DIY Deodorant

For most of my life I was committed to using only natural deodorants.  I have tried every stick, spray, roll-on, and crystal I could find. The result?  Disappointment.  I hate to say it, but I never found a product that worked for longer than an hour.  In my frustration I found my way back to using conventional deodorant, stressing with each application about what I was putting into my body.
Then I  heard from a friend that if you didn’t use deodorant for a period of time your body will naturally adjust to it and you wouldn’t need to use it.  Let’s just say I tried that for a week and it was a failed experiment.  And gross.

 

After searching around the internet, I discovered there are a ton of DIY deodorant recipes that use natural ingredients like baking soda, arrowroot powder/corn starch, and coconut oil.  I have tried several different batches of homemade deodorant using different proportions of these ingredients and different essential oils.  My first batch used peppermint oil which irritated my skin, my second batch had too much baking soda which also irritated my skin, but this final batch?  Just right.

Since I live in a colder climate, coconut oil is usually solid (except in summer) so I had to gently heat it to a liquid so I could mix my ingredients.  When it cooled again, my deodorant was a solid gel.  I’ve heard mixed reviews from others who have put homemade deodorant into empty twist-up deodorant containers – some say it crumbles while others think it works fine.  I haven’t tried this myself because I think it’s easier to keep the deodorant in a small jar and apply by hand.  If you live in a warm climate, your mixture might not solidify (unless you keep it in the fridge) so it will be even easier to apply by hand because it will be in a liquid state.  
 
I have been super impressed with how well this deodorant works and it actually works better for me than conventional deodorant.  I think I have to say that again.  It actually works better than conventional deodorant – the ones with the aluminum!  If only I had known about this years ago. Sigh. I guess the perfect deodorant search is over.

 

5.0 from 4 reviews
DIY Deodorant
 
Author:
Recipe type: Beauty
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 2 Tablespoons arrowroot powder (or corn starch)*
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking soda*
  • 20 - 25 drops lavender essential oil
Instructions
  1. Melt your coconut oil (if necessary) and mix with the corn starch and baking soda. Add the essential oil. Mix. Transfer to a glass container. Use up!
  2. Will last 2 -3 months depending on usage.
Notes
My batch has less baking soda and arrowroot powder (or corn starch) than some recipes I've seen because I experienced skin irritation from these ingredients at a higher ratio. If this mixture is not effective for you, you can increase the amount of baking soda and arrowroot powder by about 2 teaspoons.

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Comments

  1. says

    i love this! i also used to be neurotic about using commercial deos, but i was even more worried about trying something ‘alternative’ for a long time. then i started mixing corn starch and baking soda and i’ve been using this for at least a year now. i’d love to try your version with coconut oil added, but it’s insanely expensive over here (i guess you use extra virgin CO). you’re very right about being careful with the ratio, because i’ve had skin irritation too that started with a shaved armpit and pure baking soda, ouch. so i’m still trying to figure out the right amount of baking soda, but i think i’ll try your combination next time.

  2. says

    Same problem here – nothing without the aluminum seems to work!! I’ve been trying to get off aluminum deodorants for years! I will most definitely be trying this. Is the corn starch just there for thickening the mixture? If so do you think I could substitute arrowroot powder for it? Thanks! :)

    • says

      I love your idea of using arrowroot powder instead of the corn starch. I hadn’t thought of that! If you try it, definitely let me know how it goes. :)

    • fiddlesister says

      Not only would the corn starch be a thickener, but it is an excellent drying agent. It is routinely used in dusting powder for this reason. I’m excited to try this formula. I have heard that aluminum can be bad and that it poses no problem, so no matter which is true, why use it if you don’t have to?

  3. says

    So excited to try this! I’ve spent so much money on natural deodorants, and like you, have been disappointed every time. Thank you!

  4. Anonymous says

    The idea that aluminum in deodorant causes Alzheimer’s is based on an outdated and faulty study, the results of which have not been replicated in reputable studies.

  5. Lisa says

    This is wonderful! I have never seen this recipe before and I had no idea about the hazards of conventional deodorant! Thank you for this new information. Will try making this soon!

  6. Kristin says

    Does the coconut oil ever give your clothes a big grease stain?
    If not, I’m soooooooo trying this! :)

    • says

      Good question! I only wear cotton shirts and I haven’t had a problem with this. But, I don’t know how it might affect other fabrics. :)

  7. says

    This is super coool. i havent used deodorants in a really long while. but i do feel the need some days. home made everything where oyu know what goes in it is the best!

    Theres a bidding war on your earrings on the auction.. they went frm 10, 12, 15,17.. so on to 30 bucks now:)

  8. says

    Thanks for this post! I made this last night and am currently wearing it! I’ve made natural deodorant before but had severe irritation on day three of wearing it. I thought I might have been allergic to something in it (the recipe had more ingredients at higher concentrations), but after reading your post, I hope it is just an irritation to the high amounts of corn starch and baking soda. It’s incredible, but I totally agree that these simple natural deodorants work better than my “clinical strength” deodorant that I’ve started to sweat through. So, here’s to hoping that there’s less irritation with this one!

  9. says

    I stopped using aluminum deodorants years ago, and I did finally find a “natural” one that works for me, but your recipe is much more appealing. I like that there are so few ingredients. I think I’ll definitely make some. Thanks!

  10. jane says

    I am always on the lookout to using naturally safe products. Thanks for the pictures and the extra info in making the deodorant and storing it. I look forward to trying this mixture. I’ll try to get some of my more manly friends to try it. Thanks

  11. Anonymous says

    My husband and I have been using a recipe similar to this for about two years now, and we will never go back to store bought deodorant! I totally agree that it works better than the commercial brands, “natural” and not. Even my sister-in-law, who lives in Hawaii uses it, and if it works in hot and humid Hawaii, you know its got to be good!

    Besides the quantities listed ( I’ve made this so many times, I’m not even sure what measurements I use) the only difference is that we use organic Arrowroot powder instead of Cornstarch. I have read that Cornstarch can encourage yeast growth, something I did not want to entertain in my underarms.
    For all the time that I have been using this, I have not had a problem with it staining my clothes. Hurray for homemade deodorant!

  12. Anonymous says

    I just stumbled upon your blog and your deodorant. Is the lavender oil an active ingredient or is merely to provide a pleasant smell? I don’t care much for lavender and wonder if rosemary or rose or other essential oils would work?

    • says

      The lavender is just for the scent so you could definitely use another oil. I tried rosemary and found that it irritated my skin, but if you have success with this or other oils let me know. :)

    • Kate says

      Rose or rose hips would be great I’m sure; rose hips help elevate mood and I think is one of the cheaper essential oils to buy, I might use it next time! This round I used a combination of cinnamon and sweet orange oils and this deoderant is working great for me, sensitive skin and all. :) Thank you, Sonnet!

  13. says

    I’ve been using this deodorant now for about 2 weeks and I love it! I didn’t have any lavender essential oils, so I just used what I had-Freshwater Cucumber from Bath and Body Works (I think). It’s fantastic! I’ve been so unhappy with my Tom’s deodorant, and am so pleased to have a DIY alternative, so thank you!

  14. says

    from the day i got this recipe i haven’t went to store to purchase deodorant because it satisfy and keep me fresh all the day
    give it a try it will save your budget

  15. Anonymous says

    Just make sure to use virgin (unrefined coconut oil). Smells nice (like coconut) and naturally is antibacterial and antifungal. It also helps keep the bacteria levels down…which keeps odor down as well.

  16. says

    Great! I’ve wanted to find a great source of natural and easy to follow do-it-yourself deodorant which is based on coconut oil and thank God I found your blog. Thank you so much for sharing. This is really helpful for me. :)

  17. says

    Hi I’ve recently been trying out natural deodorants…I used coconut oil and the patted on baking soda I had a really bad reaction days later. Since I have tried arrowroot but it doesn’t work like the baking soda…do you think I could add a small amount of baking soda?

    • says

      Hey there! As I mentioned in the post above, my skin also had a reaction the baking soda so the recipe above has a small amount compared to the other ingredients. I haven’t had a reaction with this recipe, but if you’re worried about it, either start with a small amount or try leaving it out. Hope this helps!

