Homemade Natural Deodorant

For the updated version of this recipe, FAQ, along with demonstration video, please click here.

Did you know you can make your own wonderful deodorant with just a few completely natural ingredients? This recipe is awesome! It is frugal and very effective! Aaron & I have been using it for over a year now, and it has worked wonders. It smells wonderful, but very faint, so the hubby does not mind! We have tried all natural brands without much success, until we tried this! It is especially important for women to take thought to the harmful aluminum materials in deodorant as it has been linked to breast cancer, being that the armpits are so close to the chest.

Ingredients:

5-6 Tbsp Coconut oil
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch

Combine equal portions of baking soda & arrowroot powder. Then slowly add coconut oil and work it in with a spoon until it maintains the substance you desire. It should be about the same texture as the store bought kind, solid but able to be applied easily. You can either scoop this into your old dispensers or place in a small container with lid and apply with fingers with each use. After applying the product, you can just rub the remains into your hands as a lotion! This recipe lasts about 3 months for two people with regular daily use.

Read here and here for more wonderful uses of coconut oil!

For the best price around on organic quality coconut oil, check out Mountain Rose Herbs. Delicious for so many uses!

Bulk organic herbs, spices and essential oils. Sin

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

457 Responses to Homemade Natural Deodorant

  1. Jessica February 3, 2009 at 6:23 pm #

    Just made this for the first time today. I put it on just before a 1-hour (very sweaty) aerobic workout. When I finished with the workout – I didn’t smell! This deodorant worked wonderfully for me! I am so excited to have found a natural alternative to the aluminum-laden products on the market. Hopefully, the baking soda will not be too harsh for my skin as some others have reported. Thank you for sharing this “recipe” Lindsay as well as to all of the other ladies who shared their experiences with it!

  2. Samantha February 2, 2009 at 11:06 pm #

    Back with an update. WOW! I’m getting a horrible rash. It’s definitely the baking soda. I think the biggest problem is the texture. It’s like really fine sandpaper under my arm. Here’s a suggestion for those of you also having this problem. I mixed 1part cornstarch and 1part baking soda with 2 parts water. Added the essential oils and some glycerin. Melted 1part soy wax (you can use beeswax) with 2 parts oil, Combine with a wisk. The essential oils help with the odorous bacteria, the glycerin conditions the skin, and the soy wax hardens the deodorant so it will work as a stick. If you try this and it’s too hard, use a double boiler to re-melt the deodorant and add a little extra oil until you get a better consistency. It’s not going to glide like traditional deodorant, but you can use your fingers to finish rubbing it in and it’s less messy. I haven’t had any problem with irritation with this recipe. Hope this helps someone.

    • Samantha February 2, 2009 at 11:10 pm #

      oops! sorry those essential oils would be tea tree & lavender/or lemon oil. (not juice). i also added jasmine to make it smell nice. The tea tree doesn’t smell for long after putting it on, so go ahead and use a few drops, it’ll help with any irritations too because it’s an antiseptic.

  3. Samantha February 1, 2009 at 6:36 pm #

    Just wanted to say that you can use other oils than coconut. To replace the antimicrobial properties, use a few drops of tea tree oil or lemon oil. I buy my coconut oil at walmart, it’s beside the others, check your local store. You can also get all these products at a health food store. Also, since some are worried that the cornstarch could be the irritant, you could try using guar gum or xanthan gum for the thickener. If you do, make sure you use about 1/8 to 1/4 of the amount to start, because they are much more effective than cornstarch at thickening. You can find these at a health food store also. I’ve also heard of using aloe vera gel and glycerin in the mix to help with conditioning and protecting the skin. Hope this helps.

  4. KL January 12, 2009 at 2:17 am #

    I’ve been using just baking soda for over a month now and it recently started irritating my skin. I’ve been reading online about possible solutions (without having to go back to commercial antiperspirants) and stumbled on your site, but I have a few questions. How strong is the smell of coconut in the deodorant (or how faint is the ‘very faint’ you mentioned)? I detest the scent, but since it seems like no other oil can replace all that coconut oil can offer, I want to know what I’ll be getting myself into. Also, from the Mountain Rose Herbs site, does it matter whether the coconut oil is refined or unrefined?

