Homemade deodorant that really works

homemade deodorant that works | Simple Green Smoothies

Truthbomb: I’ve tried countless lines of all natural, store bought deodorant, and they always leave me stinky and sweaty… which is why I’ve gone hippie and made my own homemade deodorant.

I did this in 2011 and haven’t every looked back. Making my own deodorant has saved me money, made me healthier and actually stopped my sweating AND body odor. Seriously, jump on this band wagon asap!

Why I needed my own deodorant

Although, there’s no solid evidence that aluminum-based compounds lead to cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, there are correlations. And to me, that’s reason enough to ditch commercial deodorants and make my own. I hope you enjoy this recipe and share it with your family and friends!

FYI: I’m an endurance ultra runner, mom of two and pretty much always on the go… so I need something strong! In my homemade deodorant recipe, all I use are simple, natural, safe ingredients that are known to be odor absorbers, antibacterial and antimicrobial. And guess what? It totally works! Imagine that?! Natural deodorant that actually stops the BO for a fraction of the price of the store bought stuff! We have a winner!!!

I’ve been using the exact recipe for over 7 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 I feel like that season.

homemade deodorant that works | Simple Green Smoothies

My #1 natural deodorant recipe

You can put this deodorant on at 5AM, run a few miles, blend a tasty green smoothie, throw on some work clothes, work an 8-hour shift and come home smelling good. Seriously! 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 would slather it on before a long day of helping friends moved, sweated all day and came home smelling good. All you need is these ingredients:

  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 favs
homemade deodorant with coconut oil and arrowroot powder | Simple Green Smoothies
homemade deodorant that works | Simple Green Smoothies

Simple Homemade Deodorant

  • Author: Jen Hansard
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 3 months 1x
  • Category: natural beauty
  • Method: no bake
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


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).




  1. Mix baking soda and arrowroot together—I used my Kitchenaid Stand Mixer.
  2. Next add the coconut and essential oils and mix well.
  3. Pour into clean air-tight jar (Homemade deodorant will last 3-6 months in a airtight container.)
  4. 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. (For the past couple years, I stopped using the popsicle stick and actually just use my fingers and dip them in the jar. Easy, peasy.)


Note: This deodorant changes consistency depending on the temperature. In cold climates, it can we 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, you can store it in a cooler pantry to thicken it up.

Keywords: natural deodorant recipe, DIY deodorant, arrowroot deodorant

What do you think of the deodorant recipe?

Share your review below and leave a comment. We’re here to help you make this work and love hearing how you tweak it to work best for you.

I also think you should get on my green smoothie bandwagon. I’ve got tons of great recipes for you, your kids and your loved ones to blend up. Come join our Free 7-Day Green Smoothie Challenge where I’ll give you my fav recipes for me and my kids!

Tags:    /   Categories: Healing Remedies, Recipes 

By: Jen Hansard | Updated: 12.11.2012 | COMMENTS: 685


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  1. Chrystel says:

    Best best deodorant!! Not counting on getting a shop bought one …..ever! Tried it with tea tree oil. And now doing it with orange essential oil. Latest smells nicer to me. Probably tea tree oil better for hot days….
    It takes 2 min to make. Absolutely love it. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe

  2. Ava says:

    This was amazingly quick and easy to make and is so so affordable. Our bureau batch had lasted over 6 months for me and my husband. We both did get a rash when first using it, but after a week it went away. I think our skin needed of get use to it.
    Thank you so much, we are never looking back!

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      That’s awesome, Ava! And thanks for including your experience with getting a rash. Many folks experience that at first and some are hesitant to keep using it because they wonder if it will eventually go away or not. Your information helps others, so thank you!

  3. Sheila says:

    I have been using this recipe for 2 weeks now. Although I used less baking soda I still got a nasty rash in my armpits. So I heated it up and added some fractionated coconut oil (as it was also extremely dry, not like a paste as it’s supposed to). I then added a little more arrowroot and grapefruit EO. The rash has since calmed down (the deodorant is still quite effective, although not as much as “un-tweaked” version), however i have now noticed that my armpits are going dark, like really dark! Is this just because the rash has healed and turned into a mild version of a “scab”, or has anyone else experienced this before?

    Thank you for an awesome recipe, personally it’s still taking some getting used to, but I’m sure I’ll get the hang of making and using it.

    • Justine says:

      Did you use any photosensitizing essential oils by any chance? These include most of the citrus oils and angelica root.

      • Sheila says:

        I used Grapefruit EO as directed in the recipe. Perhaps I should try with another one. Do you have any specific recommendations?

      • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

        I honestly don’t think this is the cause unless you are walking around in direct sunlight with your arms up in the air. Even then, such a small amount of EO is used in each application, again, I doubt this is the cause.

