Homemade Deodorant: Make your armpits happy!

Homemade Deodorant: Make your armpits happy!

The first time I heard the phrase “homemade deodorant” I’m pretty sure I laughed. And rolled my eyes. And had all sorts of “she’s crazy!!!” thoughts going through my head. I mean, seriously? How weird can you get? Deodorant is one of life’s essential products that should only come from the most trusted chemist.

Funny how things change.

A troubled start…

The first time I made my own homemade deodorant I’m pretty sure I laughed then, too. But it was more of a “wow, I’m the crazy one now and it’s AWESOME” laugh.

But truthfully, my first experience with homemade deodorant was painful. Like, really painful. I have super sensitive skin and the stuff just burned. For hours.

I was told that some people have this problem and to give it time for my skin to adjust. So like a ninny (ha! who says “ninny”? Apparently I do.) I kept torturing my sad little arm pits with the homemade deodorant from… you know where. After a solid month I finally gave up and went back to my less-effective and more-expensive “all natural” store-bought deodorant.

Total failure.

That’s why I’m so excited to share this recipe with you… in case you also have sensitive skin and need a little TLC from your homemade deodorant. It’s still very similar to most of the online recipes you’ll find, and it’s still very effective, but hopefully it won’t make your pits burn. We want happy and non-smelly armpits, right? Right!

Why homemade deodorant?

Like so many other cosmetics, several of the ingredients used in most deodorants and antiperspirants are not so good for you. Like these:

  • Aluminum – This is the primary ingredient in most stuff you’ll buy at the store. It’s a metal which has been linked to breast cancer in women and increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. No thanks.
  • Parabens – This synthetic preservative is found in so many personal care products. The largest concern is that these chemicals will disrupt our delicate hormonal balance. Paraben exposure has also been linked to birth defects and organ toxicity.
  • Propylene glycol – This is a petroleum based material. In large quantities, studies have shown that this stuff can cause damage to the central nervous system, liver, and heart.
  • Phthalates – Another class of chemicals that have been linked to a variety of health issues including birth defects.
  • Triclsoan – This chemical is actually classified as a pesticide by the FDA and a probable carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Do you really want to put this stuff on your body? I didn’t think so.

Homemade deodorant AND happy armpits!

This recipe is simple and all the ingredients are recognizable and safe. This is also a pretty frugal way to go about your arm-pit needs.

Homemade deodorant: For happy armpits (and sensitive skin)!

Keep in mind that this is NOT an antiperspirant. But that’s a good thing. You need to sweat. It’s one of the ways your body naturally detoxes. Besides, antiperspirant just clogs your pores to keep the sweat from coming out… but your body will keep trying to detox. That’s why antiperspirant leaves those “pit stain” on your favorite shirt. It’s like your armpit threw up the chemical junk. Gross.

In fact, I found that I sweat a lot less after  I stopped wearing antiperspirant (which was long before I was a hippie and started making homemade deodorant). And I have no stains on my shirts. Awesome.

So are you ready? What do you have to lose? Most people who make the switch to homemade deodorant love it and will never go back. You could be one of them, too!

Not into making your own deodorant? This is my favorite natural commercial deodorant.

 

Homemade deodorant: For happy armpits (and sensitive skin)!

Do you use homemade deodorant? Are you will to give it a try? What do you think?

Sources:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/06/29/cbsnews_investigates/main51…
http://www.ewg.org/chemindex/term/563
http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/best-natural-d…
http://www.health-report.co.uk/ethylene_glycol_propylene_glycol.htm
http://www.naturalingredient.org/syntheticfragrances.htm
http://www.naturalnews.com/033364_deodorants_chemical_ingredients.html#ixzz29gdJyO2T
This post is part of Make Your Own Monday, Motivation Monday, Sweet Sharing Monday, Natural Living Monday, Monday Mania, Fat Tuesday, Mommy Club Wednesday, Real Food WednesdayHealthy 2Day Wednesday, at Make Grow ThursdayCreative Juice ThursdayFrugal Days Sustainable WaysSimple Lives ThursdayEat Make Grow Thursday, Farm Girl Friday, Freaky FridayFight Back FridayThe Mommy ClubFootprint Friday, and Sunday School.

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About the author

Hi! I'm and I’m passionate about healthy living: feeling nourished, having energy, getting good sleep, and feeling strong. I believe healthy living does not have to be complicated or stressful. I’m a Registered Somatic Movement Therapist (RSMT) and a Certified Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analyst (CLMA). I’m also an avid researcher and love to read about nutrition, the body, and toxic-free living. Learn more.

