Easiest Ever Homemade Deodorant

Homemade Deodorant Recipe

This post comes with a warning….DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.

Well, really, what I mean is do not eat your regular deodorant.  And no, I do not know the person in this photo.

Yes, I know. You are thinking this is one of those over-the-top blogs about getting all kinds of tubes and scales and measuring tools together along with hard-to-find ingredients so that you can save about $.50 per package over the regular “natural” deodorant that you have been buying at the health food store.

Perhaps I exaggerate a bit, but if you are anything like me, a haze comes over your eyes as you read posts that talk about making your own lip balm, laundry detergent, hand lotion and now…deodorant.

Well, I admit that I am a bit embarrassed to talk about it, but the truth is I don’t recall ever really needing deodorant until the past few years.

I bought it when I was a teenager, and probably sometimes during college too, but I think that it was more of a right-of-passage then as opposed to something that I needed.

However, something changed recently and I started to need deodorant again. It doesn’t seem that my problem was too offensive, as my husband never noticed anything, but I did.

I tried several natural products on the market, but none of them worked.  I had one person tell me that I needed to try applying one natural rock deodorant for at least 15 seconds every morning, and maybe longer, and that I should have it be a time of meditation.  I don’t know about you, but meditating on anything while I’m putting on deodorant isn’t my idea of a time of solitude.  Maybe my perspective is all off and I’m just too practical, but I usually just want to be done with it.

I could have tried the regular stuff in the grocery store, but frankly, I’m trying to clean up what goes under my arms.

A friend recently told me how her coming-of-age daughter wanted to purchase “that pink deodorant” like her friends had. My friend cringed because she knew what was in “that pink deodorant.”

There are a lot of ingredients in deodorant that one would best avoid. But let’s not get paranoid here.

One obvious ingredient to avoid is aluminum typically found in antiperspirants. Just don’t buy them. Alzheimer researchers are still trying to sort out what is causing this horrid disease, but there are or have been heavy suspicions about aluminum entering into the brain through either the lymph nodes under the arms or through the nasal passages. That being the case, I think this it is best to stay away from antiperspirant.

The issues surrounding the other ingredients in deodorant are more murky to wade through. I found an article by Dr. Christine Farlow, outlining the 7 ingredients that you should avoid in your deodorant. I didn’t poke in to every ingredient, but it seemed to me that a few of her points were unfounded. Mainly, she mentioned talc being a problem because the asbestos-content of talc was unregulated. I was then petrified that I have been using talc as a dry shampoo at times recently. Then I found an article by the American Cancer Society stating that all talc for consumer use has been asbestos free since the 1970s. So talc seems to be fine. As long as I don’t breathe it in and it doesn’t enter my body through any other means.

Ugh.

Anyway, this blog has gone on way longer than I had expected to write about Easy-Do-It-Yourself Deodorant so I hope you have stuck with me.

If you want a safe, easy, and very inexpensive alternative to store-bought deodorant, here it is:

Ingredients:

Baking Soda
Water

Method:

1.  Put baking soda into a small container. I use a small not-so-cute plastic container because my somewhat cuter tin one rusted. Don’t get a tin one.

2.  Add a small amount of water. Just enough to make a smooth paste.

3.  Apply a small (emphasis on “small”) amount to underarm area.

That’s all.  And if it dries out, add a bit more water.

Now this is one recipe that you really can’t mess up.  Even if it gets really thin it will still work as the deodorizing properties of the baking soda are still there.

It really works. At least it does for me. And if we get together I’ll let you know if it works on you!

{Top Photo Credit}

Comments

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  1. Always enjoy reading your posts! I’ve been using a homemade deodorant for almost a year now. Love it!

  2. Thanks, Shelley! I’d love to hear what you use!
    I love making things too, but I am finding that I have less and less time to be “fancy” in the kitchen so I am always looking to cut corners so this “technique” (if I may use the term loosely) really appealed to me.

  3. Hi Adrienne, we met at Costco over gluten free crackers. Great work. You are an inspiration.

  4. couldn’t you just powder yourself with just the baking powder?

  5. sorry, i meant “soda”, not powder. i asked because i thought it might be messy for men since they don’t shave their armpits.

