whitening.

With the exception of professional whitening, all left something to be desired or were completely annoying to use.

Whitening trays/mouth guards were the best at-home method, but I absolutely HATE the process.

I can't stand keeping a mouthguard in for 25 minutes while areas of my gums start burning* and not being able to eat or drink anything for 4 hours afterward. It's such a pain in the ass, in my opinion.
Vitamin E oil on a cotton swab will stop this ASAP 


Exactly What to Expect from Good Looking Loser's Teeth Whitening Protocol 

Let me give you some perspective about what this is really going to do for you.

It WILL NOT be as good (or fast) as professional whitening.

If you have the money for professional Zoom whitening (it costs $400-500), do that.

If you don't have the money, have a look at your Local Groupon Offers, you can get a procedure done for $100 if you can find one in your area.

Professional Zoom is the ultimate and fastest way to make your teeth 4-5 shades lighter. 

My method will slowly (although you will see some results right away) whiten your teeth over several weeks, or at the very least - KEEP YOUR TEETH WHITE after getting them professionally whitened.

You can expect to lighten your teeth 1 to 4 shades over 2 or 3 weeks.

You will notice some results - right away.


I highly recommend my method below if you drink a lot of coffee/tea/soda, smoke cigarettes, follow a Kratom lifestyle or simply don't have the money to shell out $1000 a year for professional pearly white teeth.

You will pleasantly surprised and optimistic after your first brush. 

How to Whiten Your TeethProfessional Zoom Whitening is great, but it can expensive.
Check out your Local Groupon for deals.

What You'll Need to Whiten Your Teeth

3 things.

This is all you need -

It will cost you about $27 and last you for 5-6 months - if you use it once a day.

Chances are, you will probably it for 3-4 weeks periods, a 2 or 3 times a year. In which case, it will last you well over a year.

Optional, but quite helpful -

How to Mix the Ingredients

It's super easy.

Here is how to do it -
(Keep in mind - these are very small amounts)

  1. Get a bowl or a paper cup that you can throw away afterward
  2. Put a small amount of Turmeric in the bowl (1 gram)
  3. Put a small amount of Activated Charcoal in the bowl (1 gram) 
  4. Put a couple of drips of Coconut Oil into the bowl (a very small amount to mix with the powder)
  5. Stir it with a spoon or your toothbrush 

The final product should be closer to a 'loose paste' moreso than a runny liquid.

It doesn't matter if it's runny, just make sure to not get any on your clothing. Turmeric is powerful stuff and it will strain cotton.

How To Use the Teeth Whitening Combo

After you mix the ingredients 

Brush your teeth as normal afterward, clean all the Turmeric and Activated Charcoal out.

Will Turmeric and Activated Charcoal Stain My Teeth?!

It might seem scary to put Turmeric and Activated Charcoal on your teeth. After all, they are both super strong and dark in color. Turmeric is notorious for staining clothing, fingernail and even light skin.

Neither will stain your teeth however.

It will do the exact opposite and destroy the ugly dull yellow film/tint on your teeth. 

Just brush as normal afterward. Scrub your teeth and any leftover yellow or black will come right off. 

This combination WILL stain your toothbrush however. Don't worry, this is natural and there's no reason to throw your toothbrush away. It's not dirty (it's actually cleaner than ever). Just be careful not to get it on your clothing. Use paper towel or toilet paper to wipe of anything you drip. Rinse your sink well after.

Don't wear any clothing that you like. If you do get some on your clothing (and you care), rinse it with soap and water, put Shout (or other stain remover on it), rub it so it soaks in and put it in the wash.

As I said, it will NOT stain your teeth, it will do the exact opposite.

Tips & Other Stuff You Should Know

The process is VERY QUICK and not annoying.

It's just like brushing your teeth two times, instead of one.

