Homemade Deodorant

Homemade Deodorant

Normally full of ingredients that would make a person squirm, deodorant is probably the one personal care product that the majority of people use. The reasons behind using a natural or homemade deodorant are many, but for me it all goes back to letting the body work the way it’s supposed to – sweat helps us release toxins. Using antiperspirants we cause those natural passageways to become blocked, causing toxins to move elsewhere. So while I do want to stay away from conventional deodorants because of aluminum, parabens, and other multiple chemicals, one of the main reasons I choose to use homemade is that it allows my body to work as God intended.

It’s not easy to change something that is so innately personal. None of us want to stink! Especially as women – I think we all would rather smell like flowers right? So I get that the thought of switching to a natural deodorant can be scary. For those of you who have purchased natural deodorants and had bad luck, even more so!

But this natural alternative works well and many people use it, including myself.

Homemade Deodorant

*Recipe below

Personal Experience

I’ve used this for a year now and actually like it better than any of the ‘natural’ deodorants I’ve tried from the health food store. I’ve learned I don’t need to use near as much (too much will start balling up under your arm) and I’ve actually begun to not only sweat less, but stink less as well when I am busy working. It also doesn’t stain my clothes. The only times I notice smell are when I’ve eaten less than desirable foods *cough, sugar,cough* but otherwise it agrees with my skin and my body.


*I like to mix mine with the coconut oil melted as I find the mixture to be more consistent that way. Just place your mixing bowl in the refrigerator or into a sink of cold water to firm it back up with in a couple of minutes. If you’d rather mix it with the oil in its solid state – feel free to do so.

*If you live in a warm climate, since coconut oil has a melting point of about 75°, you may want to put it in the refrigerator so it doesn’t melt. Another option would be to use cocoa butter in place of the coconut oil. (mine melted in the cupboard last summer – it’s not fun mopping up coconut oil!)

*You may also use another essential oils, I just use the tea tree oil as it is supposed to be naturally antibacterial and will help with any odor. (just double-check to make sure that specific EO is safe for pregnancy or nursing) You can also leave it out without it affecting the final product.

*If you experience any itching, it’s most likely due to the baking soda. Cut back on the baking soda and use more arrowroot powder instead. Since you won’t know the best ratio for your skin, you can just melt the mixture back down and add more arrowroot powder and coconut oil to the right consistency.

*You may need to go without any type of deodorant for at least a few days when switching from a conventional deodorant to help clear out any toxins that have built up. Actually, I was told by Joanna of Actual Organics that it may take a couple of weeks for the body to clear out those passageways. In this time you may experience more smell and sweating and this is normal.

Homemade Deodorant
Recipe type: Natural Living
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • ¼ cup organic cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 5-6 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 5-10 drops tea tree oil
Method of Preparation
  1. Mix all ingredients together and press into an old deodorant container.
  2. To use, let it rest against your skin for a couple seconds to soften the coconut oil, do one slow swipe under each arm and use the palm of your hand to spread it around.



Have you been brave enough to try homemade deodorant? How did it work?

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About Donielle

Donielle is an amateur herbalist and natural momma to two littles (with another babe in heaven) after dealing with being less than fertile. She has a passion for nourishing nutrition, natural living, and spreading the word on how food truly affects our health.


  1. My husband and I have been using this deodorant since september. My husband recently got a big, red, itchy rash from it. Have you heard of this happening before – do you have any suggestions?

    Jessica K Reply:

    @Sarah, This did happen to both my husband and I and when we reduced the baking soda it went away. You might have to take a day or so off for the rash to heal up but it hasn’t come back once we reduced the baking soda. Honestly, it works almost as well (like 90%) with just cornstarch or arrowroot powder and no baking soda. Just my opinion.

    donielle Reply:

    @Sarah, Stop using anything for a few days and then reduce or eliminate the baking soda. Some people react to it with a rash. I myself have cut back on the amount of BS I use and use more arrowroot powder instead.