    • Lindsay January 12, 2009 at 10:21 pm #

      I honestly cannot smell any coconut at all, unless I guess you put your nose to it very closely and smell, and then it would be very faint. If you are just using it for body products, the refined is totally fine. Unrefined is best for cooking, so I just buy unrefined for all our needs as it has the most nutrients and benefits.

  5. Bo January 10, 2009 at 6:26 pm #

    Does it also work as an antiperspirant?

    • Lindsay January 14, 2009 at 9:11 am #

      It will not function completely as a regular antiperspirant like you would purchase at the store, but those are not natural at all, as it is a proper bodily function to sweat which cleans out toxins from the body. This deodorant will eliminate all smells and will cut down on the sweating quantities, but will not eliminate them altogether.

  6. laura January 3, 2009 at 5:03 pm #

    This looks great, I can’t wait to try it! Gonna get try making a batch tomorrow. I’m gonna add in a few drops of Thieves essential oil as well, to add a bit of fragrance (and it’s a great anti-bacterial).

  7. Miss Niki December 17, 2008 at 8:06 pm #

    Sorry about the previous comment. I read through all the posts and see my answer .. opps :) I have another question but it isn’t on the deodorant. Its about the laundry soap. Can you use the Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild liquid instead of the shredded bar? thanks :)

    Niki

    • Lindsay December 17, 2008 at 10:31 pm #

      You can use the liquid version if you add it separately into the wash load rather than pre-mixing. For example, mix the borax and washing soda together and add about 1 Tbsp per load and a squirt of liquid soap. Make sure to put these into the washer at the beginning and allow them to dissolve a bit in the water before adding the clothing items.

  8. Tara November 29, 2008 at 12:54 pm #

    I am wondering if the people that are getting rashes if it could be caused from the cornstarch. That cornstarch is hard to digest and its probably hard on the skin too. It’s worth trying and see if that helps, I have been using the arrowroot for this recipe w/ no rash problems for several weeks now.

  9. JaSi November 25, 2008 at 12:24 pm #

    Just thought I would add a little advice of my own. Rosemary Essential Oil is a MILD, NATURAL anti-perspirant and could be added to this recipe as well. I make a similar type deoderant and find that the rosemary doesn’t keep me completely dry, but helps out some. Definetely plan on trying this recipe myself! Love it! Thanks

  10. Tara November 21, 2008 at 4:39 pm #

    I made this today it didnt rub off on my clothes and it does keep the stink away! Thanks for the great recipe!

  11. sherri November 15, 2008 at 9:31 am #

    Came across your site today and plan on making a batch this afternoon. After reading comments re: rashes, discoloration, etc. wonder if possible reaction due to detoxing from use of regular deoderants? Had same problem when switched from regular to popular “crystal” deoderant and then it went away. However, MD just told me the swelling that remained in armpits is due to deoderant use – checked bottle when got home and it contained ammonium alum – which turns out to be a “natural” aluminum salt. Will let you know results of use.

  12. CR October 11, 2008 at 11:36 pm #

    My boyfriend has made deoderant with a similar recipe, but instead of the Coconut Oil, he used Cocoa Butter. It works great for him, but caused redness and breakouts in my skin ( possibly due to the amount of baking soda ) – I’m definitely going to try this recipe and see if I have more success ! Thanks !

    • Alyss February 26, 2009 at 11:00 am #

      I am using this recipe but with less baking soda. Mine is probably a half cup melted coconut oil with 4-6 tbs total powder (I would say two corn starch and 4 or 5 baking soda). Mine has thickened into about the same consistency is plain coconut oil but I can dig a little bit out with my nails and rub that into my skin.
      If you are having irritation try increasing the coconut oil, or decreasing the baking soda/cornstarch. People use just plain coconut oil.

