How to Make Your Own Natural Homemade Deodorant

by heather

Powdered deodorant can be stored in beautiful jars like this one.

Deodorant is something that pretty much all of us use on a daily basis. And, the price of all that deodorant really adds up.

For instance, I used to use Dove deodorant, until I found out how unhealthy it was from the Cosmetics Safety Database. Not good. So, I started buy Tom’s of Maine Lavender deodorant, which is aluminum-free, and much safer.

But, Tom’s is pricey. I pay almost $5 per stick for Tom’s. And while I dearly love this deodorant, I realized that perhaps I could start making my own.

A quick search online yielded a fabulous payload (what did people do before the Internet?).

The Magic Ingredient of Homemade Deodorant…

What did I learn? Baking soda is the big winner in homemade, natural deodorants. And when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Baking soda is an excellent cleanser, and it neutralizes odors. Eureka!

So, I’m assembling a few of the recipes that I found online for you to check out.

Recipe 1: Baking Soda and Cornstarch Powder

This first homemade deodorant recipe comes from Melinda at One Green Generation. This was an excellent post, and this is probably the recipe I’m going to try first.

Her recipe is as follows:

1. In a reusable, resealable container, mix one part baking soda with six parts cornstarch.

2. Close the lid, and shake the container with gusto for at least a minute to mix the two powders.

3. Apply the powder with a cotton ball, cotton pad, or cosmetic applicator (like a powder puff).

Melinda has had great results with this recipe, so I’m excited to make it for myself. I have high hopes! I don’t have a powder jar as pretty as the one pictured, but maybe I can find one at the Salvation Army…

Recipe 2: Stick Deodorants With Coconut Oil

I found this YouTube video online, and it’s actually pretty good (if you don’t like Techno music, though, turn down the volume).

This recipe makes 12 sticks of natural deodorant, and there are several great recipes on the video (including some foot deodorizing powders) that include lavender and rosemary essential oils that I think would smell heavenly. Keep in mind, you will need some empty deodorant tubes for this recipe!

Recipe 3: Spray Deodorant With Baking Soda

I found this recipe on wikiHow, and it looks pretty easy.

  1. Fill your spray bottle about halfway with water.
  2. Mix in a bit of baking soda
  3. Keep adding small amounts of baking soda until the mixture is slimy and smooth. The amount you use depends on your water and the size of your bottle.
  4. Add a drop of lavender oil if you want.(or any kind of fragrance you like)
  5. Shake the bottle gently to mix all the ingredients together. Now you have your own deodorant.
  6. Spray on your underarms. Do not rinse. Gently massage underarm so the skin will absorb the deodorant faster, and so that it spreads to your entire underarm.

I have to wonder a bit on this one; if it’s a thicker paste, how’s it going to come out of the spray nozzle? Seems like it would be better to keep the consistency thin. Hmmm…might have to try this one just to experiment.

Recipe 4: Baking Soda and Shea Butter Cream

This fantastic recipe comes from Amy at The Angry Chicken, a wonderful blog I found while doing research for homemade deodorant recipes. If the recipe from One Green Generation doesn’t do the trick, this is definitely the next one I’m trying.

Here is Amy’s recipe. The final deodorant is a creamy texture (which can be poured in a shallow jar) and applied with your fingertips.

3 Tablespoons shea butter
3 Tablespoons baking soda
2 Tablespoons corn starch
2 Tablespoons cocoa butter
2 vitamin E oil gel caps (puncture and squeeze out the oil)
Essential Oil (Amy used ylang yang and orange)

Melt all the ingredients (except the oils!) together in the microwave, and then stir well. Next, add the oils and give it another good stir. Pour in a small jar and put it in the fridge to set.

This recipe filled a 1/4 pint jar.

Amy has more tips for making this recipe (you can go directly to her post here), and I highly recommend you check out her article. She had to add more essential oil than you might think to cover up the shea butter smell, and she thinks next time she might add a bit of vegetable glycerine to make it softer.