View all articles by Robin Konie

204 comments

  1. Jessica

    Any ideas for replacing the coconut oil? I’m very allergic to nut and coconut oils, but have really been wanting to try natural deodorant. Thanks!


    1. Post author
      robin

      Hi Jessica,

      You can try using shea butter. I haven’t tried it myself, but it would probably do the trick.

      1. serenalovestrees

        Shea butter would most likely work, it’s very similar to coconut oil and I think a little higher melting temperature (90 degrees or so). But it might be in the nut family too, I would google it. Also I wonder if a little beeswax to your mix would ward off the meltiness of summer months.

    2. Nicole

      I have made a similar recipe using equal parts of all three ingredients (except the same amount of essential oil that is listed in this one) but used organic corn starch instead of arrow root and olive oil instead of coconut oil. It comes out a little pastier and not as solid, but still works the same–awesomely!!

    3. A Jackson

      Mix 1 cup of water with
      4 table spoons of Baking Soda.
      1/2 cup of pure castor oil
      1 cup of Vodka or Gin
      10 drops essential oil ( vanilla )

      Put in spritzer bottle shake and spray – 24 hour protection even if you sweat.

    4. Pam

      I’m using lemon juice (reconstituted, at room temp) via a cotton ball and it has worked great through the summer! No chemicals, only vitamin C comes with it. I used baking soda with coconut oil and while it worked, it chapped my skin real bad, from the grit I imagine. The lemon juice does sting a bit after shaving, but I’m tough! I can do it! LOL Hey, it’s been worth that to me. It does work. Esp. as a cancer survivor, I am glad for no chemicals there. I’ve thought about flavoring the coconut oil with the lemon juice, that might work good!

  2. Denise

    I was just looking for a recipe with arrowroot as I bought it with the intention to do this about 6 months ago and then lost it. Thanks!! I am so glad I found you through Frugally Sustainable!! :) :)


    1. Post author
      robin

      I honestly haven’t had a problem with it getting on my clothes. Because of the arrowroot and baking soda it’s not really oily…

      As far as coconut oil washing out… hmmmm… I surely have a few shirts with oil stains, but they are more from cooking (and I’m totally a clutz). I’ve heard you can get oil stains out using a dish soap like dawn on the it before throwing it in the laundry, but we don’t have that stuff in my house so I’m not sure it works. :)

      1. Desiree

        It is worth it to have a small bottle of dish soap…cheap brands work also…in the house for those grease stains from food. It works like a charm…thankyou for the deoderant recipe….I will be making it!

      2. Ashley

        If we ever got an oil stain on our clothes my mom would hurry and put cornstarch on it before it dried. The cornstarch soaks up the oil and after you wash it there aren’t any stains.

    2. Kara

      Coconut oil washes out completely in hot water, and usually in warm water too if your water isn’t too hard. It’s one of the few cloth diaper safe diaper rash cream ingredients!


    1. Post author
      robin

      Thanks, Lori. I love using essential oils. I just feel like an alchemist or something. So much fun. :)

  3. SimplyRawesome

    What a great recipe! To answer your questions, I do not use homemade deodorant. Actually, I don’t use ANY deodorant. As long as I maintain a raw-vegan diet, I do not need deodorant because my body is clean. Consuming dead (cooked) food causes body odor.

    I will definitely try this recipe because I’d like to find a healthy, natural alternative for hubby.

    Thanks for posting this. It’s simple enough, for sure. I use baking soda a LOT for cleaning, and even for shampoo. =)


    1. Post author
      robin

      Yes, we use a lot of baking soda, too. :) Hope your husband likes it. Thanks for stopping by!

    2. Rebecca

      I disagree with your comment about consuming dead cooked food causing body odor.

      I think it was a jab at those who eat real healthy meats, eggs, etc.

      I believe body odor is caused by toxins. Not by eating delicious, healthy grassfed meats and pastured eggs and chickens and raw milk. I feel bad for those who are missing out on the deliciousness of wholesome foods.

      If you get your metabolic type tested, you can confirm what food products are best for you. For me? I am a solid animal protein type. If I don’t have animal protein in the morning of some sort (even raw milk or raw milk kefir will do), then I feel SO SICK every day. So to tell me that I have body odor because I eat those products really kinda tickles me the wrong way.

      You probably mean no harm… but your type of diet is not for everyone. If it works for you, then great, I am happy. But I would be sick if I tried doing what you are doing. Every person is DIFFERENT so please don’t categorize.

      I don’t have B.O. I have used natural deodorant for a long time, and I do not use anti-perspirant AT ALL. I work out, I sweat, I use my far infrared sauna… and thankfully I am as healthy as I can be right now.


