Stinky? Home-made Natural Deodorant Recipe Can Help

A few years ago I read something that prompted me to stop using deodorant. It was a quick little post from a mom on a website that she stopped using deodorant when breastfeeding because the thought of chemicals entering her body in the area where her baby was nursing made her uncomfortable. Since at the time I was tandem nursing twins ~ I felt the power of that statement and decided to go ‘au natural’! There of course, are also the rampant rumors of the connection between underarm antiperspirants or deodorants and the link to breast cancer.Β  As I’m not a scientist, I checked with the National Cancer Institute’s website and they go on the record saying they haven’t received conclusive evidence of this fact.Β  Although they do point out an interesting fact about what scientists do know about the ingredients in deodorants and antiperspirants. Here is the quote about aluminum-based compounds and parabans:

Aluminum-based compounds are used as the active ingredient in antiperspirants. These compounds form a temporary plug within the sweat duct that stops the flow of sweat to the skin’s surface. Some research suggests that aluminum-based compounds, which are applied frequently and left on the skin near the breast, may be absorbed by the skin and cause estrogen-like (hormonal) effects. Because estrogen has the ability to promote the growth of breast cancer cells, some scientists have suggested that the aluminum-based compounds in antiperspirants may contribute to the development of breast cancer. Some research has focused on parabens, which are preservatives used in some deodorants and antiperspirants that have been shown to mimic the activity of estrogen in the body’s cells.

So – although I’m no longer breast feeding, I’ve continued my journey in life not wearing deodorant. I have never tried an all-natural deodorant before; partially because nobody I know has been able to recommend a brand that actually works and until lately I didn’t think I needed any help. However in the last few months I think my body chemistry has changed and regulated to the fact I’m not using anything and I find myself needing some help. Particularly on the days I’m running around like a mad-woman with 4 kids in tow. No wonder I’m sweaty and stinky!

But being a creature set in my ways..I refused to go back to traditional deodorant. I’ve simply become wary of any mainstream beauty products. So I put out my question to the many people I connect with via Twitter and my answer came from Tanya @islandregency. She has been using the recipe from Passionate Homemaking. I finally tried the recipe with a few tweaks thanks to the comments on the recipe and Tanya’s agreement on the modifications ~ I’m very happy with the results. I can use this homemade deodorant and it not only lasts until I take a bath and wash it away, but it stops any underarm odor. I had my husband try it too since I’d like him to be a little more chemical sensitive, but he thinks it wore off by the end of the day for him. I can only speak for myself and since I found out the hard way after using his deodorant when we attended a Christmas party with dancing..that his does not work on me. So maybe the case can be made that women and men sweat and react to deodorants differently. I thought that women’s antiperspirants were rumored to be more toxic anyway with the aluminum agent so I encourage all my Mommy Footrprint readers to give this recipe a try! Thank you to Passionate Homemaking for posting and Tanya for sharing!


5-6 Tbsp Coconut oil
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch

Combine equal portions of baking soda & arrowroot powder. Then slowly add coconut oil and work it in with a spoon until it maintains the substance you desire. The modifications to this recipe that Tanya suggested (and that I followed) are using 1/8 cup baking soda and 1/4 + 2 tbsp cornstarch instead of the half and half ratio that’s called for in the recipe. I keep the ball of deodorant in a sealed jar, wrapped in parchment paper so I don’t get my hands sticky when applying. Also, when it got a little melted in texture from our hot bathroom, I put it in the fridge to harden for a few hours.

As a side note to this article, a very cool tip was offered from Crystal Di Domizio via the Mommy Footprint facebook fan page. Crystal is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Prenatal Wellness Coach and Birth Doula and wrote an article about the many benefits of coconut oil. I had no idea that cooking with unrefined coconut oil is much healthier than olive oil. Crystal pointed out that olive oil should be used in low temperature recipes (salad dressings, etc.) and coconut oil is great to cook with because it doesn’t become damaged with heat. She wrote a great article that I’d like to share about coconut oil. I’ve since been using my coconut oil to cook with and it’s much kinder to the ‘sticking’ on my stainless steel pans than olive oil and you cannot taste a difference. Thank you for posting Crystal!


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23 Responses to Stinky? Home-made Natural Deodorant Recipe Can Help

  1. Sarah February 24, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    Thanks! I am going to try this soon!

  2. Kristy February 24, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    Have you ever researched the ROCK or CRYSTAL deoderant? As far as I know this is a very safe, and I can attest an affective alternative.

    I have been using this for years with great results. Just apply to wet skin straight out of the shower. Also, it lasts for years so is very economical.

  3. suzanne February 24, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    Awesome! Let me know what you think. =)

  4. Crystal - Prenatal Coach February 24, 2011 at 10:06 am #

    YAY! I’m so happy that you are enjoying the coconut oil. Educating moms about the quality of fats & oils they should be eating to optimize their health is a HUGE passion of mine. Thank you for the mention! If you aren’t already, you can ‘like’ my facebook page to get more nutrition tips (mixed in with pregnancy/birth info) πŸ™‚

  5. Laura Hecimovic February 24, 2011 at 11:26 am #

    Hmmmm….I might just try this natural deodorant! Marko and I were just discussing all the toxins in our body and specifically deodorant cuz Marko uses a lot of it. He’s a heavy sweater. Does it turn into a solid or is it just a sticky mess? Did u use the arrow root powder or corn starch?
    I’ve been reading a lot about coconut oil lately. I’m gonna give this a try too. We use a lot of olive oil in our cooking. πŸ™‚

    Thanks Suz! Kisses to my beautiful and handsome little cousins! Xoxo

  6. suzanne February 24, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    Hi Laura! It turns into a solid and I used corn starch. I can come over and offer some tips for going chemical-free. It’s not super overwhelming if you just take it room by room. If the home-made deodorant is too far a leap for Marko – I can research some store bought all-natural deodorants for him. πŸ˜‰

  7. Laura Hecimovic February 24, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

    Ok! I’ll have to just take you up on that offer! Would love some tips for my home! But warning you now…my make-up and perfumes aren’t going anywhere! Haha! You can come any weekend or i’m off every other Monday. Bring the family over and i’ll have my parents over too. Just let me know when!