Last Word…

So, now I’m super excited to make some homemade deodorant. I don’t have any essential oils on hand, so I’m going to try the basic recipe with just baking soda and cornstarch first. But, I really would like to try The Angry Chicken’s recipe, so I might give that one a go this weekend.

Have any of you made your own homemade deodorant? Do you have a recipe you’d like to share?

I’m interested to find out if homemade deodorants work as well as store-bought. There’s no doubt it’s cheaper, but does it keep the stink down?

We’ll find out. And if you’ve done this before, please write in and share!

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Erin aka Conscious Shopper April 2, 2009 at 3:12 pm

I haven’t had good success with homemade deodorants. Instead I bought a deodorant crystal, and so far it’s been working great (but I haven’t tested it out in a North Carolina summer yet). It cost less than $10 and should last all year. If your homemade deodorants fail, you might consider trying one.

Michele@AHouseCalledNut April 3, 2009 at 4:40 am

This is great! I hope you’ll report back with your findings. I’ve been freaked out by the ingredients in regular deodorant some time, but apart from using a crystal on days when I’m just around the house, have totally put off taking action. I cycle everywhere, which can further complicate the issue–does any one have experience with homemade or natural deodorants and sports? Is reapplication be the trick?

And it was great to see the Angry Chicken blog mentioned! I’ve been reading about Amy’s craft and sewing projects for a while, but failed to notice that she’s into other aspects of DIY.

heather April 3, 2009 at 4:41 am

Erin,

Wow, I’ve never even heard of deodorant crystal! I Googled it after reading your comment and one brand, http://www.thecrystal.com, got the Environmental Working Group’s highest safety rating, which is awesome.

If my efforts nosedive this weekend, I’ll definitely consider buying one of these.

Thanks for sharing this new concept with me and other readers!

Best Deodorants April 10, 2009 at 1:29 pm

When I first tried to combat my excessive sweating, I got nowhere. I’d walk into the local pharmacy and buy up every antiperspirant I could find off the rack only to be disappointed with my results days later.

It was a painful cycle of trial and error and I remember, after the ninth or tenth brand of deodorant I tried, I started to think there was just no product out there that could solve my sweating.

Anyway, it took some time but I’m here to tell you that there ARE products out there that work. And after much exploration and testing, here are the 7 best deodorants for excessive sweating, giving you fast and effective results.

After all my failures buying up the shelves at my local drugstore, I finally wised up and spoke candidly with my dermatologist about my excessive sweating woes. She told me I suffered from a fairly common condition called Hyperhidrosis.

It caused me to sweat uncontrollably from the hands, armpits, face and feet no matter what temperature I was exposed to.

The reason the average store brand deodorants weren’t being effective was because they didn’t contain enough of the active sweat stopping ingredient, Aluminum Chloride.

This is pretty important for you to know…
Aluminum Chloride is the active ingredient which blocks your pores from sweating profusely.

Although there are numerous options for excessive sweating sufferers, the first one your should learn about is choosing the right deodorant.

Here I’ll be giving you the 7 best deodorants for excessive sweating that packed just enough punch to get my perspiration under control.

Bear in mind, most of them can be applied to your hands and feet as well as your armpits to minimize the sweating. I also mention specific facial sweating deodorants as well.

1. Certain Dri – This is the weakest of the 7 deodorants in the list. However, it is a crucial first step. You don’t want to just grab the strongest antiperspirant off the shelf when you’re starting out or you’ll end up with irritated skin in no time. Certain Dri contains 12% Aluminum Chloride and is considered clinical strength. It’s a great first step when escalating to a stronger solution.

2. Drysol – This prescription strength deodorant usually requires your Dermatologist’s approval but there are online stores where you can get it without the inconvenient doctor’s note requirement. Drysol contains a whopping 20% Aluminum Chloride and starts working after the first application. It’s not like regular deodorant though. You only apply Drysol once a night before bedtime. During the day, you may not want to apply a regular deodorant as irritation can occur with such a powerful topical in place.

