homemade deodorant

homemade all-natural deodorant (that really works)
in yet another attempt to be more “green” and natural in my every day routine, i have switched to homemade deodorant. i’ve waited quite some time to actually post this because i wanted to be 110% sure i knew EXACTLY what i’d be getting you guys into if you decide to switch. (see the 4 week update at the bottom of this post!)

i’ve already gone no-‘poo, no lotion, no hair products of any kind, and now i’m ditching the breast cancer-linked aluminum and all-around nasty, chemical-y junk in store-bought deodorant. this stuff WORKS, people! i wouldn’t lead you astray! i swear by my own armpits IT WORKS. give it a try! give it a good few weeks long try, because your body will need to adjust!!! :)

for this recipe, i’ve scoured pinterest and other blogs, and this seems to be the best combo for ME. if you don’t sweat as much, don’t put so much baking soda in. if you still smell, dab a cottonball with raw apple cider vinegar and swipe each pit a couple times before applying…. it’s all about finding what works for YOUR body and getting rid of those darn chemicals!

WHAT YOU NEED

1. old deodorant container OR wide-mouth jar (i started with the jar and didn’t like the deo touching my fingers, so i put it in an old deo stick. i will say that during the winter the stick would be okay, but if your home/apartment/whatever is warm, or if you’re making this in the spring/summer, please keep it in a jar. mine was just chillin on the bathroom counter and melted everywhere as i took a hot shower once. egh!)
2. 5 tablespoons organic coconut oil. i used the non-deodorized version and it smells heavenly!
3. 1/4 cup cornstarch (update: i’ve added about a spoonful more to this mix now)
4. 1/4 cup baking soda (if you’re sensitive to baking soda, substitute with bentonite clay, or use a different homemade deo)
5. **essential oils of your choice, if you want to add any. i added arabian rose and LOVE it!
6. bowl & spoon, to mix

HOW TO'

1. mix all ingredients together in a bowl… keep at it till it’s allll smooth and turns into a thick, dry-ish paste
2. put in in your container. voila!
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how to1. either scoop a dab from your jar, or get a couple clicks/turns out of your stick
2. apply like regular deo :)
3. *give it anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks before you make any permanent choices. i know that’s a super long time, and the adjustment period might have you smelling a little funkier than usual, but your body will adjust to taking care of itself after a few weeks. i promise! i’ve been doing this for about a month now and i don’t want to go back to regular store deo. you’ll see improvements after the first couple weeks, and hopefully that’ll be enough motivation to keep it goin :)

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UPDATE (5/3/2013):

i think my body has fully adjusted, so it took me 4 weeks. i’ve read it took others 6-8 weeks, so i chalk it up to being completely chemical-less in my beauty routine and eating healthier.
but as of this past week, i barely smell bad at allllllll anymore. and i only put this on when i wake up in the morning, and after my showers if i need it.
i did add more cornstarch (about a spoonful) and it’s made a great difference in the sweating. i don’t notice nearly as much sweat as i normally had with store deodorant.

i’ve also switched to keeping mine in a small, screw-top jar. it’s getting warmer out and the coconut oil leaked out of my old deo container. i actually think i prefer it in the jar!

UPDATE (7/2/2013):

if you’re sensitive to baking soda, or allergic to coconut, HERE are some other all-natural deodorants you can make (spray and/or roll-ons). check ‘em out!

lemme know if you guys try this or any version of homemade deo! i’d love to hear about it!

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88 comments

  1. I just wanted to throw this out there for everyone that is having an allergic type reaction to this deo, If you added essential oils to it, it could be the oils causing the reaction. Certain oils can be skin irritants, so lessen the amount of EO’s you put in your mix. Lavender is one of the more gentle oils, less likely to cause a reaction. The other thing is that EO’s pull toxins out of your body, If you have been using traditional deo, the EO’s are going to pull all the chemicals out of your armpits, which will resemble an allergic reaction.
    Also, baking soda has aluminum in it, so if you are using bs in this recipe, you might want to look for aluminum free bs.That being said, I started using this recipe today. I used bentonite clay instead of baking soda. I’m excited to see how it goes.
    Love your site Alexraye! Thanks to you I am no poo!

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    1. Thanks for the help erin! one quick note- baking soda actually does NOT contain aluminum. that’s a very common misconception. baking Powder is the one that contain aluminum :)

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  2. Hey!
    I’ve been doing this a few days now and had a few questions.
    I was wondering is it normal to feel sticky all day? Also can i apply it more than once during the day? Or would this mess up the adjusting stage?
    If i countiue feeling stinky what should i increase? The corn?
    Many thanks :)

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    1. hey janene! if you’re feeling sticky all day, try using less so it can soak in. you can most certainly put it on more than once a day if you’d like. if you’re still feeling stinky after a couple months, i’d suggest taking a look into your diet and seeing if there’s an underlying cause or imbalance (example: do you eat a lot of garlic? are you getting enough magnesium? etc). you could also try switching to another deo to see if it works better for you. i have a post for baking soda-free ones Here if you wanna check them out. hope this helps!