  13. ana October 7, 2008 at 6:46 pm #

    i made this deodorant and have been using it for several weeks. i like that it is natural and it eliminates the smell. but i have developed an itchy rash and because of this my underarms have gotten darker and my skin has thickened. is there anything that i can change in the recipe to stop this?

    • Lindsay October 8, 2008 at 7:31 am #

      Hmm…maybe you are bothered by the baking soda. Try decreasing the quantity of baking soda and increasing the powder or coconut oil. Make sure you are using quality brands (preferably organic coconut oil) as well…this can make a huge difference!

  14. najeeh October 7, 2008 at 5:54 am #

    In my opinion regarding changing the oil instead, I don’t think the effect will be the same, no other could replace the coconut as an antibacterial agent.

  15. najeeh October 7, 2008 at 5:51 am #

    Hi , yesterday i made the deodorant. The second day it was still rough maybe could be caused by the baking soda? Maybe mix it with the blender or something strong enough to make it soft? Or maybe this is the normal texture, but the smell is good because of the mixture.
    Thank You!

  16. najeeh October 6, 2008 at 3:00 pm #

    hi everyone, right now i am doing the ingredients, i add a bit of lavander oil, camimile oil, rose oil, tea tree oil, the smell is great and more better, it kills a bit of coconut smels. but guys its rough thats the problem there.
    thanks

  17. Jessie October 6, 2008 at 1:32 pm #

    This sounds fun! Do you think that olive oil would work? I have a ton of it right now and this would be a great thing to use it for…

    • Lindsay October 6, 2008 at 2:35 pm #

      See reply on comment 19 above for this discussion. Coconut oil is specifically used because of its anti-bacterial qualities and is effective in preventing sweating smells.

  18. najeeh October 6, 2008 at 10:29 am #

    Thank you for the reply, its good to hear that u could aso mix with it tea tree oil as i like the smill, what about the arrowroot powder what is that exactly for? And i need to know how much drops of tea tree oil do i have to add.
    thank you

    • Lindsay October 6, 2008 at 2:31 pm #

      The arrowroot powder is used as a more natural substitute for cornstarch as a thickener (you can use either one). The quantity of tea tree oil is up to you. I have not used it in mine, so I don’t have a specific recommendation. Start with 10-15 drops and go from there depending upon your smell preferences.

      • Alyss February 26, 2009 at 10:55 am #

        I made mine with more coconut oil and less baking soda/corn starch. I added one drop of rosemary essential oil and it is enough to smell it. I wish I hadn’t – turns out I don’t like the smell of coconut and rosemary :) I’m going to try to find a fruitier essential oil and add that.

        • Alyss March 6, 2009 at 12:26 am #

          I remelted everything and added a few drops of rosewood essential oil and a drop or two of tea tree oil. I love the way it smells now!

  19. najeeh October 2, 2008 at 10:55 am #

    hi, i did loved reading all the messages in here. am sure i wil make it for me and for my chidren, what about mixing with it a bit of tea tree oil. pls answer

    • Lindsay October 2, 2008 at 12:40 pm #

      Tea tree oil is very nice and thus would probably be a great addition.

  20. Sarah August 30, 2008 at 9:24 am #

    This is wonderful! My husband and I both love it! Did you come up with the recipe?

  21. Alyssa August 28, 2008 at 1:18 pm #

    Love this recipe! When I make it, it’s moist and very thick. (coconut oil is liquid at room temp here!) I pour it into my old deodorant stick container and by the next day, it’s solid. Then I just use it like the old stuff. It doesn’t hold together as good(ie. it flakes a bit), so I just try to rub it on gently.

    On days when I’m really hot and sweaty, I may apply it more than once or I’ll get a bit stinky. But it’s worth it for being so cheap and aluminum-free!

  22. Patti August 11, 2008 at 10:20 am #

    I will definately be trying this for my husband & I, but really have not read anything about helping the profuse sweater. Any comments on this.

  23. Tracy August 9, 2008 at 6:04 pm #

    Would adding essential oil(s) alter the effects?

