A Recipe for Homemade Deodorant That REALLY Works!

A bottle of essential oil and glass cups with ingredients for homemade deodorant including coconut oil, baking soda, and more

svehlik / Getty Images 

My bathroom cupboard holds an array of partially used natural deodorants. All of them now sit abandoned because they just don’t work well enough. I’ve tried everything – sticks, sprays, roll-on liquid, made by countless different brands -- but by the end of a long day and an intense workout at the gym, there is inevitably a moment when I realize the natural deodorant just isn’t cutting it. So I revert to conventional anti-perspirant, feeling confident that I won’t smell, but uncomfortable with possibly putting myself at risk for breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease (not to mention the host of toxic chemicals included in conventional anti-perspirant and deodorant).

Lately I’ve noticed a growing interest online and among friends in making homemade deodorant, but I always dismissed it as being another ineffective natural deodorant that wouldn’t keep smell or wetness at bay. When I finally mixed up a batch, I was amazed at the results – dry, odorless armpits with a slight scent of lavender that lasted the entire day, CrossFit workout included! Little did I know the best solution was the simplest one. Give it a try and see for yourself how well it works.

Recipe for Homemade Deodorant

Natural deodorant ingredients in jars, bowls and small bottles.

gabrielabertolini / Getty Images

3 tbsp virgin coconut oil 2 tbsp shea butter 3 tbsp baking soda 2 tbsp cornstarch 5 drops essential oil (lavender, orange, etc.)

Make a double boiler by placing a half-pint glass jar in the middle of a small pot of water. Bring water to a simmer. Add coconut oil and shea butter to the jar and let melt. Turn off the heat, add baking soda and cornstarch, and stir until completely smooth. Mix in the essential oil of your choice. Let cool.

At room temperature (which is about 67 degrees Fahrenheit in my house) the deodorant is hard. I scrape out ~1 tsp, roll it into a ball with my fingertips, and apply it directly under my armpits, where it melts and soaks in. In the summer, I’ll keep the jar of deodorant in the fridge, since coconut oil liquefies at 76 F. Some people transfer the deodorant to an old anti-perspirant tube to make application easier.

(So far I haven’t noticed any staining on clothes, though if you’re concerned, it might be a good idea to wait a few minutes after applying deodorant, letting it soak in thoroughly before getting dressed.)