Thursday, October 11, 2012

Make Your Own All-Natural Deodorant {Stick or Spray}

homemade deodorant

Several months ago I posted a recipe for making your own deodorant. It was mainly in response to discovering that those hard to remove armpit stains (see how to get rid of them here!) are caused by the aluminum in commercial antiperspirants! I’d worked hard to figure out how to get rid of those stains! I didn’t want them coming back!

While I have been perfectly happy with this deodorant…some people would prefer not to have to put their fingers into it to apply it and have requested a SPRAY or SOLID alternative. Your wish is my command. :-)

The SOLID version was actually inspired by my sister Rebecca. On her website, Camp Wander, she shared a recipe for a solid form of deodorant that’s not only effective on odor and wetness, but is formulated with essential oils that promote cleansing and rejuvenation.

Her original recipe makes a BIG BATCH of deodorant, so I decided to cut it in half and it turned out to be the perfect amount to fill two empty deodorant tubes.

make your own deodorant

Homemade Solid Deodorant

Ingredients:

1/2 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 Tablespoons beeswax pellets
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup cornstarch
10 drops each of Lavender, Lemon and Frankincense Essential Oils

If you don’t have essential oils on hand, don’t fret. This will work just fine without the oils. The oils are an added BONUS. :-)

make your own deodorant

Directions:

Add the coconut oil, and beeswax pellets to a small saucepan. Slowly melt over VERY low heat. Once melted, remove from heat and add  baking soda, and corn starch.  Mix with a spoon until smooth and creamy in consistency, then add the essential oils and pour into your containers. Let stand to cool and solidify.

I was very pleased at how well this turned out. It has a great consistency and smells divine! But most importantly, after wearing it for a full day, it was every bit as effective as any commercial brand I have purchased.

And on a somewhat related, but not really related, subject….I just have to offer kudos to the makers of Old Spice for making the labels on their deodorant tubes so easy to take off! It makes repurposing containers SOOOO much easier! Labels that are practically FUSED to the bottle are one of my PET PEEVES!! (Makers of Dawn…are you listening?)

homemade deodorant

OK…I just had to get that off my chest. I feel better now.  :-)

 

Now, for those of you “sprayers” out there….here’s a recipe for you!  Another all natural option with essential oils as an added benefit.

make your own deodorant

Homemade Spray-On Deodorant

Ingredients:

1/2 cup witch hazel
1/4 cup aloe vera gel (or juice)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
10 drops Clary Sage Essential Oil (one of the most effective deodorant essential oils that has a crisp, refreshing scent!)

make your own deodorant

Directions:

Add witch hazel, aloe vera, baking soda and your favorite essential oils to a small spray bottle and shake well before each use. Spray on underarms. If you don’t like the “wet” feel of it…you can stand in front of a fan for a few seconds to help it dry…or you can gently pat it with a dry towel. I didn’t do either. I just sprayed it on and went about my day. 

(Important Note: Clary Sage Oil should be avoided during pregnancy.)

I also tested this deodorant out on my own armpits and loved it. When I first sprayed it on it felt cool, refreshing and almost tingly! I thought the ‘wetness’ feeling of it might bother me…but after a minute I forgot I even had it on. And after wearing it all day long, no notice of any odor or wetness. Success!!

Whether you prefer to rub-in, rub-on, or spray….now you can make your own homemade deodorant that’s safe, effective and downright enjoyable to use!

 


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215 thoughts on “Make Your Own All-Natural Deodorant {Stick or Spray}

    1. Maija

      I’m guessing those roll on bottles would `not` work for the rub in. The firmness necessary for a `stick` would keep the ball from rolling. Liquid would be the only way to go with those. IMO.

      Reply
      1. Mindy

        Maija, I agree the “stick” version in this post likely wouldn’t work with the roll-on containers, but the rub in that Lee is talking about is Jillee’s original post that in its current form requires you to “dip” your fingers into the tub and rub it on your skin.

        Reply
        1. Davina Irias

          For the Powder Recipe I use and old Mineral Makeup Brush, no need for using your fingers and I do get more control of how much powder goes on, I’m thinking on putting some of the powder inside the empty container of the mineral makeup and have To Go Powder Deodorant dispenser for when going to Gym, dont know if these would be any help.