  1. Stir it with a spoon your toothbrush
  2. Put it on a wet toothbrush and brush your teeth correctly (up-and-down) for 2 minutes

Here's what you need to do -

  1. Brush your teeth with the Opalescence Toothpaste
  2. Rinse out your mouth with water
  3. Floss your teeth, as you would normally
  4. Brush your teeth with the Activated Charcoal Tooth & Gum Formula and Dr. Collins Super Soft Toothbursh (4-5 minutes)
  5. Rinse out your mouth with water
  6. Rinse your mouth with ACT/other mouthwash (45-60 seconds)
  7. Don't eat anything and go to sleep

If you want to floss after using the Activated Charcoal instead of after using the Opalescence - you can do that.

Let's talk about the individual suggestions.

I want you to know why I've selected each recommendation and what it does.

Opalescence Whitening Toothpaste

This toothpaste first appeared on Lifestyle by Good Looking Loser in our "Fall 2014 Guide to Style (Accessories)".

For an over-the-counter toothpaste, this new obscure formula is quite good.

I've used Crest, Colgate, Aquafresh and Rembrandt's whitening toothpastes and Opalescence is noticeably better than all of them.

Opalescence is a company that only makes teeth whitening products (ALL of which are very highly rated on Amazon), they seem to know what they are doing. If you can tolerate the whitening trays, I wouldn't hesitate to use their products - definitely moreso than the annoying generic whitestrips. 

It is the ONLY whitening toothpaste that I'm willing to recommend.

This toothpaste alone will slowly whiten your teeth, but the next recommendation is what is really going to kill any yellow tint on your teeth.
(many people feel that Opalescence gives notable results in the first few days)


How to use it

Use as directed.

Just brush your teeth well. Remember to brush up-and-down and not sideways, that is bad for your gums.

You can floss after this step.

Activated Charcoal Tooth & Gum Formula

This is the one I really want to tell you about.

High-end dental Activated Charcoal specifically created to whiten your teeth. 

You aren't hallucinating, you read:

(otherwise called 'Activated Carbon')

That black stuff you put in your grill to cook over.

Activated Charcoal is different than that regular grilling charcoal, it's modified for medicinal use and is actually something that you can safely consume. It's even a cheap dietary supplement that absorbs and removes thousands of toxins from your body.

Your local pharmacy and emergency room probably has it on hand for emergency poison control specifically for drug overdoses - it is one of the most powerful absorptive agents the world has ever known. Just a single teaspoon spreads its properties over 10,000 square feet.

Think of it as a sponge with thousands of little pores that suck/dry up unwanted crap.

* Video courtesy of MamaNatural

Activated Charcoal as a powder dental supplement works like this -

When you put it on your teeth the hundreds of 'black granules' (specs) absorb and disinfect your entire mouth.

Along the way it helps it suck up substances and bacteria that cause discoloration and will even help break down any existing yellowish film on the outside layer of your teeth.

It can literally help clean up stains.

Just like bleach would do, just much healthier.

It seems weird to put a ridiculously dark black powder on your teeth to whiten them, but it works pretty well and doesn't taste like anything. In fact, it has peppermint oil and Stevia in it - so it's a little sweet. Don't worry, it won't taste like you have dirty rocks in your mouth.

GLL Activated CharcoalYes, it looks gross.

Once upon a time, some cultures (and some traditional cultures today), used Activated Charcoal in-lieu of toothpaste. 

You'll probably see results right away, there's a lot of verified purchases on that report this, but give it some time to really clean stuff up.

How to use it

Use as directed.

Brush your teeth for at least 4 minutes. Rinse out your mouth with water afterward.

You can floss if you didn't floss after the last step.

activated charchol for teeth

*ACT Mouthwash
(or other brand) 

The final step of process is to rinse with mouthwash for about 45-60 seconds.

After you brush your teeth with Activated Charcoal, there will be some gritty (yet tasteless) sandy pieces in your mouth.

We are using the mouthwash to rinse these out and because a post-brush, post-floss mouthwash is good for your teeth and gums.

