Natural Homemade Deodorant Recipe

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Guest Post by Lexie McNeill of Lexie Naturals

I’ve been using aluminum free natural deodorant since I was a teenager.  My dermatologist recommended it for several different reasons, and I have never looked back.  To see why I use aluminum free deodorant check out this post.

I have tried the crystal stick that you must wet before using, vegetable based deodorants, and a popular brand that can be purchased at your local store.  After years of using the above with little to no success and thinking about the benefits of homemade anything, I decided to make my own. It has been such a fun and easy experience (not to mention very frugal)!

I started with this recipe and really loved it, but my mom and sister refused to use it since it must be applied with your fingers or kept in the fridge.  So, I set out to find a recipe that works like the typical deodorant bar.  After searching the web, getting testers to give feedback, and doing my own tweaking, I finally came up with a recipe that actually works and goes on smoothly.

Here are step by step directions for creating your own aluminum/paraben free deodorant stick.  This makes enough for 2-3 average sized deodorant sticks.  You can half this recipe, but I find it’s easier to make a larger batch.

You will need:

2 heaping Tbsp. beeswax pellets (pellets are easier to measure)
1 Tbsp. shea butter
5 Tbsp. coconut oil
1/4 cup cornstarch (or arrowroot powder for very sensitive skin)
1/4 cup aluminum free baking soda
10-15 drops tea tree essential oil
10-15 drops lavender essential oil
10-15 drops of other essential oils (optional; used for scenting purposes)
2-3 new or used deodorant tubes (cleaned and twisted all the way back down)

NOTE: You can purchase everything you need for this recipe at Mountain Rose HerbsVitacost, or your local grocery store.

How to:

1.  Melt beeswax in a double broiler (I just put a glass bowl over a pot of boiling water).

2.  Add shea butter and coconut oil and heat until just melted.  Stir occasionally.  I like to use a wooden stick to stir because the beeswax will stick to a spoon and make it hard to clean.

3.  Remove from heat and add cornstarch and baking soda.  Stir until lumps are gone and the texture is smooth.

4.  Add essential oils and stir until well mixed.

5.  Pour into old deodorant tubes and let sit a few hours before adding the tops.  You will want to fill them until they seem to almost overflow because they will fall down a good bit once cooled.  You can also fill them half way and let them sit 5 minutes before filling the rest of the way.  This will ensure you get them as full as possible.

Tips: When I have extra deodorant I simply pour it out onto parchment paper and either apply it with my fingers or reheat it with my next batch because I don’t like to waste anything. Wipe out  your bowl with a paper towel (this is one of the only times I use paper towels).  If you get the bowl wet the water will just slide off the beeswax and make it very difficult to clean.

Here are some things you need to know about natural deodorant if you’ve never used it before:

  • Don’t over apply.  You only need to lightly coat your underarms.  Over applying will actually make it not work as well. Two to four swipes is ideal.
  • Only twist up as much as you need.  It will be slightly softer than store-bought deodorant, and may fall off if you twist it up too much.
  • Some people experience a week or two of detoxing once switching over to a natural product.  While none of my testers experienced this, it is still possible.  You need to give the deodorant a good 2-3 weeks use before deciding if it works for you or not.
  • This deodorant will stay solid at room temperature; however, if you live in an area with extreme heat you can put the stick in the refrigerator to harden it up a bit.
  • This is a deodorant only, and it will not keep you from sweating (though it does do a good job of absorbing most of it, and certainly keeps you from stinking).

Don’t have time to make your own?  You can view all of my natural skin care products (including this deodorant) here and purchase all products here.

Lexie is a follower of Jesus, the wife of the very talented Stephen McNeill, and a stay-at-home mother of two exquisite girls (ages 4 and 18 months). Her passions include spending time with friends and family, reading, traveling, and teaching. In an effort to live more naturally and frugally, she began making and selling her own skin care products. She loves sharing these passions with others and helping other families catch the vision of living a more natural lifestyle. Her blog can be found here, and her facebook page can be found here.

