Natural Homemade Deodorant

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Well, since we’ve made our own toothpaste, might as well make our own deodorant, right? :)

I’ve often cringed a bit at the aluminum in conventional deodorants, and then balked at the price of most natural deodorants. (I’ve been fairly pleased with the lavender-scented Naturally Fresh Crystal Spray deodorant, when I’ve found it on clearance sales occasionally.) But with the ingredients to make my own sitting in the cupboards, I thought I’d give it a try.

Guess what? I think this homemade stuff is my favorite!

It’s a soothing balm after an underarm shave, and when you use plenty of essential oils in it, there’s a pleasant light scent all day. (No need for additional perfume/scents, either!)

Oh, yeah- and it works. Really!

I adapted the years-old recipe from Amy at Angry Chicken. I used lots of lavender essential oil (my favorite); she recommends ylang-ylang and orange, which also sounds amazing. I softened it up with some coconut oil, since it’s still cold here (and it has good antimicrobial properties anyway).

To keep it affordable, I purchase my ingredients in bulk from Mountain Rose Herbs. (I use the ingredients for many other items in my natural medicine kit, too!)

Natural Homemade Deodorant

3 Tbl. Shea Butter
3 Tbl. Baking Soda
2 Tbl. Arrowroot Powder
2 Tbl. Cocoa Butter
1 Tbl. Coconut Oil
2 Vitamin E Oil Capsules (poke with a pin & squeeze out the oil)
Essential Oil (I used lavender; 30+ drops, I think. Use plenty! The smell will fade as the mixture cools.)

In the top of a double boiler, over simmering water, melt the shea butter, coconut oil, and cocoa butter. Stir in the baking soda and arrowroot powder until well-combined. Remove from heat. Add the Vitamin E oil and essential oils, and stir well. Pour into a small container and let cool.

I poured mine into a small ceramic bowl, and let cool in the fridge. I think some people have scooped the mixture into repurposed empty deodorant tubes, while it is still slightly warm, but no longer liquid. (Shape the top with a spoon, for the rounded top.)

If the final product is too hard, remelt and add more coconut oil. If it is too liquid, add more cocoa butter and let cool.

I just store this on top of my dresser, and apply a small amount with my fingertips before wandering around in my bathrobe getting dressed. I’ve found it’s best to let it “dry” a bit first if I’m wearing a shirt of synthetic material, so the oil doesn’t transfer to the shirt. (It’s only happened to me once, and it washed out fine, though.)

Do you make your own?

I am an affiliate of Mountain Rose Herbs, and may earn a small commission if you choose to make a purchase through my links. Thank you for your support.

Bulk organic herbs, spices and essential oils. Sin

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39 comments to Natural Homemade Deodorant

  • Melissa

    I’ve been making my own deodorant for a few months now and love it better than any store bought. I use just coconut oil, arrowroot powder and baking soda. I’ve added lavender or tea tree essential oils too. I got my recipe fromhttp://www.passionatehomemaking.com/2010/02/homemade-all-natural-deodorant.html

    I have added beeswax to help solidify it so I can put in in an old deodorant container, but I like the idea of cocoa butter (which is just as solid IMO).

    [Reply]

    Michele Reply:

    @Melissa, I have used that recipe before, too, but it didn’t seem to work as well for me as this one. Thanks for sharing it, though! :) My husband likes that version, however. We like cedarwood oil for a “manly” scent.

    Blessings,
    Michele

    [Reply]

  • I just started making my own deodorant. So easy and affordable, and so much healthier! I use the following ingredients:
    1/3 c. organic coconut oil (solid)
    1/4 c. all-natural baking soda
    1/4 c. all-natural pure cornstarch
    30 drops tea tree oil (natural anti-bacterial)
    30 drops lavender essential oil (natural anti-fungal)

    Combine in a mixer till thoroughly blended. Store in a jar and apply a dab with your finger or clean out an old deodorant stick and refill it. Takes about 2 minutes from start to finish.

    [Reply]

    Kelly Reply:

    I made a batch about a month ago and have already forgotten what I used and where I found the recipe! I think it’s the cornstatch/baking soda/coconut oil one though. Prior to that I had simply stopped using antiperspirant/deodorant, but it was winter and that was working. Once I started sweating I needed something! What I have works, no more smell! I put a combo of EO’s in it and can’t even remember what that part is. Are you going to do a post on good foods for memory? ;-)

    [Reply]

    Nicole Hollenkamp Reply:

    @Kelly,
    Coconut oil is great for memory :-)

    [Reply]

    Kelly Reply:

    @Nicole-That’s funny! Will it work if it’s just absorbed thru my armpits??

    [Reply]

    A Doc Reply:

    @Kelly – Yes, it will. Everything you put on your skin is absorbed into your body as well. Just because it is not ingested orally does not mean it does not enter your body. Hope this helps.

