lady with brown hair tied back holding a copper tongue scraper on her tongue

What is a tongue scraper and how to use it

Tongue scraping is all the rage. Every week in our store, we get questions about what it is and why we should be scraping our tongue. Here we give you the low down on on what tongue scraping is, how to do it and how to keep your tongue scraper clean. 

Where and when did tongue scraping originate?

Tongue scraping is an ancient Eastern practice with roots in Ayurveda, the practice of traditional Indian medicine. Typically tongue scrapers were made of brass, gold or copper and formed part of daily ayurvedic hygiene routines to remove toxic debris from the mouth called Ama. Western communities tended to brush and rinse the mouth to keep it clean but tongue scraping has become more popular in recent years. 

What is a tongue scraper?

You'll usually see tongue scrapers made of plastic or copper and shaped into a bent 'U' shape. The apex of the 'U' is used to remove build up and bacteria from the tongue. 

lady with brown hair wearing white strappy top using a copper tongue scraper on her tongue


What are the benefits of tongue scraping?

Our tongues, have a large surface area that are covered in lingual papillae (the visible bumps we see on our tongue that help us eat and taste) which can get microorganisms, food and skin cells trapped in them and cause a build up. There's good and bad bacteria on our tongues. Tongue scraping can help us rid the bad bacteria that causes infections and bad breath by removing surplus bacteria, food particles and dead cells. This can in turn help our gut and digestive health, our immunity and so, also our skin. 

Our tongue scraper is from Acala Zero Waste and is made from copper which is naturally anti microbial and anti bacterial. 

How to use a tongue scraper

  • Hold your tongue scraper by the looped ends and place the flat edge of the tongue scraper at the back of your tongue
  • Apply moderate pressure and drag towards the end of your tongue. Repeat 2-3 times if using regularly or 7 - 14 strokes if using for the first time or until no more plaque is visible on your tongue
  • Rinse your tongue scraper in between each few strokes
close up of a tongue being scraped with a copper tongue scraper

How to clean your tongue scraper

When cared for correctly your copper tongue scraper will last a lifetime. Here are our two different ways you can keep your tongue scraper clean and hygienic:


  1. Pour 3 parts vinegar and 1 part salt into a pan and bring the boil
  2. Pour into a bowl, add your tongue scraper and leave for 10-15 minutes
  3. Then use an old cloth to remove and dirt or tarnishing
  4. Rinse the tongue scraper in clean water
  5. Polish up with a clean, soft, dry cloth


  1. Cut two lemons or limes in half
  2. Rub the tongue scraper with the fruit until tarnished areas are removed. If you want, add salt to your fruit slice you can
  3. Rinse and polish up with a clean, soft, dry cloth

Buy Acala's Copper Tongue Scraper


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