I Tried It: Making My Own Deodorant (plus my super easy 3-ingredient recipe) | picklesnhoney.com #diy #doedorant #recipe #homemade

I Tried It: Making My Own Deodorant

How are you liking this new “I Tried It” series? So far, I’m really loving the change. I feel like it’s giving me an outlet to talk about lifestyle-based topics that have been on my mind for a while. That said, I’d love to know what you think? Leave a comment, if you’d like.

The last time I posted, I shared my experience doing a Skin Cleanse (the good, and the frustrating), and this week I’d like to chat about homemade deodorant. Going non-toxic with deodorant is something that seems to throw a lot of us for a loop when we’re trying to clean up our personal care products. I’ve never been one to use aluminum-based antiperspirant, after years of my dad drilling it into my head that “you need to sweat!” (he’s right). But I did used to buy those artificial, floral-smelling deodorant gels and slather them on every morning, and again before workouts.

When I discovered the EWG database and realized what I was coating my underarms with on the regular, I immediately started researching homemade deodorant recipes. There are lots of variations out there, and you can scent them with whatever essential oils you like, but I’ve been using the same, super basic 4-ingredient recipe for the last handful of years with excellent results:

I Tried It: Making My Own Deodorant (plus my super easy 3-ingredient recipe) | picklesnhoney.com #diy #doedorant #recipe #homemade

1 part organic unrefined coconut oil
1 part arrowroot powder
1 part baking soda
a few drops of essential oil (usually peppermint)

I do a quarter cup each of the dry ingredients, mix it into a thick paste, and store it in a small glass container in my bathroom (you can use a mason jar, recycled jar—anything that’s clean and has a lid). If it’s summer and the coconut oil isn’t solid, I’ll sometimes add a bit more arrowroot powder to make sure it doesn’t feel oily when I apply it. And in winter, I’ll warm a pea-sized amount in my hands to help melt the oil before I use it.

This formula is easy, cheap, non-irritating (at least for me, and I have very sensitive skin), it doesn’t leave a weird residue on my clothes, and surprisingly—it actually works better than any other deodorant brand I’ve used in the past. The coconut oil is moisturizing and anti-microbial, the arrowroot powder keeps me dry, and the baking soda absorbs any odor. It even works for Aaron, who gets pretty stinky when he sweats. (He’s going to love me for putting that out there, ha!) When we first switched to natural deodorant brands, I used to regularly ask him “Are you sure you put deodorant on today?” and he would always respond that he had, it was just that the store-bought stuff would wear off by lunchtime. With my homemade deodorant recipe, that’s never the case. If he’s stinky, it’s because he really did forget to put on deodorant. 😉

P.S. You can find my previous “I Tried It” posts here.

(Top photo via Alexa Mazzarello.)


Leave a Comment

  1. Tamar says

    fantastic piece, definitely going to try your recipe. I buy a German liquid deodorant that comes in a glass bottle to cut down on plastic consumption, but it still has the little plastic spray apparatus and you only need so many of those bottles for reuse. this would be ZERO waste as I have a fabulous bulk department at my co-op food store.

    1. Thank you, Tamar! I’m glad you mentioned the zero waste aspect of homemade deodorant and buying from the bulk department. So many wins going the DIY route. 🙂

  2. dayna says

    I have been using a similar recipe for years (I use corn starch instead of arrowroot powder) and I agree, I think it works way better than the store-bought stuff. I swear by it! If I could make one recommendation though, I would say to gently exfoliate the armpits daily. This really helps to remove all of the oil and residue…I just use a bit of body wash and a natural sea sponge and it does the trick. Thanks for posting…love the “I tried it” series.

    1. Yes, cornstarch has worked well for us too! I love your recommendation to gently exfoliate. We use those scrubby shower gloves and castile soap. 🙂 I’ve even heard of people doing clay masks on their underarms. I haven’t tried it but it does make sense…I think?!

  3. Amanda says

    How do you apply it?

    1. I wash my hands and then apply a pea-sized scoop to my underarms. When it’s warm outside it will melt in right away. If it’s chilly, I warm it between my hands for a couple seconds and then apply. You could probably use a small spoon, but I don’t find that necessary (the texture is like a thick paste).

  4. John Maguire says

    I used to use Old Spice (carry over from my dad) but a couple of years ago, I started to get a rash. I stopped using deodorant for a few months but that was not working out. I started using a similar recipe (may have used cornstarch instead of arrowroot) and it’s been great. I even took it camping with me in West Virginia last summer.

    Hi Amanda.

  5. Magdalena says

    Could be possible to use another type of oil? I just got a hemp oil from a friend.

    1. Hi Magdalena! I’ve not tried using anything other than coconut oil when I make deodorant. I like coconut oil because it’s solid when the weather’s not too warm. That said, if you don’t mind a softer consistency, I think hemp oil will be great. 🙂

      1. Magdalena says

        So I did it with hemp oil instead of coconut oil and corn starch instead of the arrowroot and it works just perfect!! I just added more starch. I keep it in fridge. Thanks for the recipe!

      2. Amanda says

        That’s awesome! I’m so happy the hemp oil and cornstarch worked well!

  6. Cara says

    Hi, how much coconut oil do you use?

    1. I usually use ¼ cup each for the dry ingredients, which makes a fairly big batch.


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