3. Deodorite – DeodoRite is a 100% safe and effective internal natural remedy for treating the underlying causes of body odor. The formula has been specially manufactured to improve the elimination of toxins from the body, promote healthy liver functioning and reduce excessive perspiration. It’s not a regular topical like most deodorants. You take it orally and it goes to work (Again, safely) regulating the toxins out of your body and decreasing your overall sweating.

4. Maxim Facial Wipes – These are a facial sweating sufferer’s best friend. Maxim wipes are convenient wipes that contain topical deodorant mild enough to apply to your face. Just wipe them all over your face and the astringent goes to work, blocking sweat pores and solving your problem fast. I loved the results using these things.

5. Secure Wipes – If Maxim wipes aren’t doing the trick for you, then Secure Wipes are your best bet for facial sweating. They come in degrees of strength with their medicine ranging from 1% – 4%. There are two warnings though with Secure Wipes. First, if you choose too strong a formula, you will have redness, rash and irritation occur. Start with 2% if Maxim Wipes don’t work for you and then scale up from there. Secondly, they are a bit more expensive than the Maxim Wipes but you get your money’s worth. The results are palpable.

6. Driclor – This is a strong beast of a deodorant. Although it contains the same level of Aluminum Chloride as Drysol (20%), many people claim it dries them out where Drysol won’t. Here’s a very honest review. The itching, soreness, stinging and dry rash that I got were all terrible. You have to grit your teeth through the discomfort to get the results. That said, it definitely works!

7. Odaban – I saved one of my favorites for last. Odaban is less abrasive than Drysol and Driclor. Plus, you can apply it to your face in small doses. It’s a topical that comes in spray for (Drysol and Driclor are roll-on topicals). Somehow, I found that is conditioned my body to stop sweating rather than shocking it into submission. You’ll need to use it for a week to feel the optimal effects.

This is really just the Tip of the Iceberg. You NEED to check out the FREE Sweat Tactics video I’ve posted on my site http://www.Prevent-Sweating.com. It shows you how to stop hand, foot, face and armpit sweating using natural treatments that actually condition your body not to sweat – rather than temporarily block the sweat like the deodorants above. Check out the video right now and end your excessive sweating for good. You’re going to love it!

Cathy April 14, 2009 at 5:25 pm

I too used a deoderant crystal until I read the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) on Potassium Alum. You can find the MSDS sheet here:

http://www.potassium-alum.com/images/msds.htm

heather April 14, 2009 at 7:17 pm

Cathy,

Thank you for writing in and sending that link. Definitely good to know!

rx4citizen April 14, 2009 at 9:04 pm

I tried using a deodorant crystal years ago. it did the job, however, it caused little red spots on my armpits. it did not iritate or itch but I thought this is not right and stopped using it. I’ve been using Toms of Maine but will definitely try some of these homemade remedies on less important days!
for those who are combating sweating: there is a difference between deodorants and antiperspirants. please be very careful with all antiperspirants. perspiring is a very important function to rid your body of toxins (and we’re all on toxin overload these days!). profuse sweating might also be a symptom of something else (it’s how my husband found out he had hyperactive thyroid). be careful!

Donna April 14, 2009 at 9:05 pm

I make a spray deodorant using distilled water, tea tree oil, and lavender oil. I’m still playing around with the ratios, but I mix it in a small spray bottle (hairspray sample size) and use one and a half eye droppers of tea tree. Then I add ten or twelve drops of lavender oil. I use it in the a.m., and refresh after excercise or whenever I think I might need it. So far it’s done a pretty good job, but I haven’t weathered a summer with it yet.

I’m going to try the baking soda/cornstarch mix, too.

carol April 14, 2009 at 9:24 pm

I have made my own deodrant by dissolving sea salt in a spray bottle with a touch of alum. Use warm water to dissolve the salt and shake it after adding in the alum. Experiment with the ratio of if you like. I purchased both the sea salt and alum at our local Amish store in the spice aisle.

Very cost effective and no allergic reactions!! Just spritz it on and you are ready after it dries. Probably could add some essential oil if you wanted — I just never did.

