5 Recipes for Homemade Deodorant That Really Works

Making homemade deodorant stick with all natural ingredients concept. Blue wooden background. Ingredients: arrowroot powder, baking soda, beeswax, shea butter, essential oil, cornstarch, coconut oil.
Helin Loik-Tomson / Getty Images

Are you tired of trying out natural deodorants that just don't seem to do to the job? Are you done with using strong antiperspirants that contain potentially harmful chemicals? You're not alone.

The solution might be easier than you think with a bit of research, some innovation, and getting creative at home. Here are five all-natural DIY deodorants that are low-budget, easy to make, and effective.

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Soothing Lavender Baking Soda Deodorant

Antibacterial and natural homemade deodorant
svehlik / Getty Images

This DIY deodorant uses a variety of natural ingredients that are moisturizing for the skin and have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Baking soda is a common ingredient in natural deodorants. This age-old, multi-purpose product is commonly used in cooking, cleaning, and odor prevention. Its ability to absorb odor makes it an effective additive in a DIY deodorant to help you feel fresh and odor-free longer.

Baking soda isn't for everyone though, as it may irritate sensitive skin and has a tendency to leave skin feeling dry. No need to worry because a natural, homemade deodorant can still be effective without baking soda. There are a number of alternative ingredients that can be added to deodorant in place of baking soda, including apple cider vinegar, cornstarch, or witch hazel.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup shea butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil 
  • 3 tablespoons beeswax pellets
  • 3 tablespoons baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot flour starch
  • 20 drops lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops tea tree essential oil 

Steps

  1. Prepare a double boiler with the bottom pot about 1/4 full with water.
  2. Bring the water to a gentle boil over medium heat and then add the shea butter and coconut oil to the top pot, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once the shea butter and coconut oil have melted, add the beeswax and stir frequently until all the ingredients are liquid.
  4. Remove the bowl from heat and quickly add the baking soda and the arrowroot flour, mixing everything together.
  5. Add in the essential oils and then combine all of the ingredients.
  6. Pour the mixture into a mason jar. The deodorant will solidify as it cools.
  7. For application, scoop a small amount of the deodorant from the jar, rub between your fingers, and apply to your armpits as needed.
2
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Rosewater Spray Deodorant

rosewater spray

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This easy-to-make spray combines a few simple ingredients that allow the body to breathe while still providing great control against odor.

Ingredients 

  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt or sea salt
  • 6 drops lime essential oil
  • 1 drops geranium essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons rosewater
  • 2 tablespoons grain alcohol, such as Everclear or high-proof vodka
  • 4 tablespoons pure witch hazel

Steps

  1. Combine the salt and essential oils into a reusable glass spray bottle and shake to combine.
  2. Using a funnel, add the alcohol, witch hazel, and rosewater. Add the cap and shake again, combining all of the ingredients thoroughly.
  3. Spray the deodorant onto clean armpits and give it a minute or so to dry before putting on clothes.

Stored in a cool, dry place, the deodorant spray will last about six months.

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Coconut Oil and Sage Deodorant

Stirring of antibacterial homemade deodorant
svehlik / Getty Images

This DIY, baking soda-free deodorant recipe is packed with natural ingredients that are moisturizing, nourishing, and work for even the most sensitive skin.

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon shea butter
  • 5 drops vitamin E oil
  • 8 drops grapefruit essential oil
  • 3 drops sage essential oil

Steps

  1. Place a double boiler with water in the bottom bowl over medium heat. Add in the coconut oil and shea butter in the top pot and carefully melt, stirring occasionally.
  2. Once they're completely melted, remove the mixture from the heat to cool.
  3. Pour in the essential oils and vitamin E oil, mix well, and carefully transfer to a reusable glass jar. You can also use a recyclable deodorant container.
  4. The deodorant will solidify as it cools and can be applied as needed.
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Cocoa Butter and Candelilla Wax Deodorant

Organic Candelilla Wax in Chemical Watch Glass, Yellow cosmetic color (oil) and broadleaf lady palm leaf on wooden background. (Top View)
Chadchai Krisadapong / Getty Images

Olive oil, cocoa butter, and coconut oil all offer moisturizing qualities for the skin. Arrowroot powder can help reduce wetness, while the amount of baking soda is enough to avoid irritation while still providing odor-fighting elements.

You can choose to make a custom blend of essential oils, dependent on your preference. Tea tree oil blends seamlessly with most other scents, while also helping control odor.

Although many deodorant recipes use beeswax, candelilla wax is a great substitute as it stays much firmer than beeswax, ensuring that the deodorant glides on more easily.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon candelilla wax
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa butter
  • 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup arrowroot powder
  • 2 tablespoon baking soda
  • 60 drops essential oils of choice
  • 6 drops tea tree essential oil

Steps

  1. Make a double boiler and heat the water in the bottom section to a low boil.
  2. Put the candelilla wax, cocoa butter, coconut oil, and olive oil in the top section of the double boiler and carefully melt over medium heat until everything is completely melted and blended.
  3. Add the arrowroot powder and baking soda and mix well.
  4. Remove the pot from heat, add in the essential oils, and stir together.
  5. Pour the mixture into recyclable deodorant containers and place them in the refrigerator to cool.
  6. Store your deodorant at room temperature and apply as needed.
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Refreshing Lemongrass Deodorant Spray

Lemon Grass (Cymbopogon citratus) and Citronella oil in glass bottle and glass dropper on wood table background. Lemongrass oil for spa and insects repellent concept.
ARISA THEPBANCHORNCHAI / Getty Images

This fresh deodorant spray combines the powerful properties of apple cider vinegar with essential oils. The spray kills bacteria and deodorizes, leaving you smelling fresh and clean throughout the day.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or witch hazel
  • 1/4 cup distilled or spring water
  • 30 drops lemongrass or lemon essential oil
  • 15 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops tea tree essential oil

Steps

  1. Fill a 4-ounce glass spray bottle with either apple cider vinegar or witch hazel.
  2. Add your essential oils and fill the bottle the rest of the way up with distilled water.
  3. Shake well and spray on clean armpits.
  4. Stored in a cool, dry place, the spray will last for over a year.

Natural Deodorant vs. Antiperspirant

Deodorant and antiperspirant are terms that are often used interchangeably but actually describe two unique products.

The essence of deodorant is to eliminate armpit odor, though it doesn't prevent perspiration. Store-bought deodorants are often alcohol-based in order to increase the skin acidity, something that odor-causing bacteria don't like. Deodorants also commonly contain perfume to hide any odor. Natural deodorants work a bit differently, as they contain ingredients to absorb moisture rather than prevent sweat.

Antiperspirants, on the other hand, temporarily block sweat pores. They typically contain aluminum-based compounds, which is the ingredient that reduces perspiration. There is concern around the idea of the skin absorbing these aluminum compounds and the side effects it may have. Another contradictory element of antiperspirants is the concern over them blocking the sweating process, which is one of the body's natural ways to get rid of toxins.