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Comments

  1. says

    Hello, I was wondering if you needed to have the shea butter in there? Is it mostly to keep the skin moisturized? I’m wanting to make this today — I’m excited!

    • says

      Shea butter has wonderful benefits for the skin and that’s why I originally added it. But then I realized it was the key to making the deodorant slide on easily. All the testers preferred the deodorant with the Shea butter. But to answer your question, it’s not necessary for the effectiveness of the deodorant. You may want to add castor oil or something else that will make it smooth. :) Hope you like it!
      Lexie recently posted..Tropical Traditions Gold Label Coconut Oil Review and GIVEAWAY!My Profile

      • says

        Has cocoa butter been used instead of Shea? Shea butter is hard to find at the stores by me. Do you know of any major retailers that carry the kind of Shea butter I need for this deodorant?
        Thanks!

  2. Sarah m says

    Is there an EO I can use besides lavender? I’m not a huge fan and I would love to make some that the boys in the family will use.

  3. says

    Looks like a good recipe! I use the one from Passionate Homemaking, but this looks great for a stick. What kind of beeswax do you use? It looks white in the picture, not like the yellow from MRH. I tried to make a stick deodorant with beeswax in the past, but either the wax or my essential oil seemed to be discoloring my clothes and leaving a coating that didn’t wash out well. Have you experienced this at all?
    Elsie recently posted..Cold-Weather Comfort MenuMy Profile

  4. says

    Thank you so much for posting the recipe! I tried making body butter and love the idea of controlling what goes into the personal care products we use. I hope to try making some other homemade personal care products as soon as I can (and as soon as I have tubes to put them in from our store-bought naturals that we currently use).
    Jen recently posted..Homemade Tamales – Vegetarian StyleMy Profile

  5. Kelli says

    Hi! I made this deodorant for my husband and myself and it works GREAT! However, after about a week or 2 of using the deodorant I have a pretty bad rash. Do you think I could decrease the baking soda to about 1/8 cup and increase the arrowroot powder to 3/8 of a cup or could I remove the baking soda all together and just increase the arrowroot powder to 1/2 cup? I am also going to decrease the EOs that I use as well to see if that helps. I appreciate your help or any other ideas you have for sensitive skin! Thanks.

    • says

      Hi Kelli! I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving! I’m so glad this worked for you–but I hate to hear about the rash! I would take out the essential oils and experiment with the baking soda and arrowroot like you suggested. This is another homemade deo recipe: http://creatingnaturally.com/homemade-moisturizing-deodorant-that-works-and-goes-on-smoothly-make-it-yourself-monday/ I haven’t personally tried it, but it says moisturizing! Hope this helps! :)

    • Lexie says

      Hi, Kelli! You can reduce the baking soda and substitute cornstarch altogether with arrowroot. I have a customer with very sensitive skin and I use arrowroot powder and also DOUBLE the coconut oil. I hope you get it right for your skin!

      • Christy says

        Hi Lexi – how do you think it would turn out to subsitute ALL of the baking soda with arrowroot powder? My husband and I get terrible reactions to any deodorant we have tried with baking soda in it, all of which were completely frangrance free and without essential oils. I am on a serious quest to find something that works for us. Miessence caused my husband’s pits to get horribly red and burned and Solay caused me to burn and flake.

        • Erin M says

          Hi!
          I don’t know if this will help you, but I make thieves oil at home, which is super anti-bacterial (and easy to make!) and has a lot of great health benefits. I also have a hard time with baking soda (I get patchy red rashy under my pits, but only sometimes…) and therefore use the base of the deodorant with arrowroot, but skip the baking soda (unless its for my hubby and then he only gets a pinch of baking soda) and for my “essential oils” or non stinky super powers, use the home made thieves. It took a little while for my body to adjust, but it works. I do smell a little spicy, like Christmas, but I rather like the smell. It’s an option.
          Good luck!

