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How to Make Your Own Deodorant

Deodorant. It’s the one toiletry most of us won’t do without – after all, who wants to stink? Not even our ancestors put up with nasty body odor. Early commercial deodorants ate through clothes they were so strong, but people enthusiastically put them on to avoid smelling foul all day.

Unfortunately, even modern deodorants still have nasty side effects. Almost all of them contain aluminum, which suppresses perspiration, and parabens, which serve as stabilizers for the formula. Aluminum has been linked to Alzheimer’s and a variety of cancers, including breast cancer, while parabens mimic the effects of estrogen.

That’s no good – and neither is the fact that going off the grid may mean leaving behind drugstore aisles. Thus, it’s a great idea to learn to make your own all-natural deodorant.

Basic Homemade Deodorant

This simple deodorant recipe has been tried by thousands of people who love it. Even better than positive endorsements from real people who run, work outside, and have to deal with teenager funk? A three-month supply for two people costs just $1 to make.

You need:

  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • ¼ cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder (arrowroot is a bit better, but since it’s hard to find in some areas, go with cornstarch if that’s easier)
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons coconut oil (semi-soft state – refrigerate or microwave to adjust)

Put the dry ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl and blend them. Add the coconut oil bit by bit, working it into the powder. You should end up with a solid mass that is firm enough to hold a shape but still soft enough to melt into your skin (just like commercial deodorants).

If it’s still too mushy, you can add some additional cornstarch or arrowroot. However, in really warm climates (or at the height of summer), it may never set up, but that’s okay. If it’s really cold where you are it may stay a bit grainy, and that’s okay, too. The anti-bacterial properties of the coconut oil remain whether it’s liquid or solid.

Put the finished mixture into an empty deodorant tube or any small jar with a lid. You just need something with enough room for about a cup of finished mixture and wide enough that you can get your fingers in to scoop it out later.

When you want to apply your deodorant, simply rub it in to your armpits. The mixture will “melt” into your skin. Use a small amount (about a pea-sized glob) to get the job done all day long.

Tips for Homemade Deodorant

Your homemade deodorant does require you to adjust. You won’t smell over time – trust that. However, since it is so different from the chemical commercial deodorants your mind and your body know, there are a few tips you’ll want to keep in mind.

  • Give your body a week to detox and chemically adapt. You’ve been using aluminum and paraben-packed deodorants for years – the stuff is in your pores, and it needs to seep out. Expect a kind of funky first few days – everybody’s body is different – this is normal and it goes away.
  • Wait an hour before applying to freshly shaved or waxed armpits. Guys, this is rarely an issue for you, but ladies, this will sting like crazy.
  • Itchy = use less baking soda. The baking soda can irritate sensitive skin. There are a couple of options to fix this. You can decrease the baking soda in the recipe by one tablespoon and make up the difference with cornstarch or arrowroot. If you used cornstarch originally, swapping to 100 percent arrowroot does help some people. Alternatively, you can add ¼ cup shea butter or cocoa butter to the mix (though this does raise the cost per batch).
  • Adjust the scent with essential oils. If you miss the scent of commercial deodorant, add a few drops of essential oils to your mix. Tea tree oil is a good choice, since it has anti-bacterial properties, but citrus oils, florals, and mints can all work. I’ve even heard of liquid smoke getting added to win over a reluctant spouse. Basically, when it comes to the smell, get creative – you’re in charge now!

Voila! Deodorant that works and costs pennies compared to the commercial stuff. Now, it’s not an antiperspirant, but many people say they sweat less after going all natural. Skin allergies and sensitivities also tend to fade since you have less chemicals in contact with your body all day.

It’s just smart, practical self-care anyone can try. The recipe takes less than five minutes to put together … get it a go and let me know how it works for you!

©2012 Off the Grid News

© Copyright Off The Grid News


  1. colloidal silver is also GREAT!

    I make my own, and it TRULY works!

    • Is colloidal silver used alone, or is there a recipe/formula?

    • I just started using colloidal silver as a deoderant and agree – AMAZING!! I have just added a few drops of lavender essential oil to see if still works and provides a nice little scent. I’m so surprised at how effective it is!

  2. This sounds wonderful. Thank you.

    Remember that corn is almost all GM. May want to look for the arrowroot to keep the unknown properties effects of the GM corn starch away from your pores.

  3. TheOtherWhiteMeat

    I hope the Amish get this message.

  4. This is an interesting idea. I personally don’t use deodorant. If you shower once a day, most people don’t need it. However, I can see how in the emergency scenario, when baths may be less frequent, this recipe could cone in handy. The reason deodorants were so heavily used in the past, perfumes too, was the lack of daily showers or baths. I happen to think that commercially made deodorants stink themselves. I like the idea of homemade. Does coconut oil clog pores though?

    • I haven’t noticed any clogs as a result of the coconut oil – and actually, since my pits aren’t chemical dumping grounds anymore, I haven’t had as many plugged pores or ingrown hairs after shaving as I used to.

  5. You may also use rubbing alcohol as a natural deodorant. It kills bacteria, which is why sweat smells. Women will also want to wait about 15-30 mins to apply after they shave. If nothing else, use this while you allow your body to adjust and detox.

  6. I have made my own for the last two years, but much easier. I use equal parts triple antibiotic ointment and zinc oxide ointment (baby rash ointment). A pea sized amount under each arm lasts for up to a week.

