How to Make Homemade Deodorant

Fun fact that I bet you didn’t know about me: I’ve been making (and wearing) homemade all-natural organic deodorant for a year now. My husband wears it too. It only is $1.89 a batch, I don’t have to reapply a few times a day, I don’t sweat like crazy, and I don’t smell like a dirty hippie.

how to make homemade deodorant
No offense to any hippies. In fact, I probably am a hippie. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Ahem.

That’s right, you won’t smell. My husband didn’t believe me and waited a month after I did to try it. I practically made him try it before heading out to work in the yard. A super sweaty activity.

And guess what?!

He came in, and I had an I told you so moment in my head. And now he bugs everyone to use it too. :)

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I’ve been using this for over a year now and I don’t think I’ll ever use anything else.

I made this about a year after I found the recipe, and was sad I didn’t try it sooner. IT IS SO EASY!  It takes a trip to the health foods store (or a visit to vitacost.com), a few minutes of prep, and will last you about three months for two slightly stinky people. Six months if it’s just you. Double the recipe and go longer.

Why would you want to make your own? Besides containing ingredients like aluminum or parabens, or other chemicals, anti-perspirants block your body from sweating. Sweat doesn’t smell, it’s just your body flushing crap out. Why would you want to hang onto the crap? Other natural deodorants can get pricey, and often don’t work well. This is cheap AND works.

Ingredients:

4 T baking soda
4 T arrowroot powder
6-8 T organic extra virgin coconut oil

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Combine 2 T each of baking soda and arrow root powder.

making homemade deodorant baking soda arrowroot powder coconut oil

Add 6 T coconut oil and stir.

I like using the oil in a liquid state (when the oil reaches 76 degrees Fahrenheit) but many prefer to use it in a solid state. If the temperature of your house is cooler, or your oil is solid, you might need 8 tablespoons. But add six now, and wait to see if you need more.

making homemade deodorant coconut oil arrowroot powder baking soda cornstarch

Add another 2 T of baking soda and arrow root powder.

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Stir well.

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Right here is where you decide if you want to add 2 more tablespoons of coconut oil. This is the consistency I like, so I’m not adding any more. When using the oil in a liquid state, 6 works, but when using it as a solid (colder than 76 degrees), you might need to add two more tablespoons of coconut oil. But be aware that it will thicken more!

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Add to your container.

I use a short glass Ball jelly jar, have also used the small glass Pyrex containers, also the SLOM jar from IKEA when I make double batches.

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I’ve tried adding it to an old deodorant container, but had to keep it in the fridge and didn’t like putting on cold deodorant. Try it and see if you like it! But I didn’t. ;)

To apply, just dip your finger in, and get a dime sized amount to apply for both armpits.

Wash your Hands before and after applying so the deodorant stays clean, and your clothes will not get stained.

If you want to get daring, this also works as an excellent exfoliant scrub. Just make sure to wash your hands before and after applying to your gross pits. ;)

It will be liquidy. Don’t freak. It will harden in cooler temperatures, but still be pliable. If you are in a warmer climate, you can keep your deodorant in the fridge and remove a few minutes before applying.  Here’s the deodorant right after I made it (soupy), and a week later (holds its shape a bit more).

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We still bring this with when traveling. We have a sealed pyrex that we mark “homemade deodorant”. I would assume a ziploc would work fine, but you don’t want any TSA agents stopping you…

You can try adding essential oils if you’d like a scent. Tea tree oil is good for its antibacterial properties, lavender, peppermint, lemon oil. They can be an irritant for some, so try it on a small portion first to check. I don’t add anything to ours, the light scent of the coconut oil is enough for me.

Some recipes say that cornstarch can be substituted for arrowroot powder, I say  DO NOT TRY IT.

Cornstarch contains talc which can be an irritant. We broke out, and I’ve had many other friends who did too. Take a trip to the store and get arrowroot powder. It’s cheap, and it’s worth it.

For the arrowroot powder and baking soda, I prefer Bob’s Red Mill and find it at my health foods store.

Some brands of coconut oil I like are from Trader Joe’s, Tropical Traditions, Nutiva, Spectrum, and Nature’s Way. Make sure to get Extra Virgin Organic. Expeller Pressed is fine, it is more refined but doesn’t have the smell or taste like coconut. I’ve heard some people say that their Walmart carries it in the baking aisle, I get mine at Trader Joe’s, or Vitacost. Use our affiliate link for $10 off your first order.

