DIY Deodorant - Everyday Essentials

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DIY Deodorant

Plant Therapy DIY Deodorant

By: Kimberly Daun, Certified Aromatherapist

I was recently talking to a friend about traditional deodorants.  Our conversation was eye-opening as she enlightened me to just how harmful they can be.  Upon conducting research, I found there to be aluminum in virtually all store-bought brands.  Not being entirely sure what that would do to my body, I decided to find out for myself.  Some of the most alarming side effects are that it clogs your pores and therefore minimizes your ability to sweat.  My initial response to that information was — well, isn’t that what deodorant is supposed to do?

However, our bodies were made to sweat, as it in an effective and healthy way of eliminating toxins.  I think we already have enough hygiene products that we don’t feel entirely comfortable using, or even somewhere we avoid the ingredients label altogether.  I set out to find a homemade deodorant recipe that I felt was safe and would help me maintain my hygienic sanity as two of my boys approach their teen years.  As an added bonus, it’s only 1/3 of the cost of traditional deodorants. After some trial and error, the best one I have found is the following coconut oil deodorant recipe.

Baking Soda: I use this often to neutralize odors around the house.  It helps balance your’ body’s PH levels keeping you smelling nice. You know your skin the best, if you feel like this ingredient is a bit abrasive for you then replacing it with arrowroot powder will give you the same results. If replacing it entirely doesn’t resonate with your skin type either you can use both baking soda and arrowroot powder and find a good balance of both. Luckily with this recipe you can fine tune it to you or your family’s needs.

Arrow Root: Absorbs excess moisture and the contains calcium chloride to help balance your PH levels.

Cornstarch: Rather than blocking your pores, like store bought deodorant, it helps to absorb excess moisture.  It can help soothe skin irritation, relieve issues caused by warm/damp environments, and keep your underarms nice and dry.

Solid Coconut Oil: This is another ingredient that helps keep your body balanced and eliminate skin conditions that can potentially cause an unpleasant odor.  The high content of Lauric Acid found in coconut oil offers a nice support to your immune system.

Bentonite Clay: This is my favorite ingredient because it actually HELPS your body by drawing out toxins, keeping your lymph nodes clear.  Your lymph nodes are a part of your body largely responsible for fighting infection, illness, and eliminating things the body doesn’t need or may be harmful.  Keeping your lymph nodes clear is necessary for a fully functioning immune system. How cool to add an extra boost to your health by using your deodorant, and it doesn’t stain!

Tea Tree: Essential Oil: Warm and damp places are an ideal place for fungus and other germs, aka our underarms on any given day. Luckily, Tea Tree Essential Oil is a great remedy for the unwanted substances and whatever odor could accompany them. Tea Tree has a high content of Terpinen-4-ol which is what makes unpleasant odor lose the battle. If you struggle with skin sensitivity or razor burn Tea Tree can also help with bumps, breakouts, and general skin irritation. Because of its immune boosting constituents, it has health benefits that extend far beyond your underarms. Not only do I LOVE the aroma of Tea Tree but it was also the first essential oil I was introduced to so it has a special place for me. Because, of the previous factors Tea Tree was the best options for me, however, if you want a bit more soft and synergistic aroma, Lavender is a really fabulous addition.  Not only does it help with odors but it also has a very calming effect on the mind and body.

Beeswax Pearls I used this to ensure the deodorant would stay solid at room temperature.  We throw these in our gym bags and I would hate to open it up to a melted mess when I need deodorant the most!  Not to mention the benefits of vitamin A for your skin and immune system.

What you’ll need

What you’ll do

  1. Over a double boiler melt beeswax and coconut oil.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Whisk in dry ingredients and essential oils.
  4. Pour into Twist Tube.
  5. Let sit until hard.

Plant Therapy DIY deodorant

I specifically wanted to stay with a 1% dilution for my essential oils since we’ll be using this often.  This will help minimize the risks associated with sensitization.  This is my FAVORITE natural deodorant recipe and has given me the option of never going back to expensive and unsafe store bought deodorant.  Using this natural deodorant helps me to smell nice and boost my immune system.

What are your favorite essential oils to combat unpleasant odors?


104 thoughts on “DIY Deodorant”

    1. Definitely. You could replace it with another starch like tapioca or potato starch. You could also adjust the amount of arrowroot powder to help make up the difference.

  • I’ve made deodorant with an almost identical ingredient list. Worked well! Lavendar essential oil is a go to in our household for pretty much any homemade body care products. I love that I can buy it in bulk from Plant Therapy!!

  • I’m so glad I found this recipe. I have spent a lot of $ on store bought deodorant and none of it ever worked as good as this recipe. I eliminated the baking soda, beeswax and doubled the arrowroot powder. I also added 10g of non-nano zinc oxide. Instead of tea tree essential oil I used Plant Therapy deodorizing blend. This amazing deodorant lasted a full 30hrs before a smelled a faint odor when I lifted my arms. I will definitely continue to use this recipe and Plant Therapy oils! Keep the recipes coming!