  7. Here’s the ‘EASY’ button –
    A monolithic cylinder of mineral salt!
    NO aluminum or zirconium compounds!
    NO paraben!
    Wet the stick with water; apply to underarms; let the stick dry
    It seemingly lasts forever
    It prevents odor, by killing the bacteria that causes it.
    Here’s a link:
    Be Blessed!

    • i used crystal stick for quite a while, but for those of us who are female and are quite a bit stinkier than the rest of the dainty females out there, crystal stick does NOT work (and i put it through it’s paces). i’m still looking for a good home-made deoderant that is stronger than the rest. 🙂

      • Yes, what is the solution for us ladies out there who sweat like men? I know anti-perspirant isn’t healthy, BUT if I sweat all the time … I’m gonna stink, I don’t care what I’m putting on my armpits … haven’t tried the coconut oil recipe yet but just wondering if anyone out there has a heavy-duty recipe … I too tried the crystal deodorant and I fall into the “stinkier than the dainty females” category LOL

        • the only commercial deodorant/antiperspirant that has ever worked for me was “clinical” strength, which is the most dangerous kind out there. this recipe is the ONLY thing that has ever worked all day every day for me! i had embarrassing BO (while using natural commercial deodorant) until i made this. i converted my boyfriend and my best friend with this stuff. works for this girl, who sweats more and stinks more than most men i know.

      • I agree, the crystal rock deo. is a joke, never has worked. As for just showering once a day and not using deo.? No way, doesn’t work and I’ll pass. Thanks for this recipe:).

  8. bodymindheartnsoul

    My life was forever saved by the discovery of the PERFECT deodorant: Bragg’s raw apple cider vinegar! Just put some on a cotton ball, dab it on the underarms, let it dry, and it lasts all day!!! Absolutely nothing else has ever worked for me and this stuff is inexpensive and multi-faceted for many other uses as well. My teenagers swear by it also. You will not smell like vinegar either. If you put it on freshly shaved armpits, though, expect a temporary OUCH moment.

  9. I have had problems with store bought natural deodorants and the yucky ones with aluminum. I would still get very sweaty and a little stinky. I made my own deodorant using baking soda, cornstarch, coconut oil, and a few drops of lavender and tea tree oil. I LOVE IT! I finally have a good deodorant. I also think it absorbs sweat very well, I have much less wetness.

  10. For about 10 years I’ve suffered from an almost uncontrollable underarm odor. I am also vegan and refuse to use commercial deodorants, etc. (which weren’t helping much anyhow). The only thing that would help me recently is the baking soda I buy at Whole Foods. However, it has caused burning & itching (I did use quiete a bit of baking soda). Now I’m mixing organic raw apple cider vinegar and a lot less baking soda (I might add a bit of tea tree essential oil for fragance). I’m happy to announce that it really seems to be working…try it!!

    • Ok, so how much of each ingredient are you adding? Is it all ingredients that you purchase from the store? Not only do I sweat a lot but yes, odor is also a problem. Thanks.


  11. Best one I have ever found – ever! – was on Etsy. I’m pretty sure the shop was called Soap Walla, not sure if it still exists. Superb. I ordered it from the US to Australia but now I live somewhere my income, the exchange rate and the location prevents me ordering online.

  12. Sorry – I also meant to say, thanks for the recipe. Coconut oil and baking powder are almost the only products I currently use, though after some travel this week during which I got a bit sweaty and smelly I went and bought some commercial stuff – not the nastiest but not great either.

  13. you should try adding lavender oil.

  14. Where can you buy coconut oil? None at my supermarket…

  15. Hi, I’ve tried this, but it doesn’t last all day for me. About half way through the day or during the last two hours of school, it seems that it wears off and a sour smell replaces it.
    Any tips or ideas?

    I live in FL and as crazy as this may seem, I wear a jacket as well as a collared shirt to school each day…do you think this could be the problem?:/

    Thanks 😀

    • You could keep a tiny container in your backpack and do a quick re-apply halfway through the school day maybe?

  16. I just made a batch of this because I happen to have all of the ingredients. I hope it works! I would love to make all my own deodorants, soap and lotions 🙂

  17. I would think that using coconut oil will leave an oily stain on the clothing.

    The store bought crystal works for my underarm odor all day, but not for perspiration. Although I have also used vinegar and water there. And that works. In the pubic area I spray vinegar mixed with water. After the vinegar smell wears off it controls body odor but not perspiration. For some reason using the crystal stick in the pubic area does not work as well as the vinegar.

  18. Use of starches, such as cornstarch, arrowroot, alum etc. are not healthy. They clog your pores and shouldn’t be put on your skin for other reasons(toxic). The crystal stick is alum and contains aluminum no matter what the label says. Natural aluminum is the same as regular, they just don’t add extra aluminum.
    Uncle harry’s has come out with a colloidal silver deodorant, it’s reasonably priced, like most of their products, and is healthy. I made my own colloidal silver,it’s simple using pure silver wire and a dc power plug, let the electrolysis work for a few hours then filter(google it). I added a bit of essential oils and some apple cider vinegar for good measure. I believe coconut oil is a good product, but I use it for other purposes.

  19. Thanks for noting the detox period. I switched from clinical strength to a homemade deodorant, and have been smelling for several days. I was about to go back to store bought, but will hold on for a couple more days. I am thinking of swabbing first with ACV then applying the deodorant to see if that works better.

  20. I use Lavilin (, but I will have to try this some time soon! Thanks for the tips 🙂

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