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I know there are natural deodorants out there, but they can be pricey. I tried a few and didn’t like any of them, but love this blend. It is cheaper too, at $1.89 a batch!

$3.29 for a 16 oz bag of Bob’s Red Mill baking soda: $0.24 a batch
$7.69 for a 20 oz bag of Bob’s Red Mill arrowroot powder:
$0.45 a batch
$5.99 for a 16 oz container of Trader Joe’s coconut oil: $1.20 a batch

total cost: $1.89

So, do you still think I smell? You know, people get used to their own stink and don’t realize it after time?

Well, I asked some of my blogging friends and roommates from the Haven conference: “Did I smell bad? Any memorable experience from smelling me?”

You smelled horrible. I almost couldn’t stand it. TOTALLY KIDDING! Didn’t notice any smell whatsoever. – Erin from DIY on the Cheap

I thought you smelled fine. You mumble in your sleep, though. ;) – Vivienne from The V Spot

You didnt smell – and I had an enhanced power of smell due to my preggo super powers. okay I actually dont think I was that sensitive yet at that time – but still no. no smelly Ann!

– Pamela from PB&J Stories

Believe me now? ;)

how to make deodorant and not smell like a dirty hippie! better than natural brands, no chemicals, really works.

Will you be making your own deodorant?

 

This recipe is adapted from the Homemade All-Natural Deodorant recipe on Passionate Homemaking. If you have any issues or are interested in the why behind natural deodorant, please check out their post, links, and comments. There is so much good information over there!

Comments

  1. says

    I may actually have to try this! Haven’t gone all-natural as far as personal and beauty products are concerned. Maybe this would be a good place to start. And P.S. I love that you used my comment! LOL
    Pinning!

    • says

      I feel like you have to take baby steps into natural products, or else it’ll be too overwhelming and you’ll end up going back. I was into a green lifestyle WAY before I tried this. So you’re right on track, lemme know how you like it whenever ya get to trying it! :)

      LOL thank you for giving me such an amazing comment!

  2. Stacy says

    Hi, so awesome and just what I have been looking for. I was wondering how do you apply the deodorent? It looks kind of liquid like, do you use your fingers or a spoon?

    Thanks!

    • says

      I just updated the post, Stacy! Sorry about that. You dip your finger in, get about a dime sized amount, and that is enough for both armpits. Make sure to wash your hands before and after, so I apply it in the bathroom.

      Thank you! You’ll think it’s even more awesome if you try it, make sure to come back and let me know how you like it. :)

    • says

      I have too. Most notably, one that rhymes with “Mom’s”. It made me sweat like CRAZY, and I am not a sweaty person either. I swear it doesn’t take much work, 10 minutes and that’s taking everything out? It takes more time to run to the store. ;) But if you ever do try it, please lemme know!

    • says

      yay! You might be allergic to the talc, or the aluminum. Make sure to use the arrowroot powder and maybe an aluminum-free baking soda. Good luck, let me know how it goes :)

  3. says

    I have to try this now! Today. I actually have all the ingredients in the pantry (already a food hippie so why not a deo hippie too!)

    Thanks for sharing. I’m pinning for sure.
    Sarah

  4. Elisabeth says

    So it is a deodorant, but not an antiperspirant right? So for those of us who sweat like Hungarians (I’m Hungarian, I can say that!) this probably won’t work. I don’t smell bad usually, I just would have a soaked t-shirt within an hour without something to stop the sweat – no I don’t want to hold the crap in me, but I don’t want to wring it out of my nice clothing either … grrr! Any natural solution for that? I have used cooking corn starch with some success actually, and rice powder – but both leave white residue on everything.

  5. Kate Bartemus says

    Thank you so much for posting…
    My Husband is a Chiropractor and is very much into research of ingredients. We have been using different deodorants/salt sticks and cannot get through the day without a little BO! I will try making this tomorrow. Love your website and have to say I LOVE YOUR BABY WIPES! Every friend that has a new baby gets homemade baby wipes and a printout of the recipe with your website on it.
    Much Health & Blessings!