I use this one because it's alcohol-free, but you can use Scope, Listerine or Crest Pro-Health - my dentist recommends the latter.

ACT Mouthwash* I bought the ACT at Walmart, the rest of the recommendations were purchased on Amazon - as you can see.

* Dr. Collins Super Soft Professional Toothbrush

Dr. Collins' professional brush is the softest toothbrush I have ever used. The bristles are still firm.

It's no more money than a regular toothbrush.

You can REALLY scrub your mouth well. 

This is by no means necessary however.

Use whatever toothbrush you have. 

I'm never using another toothbrush again.
(I do not like electric toothbrushes)

Dr Collins Toothbursh

Pour Conclure

So there you have it.

It's pretty good.

Don't expect instant Zoom results, have patience but you can expect your teeth to get whiter - most notice pretty quickly.

I have no significant before and after pictures, because they are only a couple of shades whiter. Perhaps in another month or so though.

As of November 18th 2014, this is the best at-home protocol I've used for whitening teeth.

It's quick to use and it's super inexpensive too.

If I hear of something better AND TRY IT, I'll pass the word along.

Whitening trays aren't bad, they are just a pain to use. I've had the same results with the protocol above, without the hassle, but obviously over a longer period time.

If you do like whitening strips or bleaching tray, you can obviously use those in combination with this protocol.

... and oh yeah - REMEMBER TO FLOSS.
(it's not overrated)

If you have any unique teeth whitening methods THAT WORK or tried methods/products that don't work, drop a comment below.

We discuss teeth whitening and other grooming methods in the Good Looking Loser Forum (Get Groomed).

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Comments (53)

  1. Ivan

I've heard of using Coconut Oil (pulling) also. Anyone tried it?

  1. Good Looking Loser    Ivan

I believe in it. It's too much of a pain in the ass for me though.

  1. Captain Ramius

Ill be doing this after my white strips run out. The strips simply make my teeth hurt like a bitch after.

  1. Good Looking Loser    Captain Ramius


grab some Vitamin E oil for your gums if they are burning
(put on before and after)-- works great for that

  1. Jack

Thanks for the article Chris. Is this in any way bad for your teeth? I have sensitive teeth and I don't want to wear away any layers.


  1. Good Looking Loser    Jack

I think this would be the healthiest way to whiten teeth.
The soft brush I recommend will be a big helper too.

I have sensitive gums myself.

  1. Noah

I wear a retainer (mouthguard) while I sleep to keep my teeth straight. Will this mess up the process mentioned above?

  1. Good Looking Loser    Noah

Hey Noah - I don't see a problem with that.

  1. Jared

Whoah! this product really got me curious. A dark black substance used to whiten teeth? I guess it wouldn't hurt to try this. It's nice that this stuff is inexpensive.

  1. Good Looking Loser    Jared

Works pretty well, its doesn't taste like anything/rocks either..

  1. David

Lol. This is a fun way to whiten teeth. Everyone would try to take a selfie of themselves while the Activated Charcoal formula is still on their teeth.

  1. Anthony

Chris, will the Activated Charcoal cause the gums to bleed a little during brushing? Or is it made of really fine powder that would just "melt" once it gets wet inside the mouth?

  1. Good Looking Loser    Anthony

nope, it's literally like baby powder.. no rocky pieces whatsoever. its very mild, despite the color

  1. Alex

I've actually been using the Opalescence Whitening Toothpaste for some time now, a friend recommended it and its really quite good. I'm happy with the results that I'm getting from it.

  1. Good Looking Loser    Alex

Thankx for the feedback Alex

  1. CJ

what the heck! never in my wildest dreams did i expect charcoal to be used as a whitening agent. this is awesome! \m/

  1. Dave

I have been using whitening strips since forever and it is such a struggle. I've always been on the lookout for some alternative and maybe this is it. Thanks GLL for this post.

  1. Good Looking Loser    Dave

lemme know how it goes

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