I have tried it without the alum and it works for me as well in the cooler months.

Theresa B. April 14, 2009 at 11:27 pm

of the the other things to take into account when using any deodrant…
what type of oder do you have?
some odors are just that… our own sweat.
some are a bit worse.. they are out own body’s oder, plus the fabric worn, pluse the cologne used, pluse the bath cleanser used, plus the detergent used to wash the clothing, and the fabric softner used during the rince…. and…. sometimes.. you whould be surprized at how often.. the oder is caused by bacteria that live on the skin. occassionally that bacteria over grows and gets… umm… fragrent.

use as naturan a deoderizer as you prefer, or nothing… and…
a simple helpful hint… dill pickles are a faboulous acidizing agent for our bodies.. eat a dill pickle spear daily if you suspect it is from bacteria.

by eliminating one thing at a time, you may find the culprit of the oder.
my husband loves those hole filled nylon jerseys, like the football players use. well we discovered that the fabric softener combined with the dryer and that particulay type of material… stank like baby pee. some of the footed child and infant sleepers of of the same material and will hold this smell with a variety of fabric softeners and or detergents when tossed into the dryer.

this oder of ocurse contributes to the skin oder, and so forth.

be aware of all aspects of your … atmosphere from your water drinking and bathing to the fabrics you wear to the colognes you love ot the deoderants you chose.

Sarah April 15, 2009 at 2:31 pm

As an environmental chemist, who has spent the last week updating our lab’s MSDS binder, I felt compelled to comment in response to Cathy’s post with the MSDS for alum. Be aware that any chemical will look absolutely horrifying if you examine worst case scenarios, and all matter (aka stuff) is made from chemicals! For example, check out the following website: http://www.dhmo.org (which includes a lot of useful and true information about dihydrogen monoxide, aka water).

Many people assume that if something is natural that means it is less harmful than synthetic or “chemical” substances. This is not true. However, if you consider that one of the primary uses of alum (making pickles) it should be obvious that something you can safely eat is not going to cause harm to your skin in the quantity that you would use in an underarm deodorant. Alum also works well to help with oral sores such as canker sores (but be aware that it will make your mouth pucker at first!) I would caution you to use foodgrade materials however, as these are more likely to be pure and contain fewer contaminants that could cause harm.

Personally, I have used a crystal stick as a deoderant for years with no problems. I also make my own laundry detergent and cleaners in order to reduce the amount of fragrences and dyes in my house due to allergies since my daughter and I both have VERY sensitive skin.

Melissa M. April 23, 2009 at 12:33 pm

I too am trying to green my life but B.O. is not one thing I’m willing to put up with in order to achieve that. I sweat (a lot) and it can get pretty funky.
When I was younger, I tried Tom’s of Maine & it did nothing to combat the smell. Then, I found a great deodorant/antiperspirant (I know, I know) about 5 years ago (Adidas for women unscented) but geniuses that they are, the company discontinued it in favor of only selling the gross scented versions. I found a stash of it at a local dollar store and stocked up (at $1 a stick, I couldn’t resist!) but my supply just ran out. I was perusing the aisles at Whole Foods and came across the Thai Crystal Mist (http://www.amazon.com/Thai-Crystal-Deodorant-Mist-Hypo-allergenic/dp/B000B969B4) & picked it up for about $10. I was a bit skeptical because I had also tried the hard crystals before & those also did nothing. But this mist seems to be working pretty well so far. Granted, I don’t currently have a very active job & I’m not outside much during the heat of the day. We’ll have to see how it holds up once the summer really kicks in here in south Florida.
I especially like that I no longer have to worry about getting white messes on my tops if I pull them on after applying or buildups of deodorant/sweat stains in the armpits of my shirts!
I am curious to hear how you fare with these recipes. The first one sounds pretty promising & I’d love to hear that it works because it’s just so simple!

Eco Friendly Fashion by Eco Empress May 20, 2009 at 10:08 am

Wow, I had never thought about doing something like that before. But deodorants use so much packaging and harmful chemicals, I really think this is a great idea.

Jim May 22, 2009 at 4:49 am

You can also grind the deo cristal and add some talk (2:1). I’ve bought that white powder the first time I was on the arabian peninsula. They use it all the time. It’s called \sheb\ in arabic and works pretty well. When you put it in your bag during a flight, make shure to explain very well and quietly what it is to the security guards ;)

Kevin June 2, 2009 at 11:47 pm

Hi Heather,

I tried recipe 2 and it worked for few days it was soft and easy to put on but day 4th it turned had. It became difficult to put on. Has any tried this recipe? Did anyone ran to this problem? One thing I must say I did not put coconut oil and olive oil. I am not this could the problem.

Thanks,
KG

heather June 3, 2009 at 7:04 am

Kevin,

I haven’t tried that one yet, but my guess is that the missing oils are probably the problem. They’re a natural softener.

If you’re willing to give it another go, I think it might be worth it to put in the coconut oil.

Good luck, and thanks so much for writing in! Perhaps someone else has had the same experience…

Sid Grizzly October 13, 2009 at 1:01 pm

pure virgin olive oil is the BEST underarm deodorant PERIOD!! any questions drop me a line at,,, qp26156@gmail.com,,,,,sid grizzly

KFord November 5, 2009 at 12:09 pm

heather, do you have any updates on this?

Ken December 22, 2009 at 8:24 pm

I tried a baking soda/cornstarch combo recipe I found somewhere on the web and I tell you that stuff blistered my underarms severely. I chunked it. I do remember that the baking soda/cornstarch ratio was like 1:1 which could have been the cause of the blistering.

I am using a potassium alum stone right now. I absolutely love it. Yes, like Melissa, I had some problems with odor when I first started using it. But not anymore. I am of the opinion that commercial antiperspirants stop up and clogs a persons pores causing all kind of stuff to be stored. After your body purges itself of all that junk, the stones work wonderfully. And I think Sarah the environmental chemist has given some very sound and level headed advice for people concerned with using alum.

And in response to “Best Deodorants”: It makes me cringe to think someone would go looking for an antiperspirant that contains more aluminum chloride than the products on the shelves of stores.

I am still thinking of trying a home made version. That’s how I ended up here…

Rob December 24, 2009 at 10:49 pm

I use Aloe vera (without menthol) as deodorant. I squeeze about a quarter size into my hand right after I get out of the shower and apply. By the time I’m done brushing my teeth and ready to throw my shirt on, its dry.

Autumn February 26, 2010 at 5:02 pm

I too use water, sea salt and lavendar, I sometimes reapply mid day and before I go to do yoga but it works well and I hate the chemicals they put in regular deodorants..they mess up your pits!! What we need to realize is that we sweat and there’s nothing wrong with that. But smelling like “an ocean breeze”?? Really…? what’s up with that? That’s just weird made up bs to me.. lol

I’ve been making my gf her own batch of spray deodorant too, only with sandalwood :D she loves it. I can’t wait to experiment with other products like baking soda and aloe vera.

Cindy March 8, 2010 at 8:58 pm

Just a note of caution. I just read recently that the crystal deodorants are made with alum which is a form of aluminum. Might be worth looking into.

Tanya March 10, 2010 at 11:02 am

I’m one of those people that have stinky pits after 15 minutes of no deodorant. I made a shea butter, baking soda and corn starch combo. I didn’t have any of the other ingredients or essential oils. I was quite surprised at how well it worked and I haven’t had any bad reaction so far. I do remember the site that I got the recipe from said that if you are sensitive to change the ratios of baking soda and corn starch. I have a lot left but for my next batch I will use cocoa butter and essential oils. With just the shea butter its a bit hard and raw shea butter has a blah scent. But my pits feel nice and soft as well as remaining oder free.