      1. Post author
        robin

        I agree, Rebecca. In fact, some months ago my husband wanted to get away from all commercial products but he hated the all natural deodorant I was using (he know likes the recipe we use). So he just decided not to wear deodorant. We have been eating a real food diet (including animal protein) and he never smelled.

  4. Sara O.

    I made some homemade deo about a month ago – baking soda, cornstarch, coconut oil, essential oils. I’m pretty sure I put too much baking soda in it, though, ‘cuz it just ate my pits! There started to be, like, brown skin build-up under there. It was terrible. I should have known – I use baking soda to wash my hair, and it works flawlessly, but if I leave it on my scalp or skin too long it starts to burn and itch. I’m about to make another batch, but until then, I’m rubbing a drop of almond oil under each pit and then applying salt-rock. I’ve gotta make another batch of the homemade stuff – it may have burned, but it worked so well!

    NOTE: If you use any kind of oil as a deodorant base, it might show up in the armpits of your clothes. I didn’t really have a problem with this, as long as I didn’t pile it on…and when there was a stain, I just treated it with dish soap, let it sit, and washed it like normal. Pow! Grease is gone. (This also works with regular grease stains, too…)


    1. Post author
      robin

      Yes, baking soda can be harsh on the skin. That’s why I use much less than the first recipe I tried. I also found that arrowroot is better for sensitive skin than cornstarch.

      Love the tips on the getting out oil stains. Thank you!

      1. Lauren

        Thanks for this!!! I am using an almost identical recipe with cornstarch because it’s easy to get…it doesn’t bother my hubby at all, but it makes my armpits burn sometimes, too. I will try the arrowroot powder to see if that is less irritating for my skin.

  5. Peggy

    I was getting red patches under my arms using a recipe similar to this one. I cut out ingredients one at a time, but the patches didn’t go away until I got all the way down to just coconut oil! I was able to add in some Trilight Lympha Rub eventually. The Lympha Rub smells wonderful and the herbs in it actually support lymph health! So not only am I not *hurting* the delicate lymph glands in the area with storebought deodorant, I’m actually *helping*! I love that!


    1. Post author
      robin

      I’m so glad you found something that worked for you. It can be so tricky, but definitely worth it in the end.

    2. Gatha

      Hi,

      I am having the same problem. I tried the recipe using baking soda, olive oil, cornstarch, lavender oil, and tea tree oil. It burnt my arm pits. At this stage I don’t know what is not going with me. I will try using arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch to see what happens.

      Its a great recipe though, No B.O.

      1. Lisa

        tea tree oil can burn the skin, also, if too much is used…. I use it a lot, but had to learn the right amount for my skin.

  6. Meghan @ Whole Natural Life

    I know exactly what you mean with the “wow, I’m the crazy one now and it’s AWESOME” laugh. :)

    I used to make a homemade deodorant similar to this but at some point it started giving me a rash. (Which was really sad, because I loved it!) I didn’t think to reduce the baking soda. Somehow I stumbled on using milk of magnesia as deodorant and that’s been working amazingly well for me ever since. It sounds really weird…but it totally works!


    1. Post author
      robin

      I love it when I stumble upon random things that make a difference. So cool. Thanks, Meghan.

    2. Georgia

      Say just how do you put the MOM in the recipe? I have used the MOM but it is runny and the recipe on this site sounds better, but not sure how to use it or how much. I would apreciate any help you can give.
      Georgia


    1. Post author
      robin

      GO for it! I am definitely a proponent for playing around until you find what works perfect for YOUR body. :)

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  8. Angela

    What a great recipe. I have been wanting to make my own deodorant for a while and now I am totally inspired!
    Thank you for linking up at Natural Living Monday! Hope to see you there again soon!

  9. Amanda @Natural Living Mamma

    Great recipe! I am super sensitive to baking soda so it never worked for me in deodorant. I just use coconut oil and it works great as long as I have been eating like I should ;) If I have been eating bad food I get a bit ripe, otherwise coconut oil works great!

    Thanks so much for sharing on Natural Living Monday!

      1. Lisa

        I also love coconut oil!! It is always fabulous to find new uses for this amazing natural product! Thank you, Robin.

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  11. Joyce

    I haven’t used a commercial deodorant in over 20 years. I have used a crystal for years. Just dab it in water and rub on. It’s got to be healthier than the junk you buy. Any comments on the crystal?


    1. Post author
      robin

      I actually used to use a crystal, too… way back when I was in high school. For me it didn’t work very well, but I was also eating a standard American diet… so I’d be curious to see if it would do the job now. :) From what I can tell they are all natural, but I haven’t done a lot of “research” on it. Definitely a better choice than store bought. ;)

    2. Marge

      I used the crystal rock for a very long time, at least 10 years, but then it quit on me! Right now using Lavilin and it’s working. Used to use vinegar and that quit, too. I will buy arrowroot and try this one.