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      Hey Sheila! I used to get a rash when I applied the deodorant immediately after shaving. Could that have been a cause? I’d give it a little time for your body to get used to a more natural approach, as well as expel the unnatural ingredients that most store-bought deodorants have in them (and I’m betting the darkness will eventually fade). Another thing I do, especially when I first started using this deodorant, was to use a bentonite clay mask on my underarms about once a week.

      Also, I’ve read (and personally experienced) that baking soda can help reduce dark discoloration under the arms. So def give it a few more months and see if you notice a difference.

      • Sheila says:

        Thank you for taking the time to leave an extensive reply. The rash has gotten worse over the last few days. I usually wax my armpits, so the shaving hasn’t been an issue on that account. It almost feels like it’s caused by chafing, but I’ve never had that issue with store bought natural deodorants.
        I will try the bentonite mask, and see if that helps.
        For now I’ve purchased a crystal deodorant, until the rash calms down, because I can’t bear putting the deodorant on my skin right now.
        I have heard the same thing about baking soda, which is why I was so surprised. It’s very odd

      • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

        Hey Sheila. I hope you are able to get to the bottom of it! Don’t give up. 🙂

  4. Paula says:

    Excellent recipe, I had been buying natural deodorant for a year but then thought I could make my own and found your recipe. Thanks so much for sharing it. I even convinced my partner to change and he has been using the same deodorant forever!

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      So glad you found this recipe, Paula! I think you and your partner are going to love it!

  5. Addison says:

    Hi, I made the recipe and when I used it, it immediately started stinging and turning red. I think it may be the baking soda. Is there an ingredient that can substitute the baking soda?

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      Hey Addison, try using half the amount of baking soda and make sure to use arrowroot powder, not cornstarch and see if that helps. 🙂

  6. Cathy says:

    I’m Cathy, I have a history of being allergic to store bought deodorants and am in search for a “do it yourself” D.O. I’ve been using just straight up baby powder, but it’s not an all day thing. It does keep all my colored cloths white tho, lol. I’m wondering if this would work for me and my girls as all of us have this issue. Having your put glan swell like that isn’t right. We are good as long as we don’t use store bought.
    Also, if we try this.. can I use cinnamon oils during winter months

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      Hi Cathy! I’m so sorry to hear about your allergies. I think this recipe may work for you but you really won’t know until you give it a try. If you have sensitive skin (and it sounds like you do), use less baking soda to begin with and be sure to use arrowroot powder (not cornstarch). I have sensitive skin as well so I’m making these suggestions from experience. I also think you could cut this recipe by a quarter and make just a small amount in order to give it a try and see if it bothers your skin or not. If you quarter this recipe, the measurements will be:

      -1/8 cup baking soda (or less, like I stated above)
      -1/8 cup arrowroot powder (not cornstarch)
      -3 3/4 teaspoons unrefined organic coconut oil
      -5 drops grapefruit essential oil

      Something else I think you may benefit from is detoxing your armpits. I make a mask using bentonite clay, apple cider vinegar, and water. You can search “detox armpits” online for more information.

      As far as using cinnamon essential oil– cinnamon EO is actually one of the strongest antibacterial essential oils. Important things to remember:
      1. *Always* dilute it with a carrier oil (in this case, that would be the coconut oil).
      2. It’s possible for sensitive people to experience allergic reactions when cinnamon oil is applied topically. This might show up as skin irritation, such as itching and rashes. Make sure to do a skin test on a small patch of skin first.
      3. Cinnamon EO has such a powerful scent, I would use fewer drops than the recipe calls for. Start small (like 1 or 2 drops in the recipe I quartered for you above) and slowly add more if needed.

      And because you mentioned it, I’ll tell you this deodorant doesn’t stain my clothes, which is another huge plus.

      Good luck and let us know how it goes! 🙂

  7. Samantha says:

    Does the essential oil serve a purpose other than for a pleasant scent? I would prefer not to add it if it doesn’t help with body odor? Please let me know

    Thank you

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      Hi Samantha! Grapefruit EO has antibacterial properties. If you prefer another scent, you will want to use another EO that has antibacterial properties, such as eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender, tea tree oil, bergamot, and lemongrass (to name the more well-known ones that would work in a deodorant). Out of all these options, I think grapefruit has the most subtle scent.

  8. Steven Hansford says:

    Thank you so much for the healthy deodorant recipe. It has worked fantastic. It is the only one I will use.

