{winter projects 2012} DIY Deodorant

Editor’s Note: Ohhh I am so excited to share Erika’s project, DIY Deodorant, on FSC! Gah! I can’t wait to try it, I’ve been meaning to for ages as I’ve had Erika’s Professor Funkenstein: Solving a Funky Problem bookmarked for-eva! It was first published on January 14, 2010. She has a few notes just above the first photo, make sure you read them as she’s learned a few tips since first starting to make this stuff just shy of 2 years ago. Time flies when you’re smelling good. -Christina


Erika’s Personal Note: In a few weeks I will have been making and using my own deodorant for a year! This is the one DIY thing that people are almost always shocked about when I tell them. As you will see it’s incredibly easy, and very inexpensive. Plus if you have the items on hand you’ll never have to worry about running to the store when you run out; just whip up another batch!

A few tips:

-You can put the mushy mixture into an old roll-up deodorant tube as I describe here.

-If you have super sensitive skin, you can absolutely skip adding in the essential oils. I now use tea tree oil and lavender essential oil in my batches.

-If you get irritated from shaving, you can also add oil like vitamin E, jojoba, or wheat germ oil for extra moisturizing.


The basic 3 ingredients you will need.

I have FINALLY conquered the funk. Parliament Funkadelic? Heck no! My B.O.!

Seriously, though, I sweat year round, even when it isn’t hot, and I’m sitting on my couch. I don’t sweat an ungodly amount, but enough that by the end of each day, I stink. Or, at least I USED to stink.

In a nutshell, I think I’ve tried every regular antiperspirant and deodorant out there. I’ve even used stuff made for dudes. I still sweat. I even used Active Dry (I think that’s what it’s called) but it’s basically rat poison that you put under your pits at night to prevent you from sweating. I probably have tumors right now from using it 10 years ago. The worst part…I still sweat profusely AND it made my pits itch and burn. Now, I understand, sweating is natural and healthy, and it’s not even the sweat that makes me angry, it’s smelling like a dirty mess that I hate.

So after no luck with crap that could potentially be very bad for my health, I decided to just stick with plain old deodorants. Over many years I believe I’ve tried every single natural one that is on the market. I’m not even kidding either. Some worked slightly better than others, but I was still gross.

So I went to Ye Olde Interweb and was on the hunt for how I could make my own. Here’s my rationale:
-I’m stubborn and like to make my own stuff.
-I could probably spend less for stuff that will halfway work.
-What’s the worst that could happen??

So I found Amy Karol’s (Angry Chicken) concoction but I didn’t have all of that stuff on hand. I figured that I could use what I had on hand, and make a decent substitute. So basically I grabbed an old jam jar and put in 3 Tbs of corn starch, 3 Tbs of baking soda, a few spoonfulls of coconut oil, and two drops of Lavender Essential Ooil. I did the lavender EO at the very end. To get everything to mix, I put it in the microwave for a few seconds at a time so the coconut oil could melt down and then I could stir stuff better. After I added the EO, I put some on my pits, sealed up the jar and went on with my day.

Mushing it all up, not quite done yet. It needs to be fully mixed into a smooth paste before it's done.

I’ve been using it for several days now. I’ve even been to work with it on, done housework, and all sorts of other stuff that would normally cause me to sweat really bad. I have actually sweat less and haven’t stunk at all! This absolutely blows my mind. I feel like the simplest solution was here all along and I just had no idea. I can never go back to regular deodorant again.

Word of warning. The coconut oil will harden up so when you go to use it, get some on your fingers and mush it around for a few seconds. The heat from your fingers will melt it down, and you’ll be ready to apply it!

All finished and in the jar. On top of the jar are the essential oils I used.


18 Comments Add yours

  1. Mary B. says:

    I’ve been making my own deodorant for about a year now using the same ingredients as you mentioned. I’ve added an additional one, beeswax, because I found without it the concoction was too soft. I put it in a push-up tube and have refilled it many times and still have all the ingredients to make more. Think of the money that has been saved for another project!

  2. Jennifer H says:

    Thanks! I’m going to try this. I switched to “natural” deodorants years ago, but I’ve never been satisfied so I change brands with almost every new purchase. Is there a substitution option for the coconut oil? Hubby has a nut allergy and I’m not sure if he would react to a topical application of a nut oil. I’m thinking ahead to me trying and loving this, and him
    wanting to try it too…

  3. Erin Olson says:

    So, I tried this awhile back and it worked great for a couple of days. Then I started getting red and itchy, I assume from the baking soda? Also, what do you do about oil stains in the pits of your shirts? It seemed no matter how little I applied or how well I rubbed it in, I still ended up with oily spots on my shirts that looked like bad sweat stains. =P I so want this to work but it just didn’t work well for me at all and I’ve been wary of trying again.

  4. Thankfully, I’ve found I don’t need to use deodorant most days. I think people are scared to try just going without, but if you don’t try, you won’t know if you’re one of those blessed people.

  5. Erika T. says:

    Jennifer I wonder if the beeswax could work instead. Or maybe you could do a small patch test with the oil on his arm first to see if he reacts to it.

    Laura-did you add the essential oils? I know they can be really irritating for some people. I should also note I do not shave my armpits more than maybe once a week. Usually it’s right after that when it sort of burns, but it’s only for that day and then it’s fine. You could probably decrease the baking soda though and just increase the corn starch. I never really noticed any oil stains on my clothes thankfully. Do your stains come out in the wash?

  6. Mary B. says:

    Rather than using coconut oil, what about using organic vegetable shortening? The beeswax makes the deodorant “harder” so I wouldn’t advise using it instead of coconut oil.

  7. Erika T. says:

    That would be interesting. I know I use vegan shortening and feel it is mushier than coconut oil so if the beeswax would harden I would say you could try with the shortening but the beeswax might definitely help it not be so gooey.

  8. Jennifer H says:

    I finally made this a few weekends ago – I used the Angry Chicken recipe. OMGoodness! This is amazing. Tom and I have been using it every day since and I cannot believe how well it works. Makes you wonder how it’s possible for the commercial products to have so many ingredients and NOT be effective. The true test will be yardening in the summer, but I am already a convert. THANKS Erika!

  9. Erika T. says:

    That is awesome!!! I know, it’s amazing how easy it is to make and so few ingredients. I feel like it’s something every at least deserves to know how to make, even if they never bother to make it all the time.

  10. fridaspeach says:

    What about your clothing? Does it get marks in the armpit area?
    I’m thinking that the baking soda might go and bleach a black or colored shirt 😦

    Any experiences?



    1. Erika T. says:

      I tend to wear darker colored shirts and I haven’t really noticed problems with bleaching or staining. That’s not saying for sure that it wouldn’t, I just haven’t seemed to notice any major issues.

      1. fridaspeach says:

        Okay, thanks 🙂

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