          I love Jillee’s site!!!!

          Reply
  1. Karen

    Been hearing about the beeswax pellets, where can I purchase them?
    Does the spray-on need to be kept in the fridge because of the aloe vera juice?
    Thanks again for not being selfish and sharing.

    Reply
    1. Jillee Post author

      Amazon is a great place to get the beeswax pellets. If you use aloe vera juice you would want to keep the spray in the fridge but you probably don’t need to if you use the gel.

      Reply
      1. Soncierea

        Jillee,
        My favorite deodorant smell is baby powder. How can I make this to smell like that. I was thinking maybe adding actual baby powder to the mixture instead of the oils. What say you?
        I love your website BTW!!!

        Reply
  2. Nicholle C.

    After successfully trying your dryer balls and home-made fabric softener, I’ll be trying your home-made laundry detergent this weekend and then my next project will be this deodorant!

    By any chance did you do a cost comparison, to see what the savings might be to make versus buy the commercial stuff?

    Reply
  3. Amy

    I’d also like to know the cost breakdown of this, as I currently have a good stockpile of deodorant that I’ve gotten basically for free using coupons — only paid sales tax on most of it. I’d like to try this out, too, so that I know I have a good backup should I run out of what I have.

    Reply
    1. Liebs Landing

      To make one stick cost me:
      1/4 cup cornstarch 12 cents
      1/4 cup baking soda 12 cents
      1/4 c. coconut oil – 95 cents
      3/4 tbs beeswax – 5 cents
      15 drops oil – approx 2 cents per drop – 30 cents

      Total, assuming you use your own container: $1.54

      With all the harmful junk that a purchased (or free) stick of deodorant has in it, I’d rather spend the $1.54 and the 5 minutes to make my own. Its easy, it works great and I know exactly what I’m putting on my body.

      Reply
  4. Carol Samsel

    Thanks so much!Cost factor aside the use of Aluminum Zirconium in commercial deodorants has raised major health concerns and some research has linked it to the rise in Alzheimer occurrences.

    Reply
    1. Joel G

      In 1974 I was informed by my then-MD and orthomolecular psychiatrist, Dr Michael Lesser (Berkeley, CA), that aluminum has been found in studies entangled with the neurons in the brain on autopsy of terminal Alzheimer victims. Nineteen seventy four.

      Reply
    1. Marie

      It depends, the melting point of coconut oil it 76 degF but beeswax is higher, around 145degF. So you can increase the amount/ratio of beeswax to coconut oil to get it to stay solid at a higher temp. You may have to experiment with it a bit.

      Reply
    2. Tricia

      I made my first batch of stick deodorant this summer without beeswax and it would melt sitting on my cupboard. So to the refrigerator I go! This September, I came across a recipe that had 2T of beeswax added and thought I would try it. I have been so happy with it now and I am able to keep it in the bathroom! I also had a slight burning with the old recipe in which I used cornstarch. This time I used arrowroot powder and have not had any burning. Yippee! The only problem I have with it is that it leaves graying/darkening type stains on my husband’s T-shirts.

      Reply
        1. Joel G

          I’d guess cornstarch is likely to be sourced from genetically engineered corn. If you think that’s probably harmless, I wouldn’t, just on the Precautionary Principle. I’m not qualified to debate molecular biology but in addition I’d just feel bad sending any revenue to the GE industry.

          Reply
  5. Landon

    For those asking about beeswax pellets:

    Check your local craft stores. Sometimes you can find them with the soap making supplies. If you can’t find them locally my favorite online source for all natural supplies for homemade items is Mountain Rose Herbs. They are in Oregon, have great products & wonderful customer service. No, I do not work for them. I’m on the opposite side of the country, but just love their prices & selection.

    I’ll be trying the spray, I do believe, after I use up my stock pile of deodorant. Jill, I’d love to know what sort of Aloe you used & where you got it. I’m wondering if buying a plant & using it to grow more pots of my own might not be the best source.

    Reply
    1. Kate

      I use the spray and I really like it. I do have to spray it on a couple times during the day if I’m outside in the heat for awhile. However, I spray it on one time before I workout, as in, I do an hour spin class then an hour weight lifting class, and I don’t smell! It’s great! I bought my aloe vera gel from Trader Joes, but you can find it anywhere.

      Reply
  6. Anon

    I have only used deodorant crystals (stick and liquid) for many years, and I still have typical perspiration stains on my clothing. Stains come from sweat and bacteria. So using this will not eliminate the stains. Fortunately, Jillie’s stain cleaner works on every stain every time!! Can’t wait to try this idea. Thanks!

    Reply
  7. Vanessa

    I make my own deodorant. I love it, it’s actually the only thing that has ever worked for me. This is the first I’ve seen of the spray on…very interesting. Does it work as well as the other stuff?

    Reply
    1. Terri

      No. I tried it and it was like I was wearing nothing..unfortunately. Next maybe I will try the alcohol spray on next. The baking soda and coconut oil works wonderfully, better than store bought but it irritates my skin so now i need to look for arrow root on mountain rose.

      Reply
  8. Lauren

    Does anyone have experience with using homemade deodorants during strenuous physical activity, like running or playing soccer? There are very few commercial deodorants/antiperspirants that work for me in the block-the-stink department.

    Reply
    1. Amy T

      Homemade deodorants hold up well to any activity. I have never had an odor problem, however, realize they are deodorants, not antiperspirants, so you will still sweat, a lot…. if you’re a regular sweater.
      I like the no-smell over no sweat.

      Reply
    2. Patti

      I’ve made my own deodorant for years with Everclear (a 190 proof grain alcohol…not wood alcohol like isopropyl), water, Clary Sage, Lemon and Lavender essential oils. Roughly 2:1 water to alcohol ratio. I don’t really count the drops of oils but the sage is the most noticeable scent. It works very well…sometimes for 2 days before I need to reapply. It doesn’t stop sweat, but it does stop smell!!! I’m going to try the solid one of Jillee’s recipes…just have to find an empty container!

      Reply
  9. Jadie

    I have tried most of the home made variations and have found the thing that works the very best for me is the crystal stick, right after the shower, slightly wet and a spray mixture of lavendar water and vanilla extract. Best I have smelled ever, and no stains, very low cost!

    Reply
  10. Claudia

    I have been using home deo for a few months….it is excellent to control odor for me but not for my daughter she is 13 and has always had a very strong smell..also she has developed a rash I think I might be using to much baking soda…Ths is the first time I see It mad with bee pellets how does this help or what is it for?

    Reply
    1. Mary Alice

      You may eliminate the rash problem by using half baking soda and half cornstarch or arrowroot powder. I had a bit of a rash problem the first time I made is using baking soda only. Then I tried arrowroot powder (1/2 and 1/2 with the baking soda) and this eliminated that problem completely. I found it on my local grocery story in the baking aisle along with the other more ‘exotic’ grains.

      The mixture is also less grainy when you use arrowroot powder.

      Reply
      1. Melanie Brownsberger

        We are trying to get pregnant, any suggestions for a substitute? I assume that if this is not good for you when you are pregnant it would not be good for kids. Is this correct thinking? I have a little boy who needs to wear deodrant. I use an all natural kind on him but would much rather make some for him so I know it is safe.

        Reply
        1. Rachel

          Clary sage has all sorts of medical uses, from helping with migraines to alleviating insomnia. But you don’t want to use it during pregnancy because my understanding is that it causes uterine contractions and could cause miscarriage. It smells good, but personally I avoid it.

          Reply
  11. Kirstian

    Love it. I make it with probiotic and I use lavender and tea tree. I like it a lot. One of the things I noticed is I have sensitive skin so I have to decrease the baking soda to a fraction of what is called for. It irritates my skin. The second thing I noticed is I have to reapply it. I think of it this way, its mostly food. Food would not stay fresh out on the counter all day, so I am okay with replying it bc its good for me. Lastly I add some powder over the top on sweaty days. Its awesome! Thanks so much!

    Reply
    1. Mary Alice

      Let me suggest that you add arrowroot powder. Take the amount of baking soda that the recipe calls for and add 1/2 baking soda and 1/2 arrowroot powder. If you do this, you may find that you don’t have to reapply the deodorant during the day. You will also find that it will be less rough on your skin when you apply it.

      Reply
  12. Maria

    Thanks for sharing! I feel like my deodorant doesn’t even work. Worse yet, it’s so strong, no matter how hard I scrub, I feel like there is always a layer of sticky left on my skin.

    Reply
    1. Jillee Post author

      Krissy, try rolling your mouse over any of my pictures and you’ll see a little “Pin It” button pop-up. If you click on that it should link to this post. I just tried it on the very top picture and it did link back to this post.

      Reply
    1. Amy T

      You can get coconut oil cheap at Trader Joe’s: $5.99 for about a 16 oz jar, it’s really every where now.. beeswax as little as $7.35 for 4 oz (http://www.amazon.com/Yaley-100%25-Beeswax-Pellets-Natural/dp/B001683ZSY/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1350506516&sr=8-5&keywords=beeswax+pellets) ….
      You may have cornstarch or baking soda already (though I’d suggest if you only have a commercial brand investing in one without aluminum, after all, aluminum is one of the worst offenders in commercial deodorants). I don’t use essential oils in mine.
      I actually buy my coconut oil on Amazon with prime and subscribe and save since I use it for everything
      from lotion, baby wipes, cooking, baking, etc…
      So divide that up, and take an average of $4 for a deodorant, give or take, I think it’s a pretty good long-term savings! And for your health!

      Reply
      1. Karen423

        I did some research and it is actually shown now that there is NO connection to Alzheimer or cancer with commercial deodorants. I do prefer this as a natural alternative to the commercial, just to skip the chemicals anyway. Like I posted it above it gets a little melty when applying, so I put it in the fridge for a little while before using (next time will add more beeswax). Will have to take something else along when I go camping in the summer.

        I don’t bother with the essentials oils, has a nice neutral fragrance, which I appreciate so it doesn’t comflict with other perfumes. Adding up it ran me about $1 a stick without the oils. I found coconut oil in a local store, 31 ounces for $7.

        Reply
  13. Sheila

    Important Note: Clary Sage Oil should be avoided during pregnancy What Essential oil can you use if your Pregnant or breast feeding or not? Also can the spray be used on MEN also? What about teen? Thnak You so Much.

    Reply
    1. Alison

      I think all EO’s should be avoided wil pregnant, check Mountain Rose Herbs, the oil you would like to use, all that I have looked at say to avoid while pregnant. This is effective without the oils.

      Reply
      1. Karen

        I know that camphor & rosemary EOs should be avoided during pregnancy due to the high camphor & menthol content. I believe anything that doesn’t contain those two, SHOULD BE safe however I’m not an herbalist…

        Reply
  14. Marla B.

    I made this homemade recipe last year minus the beeswax. It broke me out and turned my armpits dark. I tried varying the ingredients, but still was not sure which one was the culprit. I had to resume the store-bought deodorant for this past summer. I can just get by with alcohol and essential oil spray in the winter. I still want to use homemade all year round, but I need just the right recipe. Does the beeswax offer any other help besides reducing the melting point of the coconut oil? Any ideas on how to modify this to lessen the skin irritation?

    Reply
    1. Jo

      Marla, I had the same problem as you. I really want to try this again using the beeswax. In the meantime I have been using a mix of: 1 tbsp baking soda / 6 tbsp corn starch / aloe vera gel / fe drops grapefruit essential oil. I use enough aloe vera to make the mixture quite runny. I have just been applying it with a make up sponge, but I think a roll on applicator would be perfect…I just don’t have one right now. I found this works great for me. You just have to play with the ingredients to find what works for you. Again, I want to try this recipe though!

      Reply
  15. Mischann

    My home is now officially “Jilleefied.”
    I just had to let you know I’ve been lurking here for a few months now & am practically using ALL of your DIY cleaning products – LOVE love LOVE!! You have not only saved me some serious bucks, but as well saved my sanity when it comes to wading through a sea of different cleaners for different purposes.

