homemade deodorant that works | Simple Green Smoothies

Homemade deodorant that really works

POSTED ON 8.25.2020

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

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, 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
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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
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

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).


Ingredients

Scale
  • 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 unrefined organic coconut oil
  • 20 drops of grapefruit essential oil (or another essential oil with antibacterial properties)

Instructions

  1. Mix baking soda and arrowroot together. (I used my Kitchenaid Stand Mixer.)
  2. Next add the coconut oil and essential oils. Mix well.
  3. Pour into clean air-tight jar (Homemade deodorant will last 3-6 months in an 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. 

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 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.

  • Category: natural beauty
  • Method: no bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: natural deodorant recipe, DIY deodorant, arrowroot deodorant

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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 plant-based diet. I also found myself again along the way.

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Recipe rating

COMMENTS
821
  1. Carol R says:

    I am not having great luck with my second batch
    Rashes then they clear up
    Then come back an now my underarms are discolored

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      The rash you’re experiencing could be a sensitivity to the baking soda. We’d recommend you cut back on the baking soda or leave it out altogether. You can add additional arrow root powder instead or try diatomaceious earth. Another thing to consider is a sensitivity to one of the essential oils you may be using. You can try a batch without any EO to know for sure.

  2. marianne says:

    I made this recipe but scaled the measurements way back. I added more coconut oil than the original recipe. I also added a couple of drops of lavender oil and lemongrass oil. Went out in the hot sun in Australia all day yesterday and came home smelling fresh. I have made up a batch for my partner. Very happy

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience Marianne! Love that you tested our recipe against that hot Australia sunshine! 🙂

    • Ophelia says:

      I am using this deodorant its good for bad BO but my my armpits are getting dark . I don’t know what to do now . Please help me

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      This could be a reaction to the particular essential oil you might be including Ophelia. We’d recommend you try switching to a diff one or leave essential oils out altogether.

  3. Ginger says:

    Hi,

    Could we have “international” measurements. In grams for example! Thanks

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      Sure thing, Ginger!

      79g baking soda (you can use less when starting out if it irritates you)
      79g arrowroot powder (you can also use cornstarch… but I prefer arrowroot powder)
      73.95 ml unrefined organic coconut oil
      20 drops of grapefruit essential oil (or another essential oil with antibacterial properties)

  4. Lama says:

    I have tried every deodorant under the sun. I sweat a lot and my niece put me onto this recipe and I couldn’t be any happier. This is amazing and esp if you sweat and have a strong body odour. It is a life saviour

  5. J says:

    Thanks!

  6. Alice says:

    When I made it the consistency was very hard and powdery, even after rubbing it in my hands it didn’t really work – could I add more coconut oil to make it a bit more useable? Thanks

  7. Simple Green Smoothies says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience, Janine. Mixing well before using is really the key to having a smooth product at the end. Hopefully you’re able to try it again one day and make the tweaks and changes you’d like best. Glad you’re smellin like a rose now though! 🙂

  8. Claudia M. Haney says:

    Would your homemade deodorant help with sweating of the face? I usually start sweating on my head and it runs down my face. I take medication to help stop it, but no luck. It’s embarrassing when I am in public and start sweating if it’s too warm in the store, or if I help pack my groceries.. If I walk it’s a nightmare. Does anyone have any idea how I can get these head sweats under a little control even?

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      Hi Claudia! So sorry to hear your having this experience! While it’s helpful to know that sweating is one of the best ways your body gets rid of toxins, that does little to help when it’s dripping down your face in the store. We would be concerned about you using our formula on your head and having it drip into your eyes, as it contains essential oils. Those oils are best kept away from the eyes because it would cause them to burn. Using a plain, unscented face powder is best. Also be sure to avoid spicy foods and caffeine, since they can be triggers. Be sure to stay hydrated! And one of our friends was having the same trouble and just carries a personal fan around to aim at her face because #menopauseinflorida. Lastly, a drop of peppermint essential oil applied to the back of your neck when you start to feel warm can cool you right down.

  9. ali says:

    could I use baking powder instead of baking soda? Thanks

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      Hi Ali! Actually, baking soda and baking powder are chemically two different things. So baking powder wouldn’t work in this case as it doesn’t absorb smell in the same way baking soda can.

  10. Simple Green Smoothies says:

    Thanks Janine! Such interesting swaps, subs and testing of theories!! Def keep us posted on how it goes!

  11. Wa says:

    What do you recommend as a, natural organic, baking soda substitute?

    • Mark says:

      Try food grade Diatomaceous earth for a skin sensitive baking soda replacement. It typically has a lower PH than baking soda and is highly anti microbial. Plus it’s loaded with silica! Best of luck.

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      If sensitive to baking soda, decrease the amount and opt for additional arrowroot powder instead.

  12. Jo Marie says:

    Hi, this simple recipe looks tempting. I’m curious though. Do you have any problems with grease stains in your clothing?
    Thanks, Jo

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      Love your question, Jo! So far, the feedback has been positive – no greasy stains on clothing. 🙂

    • Lauren says:

      I’m wondering the same thing!

  13. shelia Charlton says:

    How can I use this in a regular deodorant container how do I make this harder

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      You can totally use an empty deodorant container for this recipe! Make sure you’ve twisted the bottom ‘wheel’ so that the interior base is all the way back down at the bottom. Then use a clean popsicle stick or tiny rubber spatula to move your homemade deodorant into the container, pushing down as you go until you’ve completely filled in the empty space. To make it harder, you can either reduce the amount of coconut oil used, or add it to the fridge after filling the container. Depending on your climate, once the coconut oil has completely solidified the deodorant will stay more solid, even out on the counter. If you live in the south (like me!), you may need to keep it in a cooler cupboard or in the fridge regularly for that consistency.

  14. Rachelle says:

    I made this and put some in a jar and some in a deodorant tube. It works great so far! I have gone walking, perspired and have not an ounce of odor. I did refresh just in case, but feel I would have been fine. This is a much better and more affordable alternative to the aluminum-free deodorant sold in stores. That can be so expensive when you are not even sure they will work.

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      Thanks so much for the awesome feedback, Rachelle!

  15. Gill says:

    Gratitude for this. I’ll try it and feed back on it.

  16. Liz A says:

    thank you for sharing your recipe. My youngest and I are creating some different deodorants for the family to try as a science activity and also a solution to a family need for natural products.

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      That’s so awesome Liz! It’s so great to get the kiddos drinking their greens when their young!

  17. Shadeeka Mendez says:

    Aren’t you SUPPOED TO RECOMMEND—->>>> BAKING SODA WITH ALUMINUM???????????????????????????????????

    –BECAUSE USING BAKING SODA WITH ALUMINUM , CAN BE POTENTAILLY DANGEROUS AS REGULAR DEODORANT??

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      We love to use ingredients that are as clean as possible, Shadeeka. So, yes if you have access to aluminum free baking soda – def go for it!

    • Liz A says:

      Baking soda doesnt have aluminum. Its baking powder that can have it

  18. Joseph ochigbo says:

    Please. Can I substitute coconut oil for maybe glycerin, proplyne glycol or shear butter. Seen that they don’t really affect skin and will make it never to solidify

  19. Emily says:

    I didn’t add essential oils as they’re not safe in early pregnancy and it still works fine (and doesn’t have a strong smell which is great for a sensitive pregnant nose).
    Also for those struggling with burning from the bicarb, I generally make it with 1 cup of arrowroot powder and 1/4teaspoon of bicarb and that is enough to be effective. It’s quite a strong base so still works well. You usually don’t use very much when baking a cake either!

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      This is such awesome feedback Emily!! Thank you! Yes, def don’t use essential oils in early pregnancy and always check with your doc to be sure what’s safe for you. Way to rawk a healthier option for you and your little one! 🙂

  20. Lisa says:

    Can you substitute Bentonite Clay for the Baking soda?

