Homemade Highlight: Homemade Deodorant Recipe

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How many of you have been experiencing the hottest summer that you can remember? I know here in Northern Indiana we have all ready set several record high days, with some days over 100 degrees, which is definitely not typical. Needless to say, it’s been HOT!

Around the time that we moved to our current home three years ago, and I was pregnant with Brenden, I decided to stop using regular deodorant/anti-antiperspirant. Believe it or not, I actually went without putting anything on my underarms for several months, just because I hadn’t tried to make my own deodorant yet, and I hadn’t researched enough to find a natural brand that I was willing to buy. We must have had a cool summer that year, but I really don’t remember having a problem with sweating or smelling.

But, as time went on, I knew I wanted to have an alternative to deodorant that I could use when I felt like I needed it. I finally got around to making my own, and it worked really well, and best of all, lasted for a really long time. When I finally ran out, I got lazy again, and went to just using baking soda to pat underneath my armpits, and found that it really helped with sweating and smelling.

When I got pregnant this time around though, I knew I needed something more than just baking soda. I tried a different recipe for homemade deodorant this time, and liked it even better than the first batch I had made. This is now my go to homemade deodorant recipe. It has worked wonderfully, even during these crazy hot summer days and when my postpartum hormones are on over-drive.

Read here for more on why you shouldn’t use conventional deodorant/antiperspirants.

Homemade Deodorant (that works!)


  • 3 Tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 3 Tbsp baking soda
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. beeswax flakes (I use a cheese grater to grate mine)
  • 12 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 10-12 drops of another essential oil or two for added scent (optional, but this is my favorite part because you can customize the scent of your deodorant. Only use up to another 10-12 drops total.)
  • 3 drops castor oil (optional- this just helps it to “slide” a little better)


· Combine all ingredients in a pan on the stove over low heat. Stir occasionally until the beeswax melts, and to make sure everything is mixed evenly. Make sure to break up, and mix in, any clumps of arrowroot powder or baking soda.

· While the mixture is still warm and milky, pour it into a container. I have found this makes enough to fill up my conventional brand deodorant container, or you could also put it in a small glass container and just use your hand to scoop out a little bit and put it on.

· Wait for the mixture to cool and harden before using. You can place the container in the fridge to speed the cooling process, especially during the summer.

Adapted from this recipe at Keeper of the Home.

A few notes:

  • Because of the coconut oil, this deodorant will be a lot softer in the summer than in the winter. Depending on how hot your house is, you may want to store this in the fridge in the summer time. Even with how hot it has been here, I have not found this necessary, it stays pretty solid inside the container.
  • Be careful to only twist up a little bit of the deodorant before putting it on, especially in the summer when it’s soft. In the winter, the heat of your body will help it to slide on more easily.
  • This deodorant will not necessarily keep you from sweating completely the way conventional antiperspirants might. That’s okay, because our bodies are supposed to sweat. But, it will help to keep you fresh and odor free!
  • If you’re curious, I used a combination of three drops of bergamot essential oil, and four drops each of lemon and grapefruit essential oils for my scent. I love citrus scents!

And just in case you’re like me, and put off making homemade deodorant because you think it will be too hard, or take too much time, I just made up another batch this morning and it took me a total of less than 10 minutes, including taking pictures for this post! It’s really fast, and easy, and one batch lasts for a really long time, so I’d encourage you to try making your own homemade deodorant today!

Do you make your own homemade deodorant? Or do you have a natural brand that you swear by? Please share your experience with us in the comments, so we can encourage others to make the switch from conventional deodorant/antiperspirants!

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  1. says

    I have to say I had the same experience as you with my first child about 4 years ago. I had no idea about making my own deodorant at that time, so I went without. We live in Maine, so it isn’t that hot, and I didn’t really have much of an issue – at least no one told me I smelled :-) I was extremely worried with my first baby (about everything really) and nursing. I felt like the deodorant could get on her hands, and then in her mouth.

    I do make my own deodorant now, although I use corn starch instead of arrowroot powder (I have no idea where I could find arrowroot powder), and it works well enough. It isn’t an antiperspirant, but it works as a deodorant. I still don’t use it often because I am home most of the time. I find that if I shower, I am usually ok :-)

    • Emily @ Live Renewed says

      Hi Heather,
      I’m sure you could fine arrowroot powder at a local health food store, or you could always order it online. But cornstarch works just as well, I should probably update the post and include cornstarch as an option for those who don’t have arrowroot powder.

    • giselle says

      i just slice a lemon, and rub it under my armpit.
      wait for it to dry.. and its THE BEST all natural deodorant!
      nothing fancy.. but i promise u will not be stinky!
      (if it feels sticky, its not completely dry yet.. keep them arms up til it does).
      and u dont wanna put lemon right after u shaved.. ouch! wait a few hrs.