    Yeah, let me know if any of those natural deodorants would work for Marko.

    Thank you!

  8. Tina February 24, 2011 at 7:26 pm #

    I really like the deodorants from Rocky Mountain Soap Company. I have tried natural deodorants from many different companies but the Rocky Mountain seems to be my best bet so far.

  9. angie February 24, 2011 at 7:39 pm #

    Wow. I have everything on hand to try this out. I’ve tried the crystal stuff too, but I always forget to put it on immediately after getting out of the shower. I’m going to have to mix up a ball of this stuff. πŸ™‚

  10. Nadia @ Red, White and GREEN Mom February 24, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

    I went deodorant free a little more than 2 years ago now. All I’ve been using is some natural deodorant from lush. It has baking soda, witch hazel, chamomile and patchouli. And it’s vegan (if that matters to you).

    It works rather well for me and a small bar lasts FOR EVER! I haven’t needed to buy any in over 1.5 years.

    Though, I might try your recipe and see if I like it. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE virgin coconut oil. I’ve replaced all my olive oil cooking with coconut oil.

  11. Karen February 28, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

    Thanks Suzanne! I will pass this on to my teen daughter who has been using a home-made baking soda shampoo for over a year now and swears by it. She just started using Coconut Oil as a body lotion, and has recommended that I try it. I will have to grab some at our local co-op this week and give it a go in the kitchen now too!

    I am currently nursing, and having tried a bunch of natural brands of deodorants, (currently I am only using tea tree and lavender oil with water after bathing,) I am looking forward to trying something a little smoother feeling that has better staying power.

    Thanks again for the great tips πŸ™‚

  12. Dawn Suzette March 9, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    We have been trying the “natural” alternative but have not found one we like. We will have to try this… Thanks!
    I found your blog searching for natural sunscreen. Just ordered some California Baby (which was soooo easy to find when we were in California but have had a hard time finding something here in Canada!)

  13. Kimberly October 8, 2011 at 11:15 pm #

    It works great so far. I added in 10 dr lavender essential oil, 10 dr tea tree essential oil and 1 drop sandalwood essential oil. I am sure part of the powders can be substituted with arrowroot powder, especially if anyone is sensitive to baking soda as baking soda can cause a rash if you are sensitive to it. I love how the texture of this was. I had made something similar a while ago but I added cocoa butter and beeswax, it was great with the exception of the cocoa butter caused it not to be nice and slippery and made it drag more so I think it is wiser not to use cocoa butter in deoderant unless it is in miniscule amounts. The salt deoderants also called crystal deoderants still contain Aluminum in different forms. They are still not so good for you so dump that idea. I would also recommend trying to add some lemon, sweet orange, litsea cubeba, lemongrass or neroli essential oils instead of the lavender to give it a nice citrus smell. Most of them should be conditioning to skin, has natural fragrance and will help reduce oder.
    I have aquired many natural deoderant recipes but this one is pretty nice. Thanks and hope you all enjoy my addition to it.

  14. Meg March 19, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

    Thanks for this recipe, I’m going to try it! Right now I’m using 2 different homemade sprays, one contains distilled water & a citrus-cedarwood-spearmint essential oil blend, the other has purified water, witch hazel & clove-cinnamon-sandalwood oil blend. I use the first spray on my chest & hair, the second for my underarms & belly… it can go anywhere, really! I also use a crystal stick only before I workout or hike…usually I don’t get smelly enough to have it be an issue. Meat-eaters tend to smell more than veggies do πŸ™‚ …just saying!

  15. Reagen August 17, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

    Hi! I was just wondering if you could substitute Vitamin E Oil in for the Coconut Oil? I’ve got plenty of Vitamin E and would love to save a trip out… haha.
    Also, which works better? Arrowroot Powder or Cornstarch?

  16. Megan August 17, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

    Thanks for posting the modification! I tried this deodorant (I love Passionate Homemaking) and it worked great. But after a few weeks my underarms started to get really irritated and red. I had to stop using it and wasn’t sure what to modify. I was just looking somewhere else how baking soda can cause that reaction and then I found this with the modification of less baking soda. I’ll bet it’ll be perfect! Thank you!

  17. Maria October 25, 2012 at 9:43 am #

    The best cooking oil is safflower oil as it has the highest tolerance for heat. Works great for steaks, chicken, and frying just about anything πŸ˜‰
    I have coconut oil in my bathroom and use it to give my hair a deep conditioning treatment once a month. also works great as a moisturizer, especially on your legs after shaving πŸ˜‰

  18. Philip Pellat December 17, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    If you don’t want to make your own – our family has been using natural deodorants for years and they are really great.

  19. Richard February 4, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

    I use a commercial deodorant that uses coconut oil as the first ingredient and it works better than anything else that I have tired. It’s by Essensia Naturals and I buy it at a local health food store but it is also available online at

  20. Taylor December 12, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    I use a brand called Lavilin (website: My husband got it for me a year ago and I absolutely fell in love with their underarm cream. I actually ended up getting the foot cream for my husband as well πŸ™‚

  21. Andrea March 13, 2014 at 8:30 am #

    Zinc oxide cream works as anti-perspirant and deodorant.


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