Before the days of solely swishing the harsh burning liquid around in our mouth, which we now call Listerine, there were many unusual uses, dating all the way back to the 19th century.
Cure yourself, or your pet rabbit, or that pesky dandruff problem
In the early 20th century, ads in newspapers listed that studies and experiments had been done in order to see if Listerine cured people of their dandruff problems. Although the treatment has never been officially accredited, some still believe that pouring a cap full of the mouth wash on your head after washing, leaving this on for 5 minutes, and repeating for a week will relieve you of those nasty flakes. However, I can hardly stand the burning of Listerine on my gums for more than 30 seconds so I think 5 minutes on my head would be a kin to self-immolation. Oh, on the sides of those early ads for dandruff prevention, there were ads that stated rabbits too could be cured of the flakey disease by the same methods.
Face it, Listerine is now match to flossing
After Listerine began to advertise that it cleaned out that gunk and germs between your teeth just as effectively as flossing, a federal judge ruled against Listerine’s claims in 2005 and required the company to visit retailers and place stickers over the false claims on each bottle. This little bit of misinformation cost the company about 2 million bucks.
Can’t stand to swish Listerine? Than just smoke it
In the 1920s Listerine produced their own line of cigarettes. The company was able to somehow soak the tobacco with the same chemicals used to make the mouthwash. Apparently this was America’s first encounter with menthols. I guess this would be one way to combat that nasty breath after lighting up.
Listerine inspired vaccination delivery methods
In 2008, scientists working on different ways to administer vaccines at Johns Hopkins used Listerine’s breath strip idea. Now these paper like strips that dissolve in your mouth come as vaccines and can be given to children and infants who are unable to swallow pills.
For other nifty, and not so useful tips about Listerine and its’ uses, see here.