    • Lindsay August 10, 2008 at 7:32 am #

      To the best of my knowledge, I do not believe this would have any effect.

    • Alyss March 6, 2009 at 12:27 am #

      I made mine with about six drops of rosewood essential oil, three drops of tea tree and a drop of rosemary. It smells very similar to the Toms of Maine flowery deodorant. Try just the rosewood if you only want to buy one oil, though the tea tree is nice and has so many other applications.

  24. ABC August 1, 2008 at 7:00 am #

    Can I use other kinds of oil such as olive, almond, or canola in place of coconut? Also, how long is the shelf life?

    • Lindsay August 1, 2008 at 8:43 am #

      The other oils you referenced will not give you the same consistency as coconut oil (due to the fact that it is solid unless heated above 75 degrees). Coconut oil also has deodorizing properties, helping it to prevent the smell of sweating. Coconut oil can be stored at room temperature indefinitely, unlike other oils as well.

  25. Jen July 13, 2008 at 9:13 am #

    I tried to do the 2 Tbl. baking soda, 1/4 c. cornstarch b/c of the irritation and I mixed it with about 5 Tbl. melted coconut oil and I’m having trouble with it clumping. Not in the container, it has a nice consistency, kind of like frosting, but when I go to spread it on it doesn’t spread smoothly, it just stays in like dime size clumps on my underarms and will not spread at all. Super annoying! Has anyone had this and how did you remedy it? I’ve found this before as the summer got hotter and the CO melted my last batch did this clumping thing too. Is it too much cornstarch in comparison to the baking soda?

    • Lindsay July 13, 2008 at 7:34 pm #

      Jen, the problem may be that you melted the coconut oil in the first combining of ingredients. I would try using it in its solid form and see if that helps.

      • Alyss March 6, 2009 at 12:29 am #

        I made mine by completely melting the coconut oil. I used less baking soda/corn starch than this recipe but it mixed up nicely. I did have to stir the concoction as it melted – the oil floated to the top and the baking soda sunk to the bottom. I actually recommend more coconut oil. The oil melts and spreads nicely on your warm skin. You could even try straight coconut oil with no baking soda.

  26. Megan Petersen July 10, 2008 at 1:09 pm #

    Can you mix the ingredients together when the coconut oil is in liquid form? It is rather warm here and the coconut oil is not staying solid at this time.

    • Lindsay July 10, 2008 at 2:30 pm #

      Sure, why not. I have heard of others storing it in the refrigerator to keep it solid, but you can apply it wet as well! Use a fan to dry quickly before putting on any garments. You could also increase the baking soda to help make it more solid.

      • Christy December 8, 2008 at 6:27 pm #

        It’s the arrowroot that functions as a thickener. You wouldn’t want to increase baking soda too much, it’s a skin irritant.

  27. justine July 9, 2008 at 1:46 pm #

    i love this recipe!!it last long and has worked well on hot days on when working out!i’ve tried natural deoderants that smelled funny when perspired.so this is what i will use for my whole family!

  28. Susan June 14, 2008 at 5:06 pm #

    I hope you don’t mind my sharing an alternative. Years ago I gave up the aluminum-containing anti-persperant deoderants and have since tried various brands, none of which worked well. I also haven’t had much success using coconut oil as a deodorant. Out of bit of desperation (moving into hot, humid days now), recently I asked my husband to buy vodka, which I poured into an empty witch hazel bottle. It has worked well so far.

  29. Elaine June 5, 2008 at 5:59 pm #

    Lindsay,
    I have made this deoderant and it seems to work. My husband, myself and older son are using it. However, it left my son and myself with a itchy rash. Also, after I shave it really stings if I put it on. Have you had this problem? Do you think the baking soda could cause the problem of a rash? Maybe I should cut down on the baking soda and increase the arrowroot a little???
    Elaine

    • Lindsay June 7, 2008 at 7:48 pm #

      Elaine, I have had occasional problems with a bit of a rash and stinging, but I am not sure if it was due to the deodorant or not. Either way, for both problems I would recommend less baking soda. I tried a batch recently with just two tbsp to 1/4 cup arrowroot powder and it hasn’t caused any problems. I also found it is best to wait a little while after shaving before applying and have a good quality razer!