  12. Irene

    also had ‘the rash’ problem using this recipe. Stated just using lavender Essential Oil after washing or using a lavender infused olive oil. Both keep me pretty good (even thru dance class) for at least a day. Don’t want to toss the already made so I think maybe I’ll just cut it with more coconut oil and see if that works. Didn’t realize the baking soda could be that much of a problem or that I’m that sensitive! Thanks


    1. Post author
      robin

      Yeah, I would try adding more coconut oil to decrease the baking soda ratio. It can really burn. Good luck! :)

    2. kathy

      Hi Irene,
      Just came across this post recently and when I saw your reaction I immediately recognised the problem. I’m wondering now: did it work cutting the already made deodorant and “diluting” it with more coconut oil? Such a waste to not use it anymore, isn’t it? Thanks for you reply.

  13. Allison Lincoln

    Hi,
    Thank you for the recipe. I have a question though… I know most baking sodas and the one you have in your picture has aluminum in it. I am wondering if I use the aluminum free baking soda from the health store…if it would work. I am wondering if your recipe works since it might have aluminum in it?


    1. Post author
      robin

      Hi Allison,

      People get this confused a lot. Baking soda has no aluminum in it. Baking powder is usually the stuff with aluminum in it (although there are aluminum-free versions at health food stores). :)

      Hope that helps!

      1. Allison

        lol…you respond quick. My internet went down for a moment and I typed all that over again to see that you already answered me! You are quite awesome.


        1. Post author
          robin

          Ha ha… just must be on at the right time. No worries. It’s actually a common misconception so I’m glad you brought it to attention. :)

    2. Allison Lincoln

      Never-mind….. I learned that baking soda DOES NOT contain aluminum, it is baking POWDER that does. I would have taken my misinformed post down, but found I couldn’t. Sorry about all that. I will try your recipe!! I am so excited!!

      Allison :)

      1. Allison

        I am so sorry! I just found out that I was wrong on the baking soda having aluminum in it…it is baking POWDER that has aluminum. I would have deleted my previous post, but couldn’t. Now I am really excited to try this out!! YAY! Thank you for the recipe. :)

  14. Autumn

    I’ve tried lots of commercially made all natural deodorants and none have worked well enough so I don’t have to reapply by the end of day. I am so great full to have found this because it actually works! My husband has stayed on regular deodorant, waiting for me to find a good alternative and now he can toss the bad stuff out. And I can’t believe how easy it is to make since it is all stuff I already have around the house.

  15. Sofie

    I read in a web that you can just mix some ethyl alcohol with a few drops of essencial oils (only if you want, just to cover the smell of alcohol, that doesn’t even last that much apparently) and just pour it on your armpits. I don’t know if it works and if it could affect my skin.
    Have you or anyone here tried it?
    I paid attention to this alternative since I don’t know where to get coconut oil. I should do some research!
    Great post!
    Sofie.


    1. Post author
      robin

      I haven’t heard of it. Sounds interesting.

      You can find coconut oil at most health food stores or check out my resource page (tab at the top) for other ideas on where to get coconut products. Good luck! :)

      1. Sofie

        Thanks! Also, I’m from Argentina and I’ve been looking for the meaning of arrowroot powder in spanish for hours! Is it like starch? Is it the one we use for cooking?

    2. Paula

      I have been using Alcohol in a mini spray mister from the trial size area of my local department store. I just spray my pits right after a shower and go all day with no smell. It took about a week for me to be able to go all day on just a one time spray. I think my body needed that long to purge the junk left from my deoderant. I have also noticed since using just alcohol spray I don’t sweat nearly as much as I used to. On very hot days I spray a couple times a day just to be safe. I am very happy with this and have been using this for almost a year now.

    3. Lisa

      you can get some great coconut oil on the web for much less money than the brick and mortar stores if you shop around…

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  17. Megan

    I have been making homemade deodorant for a few months now, and my recipe is pretty similar to yours. For essential oil, I use grapefruit, since the vitamins in it help preserve it naturally. And I like the smell. If you find it gets hard in the winter, try whipping it! It is so easy to scoop out and melts easier into my skin.

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  19. Paula

    I noticed in the picture of ingredients you are using Arm & Hammer baking soda. I was wondering if you realized that it also contains aluminum? You stated that you were trying to avoid this. Many people (including me) don’t stop to think about aluminum (and other toxins) being added to food products. I now use an Aluminum free version. I also learned to read EVERY lable, and to take nothing for granted in todays market.