    Some people are really sensitive to coconut oil too, so you could have him test out just applying plain coconut oil to his skin for a few days to make sure that’s not it.

    el Reply:

    @donielle, el

    Just a quick heads up… should you wonder if you have alergies to specific ingredients… as a retired stylist… we always test products… put a small amount of any product below and slightly behind the ear.. OR in the crook of your arm at the elbow area.. wait a few minutes… you wil likely see if there is any irritation..

  2. My husband and I have been using this recipe for about 8 months now. We both love it.

    I think I will be switching to all arrowroot powder though because the baking soda can be irritating. Also, since I don’t love the smell of TTO, I have used a variety of essential oils but mostly I mix coco butter and coconut oil and leave it plain. The scent of chocolate coconut is wonderfully decadent and it works great.

    donielle Reply:

    @Jessica K, I really should try the cocoa butter sometime! I never thought about the wonderful smell it would have…..

  3. I started using this deodorant in July and immediately got a red, itchy painful rash. Even after I lessened the baking soda ( i don’t use the TTO or any EO), and even after I stopped using deodorant at all, the rash remained for nearly 6 months until I returned to the doctor for a stronger steroid cream (applied twice a day for 2 weeks before the rash disappeared).

    That being said, this is the only deodorant that has ever actually made me not stink or need constant reapplying by the end of the day. I was using Secret Super-strength for years before making the switch. Even with the rash, I could apply this deodorant in the morning and be fine all day, even into the next day before I reapplied.

    I did have a long period of ‘worse before it gets better’ as far as stink goes, due to the detox from the old deodorants. Now however, I only stink when I eat junk food, but this deodorant covers that up nicely lol.

    All in all, I love this deodorant. Just be careful that you’re not sensitive to it and get a rash lol.

    donielle Reply:

    @Fontaine, Wow! I’ve never heard of the rash lasting that long. I did have to reduce the amount of baking soda in mine because of a slight rash, but it went away within days! Do you still use a homemade alternative then? And does the rash stay away now?

    Fontaine Reply:


    Yeah, it was kinda crazy :/ lol. While I had the rash, I mostly went without deodorant of any kind unless I had a ‘big’ day that day. Then I used the natural stuff (reduced baking soda). The rash is gone now, after getting the second, stronger prescription from the doctor.

    Right now I’m using a 1:6 ratio of baking soda:cornstarch (I think 1/2 cup cornstarch and just 4 tsp baking soda, plus however much coconut oil makes it the right consistency). Everything is fine so far, although i still usually go without deodorant unless I’m leaving the house.

    el Reply:

    One other note also.. fragrances can easily irritate your skin … and with the product under your arm there is a stronger posibilty of skin irritant.. test them all before you use it… in the crux of your arm.. let it sit on your skin for a little bit … you’ll see if it reddens.

  4. My husband and I have used this recipe for over a year now — with great results!
    We add 2-3 Tbsp. of melted bees wax to the mixture. This keeps it from melting and/or crumbling in warm weather.
    We think it works better than “regular” deoderants!

    donielle Reply:

    @Beth @ Living Simply, I like this idea of beeswax and when I received my do-it-yourself kit from HardLotion.com just last week (make your own lotions and they send you the coconut oil, beeswax, and shea butter) I thought about testing it out as deodorant. Good to know the beeswax works!!

  5. I FINALLY just worked up the nerve to try this about a week ago. You’re right — it’s scary to dive into something like this, because we’re trained from young on that people who stink don’t have any friends. We’re terrified of being “the smelly person” or being associated with poor hygiene.

    I haven’t been using it long enough to say anything final about it, but so far, so good — I don’t smell. I do feel like I’m sweating a lot, but that’s probably due to switching from antiperspirants. I hope that will slow down with time. I’m glad it’s cold right now where I am so I can wear several layers to absorb the excess moisture.