    • Hmmm…I hadn’t thought about that, but I do know that they use “wipe on” deodorant in other countries – I believe that it is in Europe. Try thinning it out and see if it works that way. I have found that even really thinned out it works for me. At the same time, however, I have also been working on other nutritional and health issues and from the little I have read, sometimes doing other healing work can help control body odor.

  6. Yes, regular anti-perspiration actually makes me stink.

    I use baking soda regularly. I keep it in a recycled pimento jar in my medicine cabinet and dust it on dry.

    If you use it for a long time, your armpits can get red and irritated and even crack. I counter this by putting a wee bit of coconut oil on my pits before I put on the baking soda. this moisturizes and protects, and also gives it a base to adhere to.

    If I get irritated armpits anyway, I stop the baking soda and just use coconut oil mixed with a few drops of lavender essential oil until things clear up.

  7. I have been making my own for about a year now. I use baking soda, corn starch, and coconut oil. Mix them together well and keep in a small plastic container. In summer it will become runny due to temperature. In winter you can just scrape a bit out, place against your skin under your arm and it will quickly melt so that it can be spread. I do not have measurements for it as I just eyeball it but I generally keep the ratio 2 part oil 1 part soda 1 part corn starch. It’s not that critical. It does the job.

    • Thanks for the tip! The only thing that I would like to mention is that cornstarch can be an issue for anyone dealing with fungal issues (like yeast). And yeast likes dark and moist areas (like underarms). So I would use a bit of caution using cornstarch under my arms.

      • I use 1/4 c baking soda, 1/4 c arrowroot powder, and enough coconut oil (6-8 T)to mix it in to a ball. I used to stink a lot, but not anymore- even in the heat and humidity! I think I even sweat less.

  8. Did not know that about cornstarch. Thanks! Will try eliminating it when I mix the next batch!

  9. I use this too. But slightly more complicated (but yet less…..). I use a rock crystal, and while my under arms are still wet I apply a powder mixture. I have a shaker and I mix corn starch (you could also use tapioca powder or arrowroot) and baking soda. Soda for the smell, starch cuz it helps make me less wet. And if you desire scent—add some essential oils to the blend of powders or a bit of natural perfume under the armpits. Ta daa! But really, the rock crystal first is good if you are really smelly—which sadly thanks to birthing kids and changing body chemistry—I now am :(

  10. Hi. I have ALWAYS smelled really bad. MY DH says like italian dressing, but not in a good way. :-) My odor has lessened with eating more naturally and also with menopause. However, I still stink! I have tried the solid crystal rock deodorant, and it hasnt been effective. Are you, Sara-7/14/11 post, saying you first use the crystal, then apply the powder mixture? Does the powder part stick to your dark shirts? Also, for those who use the coconut oil, is that the virgin oil that you’d use for cooking (with the nice coconutty smell) or can you use the cheaper refined stuff with no smell? Also, what does one do when the coconut oil is in the liquid state–just use a towlette and rub it in? Would like to stop having to buy the liquid crystal rock at $6 each if I can. That works well till it gets to the bottom third. Then I start stinking again!

  11. Like some of the others have mentioned, I have always needed to use deoderant. I gave up regular deoderant to get rid of the chemicals in my life and started using coconut oil and baking soda. I just wipe a bit of the oil on my underarms then sprinkle some baking soda on my fingers and wipe it in the same area until all of the oil is covered. It takes no longer than putting on regular deoderant, it seems to act as a natural anti-perspirant and it lasts for the entire day, even in the hot and humid summertime. The best part is that you can use the same oil as a natural moisturizer for the skin, make up remover, and even a bit on the ends of the hair for those frizzy days.

  12. I’ve read (on other blogs) that there is aluminium in baking soda. You’ll want to pay attention IF the baking soda you use is aluminium FREE or not.

  13. Adrienne, most baking soda does, in fact, contain aluminum. Bob’s Red Mill makes an aluminum-free baking soda.

  14. wouldnt the oil leave stain on clothes.? I tried a homemade deodeant and it didnt work for me for the oodor

  15. I really like your site. It has so much information without all the “make everything from scratch or you will die, within a week” mentality. I work and don’t have time to grow my own cotton, spin, and weave it let alone make my own soap. On the same note I don’t want to ingest anything potentially harmful. Your site it’s logical, and practical. I’m trying this tomorrow. Thanks for being reasonable.