    • Cindy Bruce June 15, 2008 at 4:20 pm #

      I was wondering, I am allergic to coconut oil, what could I substitute? Palm oil? Also I just wanted to note that a lot of baking sodas have aluminum in them so you would want to make sure it was aluminum free. Thank you,

    • Lindsay June 15, 2008 at 9:32 pm #

      Palm oil would definitely be my other thought in replacement of coconut oil, as it has the same texture but not necessarily the same anti-bacterial component. It would be worth a try.

      • Alyss February 26, 2009 at 10:52 am #

        I saw another recipe for homemade deodarant using shea butter and baking soda. You could try that instead of, or mixed with the coconut oil.

  30. Tara May 16, 2008 at 5:45 pm #

    What is arrowroot and where can you buy it?

    • Lindsay May 17, 2008 at 7:02 am #

      Arrowroot is a more natural alternative to cornstarch (thickening agent). It is available at any health food store, such as in bulk at fred meyer nutrition. I purchase mine through Azure Standard.

  31. Jen May 8, 2008 at 1:06 pm #

    Lindsay-
    When you order the gallon of CO from Mountain Rose, how do you store it? I’m assuming you seperate out what you use for body care from cooking. And have you had a problem with the deodorant with the warmer weather? I put mine in an old deodorant container, and it’s so sloppy and oily lately I’m not sure what to do with the warming temperatures? If you could help, that’d be great!

    • Lindsay May 8, 2008 at 3:50 pm #

      I usually put some of the CO in a smaller jar in the bathroom for quick use as lotion, but I will just scoop some out of the large container when making deodorant. I haven’t tried putting the deodorant in a old container, so I can see that as being a problem. You could either add more of the cornstarch to thicken it, or just transfer to another container with lid.

  32. Heather May 5, 2008 at 7:05 am #

    Hi Lindsay,

    I just recently found your blog and I love it!! I really like the idea of this deodorant; do you have to use coconut oil or will other oils work? For instance, sweet almond oil? That’s one I happen to have on hand.

    • Lindsay May 5, 2008 at 7:37 am #

      I am not sure. I know different oils will change the consistency. Coconut oil is a solid substance, which enables this mixture to maintain a moist but firmer consistency. It would be worth a try. Coconut oil is recommended because of its antibacterial properties, and is very healthy for the skin. In many tropical countries, coconut oil is used alone as a deodorant and is said to be very effective.

  33. Sharon May 3, 2008 at 4:30 pm #

    So will this be the texture of a stick deoderant? And you can pack it into an old container or is it more like a jell?

    • Lindsay May 3, 2008 at 6:37 pm #

      You want a moist consistency so it is easy to spread. Gradually add the coconut oil till it is easy to ply with your fingers and rub onto your skin. It is more like the consistency of shortening/lard (that’s all I can think of to compare it to!). I pack it into an small plastic container, but it might work just as well in an old deodorant container.

  34. Madalyn March 27, 2008 at 12:02 pm #

    Thanks Lindsay, I’ll give it a shot and let you know. By the way, I appreciate Kimi’s comment about baking soda often having aluminum in it. I didn’t know that. That would certainly be defeating, wouldn’t it?!

  35. Madalyn March 27, 2008 at 10:58 am #

    Lindsay, I’ve made this deodorant, and love it, but I’m having trouble with how solid it gets. I know the coconut oil solidifies under 79 degrees, but do you have this difficulty? It’s pretty hard, I can’t even push my fingers in the mixture to get some out. Did I mix something wrong, or is there a trick to this>

    • Lindsay March 27, 2008 at 11:17 am #

      I would try adding more coconut oil. If you add enough it should maintain the texture of regular deodorant. Keep it moist is the key. Let me know if it improve for you. It is something you have to experiment with.

