Raising My Twins

It's what's on my mind.

The Best Homemade Deodorant

on August 18, 2012

(EDITED 10/3/12—see note at end of entry) I’ve always had a hard time with deodorants and antiperspirants. I used to sweat a fair amount when I was younger and I used antiperspirant exclusively then. All through my twenties I had the experience of using an antiperspirant for a while successfully, only to have it stop working after a couple of months. I was left sweaty and a little stinky and unhappy about it.

In my mid-thirties, I decided that I didn’t want to use pore-clogging formulations to block the sweat, so tried to move to deodorants. I’ve tried over a dozen natural and big-brand deodorants and they were all ineffective at preventing odor and nearly all were too sticky-feeling as well. Ick.

A few years ago I started trying to make my own. I landed on a formulation that worked pretty well for a while. Baking soda and cornstarch, with a little lavender essential oil, applied with a brush. It was good for a few weeks and hubby even used it too, but then we felt it wasn’t working as well and we didn’t like powdering the carpet at each morning’s application.

About four months ago I read a post at Progressive Pioneer which, when you follow another link to get to the recipe, shows the baking soda-cornstarch mixture with one change: the addition of coconut oil. I had my doubts, but tried it anyway. If nothing else, the application would be less messy.

Four months later and I can say definitively that this deodorant works, and it works very well. I had made that first batch in a little ramekin and kept it on my dresser with a spoon in it. (When the weather gets warm it liquifies, so I stir it up.) I am just now getting to the end of that batch and looking back on its performance these past months, I couldn’t be happier.

I no longer have to think about my pits! And that’s what deodorant is supposed to do. I never stink, and it’s even a bit of an antiperspirant because of the drying properties of the cornstarch, I think. Holds up through my regular cardio workouts too. It works for about 24 hours, I’d say. Maybe a bit less.

It’s really nothing short of amazing. And it’s cheap too.

So I’m due for another batch. This time I poured it into two old 2.4 oz deodorant containers (didn’t know it made that much!) and I will store it in the fridge. Here’s the recipe:

  • 4 T. baking soda
  • 4 T. cornstarch or arrowroot powder (I’ve only tried the cornstarch)
  • 6 T. coconut oil

Thank you to Our Daily Legacy, for the original recipe, and to Progressive Pioneer for passing it along.

EDIT (October 3, 2012): I want to report that using a stick-style container for application is not recommended. It deposits WAY more than you need, and as the commenter anticipated, it can leave grease marks. I only spotted marks once, but that is too much oil. There should be no residue.

I am back to using this recipe out of a ramekin that sits on my dresser. I apply a tiny fingertip dab to each armpit—rubbing it in quickly—and the effectiveness is spectacular. We are in a heat wave this week and I am truly not wanting for better protection.

But skip the stick-deodorant container method.

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2 responses to “The Best Homemade Deodorant

  1. Does this leave a grease mark on the armpits of your shirts?

    I’ve used the salt crystal deodorant, and it was fine in winter, but it fails big time in the summer.

    • Janet S says:

      I have not noticed any marks on my shirts at all. It feels like the coconut oil absorbs into my skin well. I tried crystal deodorant many years ago and didn’t find it very effective either.

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