Listerine Ultraclean Cool Mint Mouthwash vs. Kirkland Signature Ice Mint
Mouthwash is a category where the store brand manufacturers have done a fantastic job of reverse engineering the name brand products. The products we are comparing today are no exception: the Kirkland Signature version of Cool Mint Listerine matches up extremely well. The Kirkland Signature bottle has the “Compare to the active ingredients of Cool Mint Listerine®” tag on it. This is clearly worrisome to Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer of Listerine, as the Cool Mint Listerine bottle we grabbed from the same Costco label had this prominently placed on the back panel:
On the packaging front, the bottles are very comparable. Often you’ll see the store brands try to shave a little bit of cost by using lower quality packaging; the Kirkland Signature plastic felt a little flimsier, but overall both bottles were reasonably sturdy. Both caps convert into small cups you can pour the mouthwash into. The Listerine cap secures a little better than the Kirkland Signature, with some interlocking pieces on the cap and bottle that hold the cap on more tightly. The downside of this is the Listerine bottle was harder to open.
The active ingredients for the two products are identical in type and quantity. The only difference in inactive ingredients is two ingredients present in Listerine but missing from Kirkland Signature: the artificial sweetener sucralose and aqueous zinc chloride for disinfectant purposes.
We noticed a bit more of a bite to the Kirkland Signature, which may be attributable to the lack of the artificial sweetener, but overall the tastes were extremely similar.
To use a technical term, both of these smell very “mouthwashy”, with a hint of the mint flavoring. The alcohol component overwhelms the smell, however, and we couldn’t distinguish between the two at all in terms of scent.
Overall Similarity Score: 90%
Like most Kirkland Signature products, we found this to be a high quality imitation of the name brand, and offered at a significant discount. We recommend buying the Kirkland Signature version.