  • I tried this recipe without the baking soda as other DIY deodorants I tried with baking soda, even the smallest amount broke my skin out. I did as suggested and added more arrowroot powder. This DIY works good so far. I was outside pressure washing the house for a couple of hours and no stinky arm pits so far! I had never used the bentonite clay before but ordered some for this DIY. It made my deodorant green which is fine. I am interested to find out more about that product too. This recipe will definitely be added to my recipe book and I am excited to find more essential oil combinations for me and my family to try. Thank you Plant Therapy for being awesome and providing this recipe!

  • I have been making DIY deodorant for quite a while. I see this recipe includes bentonite clay, which I will absolutely add to my next batch. I plan to also take the suggestion of others to swap out some of the coconut oil with shea butter or cocoa butter as my current version is melting in our recent heat wave. I have tried adding extra beeswax in the past, but as Kristen said, while it does reduce the melting issue, it also makes it more difficult to apply.

  • I tried the recipe today, swapping out a little of the coconut oil for cocoa butter as it has been around 90 degrees in Northern NY the past few days and I was worrying about it melting. When I removed the oil mixture from the heat and added the dry powders, it quickly clumped up and there was absolutely no way to pour it in my deodorant tubes. I did a quick microwave of 30 seconds at a time until the mixture again liquified, and it poured into my tubes just fine. I checked them a few hours later and they are holding their shape, yet melt at the touch so that they can be applied to the underarm. I tried some after my shower today and it kept me feeling drier than my other natural deodorant, and with much less sweat as well. I will probably tweak the recipe a little more but overall i would say it was a success. I used a combination of Lemongrass, Ylang Ylang, and Bergamot at a total 1% dilution, with the majority being Bergamot as the other oils have a low dermal max.

  • Any thoughts on Shea Butter vs Coconut Oil as far as retaining solidity in warm temps or is it a non-issue? Also, any issue with it yellowing or staining clothing? Also wondering whether I can add more beeswax to retain more solidity in warmer temps.

    1. Shea butter has a melting point of 89-100F, it really depends for the coconut. You can get coconut oil that has a melting point of 92 degrees and one that has a melting point of 76 degrees.

      Any oil or butter may melt if it gets hot. I have not personally had any issues with staining. However, everyone is different and may experience different things.

      Adding more beeswax may help your DIY stay solid but it will definitely change the texture and may not roll on as well. You would just have to play around with your formulation to see if it feels and works as you want it to. Since we haven’t tried increasing the beeswax or swapping the butter, we wouldn’t have any personal experience to reference.

  • I see the deodorant recipe in the video is different from the article. Will both work just as well?

  • This recipe looks great, I was thinking of using the deodorizing synergy since its good against odors and its kidsafe too, is this a good idea? I heard Cypress can help stop sweat, is this true?

  • Any thoughts on Shea Butter vs Coconut Oil as far as retaining solidity in warm temps or is it a non-issue? Also, any issue with it yellowing or staining clothing?

    1. Making this blend without deodorant will definitely change the consistency and this would be more of a scrub that would have to be applied with your fingers instead of being used in a tube. It may also not spread as evenly and could leave visible powders clinging to the skin. Making changes to the recipe will definitely change the texture and without adding a wax, the oils will be more prone to melting and feeling more oily.

  • Making deodorant for the first time!!! I am a beginner at using all these ingredients- and measurements in grams. Are the tsp and tbsp amounts correct for the powders?

    1. Trina, the conversions are correct; we included them because it is so much easier for many of us to use measuring spoons and cups rather than a scale 🙂

  • I look forward to trying this. I always have a reaction to baking soda, so I plan on subbing more arrowroot in stead. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Same. Baking soda really irritated my arn pits but leaving it out of the recipe was still effective for me.

    2. Another substitute for baking soda is zinc oxide, but it makes the mixture softer and requires a little more beeswax to keep it firm.

  • I’ve been using natural deodorant for a few years. Its expensive and I have yet to find one that works for me! I may just have to try this!!

  • I make this without somewhere it’s not that good in it..wonderful information included in here!

  • Has anyone actually tried this and it work? I would like to try this, but I don’t want to invest if it isn’t going to actually work. Thank you!

  • thank you for posting this. i will give it a try soon. i am very excited to get rid off the deodorants full of aluminium.

  • I’m definitely going to have to try this! I’ve been searching for a natural deodorant, but my skin is so sensitive. Ones I’ve tried either don’t work or break me out. Thanks for sharing!