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  3. So I’ve been using a variation of this deo (instead of cornstarch I used arrowroot powder) and after a year I’m still stinky. Truth be told I am a very sweaty girl. Should I try adding tea tree oil to it (I currently use lavender)? And now to an unrelated deo topic…I didn’t want to post in two different spots. I just got my hair trimmed and in a nutshell my stylist basically told me my hair looks like sh*t. Granted it has been two weeks since I washed my hair with castile soap but I have water washed about twice a week…so yeah…I was greasy. She told me my hair felt ‘coated’ (duh…in my hairs oil!) and that it wasn’t clean and how she just doesn’t understand why I think normal shampoo is bad for me. She actually played the “I’ve been a stylist for 12 years” card on me! Normal shampoo isn’t bad for me and why would I want to walk around looking like a hobo and why would I want to grow my hair out if I’m just going to let it be greasy….and on and on and on. For about 10 minutes she ranted. Needless to say I’m very frustrated right now and am basically looking for confirmation that what I’m doing IS GOOD. The only thing that bothered me was the ‘coated’ comment. Is this really just from my hairs oil or maybe leftover residue from the castile soap??

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    1. hey danette! have you tried witch hazel or another version of a homemade deo? maybe the coconut oil isn’t strong enough for ya :) it also has a lot to do with diet. for example, i loooove garlic and spicy foods, but it definitely changes my body odor. i wonder if that is impacting it as well?
      and about your hair… i’m sorry you had to go thru that! it’s not that you want to have dirty hair; it’s that you’re avoiding the toxins in shampoos. if your hair is feeling “coated”, i’m betting you have hard water (it also could very well be extra sebum on your hair). try a shower head filter; they’re pretty magical lol. and you can try an egg yolk wash in the meantime to clean anything coating your hair up. whip one egg yolk into one cup of cool water. while in the shower with wet hair, pour onto your scalp a bit at a time so you can massage it in, and then use it on the length of your hair as well. i hope this helps!

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      1. Thanks! I will try the witch hazel. And I do have a water softener. Would I still need a showerhead filter?

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      2. cool! and hmm, i wouldnt imagine so, unless you want to filter out the chlorine as well. and the witch hazel should ideally be alcohol free. but i dont see why you can’t try what you have first :) hope this helps!

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    2. I’ve been low poo mixed with times of no poo for 6 months now. 2 things are my go-to fixes for when the grease comes on. 1. When my hair gets greasy, I whip up an egg, sometimes adding a tablespoon of aloe Vera juice. Apply to hair… This is very messy so do near the sink. Leave it on for 20 minutes with a plastic cap to hold in heat, then rinse with water only. This always removes oil from my hair and scalp. Not sure why! My hair will be shiny, bouncy and full of life. (Sometimes a few little bits of egg whites will “cook” from hot water in the shower, but oh well! Brush them out of your hair when dry!) 2. After a couple days of not washing and the grease starts setting in – before I go to bed, I brush out my hair with a boar brush to pull oil to the ends of the hair. I do this standing up first and then bending over brushing from the neck down to ends of hair. Next, standing up, I section off my hair, starting at one ear, parting off a piece and flopping all the rest of the hair over to the other side, dip all fingertips in arrow root powder, run along my scalp, part off the next section, continue dipping fingers into arrow root until I’ve made it all the way around my scalp. This probably takes 10-15 parts and sectioning. Then, I bend over and run my fingertips all over my scalp, like a massage, distributing the powder. Stand up, reapply more to any places still greasy. Then, I brush my hair again to pull the powder out a bit. When I wake up, my hair looks fabulous! I repeat is every few days. I’ve been able to go a couple weeks without washing. I could go longer! Sorry this is so long!

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  4. Oh and does the witch hazel have to be alcohol free? I have a big bottle of the mountain rose herbs one already that I use for my facial toner but it’s not alcohol free.

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  5. I’d like to start using a homemade, poison-free deodorant, but the coconut oil has me concerned about my clothes. Do you develop oil stains under your arms? I used a Tom’s deodorant that had vegetable oil in it and it ruined a few of my tops!

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    1. I’m also curious about stains, from the deo and sweat… I have been wanting to switch to homemade deo and these are two lingering concerns. Have you found you’ve had issues?

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    2. I have been using this for a few weeks and it has been amazing! I smell far less than I did with Tom’s deo (that just didn’t work for me at all). As far as the stains from oil, I didn’t have any problems with that at all, I just put it on first thing in the morning so I know it is dry. Also, a little bit goes a long way in my opinion. I made a lot of my friends that thought I was crazy try it for themselves and they asked me to make it for them as well! It is definitely worth a try :)

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  6. Thank you so much for sharing! I made this and it worked right away for me. I can’t believe how well it works! I smell like literally nothing after exercising and at the end of the day. It’s amazing!

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  7. Is there an expiry date for this deodorant? Like one month? and do the containers need to be changed every few months or so? For like sanitation? Sorry, if these are stupid questions but thanks anyway

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  8. Tried this coconut deodorant , works great. I did add the extra cornstarch. I apply it after my bath, it lasts all day, even through workouts. Also love how easy n natural it is, doesnt leave that sticky residue commercial products use. Great idea, im even telling my coworkers about it!

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  9. I’m thrilled to have found your website, and I’m happy to see I’m not the only one using coconut oil & baking soda as a deodorant. I’ve been using this combo for over a year and LOVE it, and it seems to have become even more effective over time. :)

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