  • Linda

    I have tried homemade deodorant, but I end up smelling worse than if I had none at all. I currently use Crystal roll-on and it works well as long as I’m not in a situation where I’m nervous at all. I have made some from baking soda and witch hazel that worked pretty well, but the recipes I’ve used with coconut oil turned out awful.
    I am going to try the toothpaste recipe though as soon as I can get somewhere where they sell the essential oils.

    [Reply]

  • Ohhh, I’ve used this exact recipe, and it is FANTASTIC! I live in the hot desert of West Texas, and this deo held up great all summer long. I found that I felt drier, cleaner, using this, even though I sweat a “normal” amount (since it’s not an anti-perspirant.) For my batch last summer, I used lime EO and coconut FO for a yummy, summery scent. MMMmm!

    I did find that by the end of summer, my skin was a little sensitive to this deo (and I’m not sure why or what caused it… it could have been several other factors) so I switched to a commercial natural deodorant during the cooler months. However, I plan to make another batch of this recipe for summertime again, as it can’t be beat!

    [Reply]

    Michele Reply:

    @Connie, Were you using Amy’s original recipe? If so, you may be reacting to the cornstarch. I replaced it with arrowroot powder. :)

    Blessings,
    Michele

    [Reply]

    Connie Reply:

    Hi, Michele! Yes, I used the original recipe, but I’ll try the arrowroot with this next batch. Thanks for the suggestion! :)

    [Reply]

    Speedwell Reply:

    @Connie, citrus peel oils have a tendency to sensitize the skin when used frequently over a period of time (bergamot is the best known example, but it happens with all citrus oils). I bet it was the lime essential oil that caused your sensitivity. Try the lavender next time and don’t skimp on the coconut oil; they are both healing to the skin. Did you know the accidental discovery of the skin healing properties of lavender oil was what started aromatherapy

    [Reply]

  • Laurie Plath

    I’ve used the coconut oil, baking soda and arrowroot for a year now and love that I never smell. Sometimes it irritates my skin though. I am anxious to try your recipe now.

    [Reply]

  • I can’t wait to try it. I am just getting into making stuff like this. I’ve made toothpaste and calendula salve, now I’m thinking deodorant will be next.

    [Reply]

  • We make our own too – but ours is in an alcohol base with essential oils. No paste or white residue issues. We’ve used it for years and it works really well… and we even have friends who use it who say the same. So much so that we started selling it this year. It’s an option if you would rather not use a paste. It’s our own original recipe, all natural using grain alcohol and essential oils and plant extracts. Plus, it’s home made!

    [Reply]

    Michele Reply:

    @green skunk, This recipe goes on clear; there’s no pasty/white residue. But I’m sure yours is great too. :)

    Michele

    [Reply]

    Linda Reply:

    Where can I buy yours Green Skunk?

    [Reply]

  • Co

    I have been making deodorant for a while now using the recipe from Passionate Homemaking. I think it works great except for when I am at the gym. For the gym I use suave clinical. When it is gone I love to reuse the tube for my homemade deodorant. It has a plastic cover with small holes on the top so it is not as messy as reusing a normal deodorant tube. I have noticed some oil stains on the shirts I wear most often so I wonder if this recipe might help with that. I read the comment about the beeswax, so I may try that also. I made the toothpaste yesterday, thanks for the recipe!!

    [Reply]

  • Laura

    Does this stain less than the recipe at Passionate Homemaking? I have been using that one for a year, but would like one that works a little better for me and does not stain clothes.

    What does the Vitamin E do?

    Thanks for your information. Your web site is one of my favorites.

    God Bless!

    [Reply]

    Michele Reply:

    @Laura, I haven’t compared the two, so I don’t know about the staining. Sorry.

    The Vitamin E works as a natural “preservative” to keep it from molding, as well as being soothing on the skin.

    Thanks!
    Michele

    [Reply]

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  • Loridean

    How long does one batch last? And has anyone ever had an issue with homemade deodorant going bad? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Michele Reply:

    I’ve had a batch last several months, but it probably depends on how much you use. The vitamin E and essential oils are natural “preservatives”, so I’ve never had it go bad.

    Blessings,
    Michele

    [Reply]

  • I just made deoderant and it smells delicious!! I used ylang ylang, teatree oil, and sweet orange oil. I think I only have a vitamin E roll on so I may not be able to add it this time. I can’t wait to try it out. I was using the salt crystal roll on but it stopped working after about a month.

    [Reply]

    Michele Reply:

    Sounds wonderful! I hope it works well for you. :)

    Blessings,
    Michele

    [Reply]

    Denise Reply:

    @Michele, Thanks me too! I have high hopes. I’ll let you know after a couple weeks.

    [Reply]

    Denise Reply:

    @Denise, So I’ve been using my deodorant for almost two weeks including a long humid hot day at Ft Benning during a video shoot where I probably lost 5lbs in sweat and so far it’s held up! No smell at all and I don’t sweat that much under my arm like I did when using that salt crystal.

