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.
Table of Contents
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 homemade granola bars, natural cold and flu remedies like honey lemon ginger tea, 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.
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.
- baking soda (feel free to use less if you’ve got sensitive skin)
- non-gmo arrowroot powder (a better choice than traditional cornstarch)
- organic unrefined coconut oil
- essential oils: grapefruit, tea tree, spruce and sweet orange are my favorites
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.
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.
Simple Homemade Deodorant
- mixing bowl
- air tight container
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
I made this in a cold climate, so I put the metal mixing bowl in warm water to soften the coconut oil up, and it worked really well to get it all nice and evenly mixed. I used lemongrass oil, and am about to try it for the first time. Thanks!
OMG, it works GREAT! Slept through the night all sweaty, woke up smelling like lemongrass instead of salsa. lol THANK YOU!
What kind of essential oils are you suppose to use? I am issues with my armpit areas. (Have had staph and MRSA infection in both) so I just need the best natural as well as antibacterial deodorant I can make.
Hi there Dani, I’m sorry you’ve had to fight those infections, I know sometimes that battle is long-lasting. Great idea to look into natural alternatives to treat that area. We recommend Plant Therapy Essential Oils on Amazon. Essential oils have antibacterial properties, so we highly recommend creating this deodorant recipe as directed. Take care!
Can lime be used for fragrance?
Hi Aisha, I’m not sure how shelf-stable that would be. I wouldn’t recommend fresh ingredients for this reason. We recommend essential oils for fragrance, but also because they have anti-microbial properties – so they help to fight the bacteria that contribute to body odor. The pleasant fragrance is a bonus!
Amazing! This has been a game changer for me!!
Once this hardened, I pressed it into a used deodorant tube and used normally. Works well!
Hello, do you need essential oil? My recipe came out veryyyyy dry looking but thinking it’s because I haven’t added oil?
Hi Jenny, we do recommend you use essential oil because it has antibacterial properties and it is liquid at room temperature. Coconut oil, on the other hand, is solid and more stiff at room temperature or colder, which may also be affecting your texture. Some people place the deodorant in the palm of their hand to warm and soften the mixture before applying for this reason. I would recommend using some amount of essential oils, however, if this is not an issue for you.
Good afternoon. A friend recommended your recipe to me and I am going to give it a try. My only question is about the armpit detox. How does one exactly go about doing that?
Hi there Mary,
One way to detox your armpits is by using a clay mask of bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar. You can also purchase an “armpit mask” for this purpose. Detoxing is recommended as a way to clear out the pores in your armpits from metals and other chemicals in synthetic deodorants and antiperspirants. Not only are these substances harmful to one’s health, but they could also interfere with your body’s adjustment to a natural deodorant. I would encourage you to give this “recipe” a try though because it has really changed the game for so many people. It’s also one step closer towards protecting yourself from harmful ingredients in antiperspirants and deodorants that can have long-term side effects.
The best way to detox your armpits, and the rest of your body, is to cleanse! Clean, plant-based eating + the right combination of foods. We offer seasonal cleanses that were created with the help and guidance of a certified nutritionist. If you’re interested, please be sure to check out our sales page – Our Autumn Cleanse sale begins on October 13th!
So I am new to all natural deodorant. I am skeptical. I think I might like it better if I can make a bar kind. I use a cardboard tube for my all natural bug repellant. How much beeswax would you recommend. You also recommend adding shea butter. Do you think a dryer butter would work better? What about Kokum or Mango? They are faster absorbing than shea but not as fast as coconut.
Hi Michelle – great questions. I’m excited that you’re giving our recipe a try. I would start by adding a tablespoon at a time of each beeswax and shea butter until you reach your desired consistency. It’s definitely going to be a little different if you’re trying to make more of a solid bar than a paste.
I personally haven’t used kokum or mango butter in this recipe before, but if you have some on hand and want to try it – go for it! I would love to know how it works out for you. 🙂
The Kokum worked great! I am still trying to get it just right. I think I am going to add a little more beeswax this time but other than that, I am never buying store bought deodorant again!
This looks great and exactly what I’ve wanted for awhile. How is this in regards to cleaning clothes? Some depressants Stan the pits of t-shirts and whatnot. Really wanting something that cleans easily.
This is forever my only deodorant! Just made my second batch, half grapefruit, half sage.
Love that scent combo, Nat!
I am ecstatic that I found this. Thank you.
Traditional store bought deodorants stopped working for me. I’m thinking, what’s wrong with me? Lol
I’ve been going natural and starting to make my own everything to include this. And it works amazingly. I smell absolutely nothing.
I just need to make some to travel with. I had Traditional deodorant in my travel bag and I don’t even like the smell anymore since making and using this.
Thank you again!
Just made this five minutes ago and applied. Love the easy recipe! I used rose essential oils but would love to try lilac or orange next. Thank you!
Rose and Lilac sound lovely! We’d love to hear how this deodorant works for you Gina.
I have been making this recipe since Covid 19 started in 2019. While on isolation I literally was not well enough to shower for a couple of days. Gross I know but my pits smelled great
I used it nonstop until I was out of town this past weekend 8/2023 and my small jar got lost. I purchased a store brand and it didn’t hold up through my 6 miles of hiking. I came home last night to make sure I had enough ingredients to make a new batch. I saved your recipe so thought I’d share my appreciation. Thank you very much
So happy to hear that Rosalie! Thank you for sharing. 🙂
Is the essential oil required for the deodorant to work? I don’t do well with fragrances, even when they are of natural origin.
Hi there Sheryl,
Great question. I absolutely understand having sensitivities to frangrances. In this recipe, the essential oil is used for its antibacterial properties as well as its fragrance. You may consider using less, being in a well-ventilated area when you are mixing the ingredients together, or trying out a different unscented natural deodorant.
Best of luck!
I made it. I added more of the arrowroot powder and baking soda because we are in Florida and I didn’t want it to be melty but it has been a hit. I have thrown out my store-bought anti-perspirant and will just use this recipe from now on. I rarely rave about anything but this is sooo worth it! My better half is a mechanic and he sings it’s praises. He says the consistency is perfect, he is not uncomfortable and he hasn’t touched the other stuff since!
Wow! That’s awesome Kathleen. Thanks for sharing how you’ve tweaked it to work for you. Great tips.
Fabulous and so easy to prepare. You are a lifesaver!
I used a super refined lavender essential oil and it’s working beautifully!
Hey Nicholas – that’s fantastic! I’m super curious – which brand of essential oils are you using?
Because Baking Soda is one of the ingredients, does it feel like it’s scrubbing against the skin when applied?
Some are very sensitive to baking soda, so I would recommend reducing the amount of baking soda in the recipe. Try using 1/3 or 1/4 cup to start. You can adjust from there. 🙂
Been making this for a year or so now. LOVE it!! Even my teenage daughter wears it now ❤️