10 min 25 sec

On-the-Go Mouthwash Gets Mini-Makeover

Two Florida State grads create a mini-mouthwash empire, selling 3,500 bottles in less than a year.
Manufacturing Partnership Product Student Hustles

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What It's About

Portable mouthwash that's as fresh as you!

Business Model
Skills Required
Research & Experimentation
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

Mike knows some people who keep their ideas really close to their chest, but as Mike said, “you may have an innovative idea, but you’re never going to be able to validate it unless you ask for the honest opinions of those around you. Sure, you may run the risk of someone trying to beat you to the punch, but these kinds of ideas take a lot of time to develop. Don’t discredit all of the hard work and effort that you’ve put into building something like this—others are much less likely to do it themselves.”

Fun Fact

You may know that peppermint, eucalyptus, and vanilla beans were chewed on before mouthwash was invented. But did you know that no one wanted to buy mouthwash for its germ-killing properties at first? The increase in sales happened because they started to market mouthwash as a way to battle against bad breath.

Notes from Chris

Episode 572
We’ve all been there—bad breath can rear its ugly, bacteria coated head in the most inconvenient of times. Mike Bracciale found himself in one of those moments while cramming for a big Organic Chemistry test. As most college students do, he was pulling an all-nighter, which meant copious amounts of coffee and food that should only be consumed with caution after age 25.

He could have braved the storm. But as fate would have it, in walked his crush and fellow O. Chem. classmate, and since tables are often in short supply around midterms and finals, she opted to share his. At any other time, Mike would have welcomed such an opportunity, but with a weapon of mass relationship destruction brewing, things were just a little too close for comfort.

Feigning a desperate need to head back to his place just off of campus, Mike dashed home to freshen up a bit and then headed back to the library.

We may never know how he fared on that O. Chem. test, but what we do know is that while Mike didn’t end up getting the girl, he might have walked away with something even better: an idea. Around this time, students all over campus were walking around with these small bottles of MiO, a concentrated flavored liquid that you could use to spruce up water—or perhaps vodka, this is a no judgment zone. While the bottle contained roughly 1.62 fl oz, it contained enough concentrated flavor to add to 24 8 oz. servings of water.

And with the struggles of bad breath fresh in his mind, Mike couldn’t help but wonder why no one had thought to do the same with mouthwash.

Being on a pre-med track with several terms of chemistry under his belt, he knew that the bulk of your everyday bottle of mouthwash was mostly water. If he could find a way to take the water out of mouthwash, he could create a product that didn’t yet exist on the market.

Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither is an innovative mouthwash empire!

While Mike felt confident in his abilities, he had no desire to go into this alone. Enter Nick Telford—Mike’s fraternity brother and fellow mouthwash enthusiast. Nick was one of the people Mike had approached for feedback back in his rampant fraternity days. He loved the concept and was on board with helping Mike go from idea to action. They divided responsibilities, with Nick working on financing and brand development, while Mike focused on the product itself. As Mike said, “You never have to feel like you have to do anything on your own! It’s okay to have strengths and weaknesses—find someone with skills that complement your own.”

After months of testing, tasting, and revising, the duo ended up with a concentrated formula that actively fought bacteria, plaque, and tartar for up to 8 hours, would be able to pack 60 uses into a single 1.62 oz bottle, and of course, tasted fantastic.

Since they were transforming oral care by making it accessible on the fly, they decided to call their product Fly Mouthwash. The name is also a nod to the fact that it’s a TSA approved product and perfect for those who fly often.

They started out on Amazon but soon moved over to their own website. And by the time of this episode, they’ve sold more than half of their stock of 7,000 bottles of Fly Mouthwash… all within their first six months!

These days, Mike and Nick are looking to move away from marketing Fly Mouthwash as merely a “portable” option and are instead looking to replace your traditional mouthwash entirely. They recently secured funding from an outside investor interested in their product. While mouthwash greatness seems to be inevitable, they’re also content for the time being restoring confidence and freshening up the world, one mouth at a time.


  • Fly Mouthwash: Fresh breath is no longer impossible on the go—snag your first bottle of Fly Mouthwash over on Mike and Nick's website!

  • Wordpress & WooCommerce: The platforms that Mike used to create his website and payment process for Fly Mouthwash


Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,


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Quote of the Day
"You can have a product, and it can be great in theory, but if you can’t produce it at scale, you’ll never be able to bring it to the market."
—Mike Bracciale #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau