Homemade Deodorant that Works

Commercial deodorants, along with shampoos, conditioners and body soaps have all sorts of toxic chemicals in them. Want to freak yourself out? Check out the Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetics Database to see exactly what those ingredients can do to you. Thanks to the database I have decided to age gracefully and no longer dye my hair or use “age-defying” treatments for my skin. I’ve switched from using commercial shampoo to using either a homemade shampoo bar or baking soda and apple cider vinegar (depending on my mood for the day). Same goes for body soap – we now use only homemade soap. I no longer wash my face with soap then slather it with some toxin-containing lotion. Instead I now use coconut oil. I slather it on heavily than wipe it off with a cloth which removes dirt, excess oil, even makeup. It leaves my skin feeling supple and smooth and it’s never dried out. Amazingly it’s also never oily either. Goodbye T-zone. And let me tell you, my skin has NEVER looked this good. Gone are the fine lines and most important of all, the mid-life acne is gone. Completely. I don’t even get hormonal acne anymore. It’s a thing of beauty (pun intended).

The deodorant switch was our latest experiment. Tom was skeptical about it and rightly so. Tom is a man’s man and is the muscle around here. He’s big, he’s strong, and he works hard and gets (really) sweaty, which can often times lead to the unpleasant odor of man-sweat. So I had a challenge ahead of me. I found some recipes online but none seemed that appealing. I wanted something easy to make from ingredients that we almost always have on hand, or at least could easily keep on hand and were readily available at local stores. So here is what I finally came up with:

  • 2 oz Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 oz beeswax
  • 1/4 C baking soda
  • 1/4 C cornstarch (non-GMO of course)
  • 20 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
  • 20 drops any other essential oil for scent (optional)

Melt the coconut oil and beeswax together in a sauce pan on low heat. Once melted take off of heat and mix in remaining ingredients. Pour into cleaned out deodorant containers. This is enough to fill 2 medium sized deodorant containers.

So how does it work? I’ll get to that in a minute but first I want to explain why I chose the ingredients that I did.

The coconut oil is very moisturizing, it’s lightweight and goes on really smoothly. The problem though is that it melts at a low temperature so on a warm day you might end up with a puddle of oil rather than a solid deodorant. That’s where the beeswax comes in. Just a small amount is all you need to harden it up. Too much beeswax though and you end up with a gummy product that doesn’t go on smooth.

The baking soda helps eliminate odors and the cornstarch absorbs excess moisture. Tea tree oil is antibacterial so it helps eliminate the bacteria that cause bad B.O. and then the additional essential oil is optional if you don’t care for the smell of the tea tree oil (I personally don’t like it).

After several months of using this deodorant I have to say I am surprisingly thrilled about it. Tom really likes it too. Neither of us suffer from any type of B.O. which is actually more than I can say about every other commercial deodorant that I’ve ever tried. After several hours they just lose their effectiveness but this homemade stuff lasts all day with no problem. It goes on smooth and a little goes a long way. In addition, for us ladies, it doesn’t making your armpits sting or itch after shaving.


  1. You forgot to mention how you use it! Do you just spread it like regular stick deodorant?

  2. What other essential oils do you add for fragrance?

    • Anything you want that doesn’t irritate your skin. I used bergamot. Citrus ones are good, so is lavender, rosemary, jasmine or rose. I would avoid cinnamon, clove, peppermint and other more harsh oils.

  3. Sweet! I’ve been looking for a homemade deodorant to try and your affirmation that this one works is perfect! Thanks for that!

  4. Catherine says:

    This sounds WONDERFUL! I too have a manly man (aka sweat-hog for those of you who remember that term!) and a 10 year old son who is maturing in the armpit area) way too soon. I can’t wait to try this! I have also decided to try your coconut oil facial cleanser. Do you only use coconut for your face? I too have “adult” acne, mainly once a month since using Proactive but the cost gets me and I love the idea of a nautural moisturizer that doesn’t leave me oily. What do you do for sunscreen though? I have very fair skin, skin cancer in my family background and MUST use something as a sunscreen. Thank you for all your posts … we are slowly trying to make more items ourselves but sometimes the items aren’t feasibe. Any ideas for detergent for a HE washer? That still has me stumped. Thank you again .. keep posting, it helps us all!!! : )

    • Catherine, I only use coconut oil on my face. No water or soap. I haven’t tried making sunscreen yet but I make sure to only buy sunscreens that use titanium dioxide and zinc oxide as the active ingredients. The EWG’s database also has great info on sunscreens. Here’s a post on homemade laundry soap that is safe to use in HE washers. This is what I use in my HE washer. What makes it HE washer friendly is that it doesn’t lather very much. http://www.dogislandfarm.com/2010/08/mondays-guests-homemade-laundry-soap.html

  5. Erin Middlebrooks says:

    Are the ounces fluid ounces or by weight??

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