homemade deodorants (without baking soda)

i’ve noticed a few of you are having some reactions to the baking soda (don’t freak out if you are… just stop using the baking soda lol).  i’ve since scoured the hills for some gentle homemade deodorant alternatives that are (of course) chemical-free and crunchy!

chemical-free homemade spray OR roll-on deodorant (no baking soda or coconut oil)

this post is sort-of kicking off SKIN WEEK (which will be longer than a week, btw. i have so much to share with you guys!! so it might be “skin weekS”), so get excited about that!

is there anything wrong with my other homemade deo? absolutely not! i still use it! i have recently added arabian rose to mine and LOVE it! i just want to give readers with more sensitive skin some options :) also, if you travel a lot or live in a warmer climate, these recipes won’t run all over your clothes like the coconut oil recipe will. yay!

witch hazel & aloe deodorant spray (from Tristin, an AE reader!)

  • in a spray bottle, mix 2 parts witch hazel with 1 part aloe vera
  • add a few drops of any essential oil of your choice (tristin used lavender! i think grapefruit or rose would be lovely, too! clary sage and tea tree oil are recommended as the EOs that would most work to cover BO. but if you’re busy creating a little human inside you, please do NOT use clary sage!!! aka, avoid clary sage if you’re pregnant.)
  • shake to mix ingredients and spray on your ‘pits!

distilled water & witch hazel deodorant spray

  • in a spray bottle, add 2 parts distilled water and 1 part witch hazel
  • add any EOs of your choice
  • shake to mix ingredients, and spray away!

apple cider vinegar and witch hazel deodorant spray

  • in a spray bottle, add 1 part acv, 6 parts distilled water, and 1/3 part witch hazel
  • add some EO drops of your choice
  • shake to mix ingredients, and spray away!

and of course you can add up to 1/4 part baking soda to the first 2 recipes (just make sure it dissolves) if you’d like, and if you’re not sensitive to baking soda.

and you also can of course put this in a rolly-ball container instead of a spray bottle. much more travel-friendly, right?

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31 comments

  1. I made some this morning! But once I added baking soda to the bottle it reacted with the apple cider vinegar and I had a volcano in my bathroom! Then my spray bottle wouldn’t work because of the baking soda I guess, even though it was so dissolved I couldn’t see it. So I started over and did acv with tea tree oil and sprayed myself good! We will see what happens today…hopefully someone doesn’t drop dead when I lift my arms!

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    1. I think you will be pleasantly surprised! I started using acv with water and a drop tea tree oil and it has been great. NO SMELL whatsoever. Instead of wearing it though I just spray and gently rub it onto my underarms in the shower and rinse and that’s it. So far so good. If I shower at night I will just reapply in the morning and wipe rinse of with water and go. I was in shock how well this works. The vinegar wards off bacteria from growing from what I read. Even worked well through my sweaty workout. Note that, if you have been using regular antiperspirant all that junk needs to detox from your body as it has been clogging up your pores. Best way is to let it sweat out. :)

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      1. Hello. Do you mixed the acv, water and tea tree oil together and rinse it in the shower? Or do you mixed the acv and tea tree oil then you rinse it with water?

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  2. I wondered if you had any other recomendations for the witch hazel? I just bought a huge bottle to treat some mosquito bites ( they made a meal of me) and while it works amazing for that and I will be trying it in a deodorant recipe…I hear it can be good for oily/acne skin? Have you ever tried this?

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  3. OK so I bought some organic deoderant and itworked pretty well for a few weeks. Then all of a sudden my armpits were red, itchy, and dry; not attractive. :( I switch to the coco-deo, used it once and realized my skin is waaaay too sensitive for that much baking soda. :( so I switched again, this time to witch hazel and aloe. It feels good but does not cover up any smell. Yuck! So I scoured the internet and found a recipie for a baking soda free day stick deodrrant on an unlikely blog. Here’s the website: http://www.li. I’ll give this one a try come next payday and get back with you on how it works.

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  4. I think that I must be an exceptionally stinky girl. I’ve tried mixes with witch hazel, tea tree oil and apple cider vinegar and I’m stinky and went back to my normal deodorant. Are you going to give us some ideas of deo’s that we can buy instead of diy? I don’t want to give up…but, it’s July in South Carolina and I don’t want to knock someone out either…

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    1. Green Body Basics is awesome! It tends to melt here in Texas so I keep mine in the fridge and the clary sage scent is my favorite, but they have a few other scents as well. They started on hyena cart and are now at greenbodydeo.com (I recommend ordering a few tubes in the winter in hot climates because it will melt in shipping. If it does melt just pop it in the fridge before you unwrap the shrink wrap).