    • Alice, I so appreciate your comment. I’ve been having a rough week and feeling really overwhelmed and there’s only so much that I can handle myself right now. I have a new easier deodorant for you…..so stay tuned :-).

  16. How can you get easier than baking soda and water? Hug the ones you love and feel better.

  17. I’ve been using my hard lotion that I made from beeswax, shea butter, and coconut oil. Just haven’t gotten around to making deodorant- I think the recipe I have uses baking soda. It doesn’t take much, so far it works, no oil stains on my clothing.

  18. i use baking soda and cornstarch dry..put it on with a powder puff, easy peasy….but it does make me irritated, so i think I’ll try adding some oil…the baking soda for odor, the cornstarch for wetness and this works so well that I can go a couple of days and not need to reapply. Even if I WANTED to use store bought deodorant, they just do not work. So too bad it irritates my skin, but I have really sensitive skin..will try the oil and also the lavender.

    ..LOVE this blog, it’s very well done….just found it today, looking for goodness knows what, but it is a wealth of info, and I love the hippie blend (I’m an old hippie from the 60′s so I can say that) with modern sensibility….

  19. can’t wait–my pits thank you..

    …and to speak about coconut oil as a moisturizer I just read a tip from a doTERRA consultant that her mom told her to put an entire 15ml bottle of grapefruit EO (I’m sure you can substitute with whatever you like) in the bottle of fractionated (liquid) coconut oil they sell (i THINK it’s 12 oz.) and use as an all-over moisturizer when you get out of the shower..sounds like it smells divine and would keep your skin really moisturized, especially in the winter.

    • Wondering how that coconut oil soaks in. One of my moisturizer issue is things not doing enough or them not soaking in well enough and feeling greasy.

      • Christina says:

        I’ve used fractionated coconut oil as a moisturizer for a while now, on my face. It seeps into the skin, and doesn’t leave a layer of grease right on the surface. I have sensitive skin, so if it works there, it may be okay under your arms. Please look around for a good source, and there are some inexpensive suppliers out there. Fractionated oil has had all the solids removed, so it remains liquid, where other coconut oils don’t.

    • Please be careful with that – grapefruit essential oil is phototoxic (most cold-pressed citrus EO’s are) and can cause you to burn if you are in the sun within 24 hours of applying it.

      • I’ve heard that the concerns about citrus oils and phototoxicity aren’t as great as many say, but it is best to be careful. Depends how much you are using, of course–there will be a bigger problem putting straight oils on as opposed to a cream or deodorant with a little citrus EO mixed in.

  20. i don’t have as much trouble with that when i put oil on my damp/wet skin..it seems to sink in better and actually moisturize my skin. i use a 100% cotton terry robe instead of a towel, so i after my shower, I just put some oil all over my wet skin, then put on the robe and by the time i blow dry my hair, it’s all sunk in and I can dress without being oily…

    but i have that trouble with moisturizing my face…it either lays on top and feels greasy or it sinks in just great but doesn’t really moisturize. very annoying. i used to put oil on my face after i washed it when it was wet and that worked out okay, just like on my body, but you get suckered in (at least I do) to the latest and greatest ingredient and simple oil just isn’t sexy enough, somehow…sigh…

    • Hmm… I’ll have to try that maybe. I have been using something very simple on my face – a jojoba wash, but it isn’t cutting it for me anymore so I am trying out a new line. I’ll be sharing soon. It’s super pure and my skin feels amazing. If you can’t wait you can feel free to email me :).

  21. Hi, I used your recipe and made the home made deodorant on Saturday since using it I’ve had a really salty taste in my mouth has anyone else experienced this? other than that it works great I’m so impressed and I’m now looking at other using for bicarb of soda :)

  22. I’ve been using my own deodorant for 3-4 years when the storebought ones stopped working for me. I’m allergic to tons of things, so I wanted to avoid purchasing multiple different types of deodorant that I may or may not be able to use. I make my deodorant from coconut oil, baking soda, and cornstarch. It works great…in fact, sometimes I use that mixture to clean and moisturize in the shower. I’ll never go back to store bought. My form probably isn’t as cheap as yours, as coconut oil is not the cheapest product (the container I bought came from the natural food store and was $16) plus the extra cornstarch ingredient. However, my jar of coconut oil contained enough for 6 full recipes of deodorant, and each recipe lasts one year, so doing the math there…it’s quite a bit cheaper than the storebought stuff! Thanks for sharing another way to make your own deodorant. If anyone wants my recipe, I’d be more than happy to pass it along!