    1. Paula

      Sorry… I should have clarified… Baking Soda that does NOT say “aluminum free” could have trace aluminum depending on the source and how it is processed, not to mention what chemicals were used in the process. In the FDA’s eyes this “insignificant” amount does need to be included in the labeling.

      I’d rather pay a little extra for Aluminum free.


    2. Post author
      robin

      Hi Paula,

      As you mentioned it is so important to read labels. And a lot of people mix these two up: Baking Soda actually doesn’t contain aluminum… ever. It’s a simple natural compound of sodium bicarbonate. It’s baking POWDER that you need to watch out for. Most common commercial brands DO contain aluminum and it is important to purchase aluminum-free brands. If you are buying a baking soda that “claims” to be aluminum-free than you are probably just paying more for a label that has been created to work off of the confusion. Hope that helps! :)

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  21. Gabriela

    I’m about to try this out. When you say 1/3 cup of coconut oil do you mean at its solid state or melted state? I’m so excited!


      1. Post author
        robin

        Ha ha! Not a dumb question at all. Glad you figured it out since I was out of commission this weekend. For anyone else: you can use it either way. ;)

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  23. sgmarr

    Ginger, Sage and Rosemary, common herbs, yes. These three combined with Dulse, are top skin support herbs…
    So, based upon that fact and the ease of getting the herbs, would it not make a superb scent, with a healing twist? :)
    Ginger is a stimulant, that heats up the skin, might wish to leave that one out or very little…
    Rosemary and Sage are bitters and Rosemary has disinfectant properties too. *grin*
    Love your recipies!

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  26. Joanna

    Can you be kind and let me know where you read about ‘probable carcinogen’ and triclosan, please?
    The last EPA report I read published in 2008 very definitely stated that triclosan “was not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.”
    There is an – overdue – ruling by FDA on triclosan out this year but I wonder if you had found something else?

      1. Lin

        Johnson & Johnson is going to phase triclosan out by 2015 and Canada has trying to declare it toxic and ban it since 2009. Thanks for your recipe!


        1. Post author
          robin

          I love that we are SLOWLY getting some headway on these things. Wish Johnson and Johnson would stop putting known carcinogens in their baby shampoo!

  27. Christina

    I am wondering if it matters what kind of coconut oil… I have both virgin coconut oil and expeller pressed… do you think it makes a difference? Does expeller pressed have the same health properties as virgin coconut oil? Thanks so much! I am in the process of switching to natural products and am so excited to try this!


    1. Post author
      robin

      It probably doesn’t matter too much. I usually use cold pressed virgin, as it’s a little less refined. But the expellar pressed should work just as well.

  28. Rachel

    I just made this recipe for the first time today! I ran out of my usual Dove deodorant for sensitive skin, and I thought hmmm…I don’t think I want those chemicals and metals on me anymore. I used your recipe with 10 drops of vanilla EO (steam distilled not absolute) and it smells like vanilla cream! I’m excited to try it…I’ll let you know if I get any objections from hubby ;-)

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  30. Logan M.

    Hello. I am doing a school project and could possibly be making this deodorant. Do you know how much this makes (like in cups)?

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  33. Jeanne

    I purchased the same coconut oil that you have in your photo. Mine is hard, not soft at all. I don’t know how you can mix it with the other ingredients without melting it or something. Please advise. Thanks so much!!


    1. Post author
      robin

      Coconut oil is solid when temperatures are above 75 degrees. You can put all the ingredients in a small saucepan and stir while on low heat until it comes together. In summer months you won’t have that problem. :)

  34. Karli

    Do you think it would work to pour the melted coconut oil mix into an empty deodorant container and than refrigerate?

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  36. Stacey

    I’ve made this for myself and my daughter, and it works great. The only problem is that it has made her armpits red. They don’t itch or sting, and she said her pits are soft. I used spearmint and eucalyptus oils for the scent. Could that be causing it. Any ideas?


    1. Post author
      robin

      Could be the oils or the baking soda. Try reducing the baking soda a bit as that’s usually the biggest culprit to red pits. :)

      1. Stacey

        Thanks so much for your quick reply – I’ll try that. I’m just glad that she finally got weird like her momma, and I don’t want her to want to go back to store bought!

  37. carey

    I stopped using deodorant a few months ago, likely easiest to do so during winter months then summer. I don’t really “stink”, just an occasional natural body odor that is unoffensive, somewhat pleasant– to me. However, whenever that scent increased, or smelled not so great, I applied a quick spritz of Aura Cacia aromatherapy mist, or a dab of their massage oil (essential oil/carrier oil mix)with short term success. I figure by summer I would want to have something homemade that is more reliable figured out. I’d still go that route (just EO w/ carrier oil), but I have been wanting to make this particular recipe for awhile now. The only ingredient that I seemed to need was Arrowroot powder (eventually found it in local grocery store tucked away with gluten-free items, rather than with similar product line in organics section), and once I found that I was good to go. I made this exact recipe yesterday. I must say, it is good stuff. Using an electric mixer, I thoroughly blended everything together then scooped into a squat glass jar (re-purposed small washed minced garlic container). The temperature just became warm here, so my coconut oil was semi soft, rather than hard, to start. The resulting mixture reminded me of very soft store bought deodorant. Easy to apply in this state. I know that it will liquify in higher temps, but can be applied just the same– stick a finger in the mixture and apply. Now sure yet how it will be in colder temps. I could stick it in the fridge to see what changes. Arrowroot powder gives it a silky feel. As for effectiveness, starting with clean, shaved, dry armpits, I made and applied it yesterday early afternoon, then late afternoon went for a 6 mile sweaty walk, and proceeded to smell my arm pits through the evening and all during most of the next day (lol)- still no discernible odor until the 24+ mark, with barely an odor–I can only tell now because for the purpose of writing a review, I keep sticking my nose in my pits for close examination! No marks on my shirt, but that might be due to not putting shirt on until my armpits felt dry. So far, no sensitivity to the baking soda, but since I know how it can react over time, I will look out for redness and itching, and plan to adjust recipe as needed. I also only plan to apply as needed. I added Lavender essential oil, which is very pleasant. Excited about the numerous scent options, I may make a batch with Vanilla, Sandalwood, or Jasmine in future applications. Or something else that may be more beneficial, especially as provided by other comments.


    1. Post author
      robin

      Love your review. I’m picturing you sniffing your pits… just like I did for the first week I tried this. :)

    2. Lisa

      really enjoyed reading your review also… it makes me even more excited to make this recipe… yay!


    1. Post author
      robin

      During the winter months it could easily be put in a deodorant container. If the temperatures get too hot, however, it might get too “melty” due to the coconut oil.

    2. KarinSDCA

      I put it in a washed out deo container for my pre-teen daughter last February (late in the month) and she used it at home easily. When we went on a road trip in early April, she was less than happy with me. Her deodorant melted all over her toiletry bag. :(

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  40. Jessica

    Can you substitute another starch for arrowroot powder. I recently was diagnosed with a SEVERE propylene glycol, nickel and methylisothiazolinone allergy. I don’t have arrowroot on hand, but I do have tapioca starch.


    1. Post author
      robin

      I haven’t tried tapioca starch, but it might work. Cornstarch is another option, although it can be more irritating to the skin.

  41. Charlotte

    I’m trying this today too…I added bergamot essential oil cause it’s one of my favorites. And I can’t stop smelling my armpits haha. Combined with the cinnamon bronzer on my face, I smell so yummy…it’s making me hungry :)

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  43. KarinSDCA

    I’ve played around with probably a dozen or more homemade deodorant recipes! I transitioned away from typical commercial deos over a decade ago and the only natural store-bought item that worked was the crystal. It still works just fine.

    However, I have been having so much fun making my own housecleaners and body products that I try new stuff pretty often (sharing with friends and selling to clients, etc).

    My favorite handcrafted deodorant and biggest seller is a dry powder. I grow my own herbs and receive a lot of citrus from our CSA. I dry them and grind them and then mix in some baking soda and arrowroot powder and cornstarch and 1 drop of EO for every tablespoon of powder. I’ve made it with a variety of proportions and they all work. I do prefer BOTH the arrowroot and cornstarch (non-GMO brands). My favorite EO combo for this powder is 4 drops litsea cubeba and 1 drop ylang-ylang (5 T powder and then divide into several containers for clients/friends). Apply a little powder to fingertips and gently pat it under your arms. Rub gently all around until silky. It takes a tiny amount and works all day and all night!

  44. Amanda

    Just made (using corn starch as that is what I had) and used it today…already feels better than store bought stuff!!! So far so good!

  45. Lynnette

    Random question – is there any difference between the more expensive Bob’s Redmill baking soda and regular ol’ Arm & Hammer? A small-ish bag of Bob’s is around $3, but I can get a 12 lb bag of A&H for around $6. I generally use Bob’s for hair/face/etc, A&H for cleaning and laundry. But now I’m wondering if I’m wasting money on the “fancy” stuff… What are your thoughts?


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      Baking soda is pretty straight forward and I go with the orange box myself. Baking POWDER is a different story. It can have aluminum and GMO ingredients, so it’s worth spending more on that.

