I’ve used countless store-bought natural deodorants, and they always leave me stinky and sweaty. In 2011, I made this homemade deodorant recipe and still use it daily. I love it, along with thousands of others who swear by it.

jar of natural deodorant surrounded by pine cones and flowers.
Table of Contents
  1. Why I Use Natural Deodorant
  2. The Best Natural Deodorant
  3. Ingredients to Make Homemade Deodorant
  4. How to Use Homemade Deodorant
  5. Tips for Starting Natural Deodorant
  6. Best Natural Deodorant to Buy
  7. More Home Remedies
  8. Simple Homemade Deodorant Recipe

Why I Use Natural Deodorant

Making your own deodorant saves money, is healthier for your body, and actually stops sweating and body odor. Seriously, jump on this bandwagon ASAP!

In 2011, I went on a journey and started making granola bars, natural cold and flu remedies, elderberry syrup, homemade lip scrubs, and even went 10 days without shampoo (I don’t recommend that last one).

It was during this time that I began questioning all the things I was putting in and on my body.

Most store-bought deodorants contain parabens, aluminum, dye and a bunch of chemicals I can’t even spell (or type correctly). Why put these things on your body if there are safe, natural alternatives that work even better? Since I started this journey, new “safer” products have been launched, but even they contain ambiguous ingredients like fragrance. What does that even mean?

To me, that’s reason enough to ditch commercial deodorants and make my own. I’ve been using the same recipe for over 11 years now and I absolutely love it and use it every day. The only thing I change up is the essential oils I use, depending on what scent I feel like that season.

glass jar of white homemade deodorant.

The Best Natural Deodorant

No joke— you can put this deodorant on at 5AM, run a few miles, blend a the world’s best green smoothie, throw on some work clothes, work an 8-hour shift and come home smelling good.

At first, my husband and I were baffled by how well it worked. We would smell each other’s armpits just to brag. Then we decided to push the boundaries and slathered it on before a long day of helping friends move. We sweat all day and came home smelling good!

Ingredients to Make Homemade Deodorant

You only need four ingredients to make your own all-natural deodorant. Chances are you probably have at least half of them already. You can buy arrowroot powder in the baking section of most natural food stores or online.

  1. baking soda (feel free to use less if you’ve got sensitive skin)
  2. non-gmo arrowroot powder (a better choice than traditional cornstarch)
  3. organic unrefined coconut oil
  4. essential oils: grapefruit, tea tree, spruce and sweet orange are my favorites
glass jar full of natural deodorant with a wooden popsicle stick applicator.

How to Use Homemade Deodorant

Using natural deodorant can seem a little intimidating at first. Since it’s stored in a jar, you have to scoop it out with your finger, a popsicle stick or a tongue depressor. If you’d prefer to have it in “stick form,” you can add a little bit of beeswax and shea butter to the recipe to thicken it. I found that didn’t work as well for me and went back to the jar recipe.

Tips for Starting Natural Deodorant

Some people encounter issues with an itchy rash, red bumps or more sweat and odor than usual as they transition to homemade deodorant. Don’t let this prevent you from making the switch!

Drinking plenty of water and dry brushing are two awesome ways to assist your body as it adjusts away from the chemical-laden deodorants you used to use. My #1 recommendation (drumroll, please!) is to detox your armpits. Sounds weird, I know! But it’ll help speed up your body’s adjustment period to this homemade deodorant.

In addition to detoxing your armpits, you may also want to consider detoxing your whole body. All the processed foods we eat contain chemicals that end up affecting the way we smell when we sweat. Try out a seasonal cleanse to get started on a whole-body detox.

These cleanses are super easy to follow and use only whole, plant-based foods (no expensive supplements!) to gently clear your body of unwanted toxins.

Best Natural Deodorant to Buy

While making my own deodorant works for me, I’m also a realist and know that not everyone wants to go this crunchy. That’s where Pretty Frank (formerly known as Primal Pit Paste) comes in.

They have natural deodorant lines that have a variety of strengths and scents that work and are better for your body.

I’ve used them while on vacation or if I run out of my own homemade blend and haven’t had time to make another batch.

glass jar of DIY anti perspirant recipe to help with sweat and odor.

