[Eco-Tutorial] DIY Deodorant

Over the years I’ve tried every natural deodorant imaginable….Tom’s, Jason, Dr. Hauschka, Burt’s Bees, Lush, crystals, lotions, and good ole’ soap. All left me either stinky and slimy, or red and rashy.

Determined to win the battle, I began to scour the internet to find an effective DIY Deodorant recipe. After two failed attempts using Essential Day Spa’s concoction, I ditched the clay, coconut oil, and lavender, and opted for the following simplified recipe.

I even recruited several guinea pigs, including my husband David, to put my homemade concotion to the test. Through wind and rain, heat and cold, lazy days and vigorous bike riding, my subjects’ pits smelled as fresh as ever! So go ahead and give the recipe below a try and surprise your scent glands!

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3 Tbsp Corn Starch,  1/2 tsp Baking Soda, 1/2 cup Pure Shea Butter,

10 drops Neem Oil, 10 drops Tee Tree oil, 10 drops Lemon Grass oil

Follow These Steps:

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Step 1: Combine ingredients and stir. I threw mine in a fondue pot I no longer use and melted them all together.

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Step 2: Check consistency. If the mix looks too thin, add more baking soda. If you’re skin is sensitive, like mine, add starch instead.

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Step 3: Pour mixture into an air tight container and allow to set. I used an empty glass jar from my face cream and let the mixture set for an hour before use.

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Step 4: To apply, scoop out a dime sized amount and massage into underarms.

Not enough time to DIY? In her article “Want a fresh green deodorant? Don’t Sweat It!” Marisa Belger put together this list of five ingredients to avoid when choosing a deodorant from the store. She writes:

“Parabens: These preservatives come in several forms (methyl, ethyl, propyl, benzyl and butyl) and have been found in breast cancer tumors — though the link to cancer has yet to be substantiated.

Aluminum and friends: Aluminum should be wrapped around sandwiches and not absorbed into the body where, as I mentioned earlier, it has been connected to Alzheimer’s disease. But aluminum is a key ingredient in antiperspirant and may look like any of these on a label: aluminum chlorohydrate, aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly or any other aluminum compound.

Triclosan: Sounds like a toilet bowl cleaner, but it’s really a chemical that is classified as a pesticide by the FDA. It’s thought to contain carcinogenic contaminants and is stored in body fat.

Talc: This seemingly benign duster of baby bottoms is often contaminated with asbestos (which is carcinogenic).

Propelyn glycol: As a ‘penetration enhancer,’ propelyn glycol sounds as if it should be sold with Viagra, but it is actually believed to be a neurotoxin that may cause kidney or liver damage.”

Itching for more? Check out this fun deodorant trivia article from CNN.

What has your experience with natural deodorants been like? Have you found one that works?

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  1. Hi, I was googleing DIY Deodorants and I came across your post, I am interested in trying this out I was just wondering how much does this cost to make (ingredient cost) and how long will it last (shelf life), I’m strapped for cash ( college student), thank you.

    • Britney,

      Thank you for posing these great questions!

      I would estimate that all the ingredients together will cost you somewhere between $20-$30 and will last long enough to make 4-6 batches.

      Per the shelf life – I find that if you make the proportions as described in the recipe above that you’ll run out before there’s any fear of it going rancid. When we make a batch it will normally last my husband and I a good month or two.

      Hope that helps!

  2. Great tutorial! I’ve also tried a number of off the shelf options, but haven’t found one that I really like. I’m going to give this a try!!

  3. This is a great tutorial ! Thank you !
    Since some years, I use a crystal-like deodorant. Always the same since 3-4 years !!!
    But, because there is one but, it does not work like I would like.
    So, I will try yours !!!

  4. jill @ dustDesignCo says:

    awesome tutorial! thanks so much for sharing, like you i have yet to find a natural deodorant that works for me. cant wait to test this out!

  5. What a great tutorial! The information is also great.

  6. This is fantastic! Where do you acquire some of the more obscure ingredients? Particularly the Neem oil and Shea butter, I’ve never seen that on my supermarket shelf before. Also, how long will this jar last and can you scent it with natural oils? I seriously want to give this a shot! Thanks so much for the awesome DIY tutorial :-)

    • I purchase the shea butter in bulk from True Nature Foods which is a local grocer near my place. I believe Whole Foods carries raw shea as well.

      With the Neem Oil it can be a little trickier depending on where you live. I purchased mine at a local vitamin store but know that Indian grocers also carry it as it’s a staple in that culture.

      And yes – use essential oils to gussy up the smell. I like lemongrass.
      Hope that helps and that you find everything!

  7. Awesome tutorial! Thank you for sharing!

  8. Thank you for the great feedback everyone! Would love to hear how the recipe works for you down the road.

  9. Super great tutorial!
    I have been lucky to find (through my son) a Crystal Deodorant that lasts a year, no kidding. I love it and would make my own like this and will share with others, but if you’re looking for a purchase, I can highly recommend. Loyal fan for 2 + years now.

  10. Lovely – I really want to try making this. I, for one, am not a fan of carcinogens.

  11. Great tutorial!
    Thank you so much.

  12. I have been searching high and low for a good homemade deodorant recipe. I am going to give yours a try. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. Using an old fondue pot to melt all of the ingredients is so clever.
    Smile, Paula

    • Paula – please let me know how it works for you! You may have to tinker with the balance of starch to soda a bit – so start with a smaller batch and test which combo works best.