    • amy j says

      I had the same problem! Glad you shed about this because the deodorant works great but just like you after about 2 weeks of use my underarms first broke out in rash then got so dry they turned dark brown and I’ve had to drench in coconut oil to re hydrate :/

  6. Carli says

    Hi, I was wondering if it matters what kind of shae butter you used? I see there is unrefined and refined shae butter

  7. Marisa says

    Has anyone had a problem with the amount of essential oils in this recipe? I buy Young Living from a friend and after feeling sick ever since I used the deodorant she said the oils I used caused me to be thrown into a cleanse. Just a word of caution, I am going to greatly reduce or eliminate the oils. I love everything else about it though!

    • says

      Marisa, I’m so sorry. My essential oils may not be as high of a quality as yours. Don’t throw your deodorant out though, just reheat it and add more of the other ingredients without adding more essential oils. I would heat the beeswax and shea butter, then the coconut oil, then the first deodorant you made, then the powdered ingredients. Hope that helps!
      Lexie recently posted..Soap Nut Review and Giveaway (from The Laundry Ladies)My Profile

  8. says

    Hello, Lexie.
    I found your deodorant recipe a few days ago. Today I finally got the ingredients gathered up and gave it a try. It feels and smells nice. I can’t wait until morning to give it a try. I bought four travel size deodorants from the store and cleaned them out to use. They don’t hold very much, so I emptied the deodorant tube I’ve been using and filled it, too. Still had enough left for another large tube. Next time I make some, I’ll break down and buy new ones from an internet store. Thanks for sharing your recipe.
    Linda Deal recently posted..ALOE AND CLOVER SOAPMy Profile

  9. Erin says

    Hi!
    I need some help with this. I made it, used it…and I am a stinky girl. Having never used anti-perspirant, I was hoping the detox wouldn’t be an issue. I have been swiping my hubby’s deodorant and smelling like a man, but I wanted something that was mine. Since I make most of my other home care products, I thought– deodorant would be awesome! You mentioned it could take 2-3 weeks. Have you or anyone you know experienced the stinky detox? Are there things I can do to help it? I just want to be a natural, home made, non stinky girl. Any suggestions you have would be appreciated. I’m not giving up, but I have a feeling I’m going to be less than social until the odor goes away.

        • Erin M says

          Thanks for the info. I actually put thieves in mine and while I sweat (which I am used to), I no longer stink, too. (happy dance)

          Thanks for posting this!

      • Erin says

        I am guessing my body is just slow to make changes.
        My overall detox lasted around 6 months. (I KNOW RIGHT!) However, totally worth the wait. It’s been 10 months– I am stink free and Praise Jesus, I sweat less. Didn’t think that was possible, but here I am– far less sweat than I have ever experienced (even when working out) and stink free.
        btw I used arrowroot instead of cornstarch and left out the wax for a more “lotion like” deodorant the second time around. Can’t decide if I like the stick or the jar better. Either way, this is AMAZING!!! XX

  10. Yvette says

    I just made this for the first time, but used cocoa butter because I didnt have shea butter…it came out awesome! I love it!

  11. Charlisa says

    Great recipe, but I am unable to use coconut of any kind internally or externally. Could I substitute cocoa butter for the coconut oil? I realize the coconut oil will soften on contact with skin for a smoother application, what are your thoughts? Thanks!

  12. Sonia Smith says

    Im excited about making this. May I ask, where do you get your empty deodorant containers from (the clear ones). To convince my family to start using natural deodorant, presentation means alot. Thanks

  13. Kristy says

    I also am excited to try this and would really like to know where you get your deodorant containers from… Thanks

  14. Jen says

    Thanks so much! I was excited to try this, and ran out and bought what I needed. When I got home and opened my bee pollen ( first time I have bought it) it is yellow and orange. Yours looks white. Now I am nervous that it will stain. Has anyone made it with pollen this colour ? Thanks !!!

