People say "to rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash after brushing your teeth."

People also say "why wash your mouth out after inhaling?"

If you rinse your mouth, you wash it by filling your mouth with water or with a liquid that kills germs, then spitting it out.

Use a toothbrush on your tongue as well, and rinse your mouth frequently. [VERB noun]

Rinse out means the same as rinse.

After her meal she invariably rinsed out her mouth. [VERB PARTICLE noun]

You should rinse your mouth out after eating. [VERB noun PARTICLE]

[intransitive] gargle (with something) to wash inside your mouth and throat by moving a liquid around at the back of your throat and then spitting it out

Gargle with salt water if your throat is sore.

Seem like "rinse your mouth" and "wash your mouth" and "to mouthwash" and "to gargle" are the same.

Do We say "rinse your mouth" or "wash your mouth" or "to mouthwash" or "to gargle"?

1 Answer 1


Rinsing your mouth is the most general verb for this action.

Washing your mouth sounds peculiar to me, at least in Am.E. I would only expect it if there was soap involved, particularly in the context of washing someone's mouth with soap as a disciplinary measure.

Mouthwash is a noun referring to a dental rinse. We don't use mouthwash as a verb.

Gargling is more specific than rinsing--it takes place in the back of the throat. See this video starting around 30 seconds. The dental worker begins by swishing or rinsing, and then gargles.

  • +1 But I’m curious what you think about wash your mouth out (which was in OP’s second “people say”)? I was tempted to say it’s synonymous with rinse out, but now I’m not sure.
    – Em.
    Oct 28, 2019 at 2:27
  • @Em. I still don't think it's particularly common, even in that formation. But that does remind me of the phrase to "wash the taste of [something] out of your mouth," which I do think is related. Though again, I think the implication there is that the thing is particularly gross or possibly not a food at all. I think that's the usage indicated at the OP's second example--the title of the post uses "wash" and it seems to refer to some sort of medical spray, but people use "rinse" in all the comments, except when they're referring to washing the skin.
    – Katy
    Oct 28, 2019 at 2:54

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .