Alright, this is stupid but I gotta know! What would happen to you if you swallowed the amount of Listerine that they tell you to swish around in your mouth for 30 seconds? I read the label and it just has the “In case of over-dose…” warning, but I can’t imagine that the amount they tell you to use would qualify as an over-dose. So can anyone please alleviate my curiosity?
It wouldn’t harm you at all. Drink enough of it, and it will get you drunk. I wouldn’t recommend it though. I did that once when I was young. Gave me a pounding headache, wasn’t an enjoyable buzz for me at all.
Listerine is toxic, but not that toxic. As has been said, you can swallow it and not worry too much about things, unless you make a habit of it (believe me, people get addicted to weirder shit). Since it is alcohol, all of the normal risks associated with alcohol apply (liver damage, mental impairment, eventual mental damage).
So, what proof is Listerine? Could one get the same effect by swishing Everclear or some other high-test liquor?
Listerine is 43.2 proof, a pretty far cry from Everclear. Having had waaaaay too much Everclear before I can safely say it does not help your breath smell better
Alcohol isn’t the active ingredient. According to the label the Special Stuff is thymol, eucalyptol, methyl salicylate and menthol. I’m no chemist but that sounds like derivatives of the stuff that gives eucalyptus and mints (both real and artificial) their distinctive odors/tastes.
As for what would happen if you drank too much of it, I’d assume that the alcohol would get you first - nasty drunk. Penn & Teller’s book “How To Play With Your Food” has a great story about the folks at Pixar who did the CGI animated Listerine ads (remember the bottle swinging through the jungle like Tarzan?). They had cases of the stuff around to use for modelling and pulled a joke on the ad executives. Short version - they filled a bottle with apple juice and water (so it looks like Listerine), left some real bottles open to smell up the room and then bet that one of their programmers could chug a bottle without stopping. One of the ad execs lost her lunch…