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 227 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. 3 stars
    For me, it did not work well. I have to reapply 3 times a day and during sports activities or sweating much due to summer, I smell. Don’t know whether it is me who is quite a smelly gal, the hot weather, the tree essential oil that does not stay long or all natural deodorants work like this. But what I like about it is that it is natural and at least works for some time. This is the best natural deodorant I’ve found so far but I’ll keep on looking. Anyway, thank you for the recipe! And I think everyone should try for themselves if it works for them. So, good luck!

  2. 5 stars
    Better than any natural deodorant I’ve bought from the store and so much cheaper. Needed extra coconut oil for working consistency and it’s a little messy to put on, but it works so well with minimal scent. I did peppermint and lavender. It’s all I’m going to use from now on.

  3. does this leave a residue on clothes? If so, How do you apply this beyond just with a finger or popsicle stick?
    Thanks so much!

    1. That’s a great question! Baking soda won’t bleach your clothes, but it could leave a white or residue or look a little streaky. I would recommend using less than the recommended amount in the recipe, so maybe 1/4 cup (instead of a 1/2 cup) to start and if you notice any light streaking in the underarm areas of your dark clothing, you should just be able to wipe it away with a damp towel. So, no permanent damage!

      And yes! A popsicle sticks and fingers are perfect applicators! I’ve used both!

  4. If you see the words detox, toxins, purify and similar …. It’s nonsense. And smelling of tea tree oil is as unpleasant as body odor. Bathe and use deodorant like an adult please. I know you’re very precious and the best says “toxins bad” but despite your favor koolaid, no excuse to stink

    1. We love hearing your feedback Anne!! Every body is different for sure, so feel free to add your own oil combination that you enjoy or even leave it unscented!

  5. 4 stars
    Thanks so much for this, I’m almost at the end of my first jar, lavender scented which is great. The only thing is that after two days’ use I end up with huge red, painful weepy sores. Sometimes the pain is so bad I have to wash it off and then leave it to settle for a few days before using again. Do you think I could hugely reduce the baking soda or even omit to completely and replace with extra arrowroot powder? Or is this likely to effect how well it works? I’m not keen on diatomaceous earth as an alternative. Thanks

    1. 4 stars
      I am NOT the author of the recipe, I have been making my own stuff for a while now…you really need to figure out what is the cause of the reaction. Do you have sensitivity to baking soda? Where did you get your essential oil? Do you have a reaction to essential oils? Perhaps just try arrowroot and coconut oil to start.. please make sure they are of high quality

    2. Hi Leanne, I’m so sorry to hear that that’s happening to you. Sounds like no fun at all. You’re definitely on the right track – some people are highly sensitive to baking soda. Good idea to substitute baking soda with arrowroot powder. You can also try cornstarch! I would love to know the alternative that you try and how it works out for you!
      Have you used lavender essential oils in other recipes that come into contact with your skin? If you replace the baking soda and are still getting reactions, maybe try a different scent. I have a similar reaction to rose oil. 🙁

    1. Hi Penny – great question! The essential oils actually are not totally necessary in this recipe for Homemade Deodorant. They are just used to provide your preferred scent, but you can totally go unscented. 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    Random question… so my husband and I have been using for almost 2 months now (and SWEAR BY IT I might add even sharing with others lol) but one of my arm pits I have noticed has dry patches… is that normal you think? We’ve been using natural deo for a few years after both our moms had breast cancer so thought this was odd. Oh and for those skeptical, you NEED to give this a try!!! It’s truly amazing. We live in TN and it’s been HOT and we garden/chickens/homestead and it’s has been the best deo ever! Way better than Native dreamed to be.

    1. Hi Mary,

      I’m glad you like the deodorant so much! Sorry to hear about your dry patches though. I’d recommend seeing a dermatologist, or swapping out the homemade deodorant for an alternative to see if the condition improves. I know that’s kind of a trade-off though. Best of luck!

  7. 5 stars
    I’m in AZ too. My “solid” coconut oil is liquid from pretty much March/April to Oct/Nov since coconut oil melts at 76*.
    I add a TBSP or two of the refined (white) beeswax pellets to the mix. (don’t use the natural brown beeswax straight from the honey farm – that does stain over time!)

  8. 5 stars
    Amazing! It works. I used extra virgin organic coconut oil and lemongrass essential oil in mine and it’s lovely. My pits smell like a lemon meringue coconut cream pie☺ Lasted all day and through a 5 mile bike ride in the summer heat. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!!

  9. 5 stars
    I made this and it does work really well. I was very pleasantly surprised after a hard workout then a 4 mile walk no smell. NONE!! Thank you LOVE IT!!

    1. Hey Hannah – great question! I would recommend trying shea butter. I would start with using the same measurement and adding more as needed to reach the desired consistency. 🙂

  10. Absolutely the best recipe EVER! Some how I already had the ingredients. I had to put about 2-3 more table spoons of coconut oil in…Then whipped it up so smooth. I used the big jar of coconut oil from Costco. I’m telling you, I put this on with a stick and I never ever have body odor. I keep checking all day long plus when I go to bed. LOL its like there is nothing on. Now I’m looking for hand cream to make. FYI my sister is coming to visit today and I told her bring a jar and will make some more.

  11. 5 stars
    Hi. Why does it have to be unrefined coconut oil. I have a huge gallon of refined that I’d like to use for this.
    Thanks

    1. Hi Lynn! That’s a great question. My number 1 reason for using unrefined coconut oil is that it’s not as processed. It also has a more fragrant coconut aroma, which totally works for deodorant. You can totally also used refined coconut oil for this recipe!

  12. 5 stars
    Made some, yay, it smells lovely. Just worried it might be a bit oily leaving a mark on clothes? Any tips for avoiding this?

    1. Hi Hazel, It shouldn’t leave any oil marks on your shirts, but if it does just let some baking soda sit on the affected area for awhile and then wash in hot water.

    2. Just wondering, might the baking soda ingredient cause dark clothes to bleach around the armpit area?

    3. Hi Hazel,
      That’s a great question! Baking soda won’t bleach your clothes, but it could leave a white or residue or look a little streaky. I would recommend using less than the recommended amount in the recipe, so maybe 1/4 cup (instead of a 1/2 cup) to start and if you notice any light streaking in the underarm areas of your dark clothing, you should just be able to wipe it away with a damp towel. So, no permanent damage! 🙂

    1. Hi Cheryl – You could try shea butter or cocoa butter!