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.
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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 decided to try your recipe today. I did added less BS as i have sensitive skin.
Thank You for sharing!!
You’re so welcome, Dei! So glad you decided to try it out!
I just made it so I’ll let you know next week. I’m very excited.
So glad you made it, Elizabeth! Definitely let us know how you like it!
What about using vinegar by itself? I have had wonderful results using white vinegar. Put on with a cotton ball and let dry a couple minutes before dressing.
No smell. Lasts all day.
Do not get on your clothing!!
Thanks so much for the suggestion, I’ll to try it! I like this recipe for the consistency!
I have been using this recipe for a few years now and love it. I appreciate the simplicity in the ingredients and the preparation and that it actually works!
I find it makes two and a half roll up sticks when I put it in the applicators I bought on Amazon. I live in Florida and it has gotten soft during the summer time but I just keep it in the air conditioned spaces and it’s fine. I have not had to alter the recipe for it to work. I tend to use sandalwood and lavender as the EOs as lavender is soothing and I find sandalwood to be a gender neutral smell so my boyfriend will use it too.
Rachel, thanks so much for the kind feedback. I have also found that in higher temps it will tend to get soft so I’m careful not to forget it in the car! Lavender is my favorite as well. I personally haven’t tried the sandalwood though, so thank you for the suggestion!
Absolutely love this recipe for natural deodorant, it actually works! Thank you for sharing!
Thank you so much you are a superstar for taking the time to make something like this to share with the world. It is an excellent recipe and I have been using it for around 6-8 months now after becoming concerned of the deodorant sprays containing metals amongst other things that our bodies cannot get rid of and especially around the breast area. I’m aiming to go chemical free bit by bit and this deodorant for me has been a winner. In fact I’ve just made two batches up in advance good luck everyone
I made this recipe with aluminum free baking soda and arrowroot powder/flour (same thing). I melted the coconut oil and mixed my essential oils whike it was liquid and then added the dry ingredients. I’m amazed at how well it works! I tried warming the glass jar and packing it into a clean deodorant container, but that became a block and would not roll up after:-(. Any ideas on how to make and keep the mixture softer so it can be used in roll up deodorant containers?
I had the same question.I wonder if we could use fractionated coconut oil instead?
Hey Melissa! That’s a great question! I would recommend using regular coconut oil for this recipe, but you could totally try it. I might start with a small amount and then add in little by little until it reaches a good consistency. 🙂
Hello there. I would like to put this is a traditional deodorant container. How much beeswax or she’s butter should I add?
Hi there Renee. I haven’t done this, yet I would try using 1 tsp melted beeswax to start. Just enough to solidify it for a stick dispenser.
You have saved me sooo much money! It took me 4 years to find an all natural deodorant that worked with my sensitive skin. Inflation has brought the brand I use to $12 and it seems it keeps going up every few months. Your recipe works, is 100% customizable with any EO, and one batch is the equivalent of 2 & 1/2 sticks of deodorant for me.
Thanks for sharing!!
Do you melt the coconut oil or put it in solid when mixing up?
I found that it is best to do a “double boil” method to combine the ingredients, melting the coconut oil first.
Is there anything that can be done about the stain it causes to my clothing. Because it’s a deodorant it allows the pits to perspire and it soils my tops leaving a ring around the armpits. Can anything be done to minimize that?
Hey there DeDe. I wear mostly dark shirts and don’t have this issue. Yet if you’re wearing white, I’ve heard soaking with baking soda can help remove the stains.
I would like to substitute magnesium hydroxide for the baking soda. How much magnesium hydroxide would I use? Would it be a half cup like the baking soda or less?
Using half of a cup of the Magnesium Hydroxide for the Baking Soda should work fine. 🙂
But if you want to start with half the amount and add more until you reach the desired and intended consistency, that would be the safe way to go.
Just made some with tangerine EO. Can’t wait to try tomorrow
An incredible solution! After a long sunny day in Florida filled with cardio workouts and no BO after. Highly recommend.
My only issue I the burning reaction after shaving my armpits. Has anyone experienced this? Recommendations to prevent burning? I’ve cut the baking soda content by half but still experience this
Hi there Valen,
My suggestion would be to wait some time after shaving to apply the deodorant. The skin is still very fresh and may even have some microabrassions right after shaving. waiting 15-20 minutes should help. I’d welcome other feedback on this issue as well though.
Agreed! Wait a bit of time after shaving to apply. In addition, tea tree & lavender EO’s are nice soothers for this situation!!
I am getting pimples in my armpits after I made the switch. Do you what the cause would be?
Hi there Andrea,
I’m sorry to hear that you’re dealing with that irritation. Some skin types might not do well with an oil-based deodorant like this. Another tip may be to wait 10-15 minutes after shaving to apply. Keep us posted!
I made this and it works!!! Awesome! Thanks