  6. I’ve been using homemade deodorant for about four years now. I make mine with baking soda, coconut oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, TTO, and clary sage EO. I’ve never had a reaction to it. Store-bought natural deodorants make me break out.

    Traditional deodorants/antiperspirants never really worked for me. I find I actually sweat less using this than an antiperspirant. I think antiperspirants are kind of like washing your face with a harsh cleanser. Your body ends up pumping out more fluids to counteract the way you’re stripping it of oil (as in face washing) or putting chemicals on it to prevent the natural sweat response.

    I have no scientific evidence for this, though. 😉

  7. I’ve been using this recipe since my son was born–it’s the only thing that kept me from smelling wretched after the birth! I love how the coconut oil moisturizes, too. I haven’t had a problem with razor burn since I started using homemade deodorant.

  8. I’ve been using a similar recipe for a few months now, and I love it! Less sweat, less stink, no weird chemicals–yay! My only concern is that it seems to have turned my armpits sort of a brownish color, almost like a bruise (although not painful). While it’s not really an issue during cold-weather months, I don’t want brown armpits in summer. What in the world is causing that?

    Annette Reply:


    Did you ever get an answer to the brown skin? this is happening to me since I have been using homemade deodorant.

  9. Just for clarification, is tea tree oil safe to use when pregnant? (I’m finding mixed opinions online.) If not, what is? thanks!

  10. I stopped using deodorant all together a few years ago. The way we smell to ourselves and to others is so subjective and it’s really dependent on our hormones and the particular hormonal mix of anyone who’s near enough to smell us. I think my husband smells fine and he thinks I smell awesome. But then there are those people who I think smell nauseating (like my brother… who is getting married and has always had girlfriends so he must not smell bad to at least some women). When I went on birth control briefly my husband started to smell bad to me (and started to smell good again once I stopped the hormones) and he says I smell different depending on whether or not I’m experiencing a strong emotion and where I am in my cycle.

  11. Have you tried adding clay? I’m using one now that has clay and baking soda…I’m really liking it… I may give making my own a go when I run out of this container. I demolished, painted and laid hardwood floors in my daughters room (and yes, I was definitely sweaty!) without any stink, that’s evidence enough for me that it works.

    That said, I have encountered plenty of people who use deodorants (natural and commercial) and still smell, I think it’s due to not showering frequently enough… I also use peppermint castile soap to cleanse daily (Dr Bronners or Peace).

  12. I may be late joining this conversation, but I have very sensitive skin. The skin under my arms would peel off with any over the counter deodorant, including the natural kind with no chemical additives or fragrances. Many of them didn’t work well enough and I’d be really stinky by the end of the day. I whipped up a batch of this (without tea tree) about a month ago. Not only have my underarms healed, but I have not smelled bad once, and it’s been about 90 degrees and humid for the past month. I’ve had no problems with rashes. I did itch one day when I had too much on. I’ve since added a little bit of Tea Tree Oil (just a drop), with no negative results. My husband is going to switch over too. Thanks for the recipe!

    donielle Reply:

    @EJ, So glad it works for you!!

  13. Meadowsweet says:

    Hello, I started making my own baking soda deodrant a few months ago and loved it. I then told a friend who has some background knowledge in chemistry and he said that the high alkali content would dissolve the fatty layer under the skin. I therefore wrote to some kind of society – can’t remember the name, sorry – but it had something to do with bicarbonate of soda; and I asked them if they knew of any research where Bicarb dissolved the fatty layer. They hadn’t heard of that reserach but they pointed me to some other research at PubMed where tests showed that applying alkali solutions to the skin had a detrimental effect on it. I’ve been scared to use it ever since and tried making one by just using EOs as a deodarizer, it isn’t very good so I’m going to have a go at using tea tree oil too. Just thought I’d let you know in case you wanted to research it further.

    donielle Reply:

    @Meadowsweet, Thanks for the tip! My skin doesn’t do great with baking soda so I often just leave it out, or replace with bentonite clay. I’ll have to look into this research at some point!