    ~Kate

    • says

      oh, how wonderful! Thanks for coming to comment and tell me that you love the baby wipes and have been passing them on. Made my day when I read this :) Let me know if you do try the deodorant! It’s been a life saver for us and we still love it after a year.

      • Kate Bartemus says

        We have been using the homemade deodorant for at least 1 month now…LOVE IT!
        I have already turned 3 people onto it at my Crossfit Gym(we sweat a lot!!) and a few other friends. All have thanked me for showing them this. No BO to speak of and I must say, I sometimes only shower once every 2days…and I do NOT SMELL STILL(don’t even have to re-apply). Thanks for posting! Love your DIY Homemade goodies!!

  6. says

    Wow I might have to try this. I’ve been getting more and more into all-natural beauty products (as you can see from the link below). Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      you’re welcome. thanks for commenting, Rebecca! How are you liking the oil cleansing method? I am using coconut oil and witch hazel for cleansing and so far so good, but I’ve heard of a lot of people who liked Tsh’s method. I’d love to hear your take on it! :)

      • says

        I love it so far! I want to do an update post on it eventually because it’s just so awesome I want everyone to know. In the beginning, I wasn’t too sure about it. Then all of a sudden, I realized my skin looked so much clearer and brighter. I’m definitely a convert :)

  7. says

    I’ve been using the 2 step system (coconut, tea trea and vit E oil and then dusting on the powder-corn starch/baking soda) but since i needed a travel kind i combined them as you have and put in a baby food jar. much easier. i have not used it yet, so we’ll see if it’s effective. btw, i’m nursing so cannot use the arrowroot powder. not sure why, but all the research i’ve done says not to use it while nursing, hence the corn starch. i gave away the big ol’ batch i made with arroroot right after i made it because i did not realize i should not use it.

  8. Vania says

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I love my new homemade deodorant so much! I made it Labor Day evening, so that it would be ready for my work week. IT WORKS. I have been allergic to anti-perspirants off and on, but deodorants didn’t work. I recently tried Tom’s of Maine Antiperspirant, but it was worse. It caused a terrible allergic reaction. I saw your Homemade Deodorant on Pinterest several weeks ago, and was intrigued by the idea of “not smelling like a dirty hippie”. I found the Arrowroot Powder at a nearby Mennonite store. I am very happy to report that I am not breaking out, nor do I smell like a dirty hippie (believe me, I keep checking!) Thanks again!

    • says

      YAY! Are you still using it? How’s it going? I was so happy to see your comment, thanks for coming back to let me know you tried it, Vania! AND that you don’t smell like a dirty hippie ;)

      I hated Tom’s, it made me sweat like crazy!

  9. April says

    Hi! I’ve recently been getting into more natural ways of living. Was a lil apprehensive to try this deodorant, I’ve tried naturally ones before that just didn’t cut it…I’m a lil on the stinky side! Haha. BUT I LOVE THIS DEODORANT!!! I actually am making another batch for my friends and fellow Grad student mates over the wknd. I also shared your wipes recipe with friends who have children. I appreciate your hard work in research and sharing all of your fab finds! Kindest, April in LA

  10. says

    So, this is just an antiperspirant? I have hyperhydrosis, so I sweat a TON, but rarely do I smell. Just checking that this isn’t both a deodorant and antiperspirant.

  11. Jen says

    So I made this last night, and I am excited to try it, but I was wondering if your coconut oil is already a liquid, as the one I bought was a solid. I melted it in the microwave to mix it in with the baking soda and arrowroot powder, and put it in a glass. This morning I went to try it out and it was all solidified again! So I thought about maybe melting it again and pouring it into an old deodorant container since it solidifies so nicely and would be quite easy to apply like the regular stuff :) My health food store only carried solid coconut oil, so I wondered if it comes in liquid form…..Smells lovely though! I was actually licking the coconut oil off my fingers when I was making it. LOL Tasted so good!

    • says

      The thing with coconut oil is that its melting point is76 degrees Fahrenheit. So the solid one is the same as the liquid one, it’s just colder and has hardened! If you’d like to make sure it stays a solid, you can store it in your fridge. Sounds weird, haha. If you know your house is colder than 76, like in the winter, it should be good! So glad you decided to try it, let me know how you like it!!