  23. FYI – you can dilute the baking soda by 2/3 with 1/3 arrowroot powder and 1/3 corn or potato starch if the straight baking soda starts to burn your skin, as it did mine and my friends’. You can also use a puff to apply it dry and it works just as well as when wet. I also added powdered lavender and patchouli (ground to powder in my coffee grinder) for additional odor-fighting power and a nice scent.

    • Great tip. I do wonder about the starch being something that could lead to yeast or fungal outbreaks, however, Love the oils idea! I am working on a new deodorant as well :).

  24. My recipe that seems to work great is easy too:
    1/4 c. cornstarch
    1/4 c. baking soda
    2 TBS. coconut oil
    and about 10 drops lavender
    Smells great, never need to reapply in a day, and this recipe fills 2 old deodorant containers.

  25. I love that I found you site! Thanks for sharing this. I recently stopped using store bought deodorants. It’s the last area of personal care that I needed to change over to all natural or homemade.
    I have a recipe I’ve been wanting to try, but since I am missing some of the ingredients, this is what I’ve been doing.
    1 dab of coconut oil
    1-2 drops each of tea tree oil and lavender (or a citrusy mix that I have on hand that helps cleanse the lymph system–smells wonderful!)
    a sprinkle of Baking soda

    I put all that in my palm, rub to melt the coconut and apply like a lotion under my arms. I LOVE IT! It’s so simple, yet effective too. I have some sweating, but NO smell issues! But since sweating is a natural bodily function, and one that is essential, I am willing to get used to it. :)

  26. have tried using a powder brush to ‘fluff’ baking soda under arms that were damp from showering/washing. Seemed to work okay. Also tried homemade recipe with coconut oil, baking soda and cornstarch plus a few drops of bergamot or lavender essential oils, but it made my underarms itch like crazy after a few days! Now, after reading the cautions in the comments, I wonder if the cornstarch fed some sort of yeast growth Will try it again sans cornstarch.

    Love this blog and all the helpful reader comments!

  27. I had made my own deodorant last year and it worked great…for about a month then my armpits got red and irritated. I wasn’t sure what was causing it so I just stopped using it, but now I think it could have been the baking soda. I also tried going without any deodorant but I grossed myself out. :)

  28. Adrienne, just read you old postings here about deodorant. I found one site about 2 or 3 months ago who touted the “perfect deodorant”. I decided to try it out, what could it hurt? WOW just love it! and have been using it ever since.
    What is it? Just plain Organic Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil (or any other kind). Just rub it into you underarms daily. If you had any roughness or bumpiness there, it will be gone and the underarms soft like a babies. No odor forms in my underarm area or on my clothing. Regular deodorants left an unpleasant smell both on me and on my clothing, no matter which brand or scent or no-scent I used.

    Thanks for all your blogging. I am an old mom, actually now a great-grandmom!

  29. Easier to use the salt one for 2 dollars at dollar store.I’ve been using mine for over a year now, works great. I just give a little swirl around with the wetted block….no 15 seconds stuff.

  30. I have been making my own for a while now too, much to my husbands chagrin! (Geez, you make EVERYTHING!) Anyways, none of the natural deodorants I tried ever worked for me, and this does.

    I gave a mason jar to many friends for xmas, and they all love it too! Shea butter, coconut oil, arrowroot, baking soda, and essential oil of choice for smell (i use lavender). I am sure the recipe could be tweaked for no starch…it helps bind it is all. No staining, and feels like you are rubbing a moisturizer on your pits!

  31. Another VERY EASY option… lemon juice. I bought a $2 glass spray bottle which I fill with lemon juice (the cheap stuff) and spray my underarms. Keep the spray in the refrigerator (when we traveled with it, we noticed it was less effective after 2 weeks of room temp). Slicing a lemon and rubbing that on also works great (I am too lazy to slice fruit!). Lime juice works, too.

    And for those emergency times when you are stinky and out in the world, try rubbing hand-sanitizer under your arms… it kills the bacteria that makes the odor.