  9. Amy says:

    Hey! I made this recipe today, but because in my country Arrowroot powder is so rare, I used cornstarch, which works the same. Thank you so much for the explanations and the ingredients! I have used it twice, each for 6 hours. It’s 33 Celcius in my country and I did not smell at all! The coconut oil sometimes melts when I use it although it does not bother me as much. Should I use beeswax to thicken it? Thanks! The ingredients in store-bought deos are so harmful, and my family has a history of endometriosis and breast cancer. Glad I found this site!

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      Amy, I’m so glad you found it, also! I think you can add a little beeswax to thicken it. I’d add a little at a time until you reach your desired consistency. 🙂

  10. Charlotte Malinga says:

    It’s doing wonders for me and my youngest who reached puberty. I couldn’t tolerate the smell of our armpits and had to do something about it.
    There’s no complaints anymore, she plays sports freely and with pride. I’ll pass this recipe to other people /generations to come. Thanl you

  11. Alexandra says:

    I’ve just made my second batch and I have to say how much I love it! My first batch was a little cakey but I found if I applied it with damp fingers it worked perfectly! I used Rosemary and Lavender Oil in it and it smells like a Spa PLUS it kills ALL BO smell! I NEVER smell bad wearing this! It’s amazing! I added more coconut oil this time to make it creamier. It’s an awesome recipe, thank you!

  12. Nat says:


    I made a jar of this deodorant sometime may and been using it since and it’s great! I don’t smell at all in the day but I have noticed by the end of the day I do start to smell strongly of something. It’s not a BO or sweaty smell but some other kind of smell that I can’t describe. It’s not mega unpleasant but it’s not amazing either. Do you know what could be causing that? I wash under my arms every day before putting on new deo so it can’t be a build up of old deo. Have you experienced this?


    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      Hey Nat! This is a deodorant, not an anti-perspirant so by the end of the day, it’s probably due to a small buildup of sweat and bacteria that you remove each day when you shower. The smell is not as strong as it may have been in the past because the use of natural products is helping your body regulate itself, i.e., less sweat and bacteria. Hard to believe that most store-bought deodorants actually cause us to sweat + stink more but it’s true. I totally know what you mean and have experienced it myself (I’ve been making and using this deodorant for years) but it’s really not something to worry about.

      You’ve only been using this for a few months so give it time and I think you’ll notice the smell less and less as your body adjusts itself. I can’t promise it will ever go away completely–that’s pretty unlikely–but it should decrease over time. (And take your local climate into consideration, also. Where I am, the winters are cold and dry so I don’t usually smell so bad at the end of the day. The summers are hot and humid so that’s a different story. 😉 )

  13. Yvonne Pulido-Gonzalez says:

    The consistency was good but when I rub it in my armpit it get clumpy and powdery?

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      Try using a little less at first. You can also add a bit more melted coconut oil to your mixture, which may help with the clumpy-ness.

  14. Atenea says:

    Hi! I’m super happy with the deodorant and my husband too. We don’t smell anymore . I only have one question because I’m starting to get brown spots in my armpits, is this normal? I never had it before. My husband didn’t get any brown spots. What should I do?
    Thanks for the recipe.

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      Hi Atenea! So glad you and your husband love the deodorant. 🙂

      Have you tried exfoliating your armpits? That will help remove excess dead skin and bacteria trapped in the armpit area (which may be the cause of the brown spots). If you clean your armpits by rubbing them with a soapy washcloth, they are already being exfoliated and you don’t necessarily need to use an exfoliating scrub. And if it’s at all possible, you could also go au naturel–without any deodorant–for at least a few days (longer would be even better). That may help a lot.

  15. Danielle Roberts says:

    I found that as my armpits detoxed from not using aluminium based deodorant, they started to stink. I thought the deodorant wasn’t working, but a quick Google showed this was normal and expected.
    I put a clay face mask on my pits, as suggested which sorted it out for a few days, and repeated it, but I only had a small tube of face mask and the transition phase is supposed to last between 4 and 8 weeks, so with my next batch of deodorant, I swapped out half the bicarb of soda for some kaolin clay. This does the job of detoxing and deodorising in one!

  16. Beth says:

    I had breast cancer so was looking for a good alternative to regular deodorants and found this recipe. I worried it wouldn’t work because where we live the temperature gets up to 122 F. I don’t mind sweating but I didn’t want the odor. This recipe totally works! It is amazing and I am so glad I found it.

  17. Deb Williams says:

    I made this (only half the amount as it was my first go) and it works fantastically for me. I have developed a bit of irritation under one arm so am going to make another batch with less bicarb. If I do that, do I make up the difference with more arrowroot? Also, can you use fragrance oil instead of essential oil? It says it can be used to make soap so can I assume it’s ok to put in the deo?