  • Just some advice… some people get consistent armpit rashes when they use homemade deodorant (most likely from the baking soda). If this is you, doing an armpit detox will completely get rid of that. The harmful chemicals in store bought deodorant clogs the lymph nodes. When you do an armpit detox it will draw out the chemicals clogging the lymph nodes and causing the rash. Search on Google “Wellness Mama armpit detox” for a great one. Hope this helps if applicable to you 🙂

  • Great recipe! Like the addition of the clay!! So we take in account dry ingredients when calculating dilution? So 85 grams is what we look up on the chart?

  • I’m so glad I just found this recipe! I’m bulking up my DIY notebook.
    How much deodorant does this recipe make (1 tube) ? I’m wondering if I should scale it up or down the recipe ratios depending on how much I need/wish to make.

  • I have been looking for an effective recipe–I will try this. Interested in how the clay component will work 🙂

  • I hv try with and without baking soda, I feel that with baking soda it last longer… but I hv issue with my armpits colour, is there any way to improve the skin color?

    1. I’m sorry Mrs Ander but I have not had this issue. Hopefully some of our other customers can offer suggestions for you.

  • I was very hesitant about making a DIY deodorant because I’ve seen a lot of different recipes with mixed reviews and results, but I took a chance and made this earlier this week and I absolutely love it! I had standard size deodorant tubes on hand for another project and they’re a bit bigger than the 2oz twist tubes mentioned for this recipe, so I used a heaping tablespoon of beeswax and added a teaspoon of shea butter for extra moisturizing. Thank you for this awesome recipe, I will never use store bought deodorant again!

  • I made this deodorant and while it works great, mine came out quite lumpy and it actually scratches and irritates when I put it on. The ingredients seemed really smooth when I was blending them and pouring them into the tubes. But then they dried with visible, scratchy lumps in them. Any suggestions for how to avoid this?

  • This has worked better than any homemade deodorant I’ve tried in the past. Do you know of oils that would go well with this besides tea tree? Sometimes I’d like something a little more floral than tea tree.

    1. I think Cedarwood and Lavender would be a lovely combo and would still offer many of the benefits that are desirable for this kind of product. We’re happy to hear the recipe is working for you!

  • Going to try this soon! My husband has a horrible time finding a deodorant that doesn’t make him break out!!!

  • For a 7 year old with sensitive skin, should I eliminate the baking soda and use more arrowroot it’s place?

    1. Hey Amanda, I would say that arrowroot would be a much better option for those with sensitive skin but I have not personally used this recipe without the baking soda. If you decide to whip it up let us know how it turns out 🙂 Have a great day!

  • Wondering about a substitute for beeswax, looking to make this for my Vegan niece and beeswax is not vegan friendly. Thanks

    1. We haven’t made it without the clay so we can’t speak to how the final product would turn out. If you try it let us know!

  • looks like the version in the video uses almond oil and meadow foam oil, and does not include cornstarch and bentonite clay. Is there a reason to choose one over the other?

    1. Either version can be used effectively. We wanted to give our customers multiple options to try and see what works best 🙂

    1. Ashleigh, we have never used this recipe without baking soda but you can certainly experiment to see if you can create something that is effective without this ingredient. Have a great day!

  • Thank you for all your amazing recipes and products! I wish there was an easier way to print them though. I have to go in and copy and paste because just saying print is a disaster.

    1. Rachel, thank you for your comments and feedback… We are actually now examining our blog and getting plans in place to make improvements in the future!

      1. YAY!! I already follow the blog and FB group and easier printing would only make your company more wonderful!! <3

      2. YAY! I really hope that you guys find a way to make it where most of your blogs are printable. I want to save so many things but the copy and pasting is tedious sometimes.

    1. Mabe, you can replace the arrowroot powder with corn starch. If you just eliminate the arrowroot, the consistency will be different.

    1. Stephanie, Bentonite Clay can change the color. I have purchased some brands that have little colors and some that are grayish and darker in hue. Tea Tree also alters the color of some products. There is no need for concern.

  • i make a version of this recipe- never used the clay.. is it staining? what are its purpose in this recipe? Thanks

    1. Rosa, I have used the clay and never experienced any issues with it staining my clothing. It does help to absorb perspiration odor.

    1. Joanne, that’s really hard to say. Not only climate but individual body chemistry can have an effect on it.

      1. I replaced the beeswax in this recipe with candelila wax, which is a vegan, plant-based alternative to beeswax. Works great!

  • I have been using natural deodorant for quite some time now. I understand the harm in not allowing our bodies to sweat, but I sweat profusely from my right armpit, and it’s so embarrassing! I find myself not wearing certain shirts just because I know they will show the sweat more. I’ve read about some people using magnesium oil to keep from sweating, but I guess that would be just as bad since it’s keeping you from sweating? It’s just so embarrassing and frustrating.

  • I have tried so many natural deodorant brands and have not been completely satisfied. This is the first recipe I have read that doesn’t seem so hard and can be altered to fit our needs. Thanks so much for sharing. I am looking forward to trying this.

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