  46. Shellie

    I just saw this recipe on pinterest recently, and decided to give it a go. I have been “cleaning up my act” little by little and thought this was a good next step. So I used it this morning, then had a long, intensive day at the park with the kids. No smell :) Thank you for being my next step!

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  48. Leah

    I just read a few days ago about adding a bit of bentonite clay to these deodorant recipes as an added form of detoxification. I did it–just added a spoonful or two to my current batch–it mixed in really well and helps keep it consistent during these hot months when it’s easy for it to separate out b/c the CO is liquefied.

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    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      That would probably be a good idea. I’d think a little soak in vinegar would do the trick.

  50. Erika

    What a great idea. I made some today using regular cornstarch as I didn’t have arrowroot in the house, and the final product isn’t chalky as store-bought deodorant is. Should it be?


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      It doesn’t need to be, but you can always play around with the ratios to get the desired consistency you want. In the summer it will be more “melty” because of the coconut oil.

      1. Erika

        Thanks. I have to shake it up every morning as it separates, and it’s definitely like glopping on a thick liquid. But, I really don’t mind as I’m, what, four or five days in with no issue.

  51. Erika

    I’ve been thinking about this for ages but only mustered the gumption after reading your post. Four days in and I couldn’t be happier. It was so easy to make, easy to use, and I’ve had no problems whatsoever. And you can’t beat the feeling of peace over a decision like this. Thank you!

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  54. Linda McIntosh

    Help!
    I made the deodorant using this recipe and was excited to use it. I noticed a slight stinging at first, especially after shaving, but since store bought deodorant occasionally did the same thing, I dismissed it. However, the other day, after applying the homemade deodorant, my underarms became very sore, irritated and itchy. When I looked in the mirror, my underarms were an angry red covered in welts, I felt very tender knots under the skin and a couple had gotten infected during the day. I have never evidenced allergic reactions to any of the ingredients. What can I do? I really don’t want to go back to using store bought, chemical-laden anti-perspirent.


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      Try taking more of the baking soda out as it is usually the culprit to sensitive skin. I experienced the same thing with a similar recipe that had more baking soda…

  55. Donna

    homemade deodorant was the first product I tried making in my journey to clean living. I made your recipe first, which was a success. Although now that the summer heat is here, I came across a recipe using beeswax which keeps the deodorant as a solid. I’m quite pleased with both.
    Thanks for your tips!

  56. Emily

    Oh, yay! Thank you so much for sharing this! I can’t wait to try it. My story is very similar to yours; I recently made my first batch of homemade deodorant and my sensitive skin did not like it and I was ABSOLUTELY MISERABLE! after using it; it made my skin burn and itch and it was horrible. I’ve tried tweaking the recipe I had myself but haven’t had much luck so I am anxious to try this. Thanks again! :D

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  58. Diana

    Robin,

    I just wanted to thank you for sharing this recipe. It works SO GREAT! I have two younger sisters and we all have varying levels of reactions to store bought deodorant. My youngest sister reacts to most every “natural” deodorant on the market. Lately she has been paying $14 for the current product that has worked better than most, but still isn’t great despite the price. I found this and gave it a try – not sure how long it would last up to the Phoenix summer heat. The first day I tried the deodorant it was 110+ degrees out and my hubby and I were outside most of the day in it. NO STINK! No need for reapplication! Yesterday I did some light exercise and it worked for that too! I’ve already made a batch for my sisters and will be changing their worlds too with your magic potion! Anyway, thanks again for the great stuff and congrats on that beautiful new baby!!

    All the best!

    Diana

  59. Marion

    So, I have a question, I’m a very heavy sweater and have a physically intense job. I had to up my deodorant from normal strength to clinical just to not smell bad. Do you think this would work for me? I used just coconut oil with some baking soda applied over it today just to try it out, and it worked alright, but I still have a little BO going. Do you think I could just add some essential oils to some coconut oil and that would work? Im trying VERY hard to cut out all chemical based body care products from my routine, and this has been the hardest!


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      It’s hard to say for sure, but I’ve had a lot of success with this. I think the essential oils would help. I’d also make sure you’re getting enough magnesium in your diet as that could be contributing to the odor. Good luck!

  60. Patty

    Thank you for the great recipe. I will have to gather the ingredients and try to make my own. I would like to share an excellent all natural, aluminum free deodorant (I’ve been using for almost 8 months). I’ve tried the salt crystal, Tom’s, etc.. but they seem to work only for so long. However, I have experienced nothing but success with Nutural. After wearing this deodorant all day, and completing a 3 hour session of Tai Chi, Yoga and Pilates before dinner, there is still NO! stink and no stains on my clothes. I love it. nuturalife (dot) com

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  63. Jennifer

    What an informative post! May try this if my crystal stops working for me, but so far so good. After a relative lost her DH to cancer, many of us stopped using anti-perspirant due to the aluminum, so between us we tried many aluminum-free products, and so far I think we have ended up with the crystal type (which I buy cheaply @ Grocery Outlet)).