  12. says

    Hello! I found this post through your best of 2012 post. Absolutely love this idea. I’ve been concerned about deodorant for a long time. The ingredients completely freak me out. My best friend has had breakouts from every deodorant she has ever tried other than a couple of natural ones. But, they haven’t worked for her. Just sent this her way. I’ll keep you posted about her experience. Thanks!

  13. Kristen M says

    Just made this! I’m excited to give it a try. I was just wondering though if you have had any stains in clothes (around the pits) from the oil?

  14. says

    I made natural deodorant bars with the following ingredients: shea butter, beeswax, coconut oil, arrowroot powder, and baking soda. When I used it, my armpits got really red and irritated – I thought it was the baking soda but it may have been something else, I suppose. I just figured that baking soda was the most abrasive ingredient in it. Do you think your recipe would have the same effect? I want to try a new natural deodorant recipe but I am scared of the red-spot-of-Jupiter effect the last batch had on my armpits!!

  15. Melissa C. says

    I would love to try this. I have tried all sorts of deodorants and still don’t have one I love natural or not. I am pregnant and breastfeeding, and so did some research on Arrowroot. The only thing that I can find on it says is not recommended in medicinal amounts during pregnancy due to lack of research, but that even used as a cornstarch replacement in cooking is fine. So, I’m totally going to go to the healthfood store!

  16. says

    I’m totally going to try this! I have had issues with BO for a couple years now, and I have tried EVERYTHING, even those stupid deodorant rocks- nothing works! Here’s hoping this will!

  17. Tanith says

    I’ve been using this recipe since I found it on Pinterest about 4 months ago. I’m not sure why, but I’ve developed a super sensitivity to something in commercial anti-perspirants and deodorants. Since a sensitivity to smell as developed as well, I was able to convince my husband to try it as well. He likes it better than his former commercial brand. The only complaint being it’s a bit messy.

  18. Joan says

    I am wondering if I could use a different oil other than coconut oil? I cannot take the smell of coconut!

    thanks …

  19. donna jean says

    In the recipe at the bottom you have 2 different size Bob’s baking soda…guessing one of those is the arrow root??? Gonna price check before running to store :) thanks for sharing

  20. Amanda says

    Just made my own deodorant today for the first time. I am loving it so far. I did add tea tree oil but next time I think I will omit it. Thank you for the easy directions. I am happy that I won’t have to buy deodorant anymore!

  21. Lorie says

    Thank you for posting, I would like to go a little more natural this new year, and will start with this! is Arrowroot Powder and Flour one and the same?

    • says

      Lorie, I just looked it up, Arrowroot Powder and Arrowroot Flour ARE the same. On the article I read, Arrowroot Flour ends up being cheaper since you are buying it in a larger quantity/bulk. That being said, it does have a shelf life and you won’t need a ton. I’m actually only 3/4 of the way through the same small bag I bought when I first made this post 1.5 years ago (this post was my second batch using that bag) and we’ve been using it non-stop since we started! It works so good I haven’t been tempted to just buy it.

      Hope that helped! What a great resolution, I wish you the best with it. :)

  22. Mari says

    Great idea!!! I have been looking for a natural deodorant that really works for a long time. I have the same question as Joan. Do you know if it is possible to try with other than coconut oil. My husband doesn’t like coconut… and I’ll need all the chances on my side to convince him to try!

  23. Karen says

    I just made a batch! Will let you know how it goes. Today I simply wore Coconut oil… It worked fairly well, I am excited to try this deodorant. Can I use it right after making it? I will wait until tomorrow. Just curious. And how long will it keep? I was wondering if I should make a double batch now or not. thank you for sharing!!

  24. says

    I’ve been using soapwalla deodorant cream. It is the ONLY natural deoderant I have tried that actually works! But it does dry me out and sometimes causes a rash. I now see it uses cornstarch!

    I just ordered some arrowroot powder on amazon. Can’t wait to try this! Soapwalla is $19 with shipping for a tiny batch so I hope this works and also saves me lots of money :)

    • says

      hmmm, well that makes sense! I know some people have no issues with the cornstarch, but we definitely did.

      If you try this out, let me know what you think! We’re still using it. :)

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