  36. Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home March 25, 2008 at 7:55 am #

    You know, I’ve tried so many natural deodorants and have been so disappointed with them. I am very willing to give this a try! Perhaps I’ll make some today and if it works for me, I’ll post about it. Thanks Lindsay!

  37. Tia March 22, 2008 at 5:07 pm #

    Lindsay, is it strong enough for men? My husband does a lot of yard work in the summer.

    Nicole, I have VERY sensitive skin, and I have to watch anything and everything I use on my body. And I haven’t had any problems. I have been using CO for years in my aspects. I used the cold pressed kind (the best, and has the most health benefits)

    I do shave every other day, I don’t like feeling prickly! No red bumps from shaving either!

  38. Nicole March 22, 2008 at 1:25 pm #

    I don’t know what kind of habit you have in the states…I have a fair complexion and thin skin, but every thing is OK for me, no drye or red skin…but perhaps you “shave” more often because it would explain alot.
    I don’t mean I keep all of it but I do consider it is there for some reason…so I am not on it every day or what…

  39. Hey Lindsay,
    Sounds like a wonderful recipe. :-) I just thought I would mention to those of you who may not know that baking soda OFTEN has aluminum in it. So buy one that specifically says aluminum free on it, if you want to reap the health benefits of making your own.

    • Brooke Gallo June 21, 2008 at 5:05 pm #

      Baking POWDER is what usually has aluminum. Baking soda is just sodium bicarbonate. No aluminum in this. So, no need to worry!

  40. Ashley March 21, 2008 at 6:36 pm #

    I’m like Tammy and developed a rash with just baking soda. I’ve been using a natural brand that incorporates tea tree oil and it works alright but is expensive.

    I just ordered a gallon of coconut oil from Mountain Rose Herbs for cooking so now I can’t wait to try this out! Thanks!

  41. Mrs. U March 21, 2008 at 10:56 am #

    This sounds wonderful. I know others that have tried baking soda only, but I think that would get dry. This sounds not as drying.

    Is there a particular brand of coconut oil that you recommend?

    His,
    Mrs. U

  42. Beth March 21, 2008 at 8:19 am #

    Question….
    Does the coconut oil not stain the armpits of your clothes? Or do you have to let it soak in first before you put a shirt on? The recipe sounds like such a great idea, but that was my one hesitation.

    • Lindsay March 21, 2008 at 11:05 am #

      I have never had any problem with staining with the coconut oil, but I did have this problem with antiperspirants.

  43. monica March 21, 2008 at 7:09 am #

    Thank you for sharing this. Will any coconut oil do or should it only be made with the high quality oil?

  44. Tammy March 21, 2008 at 7:06 am #

    Thanks for the recipe! I have used just baking soda and water before, but my skin became so irritated and red that I had to go back to regular deodorant. I can’t wait to try this!

  45. Kristy Howard March 21, 2008 at 6:22 am #

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe… my husband and I have tried several different natural deoderants without success. This one sounds great!

  46. Alyssa March 21, 2008 at 5:52 am #

    I just found your website… I am very interested in trying this recipe.

    Also as a side note, my Midwife just told me that a womens breast tissue actually extends up into the arm pit, which is why the aluminum in deodorants cause breast cancer! Makes sense I guess.

  47. Lady Why March 21, 2008 at 5:12 am #

    I have never heard of doing this! I’m always looking for natural alternatives so I’m definitely trying this!

  48. Christie March 21, 2008 at 3:53 am #

    Thanks for the great information! I’m definitely passing this on to my mom and sisters! We’ve been trying forever to find natural deoderant solutions.

  49. Candace March 21, 2008 at 3:25 am #

    Interesting, I’ll have to try this,

  50. Nicole March 20, 2008 at 11:50 pm #

    I just moisten my fingers and rub baking soda…no smell, it is so easy…

    • Lindsay March 21, 2008 at 1:50 am #

      I have heard of others just using baking soda. I prefer the texture of incorporating the coconut oil, dries as it applies, plus you get all the wonderful benefits this has for your skin!