  2. says

    I have recently tried a few different recipes. The one I am currently using is very close to this one, except it does not have the castor oil or the beeswax and is more like a paste. Can’t wait to try this one for my next batch

    • Emily @ Live Renewed says

      I think the castor oil and beeswax really helps it to slide on more smoothly. Let us know how you like it!

  3. Celeste says

    Thanks for posting this recipe. Do you really smell the coconut in this recipe, or do the essential oils mask the coconut smell?

    • Emily @ Live Renewed says

      I think the essential oils mask the coconut smell pretty well. It definitely still smells a little like coconut, but it’s not overwhelming.

    • Emily @ Live Renewed says

      Hi Julie,
      I get beeswax at a local health food store and then grate it myself with a cheese grater. Mountain Rose Herbs has both bulk beeswax and beeswax pellets, and Amazon has beeswax as well. Hope that helps!

  4. Susan in St. Louis says

    Thanks for sharing! I’ve been wanting to try this, and have been waiting for my next co-op order to get arrowroot at a good price (over twice as much at Whole Foods today when I looked!). Even the Toms of Maine that my hubby and I use when it’s not too hot has some ingredients that aren’t good (propylene glycol…sp?). :(

    And fun to see that you’re a Northern IN girl! That’s where I grew up, and in fact my kids and I are heading that way tomorrow to visit my parents. :)

  5. Tara says

    I am so excited to try this! I currently “gave up” using anything about 6 months ago and have been using baking soda only – but for those days that I’m super busy (or it’s really hot) I need to try this. Thank you so much for the recipe – I have everything to do it except castor oil (maybe I’ll try it w/o).

    • Emily @ Live Renewed says

      Hi Tara,
      I used just baking soda for a long time, and I have to say that I really like this homemade deodorant so much better! I think it would be fine without the castor oil. I’d love to hear what you think after you make it and try it!

  6. heather says

    Hello, what’s wrong with store bought deodorants, like dove and secret? I’m very new to living green, and have not done any reseach on this topic, and found you through Moneysaving mom. Thanks.

  7. Christy says

    I finally got around to making homemade deodorant a couple of weeks ago using coconut oil, baking soda. cornstarch, and various essential oils, but mostly lavender and tea tree, all mixed in my kitchen aid mixer, then poured into old deodorant bottles and glass jars. It works so well!!!!!! 😀 I will never use that toxic garbage again!

    • Emily @ Live Renewed says

      Hi Christy, I’m so glad it worked so well for you! Lavender and tea tree oil is a great combination! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience with us!

  8. Heather M says

    I have tried several natural products for deodorant/antiperspirant but find that I have to switch what I’m using depending on season/locale/humidity/flying frogs (uggh!) and especially hormones! I really like this recipe because it seems easily adaptable yet consistent. As usual for me, there is one problem….I’m allergic to coconut. Help! What can I use instead? And sometimes I have a problem with Tea Tree as well. I’m not sure if the Tea Tree thing is a product purity issue or a “my body is whack today” issue, but a suggestion for an equally effective alternative if you have one would be so helpful!

    Thank you for all of your really great ideas, we are actually tackling our oven this weekend using your description and the baking soda method….wish us luck!!

  9. Lindsey says

    Hi Heather,
    I use shea butter and baking soda. Coconut oil and tea tree oil are not necessary. I too have some trouble with tea tree oil because it can be so strong. I haven’t “cooked” anything either. Just rub a little shea butter under your arm, like a lotion, then dab your fingertips in baking soda and dab it around under your arms where you’d normally put deodorant. It might be a little itchy at first, but it goes away. I’ve also heard if its too irritating, mix the baking soda with cornstarch or arrowroot powder to make it softer.

  10. Janee Campbell says

    I use a similar recipe and its just as easy. Its also very easy to remember.
    Coconut oil
    Shea butter
    arrowroot powder
    baking soda
    essential oils for fragrance or leave them out if you want fragrance free (although tea tree, lemon, and lavendar all have natural antibacterial properties and make for a better deoderant).

    You use equal amounts of all 4 main ingredients. Any amount will do depending on how much you want to make. Mix the two dry ingredients together in a bowl. Melt the fats over the stove on low heat. Add the dry to the wet and whisk until fully incorporated. Let cool a little and add your oils. Pour into a clean glass jar with a lid and refrigerate to set. You can keep it at RT after that.

    The cheapest place I found arrowroot powder was Azure Standards. They are a company out on the west coast but they run delivery trucks to a lot of places. Look for them online and see if they deliver in your area. They have LOTS of good products and produce. Otherwise you can buy at Amazon or your local health food store. I think any starch may work though. Many people use corn starch. If you have it around tapioca starch may work well too. The Shea butter is cheap on Amazon.com. If you take your time you can get several pounds of it for about $7. I made a batch and let friends try it. I think I will soon have lots of people converted to DIY deodorant.

  11. Eve says

    Will bookmark this recipe, thanks for sharing. I’ve been reading up on all-natural deodorants lately. Lavilin keeps popping up. Any idea if it’s a good one?


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