DIY Alum Canker Sore Relief – A Home Remedy

Canker Sore Relief Home Remedies. Try this tried and true Alum canker sore calming method. It will provide instant relief so you can enjoy food again.

alum for canker sore relief


Oh boy, did we get hit with a nasty cold over Christmas break? I say we because I caught it along with the kids.  We all coughed until our stomach muscles ached, and I lost my voice for about a week. To add to my misery, I received a whopper of a canker sore, right in the front of my mouth. Ugh! Every time I went to take a sip of tea to help my throat, my canker sore would revolt, and I would wince in pain. After days of telling everyone how bad it hurt, and not really seeing much sympathy around here for little ole’ me…I took out my phone and began research on canker sore cures. I really think I found a good home remedy. This is what I found, and what I believe really helped heal my sore.

What is a Canker Sore?

It’s really an ulcer in your mouth. They can come around once in a blue moon, or they might be recurring. You can get them on your gums, your tongue, and inside your cheek

Why Do We Get Canker Sores?

  • genetics – sometimes people are prone to canker soars because they are hereditary – thanks mom and dad
  • stress – um – having kids can certainly cause stress
  • a sore or wound in your mouth from biting your gums leaving bacteria to set in
  • lesions from braces – poor kids. This is the worst
  • a lack of vitamins and minerals
  • dry air in the house (this is more common with winter canker sores because the mouth dries out and the benefits of saliva which clean the mouth all day long are lost)

Why Alum Powder Works to Heal Canker Sores:

  • Alum (Aluminum Potassium Sulfate) is a pickling spice that also acts as an astringent. Just like it would be used to pickle something, it shrinks and dries what it comes into contact with. It is an anti-inflammatory and reduces inflammation and pain by somewhat numbing the area

DIY home remedy for canker sores! This really worked on me.

How Do You Use Alum to Heal a Canker Sore?

  1. The method is to place a small amount directly on the sore. To do this I like to wet the end of a Q-Tip and dip it into the Alum. Then, I use that to apply directly to my sore.
  2. Wait – Try not to close your mouth. You might even want to hold your cheek open or if it’s on your tongue – hold that out. Count for 60 seconds while it works (it will be slightly painful with a burning sensation) and then spit it out
  3. Do not rinse, but spit as much as you can out of your mouth
  4. Repeat this a few times a day and right before you go to bed. Hopefully this will accelerate the healing process and you’ll get relief

Warning of swallowing large amounts of Alum – A large amount of Alum that is swallowed will cause stomach pain. It is important that you only apply enough to cover your canker sore. This will mean that once you spit it out, only trace amounts will be left and that should be such a small amount that it will pass by undigested

My own experience using Alum:

I put Alum on my canker sore, dealt with the stinging, and spit as much as I could out. It tastes awful and leaves a pasty feel in your mouth. Again, feeling hopeful, I went to bed. The canker sore was not gone the next morning, like some of the testimonials said. But, it had gone down a lot. So, I applied it a couple of times that day, and once more that night. The next morning, it was gone. It Vanished. Hallelujah!

But, don’t just take my word for it…

Here are a couple of links with more remedies for Canker Sores, including Alum. I am really interested in the “Coconut Oil” remedy. I think my kids would be a little more willing to try that over the disgusting taste of Alum

Here’s a great list from Lifestyle Nutrition and one from Everyday Roots

Other Home Remedies for Canker Sores: 

Baking Soda Canker Sore Remedy

Canker Sore Home Remedy

Make a paste from baking soda and water. Dab it directly onto the sore, leave for 6o seconds, and then spit it out.

My personal experience with baking soda and canker sores.

There is a little pain with this, too. It stings. Feeling hopeful, I went to bed. The pain on my sore was a little bit duller than the night before. The sore was a lot easier to live with. It did not, however, have a long-lasting effect. The pain started to come back that afternoon.

Milk of Magnesia for Canker Sores

Milk of Magnesia used orally, apparently changes the PH level of your mouth and the canker sore will not survive. Simply swish it around so it coats the canker sore and spit it out.

If you are in pain, from an angry canker sore, I hope this helps. With any luck, you’ll have a new home remedy.


~Melissa –



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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Nuvia

    Ahhh yes just what i needed my little one just got a canker sore . Thank you

    1. Melissa

      Canker Sores are miserable. Even my kids that won’t try anything else, will use Alum. My 13 year old is using it right now, (we keep it in stocked in the bathroom). If she skips one night, the sore comes back with a vengeance. KEEP applying it at bedtime until the angry red is gone. It might not work in one night, but it will cut the time down by more than half and it helps so, so much with the pain management. I hope your little one feels better very soon. ~Melissa

  2. Cammie Hendricks

    Is it safe to eat food with Alum in your mouth?

    1. Melissa

      After 1 minute – or longer if you can stand it, you should spit as much Alum as you can. You should have only trace amounts left on your sore. You’re not supposed to rinse it out but if you are worried about the toxicity level, then go ahead and rinse. Realistically, your mouth will fill up with saliva the second you close it anyway washing the Alum away from your sore. Any amount will still aid in drying out the canker sore. Alum is toxic if ingested in large amounts. Again, You should only have a very small residue in your mouth. Alum is used in many home remedies and is a great spice to have on hand. Here is a link to find out more…