    But I didn’t know about the baking powder!! I’ve switched to making most foods from scratch, so use a lot of it – will return the container I just purchased and get over to the co-op for aluminum-free. Whew!

    One weird question: many of us in the fam seem to have ONE smelly armpit (to the degree those folk only deodorize one side)! Anyone else heard of or experienced this??


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      Hmmmm… I haven’t heard of that. Weird that several of you experience it. Wonder what could cause it.

  64. Jenn

    I’ve been playing around with some homemade deodorants, but apparently, I am super, super sensitive to baking soda even in small amounts. My pits get very itchy and then start burning and turn bright red if I don’t stop using it. Any suggestions for substitutions for baking soda? I know, it’s like the main ingredient. I tried making some deodorant without baking soda and I think using plain coconut oil was way more effective. For now, I’m mixing aloe, witch hazel, tea tree oil, vitamin E oil and lavender oil and it’s working well.


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      You might want to try milk of magnesia. Google deodorant using milk of magnesia. It’s super simple and frugal and may help your sensitive skin.

      1. Lauren

        Thank you! Also, have you tried making a deodorant with bentonite clay in it? I can’t decide whether to make my first batch with or without it. I’m currently using a coconut powder deodorant by Lush but I can mostly smell the cornstarch in it after a while. And my husband just found out he’s allergic to his Old Spice that he’s been using since I’ve known him (11 years). We live in the Bahamas where not only do we sweat a lot but there’s no stores with better options. So I’ll be ordering everything I need to make this ASAP! :)


        1. Post author
          Robin Konie

          I haven’t tried a clay deodorant, only because I love this one so much. But do love clay for other things…

  65. Brenda

    Lavilin – http://www.lavilin.com – is a wonderful brand that has been around for a long time. I’ve experimented with different brands and have tried some home-made recipes as well, but Lavilin is consistently the best.

  66. salem

    Ok. I’m almost 22. Since I was 12 I have not believed that deodorant works; unless its antiperspirant, which thanks to my mom was banned in her home. So, I chose not to wear antiperspirant… and accepted that I would always have a lil odor because natural deodorants didn’t cut it for me.

    I made this. I used it. I loved it. I work in a kitchen washing dishes (busy, sweaty, steaming sinks.) it lasted all night. I didn’t stink at all. I was shocked and amazed. I told my boyfriend all about it (he will occasionally get his deodorant and apply it to my underarms in as kind of a way as possible.)

    Aside from having some white marks from when I first applied it (which came off with water..) I can’t think of one negative thing I experienced.
    So happy. So excited. Thank you very much.

    Salem

  67. niki

    Actually isnt there a difference in baking sodas? The arm and hammer one is done through a chemical process while some that are more natural or organic (red mill?)are actually harvested from the earth…at least thats what someone said and posted an article for it on a blog about going no poo…saying the chemical stuff fries your hair…maybe thats why some people are getting flaming armpits?


    1. Post author
      Robin Konie

      Baking powder is actually the stuff that you need to be careful about. Baking soda should be the same across the board… assuming it’s JUST baking soda.

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  73. Marina

    For some reason, baking soda-based recipes don’t do it for me. Not sure why! Good thing I came across this post!

    I currently use Lavilin (www.lavilin.com) – works really good for me! Any experience with it?

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  75. Laura

    There is no arrowroot powder where I live at the moment. What’s it role in the recipe actually?Is it important or it just helps keeping the deodorant together, like a thickening agent?

  76. Joyce

    I make my deodorant with equal parts baking soda and cornstarch, mixed with coconut oil and a few drops of lavender. Works better than any of that expensive stuff I ever used to buy and it’s much safer!

  77. Amy

    Ok, this may sound like a dumb question — but the recipe says to use Arrowroot Powder and you have Arrowroot Starch/Flour pictured. Are they both the same? What’s the difference?

  78. Eugenia Pazo

    Buen dia, he preparado un desodorante similar solo he usado bicarbonato y aceite de coco funciona bien no deja olor pero, cuando transpiro deja manchas en la ropa tambien he probado solo con bicarbonato y agua pero tambien dejan manchas en la ropa quisiera saber que puedo hacer para que no deje manchas, porque quiero seguir usando desodorante natural sin quimicos, gracias.

  79. Mariano

    HI NICE PAGE! I use white vineger as deodorant I just fill a spray bottle and use it on underarms it works for me.

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