Colgate Optic White Whitening Mouthwash Review By Dentist

Written & Reviewed by Dr David Chen

This is my personal review of the Colgate Optic White Whitening Mouthwash, an alcohol-free peroxide based mouth rinse.

colgate optic white whitening mouthwash

I will give you my subjective thoughts based on my personal experience after using and testing it. I’ll also be providing you with the objective facts about all of the alleged benefits to using this teeth whitening rinse.

Yes, I am a dentist so make sure you don’t skip the section about how this product works because I will be explaining the whitening mechanism. Our goal is to help you in deciding whether or not this whitening product is worth a try.

Disclaimer: If you make a purchase after clicking one of our links, we may earn a commission.


This is a whitening mouthwash that is a part of Colgate’s specialized line of teeth whitening products called Optic White. They’ve designed these products with bold red packaging which helps you in differentiating it from their non-whitening products.

Featured benefits

The optic white mouthwash is marketed as a whitening mouthwash that has an effective peroxide formula that actively whitens and seals out new stains. If you’re looking for a daily rinse that can also make your teeth whiter, this may be it.

Featured benefits:

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Enamel safe
  • Stain prevention
  • For sensitive teeth
  • Alcohol free
  • Freshens breath

Product specifications

Net weight16 oz (473 mL) or 32 oz (946 mL)
Whitening agent2% hydrogen peroxide
Availabilitypharmacies & online retailers

Directions for use

  1. Rinse for 60 seconds with 15 mL twice a day.
  2. Spit out and do not swallow.

Note: It is only recommended for individuals 12 years of age and above. It says to keep out of reach for children under 12.


There are a total of 12 ingredients in the optic white mouthwash by Colgate.

Optic white mouthwash - ingredients label

Whitener agent:

  • Hydrogen peroxide (2%) – chemically bleaches away teeth stains.

Stain prevention:

  • Sodium Acrylates/Methacryloylethyl Phosphate Copolymer – forms a barrier on your teeth to prevent future stains.


  • Sorbitol – sweetener.
  • Flavor/Aroma
  • Sodium Saccharin – flavoring and taste.

Texture & Body:

  • Water
  • Glycerin – humectant (prevents drying out).
  • Propylene glycol – surfactant and humectant.
  • Polysorbate 20 – surfactant and emulsifier (makes it smooth and easy to apply).
  • Phosphoric Acid – creates a balanced pH.
  • Citric Acid – creates an ideal pH.
  • PVM/MA Copolymer – helps retain active ingredients on your teeth and gums.


The Colgate optic white mouthwash does not come in a box, it is in a sealed stand alone bottle that is similar to other mouthwashes. It does have a very distinctive red and white coloring, which their optic white line is iconic for.

The shape of the bottle is rectangular but with concavities on both sides. The concaveness of the sides makes it easier to grip and hold the bottle when compared to traditional rectangularly shaped bottles.

Basically, it feels more secure in your hands due to its unique shape. The images above show the gripping when compared to the rectangular ACT mouthwash.

The bottle is sealed at the top with plastic wrap to let you know that it’s new and unused. Although upon tearing open the seal on the cap, it unveils an all white bottle cap.

The cap is a twist off cap which you can easily open. What I did find interesting was that it had a double cap design. There was a small cap inside of the bigger exterior cap. This actually gives the product a double seal because if you look at how it comes together, it seems more secure.

The only thing that I was unsure about was whether or not the cap was meant to be used as a measuring cup. A lot of mouthwashes have a fill line on the inside of their bottle cap to let you know the right amount to use. There was no marking on the inside of this cap.

Overall, I was pretty impressed by the packaging design of the optic white mouthwash.

What I liked:

  • The double sided concavity of the bottle shape made it more secure to hold.
  • The double capped bottle cap design was a nice touch.

My experience

The colgate optic white whitening mouthwash is one of the most unique mouthwashes that I’ve ever used. It was pleasant in the sense that it did not burn my mouth as I was swishing around but the flavor was definitely not my cup of tea. It also had one of the strongest mint smells that I’ve ever encountered.

Appearance: The color was colorless and clear. There was absolutely no hint of color dye or anything in it at all, which is great because it won’t stain your teeth.

colgate optic white mouthwash - colorless mouth rinse in cap
Colorless mouthwash – You can barely see it

Smell: Very powerful mint smell that was much stronger than any mint flavored toothpaste that I’ve ever smelled. As a matter of fact, it strongly reminds me of a very potent menthol smelling chinese topical medication.