More Home Remedies

If you’re ready to try a few new recipes (that really work!) and transform your home with safer products, then give my go-to remedies a try. They can help you sleep better, fight illness faster, clear congestion, hydrate and more:

  • Fire cider: While this tonic is not for the faint of heart, it does wonders to shorten the length of an oncoming cold and I keep a batch on standby year-round.
  • Lip scrub: A hydrating and fun recipe to make for gifts or just for yourself.
  • Elderberry syrup: A great supplement to take during cold and flu season to keep your body healthy.
  • Hot-flash remedy: Menopause, pregnancy, post-COVID- anything that brings on the unwanted hot flash can be soothed through this cooling beverage.
  • Sleep tea: A tea that will help you drift off to sleep more naturally.
  • Vapor rub: My kids and I use this at night to clear away congestion.
  • Popsicles for sore throats: Whether it’s allergies or a cold that’s causing that sore throat, these tasty and soothing popsicles can help!

Leave a rating and review to let me know how this recipe worked out for you! As you can tell by the over 200+ reviews so far, this is a recipe you must try.

4.70 from 228 votes

Simple Homemade Deodorant

I invite you to make my family's homemade deodorant recipe that uses safe, natural ingredients like coconut oil and essential oils. The ingredients for this natural deodorant will fit nicely into a 125 mL Ball Elite mason jar (I got mine at Target).
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 15 mins
Author: Jen Hansard
Course: Natural Remedy
Cuisine: Plant-Based
Serves: 1 jar

Equipment

  • mixing bowl
  • air tight container

Ingredients  

  • ½ cup baking soda you can use less when starting out if it irritates you
  • ½ cup arrowroot powder you can also use cornstarch, but I prefer arrowroot powder
  • 5 tbsp coconut oil
  • 20 drops grapefruit essential oil or another essential oil with antibacterial properties

Instructions 

  • Mix baking soda and arrowroot together. (I used my Kitchenaid Stand Mixer.)
  • Add the coconut oil and essential oils. Mix well.
  • Pour into clean air-tight jar (Homemade deodorant will last up to two years in an airtight container.)
  • Use a popsicle stick to get the deodorant out of the container and transfer to your finger. Make sure you use enough under your arms to keep you “sure” all day long. A pea-size amount is usually good. 

Notes

  • Consistency: This deodorant changes consistency depending on the temperature. In cold climates, it can be pretty hard to get out. If that’s the case for you, I recommend storing it by the shower and allowing the steam to warm it before applying. If you live in a warm climate and the deodorant is too liquidy, store it in a cool cupboard to thicken it up.
  • Technique: For the past couple of years, I stopped using the popsicle stick and actually just use my fingers and dip them in the jar.
Tried this recipe? Show me!Mention @SimpleGreenSmoothies or tag #SimpleGreenSmoothies!

About the Author

Jen Hansard

I went from exhausted mama to running across the Grand Canyon, riding & hiking to the top of the tallest waterfall in North America with my kids. How? I fell in love with the smoothies and plant-based meals you can find on my blog.

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Rating




Comments

  1. 1 star
    My deodorant looks nothing like the creamy solid deodorant pictured. Mine is grainy and clumps under arm. I have to let it melt in my hand before having any success applying it under my arm and it still clumps up. The recipe mentions cooking 5 minutes but give no direction on how to do that. There is no way this deodorant would get hard. I wasted 5 Tbs of expensive coconut oil.

    1. Thanks for the feedback Sue! This recipe does take quite a bit of mixing for it to blend up smooth like the picture. If you’re seeing lumps, keep mixing until you arrive at that beautiful consistency. The ‘cook’ time you see is just the estimated time needed to put the ingredients together. This one is mixing only, no cooking. 🙂

    2. 5 stars
      I found the coconut oil to be greasy so I used a combo of beef tallow, shea, and mango butter. I heat them up in the microwave or on the stove then stir in the arrowroot and baking soda. The consistency is very smooth. If you like the coconut try heating it up a bit. This is a great base recipe. I also add a combo of rosemary, sweet orange, and fir essential oils.

      Even though I had been using “natural” deodorant for over a year my body detoxed for about two weeks when I switched to this homemade version. I had a distinct keto odor but that has completely gone away.

    3. Love the way you’ve played with this recipe and made it your own, Trischia! Mango butter sounds amazing! Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Oh my gosh! I’ve been using this for over a year. It has been a lifesaver for me. I just whipped up another batch. And yes it can take quite a bit of whipping to get it smooth and creamy, but worth it. I was out yesterday so I had to go back to my natural but conventional deodorant. It did not last as long. I can use this diy deodorant and still not stink the next day. That is so far from how I have been my whole life!! I do still get sweat rings if I am super anxious or really hot, but I do that with all deo and less with this one. Be mindful of getting it on your clothes. It does have grease. Thank you for posting!!!

    1. So awesome Laurel! And love that you shared about the effort needed to whip this recipe smooth + caution for the clothes. Great things for the community to know going in with this DIY deodorant.

    2. 5 stars
      So I’ve been using this recipe for about 5 months and at first I didn’t like it. But when I started using more of the product on my underarm I realized that was the issue. The only thing I don’t like about this recipe is that I have to use my finger or a stick to apply it. I’m going to try adding some beeswax and put it in a deodorant stick.

  3. 5 stars
    Hey, thanks for sharing. I made last night, first try on today. Should it feel slightly gritty when rubbing in?

    1. It isn’t typically gritty. That may have to do with how well it was able to be mixed. 🙂

  4. Thanks for this. I actually tried it but I have a bit of an issue. It didn’t come out smooth as I wanted, like it’s quite grainy and I don’t like the feeling when I use it. Not sure if it’s the baking soda or arrowroot powder that’s not mixing properly. Pls is there any solution to this?

  5. 4 stars
    Hi! I love your recipe and have been making our deodorant for the last 4 years now. My formula is similar, using 2 Tbs arrowroot, 2 Tbs baking soda, 1 Tbs vegetable glycerin and 1 ir 2 tsp of aloe gel. I add about pinch of sandalwood paste from India for the scent. The coconut oil made my arms sticky so that is why I switched to the glycerin. You’re so right that it works, fiercely! My husband is a carpenter and always smells fresh after sweating all day. I can even use it just once and it lasts until my next shower, which is every third day. It sure feels good to save money, have something work BETTER than any other deodorant and have it be healthy. Love your article!

  6. I can’t wait to try this recipe…I am so looking forward. I do have a question though. When mixing, do you have the coconut oil melted (for easy mixing)? Thank you

    1. Excellent question Renata! Softened, rather than completely melted would be best.

  7. 5 stars
    Thanks for this recipe it really works a treat. I was uncomfortable about all the plastic that gets discarded with each deodorant stick so was looking for alternatives. I was amazed to see that the ingredients of most stick deodorants could already be found in our kitchen cupboard, and this recipe supplied the correct ratios. No going back now.

  8. 5 stars
    This deodorant works INCREDIBLY!! Hands down THE best I’ve ever tried, and also performs way better than any of the store bought ones that I’ve tried (and I feel like I’ve tried all of them).

    Thank you so much for this. I’ve made batches and gifted them to my friends, who are now also converts.

    Thank you!

    1. Awesome Tania!!! Glad you gave this a shot and now you’re healthier for it! Thanks so much for sharing with your friends. xoxo

  9. So happy to have found this! My current deodorant i buy is awesome but… making my own is so much better! If this works as great as i am hoping it will i will be ecstaticNo chemicals and making it with scents i loveThank you

    1. We’re so happy too, Tracey!! Hooray for fewer chemicals in our lives! Keep us posted on how it works for you. 🙂

    1. Different bodies def react in varying ways to baking soda. Thankfully there are so many lovely substitutes like arrowroot powder and diatomaceous earth!

  10. 5 stars
    I made a half mix of this without adding essential oils since I have sensitive skin. The first day I loved it. No odor & was dry. I couldn’t believe that in our southern heat! The second day I loved it, but by that night I had red stinging underarms. I went back to my store bought deodorant for two days to let that subside. I’d really love to make this work for me, so after spending those two days doing a lot of reading about reactions to the baking soda with sensitive skin I made another batch with a 1:7 ratio, and added some vitamin E oil for soothing, but also as a preservative after reading that some said their coconut oil smelled rancid after a couple of months. Maybe their oil was old when they used it? Not passing judgement. The adjusted batch seems to be the right mix for me. No more red stinging rash.

    For anyone wondering, I used 1.5 teaspoons baking soda to 3.5 tablespoons arrowroot powder with 0.25 teaspoon vitamin E and 3 tablespoons coconut oil. One thing I’ve noticed is it’s going to be runny the day it’s made if kept at room temp, but the following day it’s thicker where (and this is just an assumption) the arrowroot has absorbed some of the oil. This makes enough to fill a half cup Mason jar, so plenty to try before doubling to make a larger batch.

    I’m just so shocked something so simple can keep me dry & odor free! Thanks for the idea for me to start with before I had to tweak it for my sensitive skin!! I love that it’s simple ingredients that I keep around the house anyway and that it is so inexpensive to make.

    1. I wound up with red angry pits after a few days, even with the reduced amount of baking soda. I did let it clear up in between trying different levels. After doing a lot of reading I decided to use equal parts arrowroot powder and magnesium hydroxide powder. Success! No redness, and no odor! Thanks again for the starting point.

    2. Hey Landon – so glad you’ve given this recipe a go and found a method that works best for you! Love that you shared the details of what worked best for you, especially the suggestion of magnesium hydroxide powder. Way to rawk it!

    3. One last update, just in case there is anyone out there searching for a solution like I did. I’m so glad I found this recipe!!

      If you have super sensitive skin like I do, don’t be afraid to play with the formula to suit your skin’s needs. If you make this and your pits get a chemical burn (looks a lot like sunburn) then you are most likely allergic to the baking soda. I played with the amounts lowering the baking soda & replacing it with more arrowroot until I figured out I can’t use baking soda at all. Not a speck.

      If you omit the baking soda you need something for controlling odor. Magnesium hydroxide powder (Amazon) was the solution I came up with after researching. Made this formula again & discovered I also can’t use essential oils on my delicate skin. I had little tiny bumps covering the area where the deodorant was at. So, I made it again omitting the essential oils. No bumps. Incidentally, I also tried making it with shea butter instead of coconut & my skin didn’t like that at all. It caused large pimples & I’m not one that normally as them.

      This is what worked for my ultra sensitive skin. I added an extra tablespoon of coconut oil because the mix was too crumbly. That may be because of changing to the magnesium powder. I’m thinking maybe it absorbed more oil than the baking soda did. Mine feels firm in the jar until touched, then it goes on super creamy, and instantly dry. No marks at all on any of my clothes & I’ve used it daily for three weeks. I’m impressed! It even works on my husband, so I’m really impressed! lol

      I’m not trying to hijack Jen’s recipe at all, just adding in case it helps someone as much as it helps me, because for some people simple is better, less is more and all of that. Maybe it will save someone else lots of experimentation & research.

      ½ cup magnesium hydroxide
      ½ cup arrowroot powder
      6 tablespoons coconut oil

    4. We love hearing what works for others, Landon!! Every body is different for sure, so sharing what helps can help someone else and we LOVE that!

  11. 5 stars
    I stopped using commercial underarm stuff about ten years ago and for the past five or so years have used just baking soda. Made your recipe about a month ago and adore it! It’s so nice to apply (half a pea to each side keeps me sweet for days!) and feels so fresh and dry. Added a tiny bit of melted beeswax to the coconut oil before mixing up, so it stays nice and creamy. With a few drops of orange, ylang ylang and Neroli essential oils, it’s like a nose vacation through an orange grove in full bloom. Amazing! Thank you so much for your recipe!!!

    1. Love “nose vacation” Emily!!! LOL We’re so glad you’re smelling so sweet! Thanks for giving this recipe a go & so glad it works well for you.

  12. 2 stars
    Since coconut oil has a pretty low melting temperature (~25°C), this is okay for colder climates, but I wouldn’t recommend this for anything above 20°C, because it gets very soft. I personally like recipes that contain shea butter or beeswax to thicken it up and make it less oily. This does the trick if you’re limited with ingredients though!

    1. That’s an awesome point, Sheryl! Thanks for sharing those swaps for coconut oil with everyone! 🙂

  13. I’ve been making deodorant for years using only coconut oil and baking sofa with some lavender essential oil, and it seems to work pretty good actually. I don’t measure anything (because I hate measuring, especially the coconut oil). But I was wondering why this lasts for only 3-6 months? I use mine for much longer. Thanks.

    1. Hi there Becky – thanks for giving this recipe a try. We totally hate measuring too! 🙂 Great point about the expiration date. We’ve since compared our formula to others and have updated our expiration date to reflect that – up to 2 years in an airtight container. Thanks again!