    Currently pinning my little heart away . . . keep the blogs coming!

    FYI your homemade Shout literally melts the grease off of anything ;)

    Reply
  16. Zoquara

    Totally not related to the deodorant, but how about tips to remove gum from clothing? My *darling* son fell asleep with gum in his mouth, and it’s now ALL over his brand new nightshirt. I’ve been trying to get it out by freezing, but it’s not helping! I don’t want to wash it until I get it out, either. Any advice?

    Reply
  17. Amy

    THANK YOU. I have 2 boys who… shall we say tend to smell like a men’s locker room. They are fairly young – and I do NOT want them using commercial products. I made the bath and body powder… that helped. Yesterday I made the liquid deodorant…. for the first time in a LONG time, the guys still smelled fresh and clean after school!!!!

    Reply
  18. sue

    those recipes look great! how would you use your recipe and make it also antiperserant with the solid or liquild deoderant? thank you , lover your site. sue

    Reply
    1. Haley

      You’ll be hard pressed to find a natural deodorant that is also an antiperspirant, as using an antiperspirant is actually not good for your body. I used to use an antiperspirant until I found out how bad for me it was, and I switched to a homemade (1 part each baking soda, corn starch, and coconut oil) deodorant. I find that I sweat less than when I used antiperspirant! It actually decreased my body’s need to produce sweat. I am totally dry by the end of the day, where before, I would often be “pitting out.” :-) Hopefully that is encouraging.

      Reply
  19. Patty

    I always have that teeny bit of solid deodorant left in the container when I’m done with it, how do I remove this so I can refill it with the homemade solid? Any ideas?

    Reply
    1. Haley

      Microwave it upside-down on a paper towel in a microwave safe bowl? I would do short bursts. I don’t know if this will work, but it’s how I get the remainder of the chapstick out of my lip tubes for repurposing. I’ve also read to boil them in water. That might be a little safer so you don’t accidentally melt the tube in the microwave. :-) I’m interested to see if anyone else has ideas.

      Reply
      1. Hollie

        If you have a hose sprayer at your sink, you can spray away the remaining solid with hot water. I have also put them through the dishwasher, and in the washing machine inside a lingerie bag.

        Reply
    2. Patti

      Bring the last bit to the top, dig it out with a knife and then put the whole container into hot water to melt the last bits. I would think you could add the bits you dug out to the new batch while it’s hot and melt it in.

      Reply
  20. Isis

    Can you use Shea butter instead of beeswax? It has about the same consistency and its great for your skin….and thanks for all your diy sanity saving tips…im loving it while stir crazy on maternity leave :-)

    Reply
        1. raczyk

          I’m a guy also, really live the grapefruit oil scent someone mentioned. But I guess this is not considered manly? I’ll have to try experimenting with the more woodsy aromas. Also how about just using peppermint oil? Has a nice and fresh smell.

          Reply
    1. selfmademax

      I just made this – I am still waiting on it to “solidify” in my refrigerator. I used Bergamot essential oil and tea tree oil for a less floral scent. – both also help as anti bacterial/anti sceptic. So far it smells great… well at least the concoction does in the deodorant canisters and bowls.

      On another note, I used arrowroot powder instead of corn starch (due to yeast stuff) – however, it certainly made my result a lot greyer than the whitish/beige color of the photographs here. I hope that doesn’t rub off on my white t-shirts. Also, I have the canisters in the fridge now because the result was very runny.

      I will update when I use this – hopefully that will be tomorrow.

      Reply
  21. Jennifer

    Jillee- I am very allergic to coconut and wanted to know if there are any other oil alternatives. Please let me know, I am so anxious to try this. I just purchased deodorant salt crystals and they do not work at all. Thanks.

    Reply
  22. Kris

    My hubby and I have been making and using Colorado PitStik. It works great and smells wonderful. Made with 5 natural ingredients and no aluminum or parabens, you can even customize the scent with your favorite perfume. Look for it on Etsy and love it as much as we do!!!