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      While we’ve not tried that, it sure sounds like a GREAT swap! Bentonite clay is a great detoxifier and is soothing to the skin. If you try it, def comment back and let us know how it goes!

    • Simran Tilani says:

      Can you use vanilla extract in place of essential oils?

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      Love this question Simran! Actually, since vanilla extract is made by percolating vanilla bean pods in alcohol, we would not recommend using it in this deodorant recipe. The alcohol will dry out and possibly irritate your skin, as well as affect the consistency of the deodorant. We’d say choose your fav smelling essential oils instead. High quality essential oils are made by either using water, steam or dry distillation, rather than alcohol.

  21. Emilia says:

    Thank you so, so, so much for this recipe!! First and foremost, it works- there is absolutely zero unpleasant smell with this, even after long runs and full days of work, and as a water-only washer this is the only thing I use (besides a shampoo bar). Not only is it effective as a deodoriser, it doesn’t have that sticky feeling that a lot of store-bought natural deodorants have. It’s very comfortable and it SMELLS SO GOOD. I use lemon and teatree EOs (5 and 10 drops respectively) and the smell of the fresh citrus with the coconut is out of control good. I open the jar to smell it all the time just to enjoy how nice it smells. Thank you so, so much- saving so much money and avoiding so much waste NEVERRR smelled this great. Thanks and peace!

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      Thank you for your kind words and such awesome detail about how you use this deodorant!! Rawk on Emilia!

  22. Ashley says:

    I made this & it turned out great !
    My SO put some on the other night before we went out and as soon as he got in the car I could smell the lemongrass from the deodorant. Needless to say , he does not use any cologne anymore. This stuff takes on the job of 2( deodorant & cologne )
    LOVE LOVE LOVE ♡♡♡

  23. Elli says:

    It did work for me, I had to put more coconut oil, BUT it burned my armpits for 4 days and still hurts so bad 🙁 I tried to put even more coconut oil but it still burns my armpits off lol. I wish it’d work :/

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      Yikes Elli! We’d try cutting waaaaay back on baking soda and focusing more on arrowroot powder and/or cornstarch instead. Some people have a sensitivity to baking soda and that could totally be what’s happening for you.

  24. Kim Pratt says:

    Simply brilliant. No pun intended!

  25. Simple Green Smoothies says:

    So glad you’re opting for this natural, home-made option!

  26. Tanya says:

    I just discovered this recipe. I wanted to ditch harmful store bought antiperspirants and “all natural” deodorants didn’t work at all for me or the hubby. I made a half batch of this recipe a few days ago and we both love it! I used tea tree, peppermint and eucalyptus EO. I sweat a lot at night while sleeping, even here where I live it gets really cold at night. Now I wake up smelling fresh. Husband loves it too and it works perfectly for us both. I will definitely make this again!

  27. Kris says:

    I tried this recipe, but it came out very crumbled — it looks like feta cheese, and I found it difficult to apply because it is so crumbly. Would this be because I melted the coconut oil before I mixed it with the baking soda and arrowroot flour? Is there something I should be doing differently so I can get a smoother texture?

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      So glad you gave it a try Kris! We’d def recommend leaving the coconut oil at room temp for this recipe. If it’s not the texture you’d like, you can totally add a touch more coconut oil and mix longer to get that smoothness.

  28. Melanie says:

    I made this recipe, because everything I have bought in the store was giving me a problem. I was kinda skeptic but woo whoo it worked and worked great. I gave some to my husband to try who works outside in a farm type setting. He asked what it was and I explained and he said he would try it. He came back to me about a week later and said we are not buying anymore store bought deodorant. He liked it to. So I have been telling everybody I talk to about it and passing it on. Thanks a bunch.

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      This is FANTASTIC Melanie!! So glad it’s working well for you both!

