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How to get rid of alcohol breath | Best tips 2021

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After a night of drinking alcohol, bad breath is a common occurrence. Here are our best tips to eliminate alcohol breath and get your fresh breath back.

Eat something (before or while you're drinking)

An easy way to help minimise alcohol breath is to eat, either before you start drinking alcohol or during. Food can help stimulate saliva creation in the mouth and can help prevent dehydration (which itself can make alcohol breath worse). Food absorbs alcohol while you're drinking, too, which can help reduce your hangover symptoms the following day.

A general rule is that it's unwise to drink alcohol on an empty stomach, especially when it comes to hangovers. Just make sure to have some food while you're drinking - it will reduce your hangover symptoms and minimise alcohol breath.

Want to learn more about hangovers? Make sure to check out: How to get rid of hangovers

Other option to hide alcohol breath is to eat something that's strong smelling. Meals with garlic or onion can help cut the smell of alcohol - it just depends which one is the lesser of two evils for you. 

Don't mix your drinks

Generally speaking, each type of alcohol has its own particular smell. To minimise your alcohol breath, it's helpful to stick to one type of alcoholic drink during a drinking session. That way you're only dealing with one smell rather than the aftereffects of numerous different types of alcohol.

Drink water

Drinking water doesn't do a lot against alcohol breath once it's present, but it does help minimise its development while also keeping you hydrated. A good rule of thumb is to drink one alcoholic drink per one glass of water. Staying hydrated while drinking alcohol also helps reduce the severity of your hangover the next day, too.

So while drinking water won't mask the smell of alcohol breath, it can certainly help slow down its development (and make you feel better the following day, too).

Want more? Learn about the Science of Getting Drunk.

Brush your teeth

Brushing your teeth is a simple and quick way to get rid of alcohol breath (as long as you have access to your toothbrush! Brushing your teeth is a great mouth freshener, even if your alcohol breath is minimal.

By brushing your teeth, you can remove the bacteria hanging out in your mouth. Make sure to also scrub your tongue and the roof of your mouth for extra protection against alcohol breath. Using a strong-smelling toothpaste is also helpful, especially if it contains menthol.

Depending on how bad your alcohol breath is, you may want to brush your teeth for longer than usual.

how to get rid of alcohol breath

Use mouthwash

Once you've thoroughly brushed your teeth, it's helpful to also use a decent mouthwash to get rid of any remaining bacteria in your mouth. Mouthwash was created specially to reduce bad breath and works great against alcoholic smells. Again, choosing a mouthwash with a minty or menthol smell really helps, or a mouthwash with a fresh lemon scent is also useful.

Gargle the mouthwash for the recommended time (which is usually around 30 seconds), then spit it out and rinse your mouth. If your alcohol breath is bad, you might want to do the whole process again.

When used in combination with brushing your teeth, your alcohol breath should be largely eliminated.

Chew gum (sugar-free mint, if possible)

Like toothpaste and mouthwash, minty chewing gum can help with alcohol breath. However, gum doesn't do a lot for the bacteria in your mouth like brushing your teeth will, but it does help cover up the smell of alcohol. Also, make sure to pick a sugar-free gum as bacteria in your mouth love to eat sugar.

Sour flavoured gum is also a good option, as this will make your mouth produce even more saliva and minimize alcohol breath faster.

Have a cup of coffee (the next day)

If you're struggling with alcohol breath the next morning, having a cup of coffee can help. Not only is it a nice option when you're tired from a night out drinking, coffee has its own strong smell which can cover alcohol breath nicely.

However, make sure not to drink coffee while you're still drinking alcohol. Mixing a depressant (alcohol) and a stimulant (coffee) is not a wise decision. Wait until the next day for a cup of coffee (or strong black coffee if you need a good pick-me-up!).

If you find that you suffer from extra long hangovers, read: Why do I get 2 day hangovers? Explained with solutions


There's few things better than a nice hot shower after a night of drinking.

Not only can alcohol give you bath breath, but it can also seep into your pores, giving you an alcoholic smell straight from your skin. By having a shower after a night of drinking, you can help remove that alcoholic smell from your body.

Nice smelling shampoos, conditioners and body washes also help remove any unwanted smells. Plus a good hot shower can help you feel better if you're dealing with a nasty hangover.

How to get rid of alcohol breath

By following these simple tips and tricks, you can minimise your alcohol breath in no time. Just make sure to drink in moderation and stay hydrated!

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