Best Mouthwash for Cold Sores in 2021

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Cold sores are caused by a virus, and can be annoying, embarrassing, and even painful. Fortunately, using the right mouthwash can help shorten and reduce outbreaks of cold sores. Let’s look at some of the best mouthwash for cold sores.

Comparison Chart

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Listerine Total Care Anticavity Mouthwash
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CloSYS Ultra Sensitive Mouthwash
415Esl YbrL. SL160
SmartMouth Original Activated Mouthwash
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Colgate Peroxyl Antiseptic Mouthwash
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ACT Restoring Fluoride Mouthwash

Mouthwash for Cold Sores: Reviews

Listerine Total Care Anticavity Mouthwash

41z2VjDm1fL. SL500

Listerine is famous for killing the germs that cause bad breath. Listerine Total Care kills germs, freshens breath, restores tooth enamel, prevents cavities, strengthens teeth, and cleans the entire inside of the mouth.

While brushing and flossing cleans your teeth and part of your gums, that only amounts to 25% of the inside of your mouth. Rinsing with Listerine cleans the entire inside of your mouth, fighting bacteria and deep cleaning all the surfaces in your mouth.

Using Listerine Total Care twice a day provides 24 hour protection for your teeth and gums, with a complete 6-in-1 formula. It has the ADA seal of acceptance and a fresh mint flavor.


  • Kills germs and freshens breath
  • 6 oral health benefits in one formula
  • Cleans the entire mouth


  • May have a “burning” sensation that irritates sensitive mouths

CloSYS Ultra Sensitive Mouthwash

31X4M0gdC+S. SL500

CloSYS mouthwash has a patented formula that kills 99% of bad breath bacteria in the mouth in just 10 seconds, without burning or irritation. The CloSYS Ultra Sensitive mouthwash has a unique formula where you can customize the amount of flavor.

The included peppermint oil derived Flavor Control Dropper allows you to add as much minty flavor as you want, without reducing the germ killing power of the mouthwash.

CloSYS Ultra Sensitive Mouthwash is pH balanced, and has no alcohol, dyes, sulfates, triclosan, or gluten. This non-irritating rinse is naturally activated and actually kills the bacteria that cause bad breath, instead of just covering up mouth odors.

The mouthwash is naturally unflavored, but comes with a minty flavoring that can be added to your preference. Simply use the included dropper to add peppermint flavor to your mouthwash before use. This mouthwash has been accepted by the ADA. 


  • Safe and gentle for sensitive mouths, with no burning sensation
  • Kills germs and freshens breath
  • No alcohol, sulfates, dyes, or other unwanted ingredients
  • Un-flavored mouthwash with optional flavor drops


  • In a few people, the pH balancing action of CloSYS temporarily affected their sense of taste as it affects the acidity levels in the mouth. For most affected people, the sense of taste returns after 5-7 days when the pH levels in the mouth adjust to using the mouthwash.

SmartMouth Original Activated Mouthwash

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The activated zinc ions in SmartMouth mouthwash stop the creation of odor-causing sulfur gas, eliminating and blocking bad breath for 12 hours with every use. The founder of SmartMouth was a doctor who spent years studying bad breath and halitosis before discovering this unique formula powered by zinc ion technology.

SmartMouth Original Activated Mouthwash is guaranteed to eliminate bad breath, or you can receive your money back.

SmartMouth Original Activated Mouthwash contains no alcohol, has no burning sensation, and is free of parabens. The two-part formula activates when poured from the unique two-spout container, and the zinc ions eliminate all volatile sulfur compounds in the mouth.

Used twice a day, it completely eliminates bad breath for a full 24 hours, guaranteed. It also has a fresh minty flavor.


  • Eliminates bad breath without alcohol or a burning sensation
  • Blocks sulfur gas for 12 hours of naturally fresh breath
  • Fresh minty flavor


  • The 2-in-1 packaging can be tricky to understand, and may not always work properly

Colgate Peroxyl Antiseptic Mouthwash and Mouth Sore Rinse

41YU8yn4YGL. SL500

Colgate Peroxyl Antiseptic Mouthwash is specifically designed to help heal and soothe sores and minor wounds in the mouth. The hydrogen-peroxide-based formula cleans the mouth and promotes faster healing of sores, burns, and mouth irritation. This oxygenating mouthwash helps remove mouth debris and facilitate healing, while killing germs and leaving you with a mild mint flavor.

Colgate Peroxyl Antiseptic Mouthwash and Mouth Sore Rinse soothes gum inflammation and kills germs, without alcohol or ethanol. It’s safe and gentle on the mouth and gums, and has a pleasant minty flavor.


  • Designed to soothe and heal mouth sores and irritated gums
  • Removes oral debris and promotes healing
  • Also helps relieve irritation from braces
  • No alcohol or ethanol


  • Some people experience increased sensitivity and irritation

ACT Restoring Fluoride Mouthwash

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ACT is an anti-cavity rinse with an invigorating cool mint flavor. It is the highest dentist recommended brand of fluoride rinse, designed to strengthen tooth enamel, remineralize soft spots on the teeth, help prevent tooth decay, and freshen breath. Using an anticavity rinse like ACT can reduce cavities by up to 70% over brushing alone.

ACT Restoring Fluoride Mouthwash comes in cool mint flavor with 11% alcohol, or in alcohol free mint burst flavor Either formula helps to protect your teeth from cavities and tooth decay, while strengthening and remineralizing your teeth. The minty flavor also helps fight bad breath.


  • Strengthens and restores teeth
  • Freshens breath
  • Available in alcohol-free version


  • ACT Anticavity formula has more fluoride than ACT Restoring formula, which is designed to strengthen and remineralize teeth. For people who prefer a fluoride rinse with more fluoride, consider ACT Anticavity original (link:) or alcohol free.

Final Verdict

When looking for a mouthwash for cold sores, choose an antiseptic mouthwash that kills germs. A germ-killing mouthwash can help prevent the spread of cold sores, and may help them heal more quickly and reduce their frequency.

In addition to the benefits of mouthwash for your teeth and breath, you may also be able to help ease the discomfort of cold sores with some of these great mouthwashes.

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