  29. Lala says:

    If you sift the powders before blending, this will eliminate the grainy feel. Also, I made without essential oils as some can be endocrine disruptors, and it was still effective.

  30. Natalie says:

    i have been using this for over a year now, at first i would smell later on in the day, washed & reapply, then after maybe a month it totally worked, its amazing how it works now, will never go back to antiperspirant .. thank you for the recipe:)

  31. Christine Rose says:

    I have just made this recipe, I live in a very warm climate in Australia and it’s beautiful and smooth. I can’t wait to try it.

  32. Carol R says:

    So back in October I first started to use this
    Now in January I ready to make a new batch and I’m still loving it

  33. Arundhati Banik says:

    Does it helps to get rid of smelling armpits

  34. Suzy says:

    This deodorant is simply the best!! I’m blown away by how good this is! I made a 1/2 batch to try and used cornstarch because I didn’t have arrowroot. I used peppermint and sweet orange essential oil because I could find my bergamot.. Thank you so so so much!! Forever grateful for this recipe xxxxxx ❤️

    • Suzy says:

      P.S I used 1/2 cup of coconut oil because I didn’t read the recipe properly lol and I didn’t need to adjust it..

    • Tiana Mai says:

      Hello. What essential oil do you recommend for the most fragrant/citrus smell? Thanks.

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      Hey Tiana – awesome question! Plant Theory makes a Citrus Burst oil blend that would def get that citrus smell you’re looking for. If using other brands, you might look for blends that contain bergamot, wild orange, lemon and/or mandarin oils.

    • Lia says:

      Did you use the same amount of cornstarch as the arrowroot? I do not have arrowroot either.

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      Hi Lia – You should be able to swap them using a 1:1 ratio, so the same amount. 🙂

  35. Caroline says:

    Thanks for your article. Will update you as soon as I make it.

  36. Stinky girl says:

    This literally works
    I made half the recipe used tapioca starch instead of arrowroot. Added and extra tbsp of coconut oil because consistency was bad and it wasn’t staying on my armpit.
    I’ve never wanted to try natural deodorant s because I thought there’s no way they work. I’ve tried many natural brands but the price hurts me a lot. Today is Christmas Eve, eve, and I just shoveled the entire back lane of snow, deep cleaned my kitchen, had company over and now am in bed and my armpit has NO FRICKIN SMELL!! Not even a HINT of BO. Unbelievable. Ok you convinced me… IM A BELIEVER! Just want to add I used about a quarter less of the baking soda, and I did feel a little burning for like five minutes. But it went away. My mind is forever changed…… THANKS TO you!!!

    • Itzsym says:

      I just made my first batch and used tapioca starch. Thanks for the suggestion!

  37. KC says:

    For a coconut allergy, I often substitute shea butter or an oil like grapeseed. Do you think this would work with grapeseed oil or should I just walk away haha

  38. Deborah says:

    Hi, I’ve just made this for the first time and it has quite a grainy texture. Can I check what your 1/2 cup measurement would be in grams please? Thank you!

    • shlomi says:

      Same thing happened to me.
      I think half a cup is a lot.

    • Shlomi says:

      OK so I found a solution.
      The problem is not with the amounts but with the temperature.
      You have to pre heat the coconut oil to 50C (120F) in the oven.
      Beware not to heat it up to 60C (140F) for the baking soda will get deactivated.

  39. Kep Taylor says:

    Hey, Jen,

    Thank you for this awesome formula. I will admit that I was skeptical at first, but I thought it was worth a shot. So I made a small batch. And I absolutely LOVE it! It’s very soothing to apply and really works perfectly.

    Now I’m thinking it would make a great stocking stuffer. I want to spread the good word!!

    I’m going to keep my eye on you for more great ideas!

    Thanks a million!

    Kep

    • SGS Rawkstar Jen says:

      It really is a great gift! I hope you do it Kep! I have a new hand scrub recipe I can’t wait to share!

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