    • Jen says

      Never mind! I bought bee pollen pellets – not wax!!! oh dear…..guess I was so excited I didn’t read things carefully!! Now I am on a mission to find beeswax!

  15. Dee says

    I just made a batch…it sets up beautifully as promised. It is for my preteen daughter, so I wanted to make sure it was safe enough for her young skin. As a result, I used only 2TBSP of baking soda and filled the rest of the 1/4 cup with arrowroot (in addition to the required arrowroot). I have applied it myself and it has a perfect smooth application. I am noticing of course that it is not an anti-perspirant and will have to get used to that. Until then, at least I’m not stinky sweaty:))) thank you and God bless you for sharing your knowledge;))

  16. Nicholle C. says

    I just got my first tube of Lexie’s deodorant to start using tomorrow, but am curious about this detox I’ve heard mentioned a few times – what is it? It sounds like you have bad B.O. for a while until the chemicals in your body from the old store-bought deodorant work out of your system – is that right? About how long does this usually last?

    • says

      I personally didn’t have the detox, but it may have been because I was already using a natural deodorant. I don’t think it will last longer than a week. It shouldn’t be BO as much as sweating, but every body is different. My hubby actually uses Lexie’s Deo now, too and loves it! I think that is a huge feat–to get your hubby to use it!! Good luck!

    • says

      You may not experience a detox. None of my original testers did. One did sweat for 2 weeks but then she stopped sweating as much, and still buys the deodorant to this day. A detox is basically your body getting used to not having the chemicals from traditional deodorant. So, you may sweat or notice slight odor (but possibly not). And if you do, you should notice it go away soon! Give it two weeks if you are having any problems.

  17. Rose says

    I would really like to know where you get your deodorant containers from. I can’t find clear ones anywhere! Thanks

    • Erin M says

      Hi Rose–
      This site used to have the “natural” ones, but I only see the white ones today– unless you don’t mind the push up or twist up tubes. I really love the twist and push up ones. http://www.elementsbathandbody.com/DeodorantTubes-c-197.html
      You can also try brambleberry.com or etsy or containerandpackaging.com. I haven’t tried mountain rose herbs, but they have a lot of that kind of stuff as well. Hope this helps!

  18. Erin M says

    It’s working! I can’t believe the amount of detox I went through. Months. Literally, months. Girl’s gotta be persistent! I actually switched over to using thieves oil in olive oil to counteract the smell because nothing worked. I guess I had been using regular deodorant (not even antiperspirant) for so long that my body really needed a massive cleansing. After countless weeks of stepping down to less and less ingredients in my homemade deo, I started using this one last week. And it works SO WELL! Can I get an amen! I’m doing my own happy dance every time I raise my arms in 105 degree heat and there is no smell. Yay!

  19. Beth says

    Does this come out hard enough to hold its shape as a bar or does it need the roll up tube? I was hoping to just make bars in a mini loaf tin.

  20. Bronwyn says

    Has anyone else had issues with this recipe? If I use it for more than about a week at a time, my armpits break out. They get really sore and itchy with a rash. I can’t figure out which ingredient I could be allergic to since they are all natural.

  21. says

    Works like a charm…. only one issue: the ingredients are great, but most of these deodorant recipes online are all created by women, and being applied directly to skin. As a guy, I’ve found the DIY deodorant stick doesn’t glide very well through the — (ehem) — “terrain.” Any thoughts on how to tweak the recipe to hold its form in mid-swipe? (I’ve been using the jar-and-dab routine, but miss the convenience of a stick.)
    The Crunchy Urbanite recently posted..Classic Gold Rush RecipeMy Profile

  22. RaabUSMC says

    Can I sub in some Palm Kernel Oil (102 degree melting point) in this DIY Deodorant to assist with the melting in room temperature concern? Also would a conditioning/silky emulsifying wax be subbed? Oh and one more addition, Pink Himalayan Salt, for increased absorption and anti-bacterial properties? If so, should it be completely dissolved in the liquids or finely ground in a spice grinder and mixed in shortly before the pour? Thanks