Taste: It did not burn at all while I was rinsing with this mouthwash. Yes, it is alcohol free but it was much more pleasant than the alcohol-free Listerine which still had a bit of a burning sensation to it. This had none, zero, nada.

The only thing was that it tasted a little sour and it did leave a slight bitter after taste.

Texture: It had a moderate amount of foaming as I was rinsing with it. The liquid had a very light texture. It’s definitely not heavy like syrup or oil which coats your mouth.


  • I loved that it wasn’t painful to rinse with it.
  • There was zero burn from using it.
  • Very strong mint smell.
  • Slight bitter and sour taste but not alcoholic.

It is a legit whitening product so I don’t think you should expect this to taste like candy. It has one purpose and one purpose only, to make your teeth whiter.

Pros & Cons

Optic white mouthwash review: Pros & Cons


  • Chemically oxidize tooth stains.
  • Alcohol-free with zero burn.
  • Anti-septic mouth rinse.
  • Wonderful product design.


  • More costly than regular mouthwash.
  • Strong menthol smell.
  • Slight sour taste.
  • Bitter aftertaste.

Does it work?

The optic white mouthwash by Colgate does work in whitening your teeth because contains a bleaching agent, hydrogen peroxide.

Studies have shown that mouthwashes which contain peroxide do possess the ability to make your teeth whiter. However, the efficacy of whitening mouth rinses did pale in comparison to traditional methods of teeth whitening.

In summary, if said whitening mouthwash contains peroxide in it, you can expect it to bleach your teeth whiter. Although it won’t be quite as effective as say the whitening strips or even the toothpastes.

Whitening Mechanism

This whitening mouthwash by colgate works by utilizing the 2% hydrogen peroxide to bleach the stains off your teeth.

Mechanism for how hydrogen peroxide removes teeth stains:

  • Hydrogen peroxide decomposes into water and oxygen but it produces free radicals (perhydroxyl) in the intermediary steps.
  • The free radicals can diffuse through the tooth and oxidize organic stains.
  • This process converts the stain molecule’s double conjugated bonds to single bonds.
  • The net loss of the double bonds results in the tooth stain becoming “whiter”.
  • However a better way to describe it is that the peroxide simply makes the stains become invisible to our naked eye.
Hydrogen peroxide oxidation of double bonds
Credit: Clifton Carey

The above mechanism is the chemistry behind how peroxide bleaches stains from your teeth.

Essentially the free radicals are powerful oxidizing agents which attack the double bonds of stain molecules. As the stains lose their double bonds they absorb less color and reflect more of it.

What that means is the colored stains become decolorized and they appear whiter.

How long before I see results?

The whitening effect for using a mouthwash is one of the slowest ways to whiten your teeth and there are many reasons why.

Reasons mouthwash whitens slowly:

  • Short rinsing time. You’re only rinsing with the optic white mouthwash for 60 seconds which means you’re only whitening for 60 seconds. You can compare that to the strips which require 30-60 mins of whitening time or even an hour at the dentist.
  • Low peroxide concentration. This mouthwash has 2% peroxide which is a lot less potent than your dentist’s 30-40% concentration products.
  • No saliva protection. Saliva contains salivary peroxidases which degrade peroxide. The act of swishing it around will expose it to saliva and that inactivates it.

It is due to all of these 3 reasons combined which make the results take longer for you to see. The product definitely works but there are a lot of factors working against it.


Overall I think the colgate optic white mouthwash is effective in whitening your teeth because studies have demonstrated that it works.

Although if you were hoping for overnight results, you won’t get that because the whitening process requires more time than that.

What I like about it:

  • Has peroxide so it can actually bleach off tooth stains.
  • No alcohol so there is no burn. It’s smoother than Johnny Walker Blue.
  • Very few legitimate whitening mouthwashes on the market so its welcomed.
  • Great product design. The concave bottle and double cap.

What I dislike about it:

  • I hope they can somehow make it taste less like a whitening product.

Who I think this mouthwash is for

I think this mouthwash is for those who want to maximize their teeth whitening by choosing all whitening products for their oral hygiene. For instance, said individual would use a whitening toothpaste, whitening mouthwash, the strips and the pen!

Nonetheless, don’t forget to check out our reviews of the entire line of the optic white toothpastes which have 2%, 3%, and 5% peroxide.

Overall, I do recommend using this mouthwash if you were looking for a rinse that can actually whiten your teeth.


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