  18. Anonymous says

    Jenna, thank you for the great receipe. 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 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 my 5 mile run before dinner, there is still NO! stink and no stains on my clothes. I love it.
    http://www.nuturalife.com

  19. Miss Shelly says

    Hello! I made a batch of this and had put a small amount in a little travel container. I noticed that the mix in the small container worked, but the stuff in the larger jar didn’t. This morning I noticed why – all of the baking soda and corn starch was at the bottom of the jar – I had been basically using just coconut oil the last two days :)

    Is there a way to keep the soda and starch from settling to the bottom? Thanks!

    • says

      I’m guessing that you live somewhere warm and the coconut oil is in a liquid state? I live in Seattle and it’s usually really cold for most of the year so my mixture stays solid. If yours is liquefied, I’d recommend mixing it up before applying. The other option is to mix it up thoroughly and then keep it in the fridge. This is what I usually do in the summer. Hope that helps!

    • Miss Shelly says

      I live in PA – it’s solidified, but I had originally melted it to mix it all together, then let it solidify – then the soda and corn starch settled to the bottom. I may try heating it and remixing before applying. Thanks for the response! I love this blog – I’m trying to switch over to plant-based :)

  20. Sakura Candy Kanami says

    Hello. I want to make it to give as a present. Do you know if I can store it in a little can? Thank you!

    • P S Garrett says

      I use old, cleaned out Suave or other brand solid deodorant containers. I put a small oval shaped piece of waxed paper under the push-up mechanism, screw it all the way down to the bottom, wait for my mix to be pretty firm, then pour it in. I put it in the fridge to avoid the settling or liquefying issues. :)) GREAT RECIPE (even for tweens/men!!) My whole family uses it.

  21. says

    Love this idea – I’m a huge fan of coconut oil for almost everything! This may be a silly question, but do you store it in a jar, and just apply with your fingers?

    • says

      I keep mine in a jar and apply it by hand. I’ve heard from others that they reuse an old twist-up deodorant container, but I’ve yet to try this method. Hope you enjoy it!

    • says

      I haven’t tried this recipe with another oil so I can’t tell you for sure. There are lots of great brands of coconut oil that can be purchased online so that might be another option.

    • steeleigh says

      Glenn I live in Canada & have not had any trouble finding coconut oil! What part of Canada do you live in? If you are near a superstore, they have it in the natural foods section. Any health food store has it. Bulk barn also carries it. I have seen it in Sav On Foods & Safeway in their natural or organic sections & in the pharmacy areas. Hopefully you can find it, it is amaing. I haven’t checked Walmart, but they may carry it in the pharmacy or grocery section.

  22. Anonymous says

    I have been deodorant free for a few years, the first month or so is a bit of an adjustment but now I don’t notice it and don’t sweat like I did when wearing deodorant! The only thing I do in the morning in my shower is to make sure I scrub my underarms with soap (I sweat in my sleep). My boyfriend even started doing this when we got our apartment last July and loves it as well!!

  23. Amanda Allard says

    I use this and it’s epic!!!! i can go for days in south florida without having to reapply…it works better than the stuff in stores. my ratio is:
    1/4 cup baking soda
    1/4 cup arrowroot starch
    4 tb. coconut oil
    1/4 tsp tea tree oil

  24. Christina Coruth says

    I’m guessing this originated with you. I have chemical sensitivities and finding a deodorant that I could use was impossible. I have been using this for almost a year and I could not be happier! Thank you!!!!

  25. amy says

    I love this deodorant. But I HAVE had problems with it staining some of my clothes. I think I will have to try another batch. A woman I meet suggested trying fractionated coconut oil. Do you have any experience with this type?

  26. Sonia says

    first of all, thank you for your blog, I love it, can’t stop reading. About this post, I’d like to ask: have you tried a slice of lime applied on the armpits in the morning (kept in the fridge for a week or so)? It worked for me and I’d love to know if it has worked on others. Thanks again, you are awesome!

  27. Janelle says

    Is this recipe for deodorant or antiperspirant? IOW, does it prevent sweating, or just make you smell good?