  23. Lauree Kramer says

    Hi, Thanks for the recipe! I made up my first batch this afternoon and really like the consistency. I actually ordered some containers on amazon and they came with the extra piece so that the deodorant comes out through the slits. They fit really tight (though you can pry them off eventually) so no worries that the deodorant falls out. They were a little pricey but since I can reuse them, I won’t be buying them very often. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009XKCL50/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    • Lauree Kramer says

      Okay, so it hardened up more over night and now won’t come up through the slots, which isn’t really a bad thing. I had ordered the more expensive containers based off the comment that it could fall out if you roll it up to far so was expecting it to be softer. I think it’s like any deodorant though, if you roll it up to far it will fall out.

  24. Erin Heidrick says

    So this is my 3rd time making this recipe and I love it! Well, while making it this time I put Baking Powder in instead of the baking soda on accident, of course. I would hate to waste it all, is it still usable? I don’t really seem to have sensitive skin and I did use aluminum free baking powder any idea if it’s a good idea to use it still? Thank you!!

    • says

      I’m so sorry…I have no idea. :( If it doesn’t work, I would just add some more baking soda to it. You might be able to use it to clean/polish something?

  25. Cindy says

    I want to try a homemade deodorant. But, I’m a little concerned that TTO and I believe lavender are hormone disrupters. I have a strong family history of hormone receptive breast cancer, so I fear using something like that in such close proximity. Thoughts? Can I leave the oils out and it still be effective?

  26. says

    Thank you! I’ve been wanting to try making deodorant but I didn’t want to have to try 100 recipes before finding one that works. Besides aluminum being bad for everyone, I’m allergic to it, so I can’t even decide to take the risk and use it!
    I’m going to try this and I hope it will be a good alternative to commercial deodorants for my growing children as well.
    Beth Cranford recently posted..Even Through the Heavy Grey, Beauty Still BloomsMy Profile

  27. Angelica says

    Hello! I made this deodorant almost two weeks ago. I love it and my husband too!! I feel very fortunate I found your website. The smell is great! The texture is perfect! And it works!! :)
    I’m just a little sad that I have noticed like grease stains on my clothes (right under my armpits)..:(
    The other day, I wore a white T-shirt and to my surprise, I could see a yellowish stain right on it- under my armpit. :(
    Is there anything I could change on the recipe that might cause the stains-and still be effective?
    We both-my husband and me-want to keep on using it! It’s awesome!! :)

    Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge and your time with us!! :)

  28. Carrie says

    I want to be able to make and use so many of these natural alternatives but I am allergic to coconut and it seems they all call for coconut oil. Is there anything that would be an acceptable substitute?

  29. says

    I would love to try this recipe. I have been using homemade deodorant for several months now, along with Primal Pit, and am very pleased as I have a bad perspiration problem. I was not aware of baking soda containing aluminum. Does it say in the ingredients whether it contains aluminum or not? I don’t have tubes to put this in, so I will have to make them into bars (I made lotion bars with similar ingredients and they were nice and hard). Also, my skin does not like baking soda and turns red. I have been using baking soda for many months now, and underneath my arms are big brown spots now. I imagine they are permanent too. I don’t have an answer for this problem either. But I will look and see if aluminum is in the baking soda and will get another brand if I can find one without aluminum.

  30. Shelby says

    Would i be able to sub infused (with calendula) olive oil for some of the coconut oil in the recipe? Would i need to adjust the beeswax amount?

  31. Candi says

    Hi, this looks like a great recipe. I started making my own facial products along with soap and laundry detergent. I wanted to give this a try. I do not think my significant other would like to smell like lavender. Is there a way I can just use lemon essential oil to replace other EO’s. Or is your combination of lavender and tea tree used for antimicrobial? Cant wait to try, thanks. I am thinking to wait until after the Summer months. Not sure if I want to chance the detox phase during Summer time. :)

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