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      Hey Deb. Yes, do a little less bicarb and a little more arrowroot and that should help.

      As far as the fragrance oil, I’m not sure. I’d look at the ingredients and see what it says. We love this deodorant because it’s made with a few simple and natural ingredients. The problem with many things listed as “fragrance” is that it’s a blanket term for hundreds of hidden harmful chemicals that can cause irritation, allergic reactions and even more serious health problems when used long term. Single oil EOs are exactly what they say; for example, grapefruit EO is made from cold pressing grapefruit rinds and tea tree EO is made from steam distillation of the leaves from the tea tree.

  18. Martha E.G. says:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe!
    I had become so frustrated(especially during Summer months) & worried about odor.
    Now, I am always confident applying this deodorant. Not only in it’s reliability. But, health and cost reasons, as well.

  19. Stephanie Vargas says:

    I’m looking forward to using this deodorant! I just made it and mine came out very powdery like the consistency of the flour. Can I add more coconut oil to make it more like a paste or will that lessen its effectiveness?
    Thank you for sharing this with us!!
    :o) Stephanie

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      Hey Stephanie! Did you melt the coconut oil first? That should help the mixture reach the consistency you want. You can add a little more coconut oil if you need to but add a very little bit (like ~1/2 tsp.) at a time. I learned that the hard way. 🙂

      • Stephanie Vargas says:

        Awesome!! Thank you…I will melt it next time but even so, the recipe works great…thank you!!

      • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

        I’m glad to hear it! You’re very welcome. 🙂

  20. Lucinda Rojo says:

    Can I use almond oil as a substitute for the coconut? And tea tree oil instead of grapefruit?

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      Lucinda, you can use any essential oil that has antibacterial properties. I don’t think the almond oil will work, though. I think you could use shea butter and/or beeswax if you don’t want to use coconut oil.

  21. Helen says:

    I see what Wayne’s issue may be, and I wonder if it is because neither the ingredient list nor the instructions say anything about melting the coconut oil. It makes a huge difference! I had the same result Wayne did until I scrolled through the comments and found that one person asked if you melt the coconut oil first. I would suggested adding (melted) to the coconut ingredient list and then providing instruction on how best to melt it. I am excited to try this for the first time!

  22. Kate says:

    Only on day 3 but LOVING this deodorant so far. Thank you for making a recipe that’s so easy to throw together!

    I’ve been gradually making the transition to plastic-free health & beauty products. I exhausted every local option for a zero-waste deodorant and picked one out online but having something shipped across the country (or from another country) didn’t feel right. I tried your recipe because the ingredients are so readily accessible I figured it would be a pretty low-risk experiment. Bonus- I have access to arrowroot & baking soda in bulk!!

    I skipped the detox for now because I haven’t found the bentonite clay locally. Hopefully this will work out okay. *fingers crossed* I’ve been using A&H deodorant for many years so the baking soda shouldn’t be a problem for me.

    Before making the switch a few days ago, the pits of my T’s were drenched on a regular basis, as though my previous deodorant wasn’t working anymore – the worse I’ve ever experienced. The past few days have been 70-80 degrees, I did a high intensity strength training session yesterday and 4.5 mile run today. I stayed completely dry yesterday and had very minor sweat spots running but ZERO smell both days.

    My husband has agreed to the occasional sniff check such a good sport) and says there’s a nice light coconut smell and that’s it! I added lavender EO since I had some around which he can’t smell but that’s perfect for me, I prefer little to no scent. Once his last stick of deodorant runs out I’ll be making his & her batches!

    Looking forward to seeing how it performs long term!

  23. Becky says:

    Are the 1/2 cup measurements for both of the dry ingredients correct? 1 cup dry to 5 tbl “wet”?

    Should that maybe be 1/2 *tsp* each dry ingredient? I’m mixing this by hand so maybe it takes a lot longer to incorporate but I can’t see this ever becoming “pourable” and seems like this is going to leave big white marks under my pits…

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      Hey Becky. Yes, the measurements in the ingredient list are correct. You’d be surprised at how well 5 tablespoons (roughly 1/3 cup) of wet ingredients mixes with 1 cup of dry ingredients. The final product should be kind of a paste-like texture. So you don’t want to use too much of the coconut oil, otherwise it will be too runny. I’ve been using this for years and it doesn’t leave white marks. 🙂

  24. Elizabeth says:

    It clumps up when putting on pits, like regular deodorant. But I’m not a fan of that. I used gel deodorant for years because of that, before trying your recipe. Is there any way to make this less clumpy and still have the same effects?

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      Elizabeth, you could add a little more coconut oil and that will help the mixture have more of a creamy texture that shouldn’t clump up.

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