    Thanks again Michele for the recipe!

  • Anita

    @Michele,

    Do you have a particular brand of EO’s that you use? Or do you just pick them up at a health store?

    TIA,
    Anita

    [Reply]

  • Michelle

    I really want to try this recipe, but I have made a few different batches of deodorant that haven’t helped. First i tried 1tbsp cornstarch, 1tbsp BS and 3 tbsp coconut oil i then added tea tree & bergamot oil. It worked great (no odour!) then on day 3 my underarms were a little raw so i decided to make two different batches to try next, So i tried equal amounts of BS and arrowroot powder with 1 tsp of clay some coco oil and tea tree and lemongrass scent. It worked great for 1/2 days but was very gritty and harsh which my other mixture was not, but the odour now returns half way through the day. my other mix was 1tbsp bs, 2 tbsp arrowroot and 3tbsp coconut with tea tree, lemongrass and bergamot and yet none of these are working for me i still have odour which i’m not sure if i’m going through detox from antiperspirant or what? I’ve been trying the method for two weeks now and i’m getting embarrassed that the odour returns midway through the day that i’m sure my work colleuges must be put off by it. I’ve tried reapplying and it doesn’t make any difference although the odour is not as strong as it was before using this method but it’s still there and it does ruin the day for me. I also think now i either have a yeast infection or a itchy reaction to the deod and i can’t tell if its the BS or the oils :(

    I hope someone could maybe guide me a little as i want to stick with natural deodorant so much!!

    [Reply]

    Olivia Reply:

    @Michelle, I’ve never actually made homemade deodorant yet, but I have read in other blogs that using cornstarch can leave you prone to underarm yeast infections. People suggest not using it and simply sticking with the arrowroot. (Also, if it does happen to be a yeast infection, the comments I was reading suggest using a feminine wash to get rid of it.) Hope that helps.

    [Reply]

    DJD Reply:

    Olivia!! That’s exactly what happened to me. I had no idea why my underarms started to have a sour smell that I couldn’t get rid of. I started using other natural deodorants, eventually switching back to a low aluminum deodorant, but nothing helped. But then I saw your post in my email back when you first posted it, and I ran out and got some Equate and rubbed the inserts under my arms every morning. I didn’t use the cream but once. I don’t think it works as well as the inserts. It’s definitely gotten better, but the day I forgot to use it, the smell came back a little. So I’m going to use if for at least another week. Thank you so much for posting.

    My other issue with this recipe is that in the blazing hot summer, oil stains form on the underarms of my shirts.

    @Olivia,

    [Reply]

    DJD Reply:

    Ok So the equate wasn’t the solution. I periodically take a probiotic (Candida Freedom). And since the probiotic helps eliminate yeast among other great things, I thought I should give it a try. I twisted the gel cap apart and sprinkled half of the contents into a container and added about 2 tbsps of water to it. Swished it around then used a cotton swab to apply it to my underarms. That was working well, but I wanted to fight it from the inside too, so I bought a new bottle and took them in internally for a month. When I ran out of both the topical and oral pills, I continued using my Kiss My Face deodorant and I no longer have the yeast problem. Now the deodorant doesn’t last me all day, but I don’t smell strongly. If I apply the deodorant twice a day I’m good. Just need a longer lasting deodorant.

    @DJD,

  • Linda

    I posted that I have not found anything natural that works. I FINALLY found something that works! I read on Dr. Weil’s site that sweat only smells when it meets bacteria. He suggested splashing(I used a cotton pad and rubbed it on)rubbing alcohol under your arms. I had bought some Crystal deodorant with lavender and white tea. I rubbed the rubbed the alcohol on and them put the Crystal on it it has worked WONDERFULLY! So much better than even antiperspirant! I am so pleased!

    [Reply]

  • [...] think that Michele at Frugal Granola has a homerun recipe for Natural Homemade Deodorant. The ingredients are all easy to find and if [...]

  • My hubby and I have been making and using Colorado PitStik. It works great, smells wonderful and won the Healthier Alternative Trustworthy Brands Seal of Approval from TheSoftLanding.com!! Made with 5 natural ingredients and NO aluminum or parabens, you can even customize the scent with your favorite perfume or cologne. Look for it on Etsy and love it as much as we do!!!

    [Reply]

  • Nicole

    I want a cream deodorant, but I only have shea butter right now. Would a mixture of shea in place of cocoa butter, and Bentonite clay in the place of arrowroot powder be as effective?

    [Reply]

    Michele Reply:

    It might work! Let me know how it goes! :)

    [Reply]

  • Nicole

    Substituting Bentonite clay and using all shea butter and no cocoa butter….It worked! I have been sweating through commercial clinical strength deodorant and I haven’t through this one.

    [Reply]

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