      GBB does use sodium bicarbonate on most versions, but the advanced formula offers a ‘soda free’ version that doesn’t have it.

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  5. I recently found your blog and will try this recipe (as soon as I find the ingredients). I have been using rubbing alcohol (the one with ethanol) and it works very well so far (and is so easy to find!). I have read that it is not toxic using it every day on your skin. Do you know something about this?

    (Wonderful blog, by the way. By far the best about natural beauty that I have read-and I have read a lot of them)

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    1. hey andrea! i haven’t looked too much into it, but i know some versions of rubbing alcohol have methyl isobutyl ketone in it (used in paints, varnishes, lacquers, etc), and i wouldn’t want that anywhere near my skin, let alone in my armpits near my lymph nodes. i wouldn’t want ethanol near my lymph nodes either. ethanol destroys the substances in cells that reduce inflammation and defend against free radicals, as soon as you put it on, it damages cells, and continues to damage them and increases cell death by almost 30% over the following 2 days after you first use it. it’s a definite NO in my book! and thanks so much!! that really means a lot!! <3

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  6. I have heard recently that you can add shelf-stable probiotics to homemade deodorant and that’s supposed to help you stay less smelly. The recipes I’ve seen have been for solid deodorant mixes (for instance, frugallysustainable.com has one). Alex, have you heard anything one way or the other about this ingredient for deodorant? I want to make the switch to natural deodorant but I’m having trouble with the options I’ve tried so far. My baking soda/CO mix made me break out in a rash; the little crystal seems to not keep me dry enough so living in the Pacific NW (and bicycling everywhere) causes my skin to stay too moist, which also leads to irritation…having trouble with this, please advise!
    Thank you! :D

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    1. hey carleen! yea, i’ve heard of adding it. you have to be careful to only mix the probiotics when the rest of your mix is at room temperature or below, to not kill the strains. but it sounds like a great addition! if you try it, please let us know how it goes!!

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  7. For some reason, baking soda-based recipes don’t do it for me. Not sure why! Good thing I came across this post!

    I currently use Lavilin (www.lavilin.com) – works really good for me! Any experience with it?

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  8. Hey Alex! I am planning a trip this summer with a LONG flight (from O’Hare to Thailand). I am about to do a recipe for a kind of all-in-one hair refreshing/deodorant spray with witch hazel, and I’m wondering where/what brand witch hazel you use. Right now my recipe looks kind of crazy, with aloe vera, baking soda, witch hazel, a couple drops of tea tree oil/lavender, and distilled water in a spray bottle. I’m kind of interested in Thayer’s alcohol-free rose petal witch hazel toner, but i’m a little confused about it. The ingredients looks somewhat harmless, but do you know what makes it a toner, and if its good to use in deodorant? I’m going off of your deodorant spray, and it looks like you have a picture with Thayer’s in it, but wasn’t sure if it was okay to use in my spray. Or if you have other suggestions for a travel spray. Any info you have would be much appreciated! Also, I REALLY appreciate how you take time to respond to every post.

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  9. has anyone tried using lemon juice under their arms (not after you’ve shaved… ouch!)? i’ve read it works well! also, some people use milk of magnesium.

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  10. I notice lemon juice is not mentioned here. It works perfectly fine for me, even in the days when I workout and sweat a lot. I wonder if it is ok to apply lemon juice on your armpits near your lymph nodes, though?

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  11. hey! I am in LOVE with your blog. thank you for doing all of this research & making it so easy for us newbies to get started with chemical free living!!
    my question is: because I cannot find any low chemical witch hazel (i checked it on the chemical rating site & the kind at natural grocers was no good), I was thinking about doing a 6:1 ratio of distilled h2o:acv. do you think I could also disolve some baking soda into this mix plus add in some lavender or tea tree oil? I just wanted your thoughts/suggestions on this. thanks in advance!!

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    1. hey gea! thayer’s natural has a great witch hazel product, and some that are alcohol-free. check them out :) as far as your alternative, don’t mix bs with acv. you’ll have a volcano effect, haha! but you can add oils, yep!

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  12. Thank you!! I have been struggling with baking soda deodorants for awhile and I react no matter how little is in them. Others I have tried without baking soda were very ineffective. I tried the ACV and witch hazel one you shared and it works! No reaction! And even when I exercise twice in the day it is still working with no smell. I have been using it for a week now and I can nearly cry with happiness. You have saved my armpits. :-) Thank you so much for sharing.

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  13. What are people using for witch hazel? Alcohol or alcohol free? Organic, or not? It looks like Thayer’s has glycerin in it….isn’t that bad? I’d like to try this, but don’t want to get the “wrong” stuff! Help!?

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