    Reply
  23. Amy T

    I’m curious to know if melting regular beeswax is the same as pellets? I know it’s a bit harder to measure, but that is what I have.
    Also, any tips for cleaning the pot and stirring spoon after you’ve made this? The beeswax gets so clingy and stuck on.

    Reply
    1. Haley

      I’ve used beeswax, and just grated it for measuring. I clean my pot immediately after using, while it is still warm and the residue is still liquid. I use a big ball of dry paper towels, which absorbs pretty much everything. I go over it again with more dry paper towels, then wash with soap and water. I use a wooden skewer as a stir stick and throw it away. Or a metal spoon, like a spoon from my serving set, which wipes clean with paper towels pretty easily.

      Reply
  24. Kimberly T.

    I just want to thank you for adding a “pin it” button to your post. I’m not sure if this is the first post you’ve added it to or just the first time I noticed. It’s will make I so much easier for me to keep track of all your awesomeness that I want to try. I really appreciate what a fantastic resource you and your blog are for me and my family. Thank you!

    Reply
  25. Pingback: Make Your Own All-Natural Deodorant {Stick or Spray} | One Good Thing by Jillee | Muskegonvegan's Blog

  26. Tammy

    I made the spray deodorant and put peppermint essential oil in it, and my underarms burned for about an hour, so I put some powder on and after that I was fine, stayed dry all day. Did anyone else have problems? Otherwise loved it!

    Reply
    1. Kim

      Hi Tammy – I find if I put anything on my skin with peppermint essential oil it burns and/or tingles… even when highly diluted. Smells divine, but can be irritating in products you put on your skin.

      Reply
  27. Landon

    Alright, Mrs. Jillee, color me impressed. My Mountain Rose order came in Monday & I made the spray as listed above. I used it yesterday working around the house AND worked out for an hour – in the Southeast US which is still very warm. I got good & sweaty BUT I did NOT stink & my pits stayed dry. One of the biggest reasons I wanted to try it was for the doctors visits/scans that say no deodorant. Now I can sit there with confidence knowing that I won’t stink & I won’t have on any chemicals that might interfere with the readings. THANK YOU!!!

    Reply
  28. Kim

    I’m wondering if anyone who has been using this for a while can testify that it is still working for them? I find with natural deodorants, they work fine for a day/week then stop working for some reason. I’m definitely going to try anyway :) Thanks so much for a WONDERFUL site Jillee!

    Reply
    1. KD

      I have been using the solid version for a couple of weeks, while it works fine smell wise, it leaves a greasy residue on my shirts that doesn’t come out in the wash. I don’t have time to hand scrub everything, so I am going to try a new deodorant I bought for a while, “Geodeo.” They have an unscented and two scented ones for about 3 bucks.

      I find that most people who complain deodorants don’t work (in cooler temps), are trying to use them as a substitute for bathing. I wash my underarms every morning before applying deodorant. Never have any problems with BO in the fall/winter/spring. Nothing except antiperspirants work for me in the summer, but I prefer to use unscented everything whenever possible, so people that try the scented versions might have better results.

      Reply
      1. Kim

        LOL –
        OMG – Had to comment… I DON’T use deodorant as a substitute for bathing! I too wash my pits everyday, like most people!!!! Thanks for the feedback re solid leaving a residue.

        Reply
  29. Karen423

    I read several backpacking and camping books and stories a few years ago for a college research paper (I wrote the Health Benefits of Camping). One of the books I read was by a woman that had backpacked all over the country in the 70s and 80s. She used antibotic ointment on cotton balls underarms before bed whenever she had the opportunity to bathe. The antibotic kills the bacteria that caused the odor.

    My deodorant at home is almost empty will be trying this for everyday use, and taking my cotton balls with neosporin for my camping/hunting trips. Have them on hand anyway for first aid, so carry extra for underarms just toss the cotton balls in the next campfire.

    Reply
    1. Kathy

      Just like Amy said, this is a deodorant, not an antiperspirant. I use the spray one and have had no problem with stink. I put mine in an empty lens cleaner bottle. It’s the perfect size as it sprays a small area so you don’t get a lot of overspray.

      Reply

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