    • Sonnet says

      Hmm, I’ve never thought about this before. I guess it’s a deodorant because I don’t think it actually prevents sweating, but the baking soda and arrowroot powder (or corn starch) do help with keeping the skin drier. Hope that helps.

  28. Stephanie C says

    I have been using a recipe similar to this one for a few weeks now which works great, but my husband had a reaction to it like you did and can’t use it. I will try this version with less baking soda for him and see if it works better. I’m glad I came across this post and found out that he’s not the only one who has issues with this!

  29. Lauri says

    I’ve used up my first batch and am about to make my second. I couldn’t be more surprised at how well this works, even when I workout and bike. I also haven’t had any issue with perspiration so it does combat that as well. Awesome. Thanks so much!

  30. Becca says

    I just recently started using my homemade deodorant, I found on The Elliot Homestead blog, very similar to this recipe with the exception of the lavender essential oil & the ingredient ratio. I am sold and will never go back. I use unrefined coconut oil so it has that coconut aroma. I am OK with this, but I’m having a hard time convincing my husband of trying it (though he agreed to try it over the weekend since he doesn’t want to smell “like a woman” at work). My question is: If I add a more manly smelling essential oil to a batch for him, will it mask the coconut smell?
    I’m new to using essential oils so I’m trying to learn as much as I can! Thanks:)

    • Sonnet says

      You can definitely change up the essential oils for a more masculine scent. The coconut scent is pretty light so if you add extra oil you won’t be able to smell it. Hope this helps! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

      • P S Garrett says

        A less expensive and no-smell alternative is refined coconut oil (like LouAna) that you find where Crisco and such is located. This is also the kind you’ll most likely want to replace every cooking oil in your kitchen with :)) I splurge on the unrefined, organic coconut smelling oil for my hair and skin products, though…

  31. says

    I just made this!!!! Divine is the only way I can describe the scent of mixed coconut and lavender. I have seriously stinky arm pit sweat; sorry to tell you that. Anyways, I just mixed this up for the first time and put it under my arms which weren’t smelling so great. This was like an experiment to see how it would fair if you’re already smelly. One minute later my arm pits still kind of smelled gross; a mix of sweat and lovely. After 5 minutes…completely gone and lovely smelling arm pits!!!!!!!!!!!! It truly works…wow I’m impressed

    Love,
    Sarah

  32. says

    Thank you so much for this wonderful blog that you share, DIY deodorant is certainly helps us reduce body odors positively. And I usually purchase my deodorant from http://bodymint.com/ because they’ve already proven many people including that they don’t use any harmful chemicals.

  33. Rona says

    Hi Sonnet,
    Do you ever use ready-made natural deodorants? If so, any thoughts on Lavilin? Never tried it but I may give it a shot soon!

  34. Lisa says

    Well, I must say this stuff has kept the funk away.
    I live in Florida, just started using some expensive natural deodorants, have to re apply at least evry 2 hours, The funk has already started to come back when I re apply so the stuff isn’t working for me.

    THEN, I found this site and tried your recipe with cornstarch instead of arrowroot and used 10 drops of tea tree oil. I applied last night, and it lasted over night, I rode my bike 3 miles to the gym, worked out, rode my bike home, and them went to the beach. I DO NOT SMELL ANYTHING. I AM HOOKED!

  35. Karin says

    Just another HURRAY!, from Switzerland this time. I have tried everything from lemon juice to baking soda mixed with lemon oil… This is the first natural deodorant that keeps me smelling nice all day! It smells so good my kids want eat it. :) Thank you.

    • Sonnet says

      The oil absorbs into the skin pretty quickly, but I wouldn’t recommend using it with delicate fabrics. I only wear cotton so I haven’t had an issues with this. I hope that helps.

  36. Leslie says

    I’ve been using this for a month and love it. But yesterday in PA we got our first warm day. I went to apply it this morning and had a soupy mess. I don’t really want to keep my deodorant in the frig downstairs. Any suggestions?

    • Sonnet says

      The coconut oil won’t stay solid in the heat so it does turn to liquid in hot weather. :( If you have a cool spot in your bathroom that might help, otherwise, it would probably be best in the fridge if you want it to be solid. Sorry for the bad news! :)

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