Homemade deodorant that really works

Try my homemade deodorant recipe that uses safe natural ingredients like coconut oil and essential oils to combat sweat and body odor.

homemade deodorant that works | Simple Green Smoothies

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

Why I use natural deodorant

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

In 2011, I went down the hippie road and started making granola bars, natural cold & flu remedies, elderberry syrup, homemade lip scrubs, and even went 10 days without shampoo (def 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.

Deodorant was one of them.

Most store-bought deodorants contain parabens, aluminum, dye, and a bunch of chemicals I can’t even spell (or type correctly). Different studies have theorized that the aluminum in antiperspirants may increase the risk of breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. While other chemicals may lead to hormonal imbalances.

Sure, all of this is debatable, but why take the chance?

And why put these things on your body IF there are safe, natural alternatives that work even better?

To me, that’s reason enough to ditch commercial deodorants and make my own. I’ve been using the exact same recipe for over 9 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.

homemade deodorant that works using all nattural ingredients

The best natural deodorant

No joke— 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 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 prob 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 favs
How to use natural homemade deodorant

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. Yet I found that didn’t work as well for me and went back to the jar recipe.

Homemade deodorant: a recipe for succes

Some people can encounter issues with an itchy rash, red bumps, or more sweat and/or odor than usual as they transition to homemade deodorant. Yet 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. Katie at Wellness Mama has a great recipe for a detoxifying armpit clay mask that I swear by.

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 our Thrive 7-Day Reset or Fresh Start 21-Day Cleanse to get started on a whole-body detox. These cleanses are super easy to follow and just use 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) and Native come in. Both brands have natural deodorant lines that have a variety of strengths and scents that work AND are better for your body. I’ve used them both when on vacation or if I run out of my own homemade deodorant and haven’t had time to make another batch.

Homemade deodorant with coconut oil and arrowroot powder — All Natural DIY Recipe


homemade deodorant that works | Simple Green Smoothies

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).
4.7 from 169 votes
PRINT RATE IT Print Recipe
Course: Natural Remedy
Cuisine: Plant-Based
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1 jar
Author: Simple Green Smoothies


  • mixing bowl
  • air tight container


  • 1/2 cup baking soda - you can use less when starting out if it irritates you
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot powder - you can also use cornstarch... but I prefer arrowroot powder
  • 5 tbs 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 2 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 liquid-y, you can store it in a cool cupboard to thicken it up.
  • Technique: For the past couple years, I stopped using the popsicle stick and actually just use my fingers and dip them in the jar.
Tried this recipe?Mention @simplegreensmoothies or tag #simplegreensmoothies!

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Ratings & Comments

  1. renata says:

    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

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

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

  2. Jenny says:

    Can this be used on other parts of the body? Like Lumé?

  3. Phil, UK says:

    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.

  4. Tania says:

    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!

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

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

  5. Tracey Diamanti says:

    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

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

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

  6. Erick Hooks says:

    2 stars
    Baking soda is actually harmful over time when used as a deodorant.

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

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

  7. Landon says:

    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.

    • Landon says:

      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.

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      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!

    • Landon says:

      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

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      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!

  8. Emily says:

    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!!!

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      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.

  9. Sheryl says:

    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!

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

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

  10. Becky says:

    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.

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      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!

  11. Amanda says:

    I made the recipe…twice. I didn’t like the texture with the baking soda (and felt some stinging) in the first batch. On the second batch with only arrowroot, should I replace all the baking soda with arrowroot? I haven’t so far and there is a small layer of oil on top.

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      This is def a recipe that is a good one to tweak to fit your body’s preference and your climate. You can def replace the baking soda with arrowroot powder, or you could try diatomaceous earth also. If you live in a warmer climate, the oil may not stay as solid as you’d like. You could try shea butter as a substitute, which should work nicely. Let us know what you try and how it works for you!

  12. cheryl gillin says:

    I have used this recipe many times and love it. Each time I use a different essential oil and change the scent. I also just use my fingers to apply. Thank you so much for the recipe!

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      Love that you’re changing up the oils, Cheryl! Bet you’re the best smelling rawkstar on the block! 🙂

  13. Stephanie says:

    I really love this recipe and how my natural deodorant turned out. I super affordable, long lasting, super natural and I do not have any odor concerns even after a long morning of sweat and work out.

    I did use a 3 tsp of baking soda as I was afraid of rash. Will this ingredient still be effective if I use no baking soda at all? Sometimes my skins burn a few hours after applying and I am more than sure it’s the baking soda? Other than that I am extremely pleased and thankful for the recipe!!! Thank you!!

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      So glad this works well for you Stephanie! If you opt to reduce or leave out the baking soda, we’d recommend increasing the arrow root powder, or trying some diatomaceous earth instead.

  14. Kyla says:

    5 stars
    I used this recipe when I ran out of deodorant (I didn’t have any arrowroot or cornstarch on me), it was a great quick fix! I used lavender oil and it just smells and feels sooo nice. Also I used shea butter instead of coconut haha! But I will not be buying deodorant from this point on. This is such a great sustainable way to feel fresh!

  15. lulu says:

    Hi, sorry for the silly question but there are two baking sodas in my cupboard lol
    one for baking and its finer consistency than the other one which is for cleaning. which one to use?

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      Either one would work, yet the finer consistency you have for baking would likely mix in easier. 🙂

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#1 Green Smoothie Of all Time— no joke!
About Jen Hansard

Mom of 2, ran across the Grand Canyon and lover of smoothies, coffee & tacos. I transformed my family's health with a realistic plant-based diet. I also found myself again along the way.

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