Jane Buckley December 28, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Hi everyone. I love this thread and am looking forward to trying the aloe vera, baking soda and sea salt, especially. My favorite truly tested dedorant recipe came from the formulary at http://www.Snowdrift Farms.com. It’s an all natural solid that calls for essential oils like white thyme, rosemary and …. hmmm, can’t remember exactly, but I do remember that they are essential oils that are naturally anti-microbial, since many odors are caused by bacteria. My brother loved it and said that he reapplied it before he was going out with his wife because she liked the scent so much. TMI? Anyway, at the time I also worked as the science specialist all summer long in Manhattan, at Riverside Park and wow, if that wasn’t a deodorant test, I’m not sure what would be. To deal with the sweat that would make my clothes cling to me, I began to use a rhassoul clay, the most absorbent of them all, blended with baking powder and corn starch. I did not have to dress formally for that job, so I didn’t test the powder with silk blouses and button down shirts, but as for absorbency…it was really great. At the end of the day, I’d find that the clay mixture had absorbed a lot of sweat and had formed a delicate layer of clumped powder that rinsed off quickly in the shower….Now to go try to figure out how to make a spray, either the tea tree one or the salt and aloe one! Thanks for your posts and happy formulating. Jane

Spirit Wolf February 22, 2011 at 3:30 pm

I’ve been using baby powder for quite some time now for deodorant and for absorbing moisture. It’s been working quite well for me.

rickki March 20, 2011 at 8:28 am

This baking soda and cornstarch worked for me, but I found it a bit messy and it did wear off fast if I did not apply it heavily. I was desperate for a solution, and went to my doctor. She prescribed Drysol. I knew that was not going to work, but tried it for two day. The irritation drove me nuts and I quickly stopped using that.

What finally worked for me was a crystal called Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal. (tccd.com) I found this at my local health food store. This product is GREAT! If only I knew about this before! I have been using it for about a week and I have NO odor from my underarms. I am still testing this and if it continues to work, I will NEVER go back to the other products like Sure, Dry Idea, Ban, etc.

I would still like to know the specific cause of my under-arm odor. It just kinda popped up one day. Age, hormones.. I do not know. This crystal works for me and I will use this from now on.

Joel A June 3, 2011 at 2:34 pm

When researching homemade deodorants I found out, like many other people who commented above, that the deodorant crystal is made of aluminum which gives it the antipersperant qualities. Infact you can grow your own alum crystal from alum powder!
And I just heard recently that it takes ~20 minutes for your body to absorb what you put on your skin (I guess that means into the bloodstream?).

So I think I’ll stick with deodorant material that is more regularly ingested.

12 year old girl Girl In Alabama June 22, 2011 at 11:37 pm

How do I tell my mom that I need deoderant? Right before I go to the store, I usually play outside and get all sweaty, then I usually push her towards the deoderant section a little bit. Any ways, I am trying to find homemade versions so I can wear them (So I don’t have to ask her for deoderant) untill she gets be some. please help cause all my friends wear it and I’m always emarrassed because I’m very athletic and its really hot down south in Alabama where I live….. PLEASE HELP!!!
PS Sorry that this is off topic.. :)

NanCcan October 22, 2012 at 2:01 pm

I’ve tried using the deodorant stone/crystal. It worked for several weeks (or months; I forget how long because that was years ago). Then, not only did it stop working, it had picked up my body odor and was actually making me stink as soon as I applied it. I tried rinsing, and rinsing, and rinsing the stone/crystal to wash away the layer that had picked up my body odor – to no avail! Even picking it up again years later, it still added body odor rather than removing it.
More recently we’ve been using Dr. Mist (lowest price on the web at: http://www.luckyvitamin.com/sb-Dr-Mist ). It works well. It is simply a deodorant; not an antiperspirant. It does not leave stains on clothes and does work well all day long. It is, however, expensive, and comes in tiny spray bottles that I don’t want to keep throwing away. The idea of re-filling the bottles with my own formula is what brought me here today.

judith July 8, 2014 at 6:57 pm

I have been using baking soda and lemon essential oil and my underarms have stripped 1 layer of skin, but no BO…should i be worried about the stripped layer?

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