What's the golden rule when making homemade deodorant?
Try, try again!
A few months ago I started experimenting with natural homemade deodorant — made with essential oils! While my first attempt worked pretty well, it still wasn't perfect for my entire family. So I tweaked it again, and that didn't work perfectly either…
Yet the third effort was a go!
What was my problem?
On my first try, I combined equal amounts of baking soda and arrowroot powder (1/2 cup each). While the deodorant worked like a charm, the baking soda irritated some family members. It created red painful welts with repeated use and arm movement.
So then I eliminated the baking soda completely and doubled the arrowroot powder to 1 cup. That deodorant didn't irritate at all, but it didn't work very well, either. (Think stink.)
Finally, I tried what you see below: 1/4 cup baking soda and 3/4 cup arrowroot powder (plus clay for absorbency and odor control).
Now we have deodorant that works well and doesn't irritate anyone. It's a winner! (Edit: I have now been using this deodorant for 3 years!)
And now I'm fulfilling my promise to share our natural deodorant recipe — it really works. And no nasty chemicals like store-bought!
The BEST Natural Deodorant Recipe
- 1-1/3 cups extra virgin coconut oil
- 1-1/2 tablespoons beeswax shavings or beads* (increase if you live in a warmer climate)
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 3/4 cup arrowroot powder
- 2 tablespoons clay (such as Redmond Clay's Bentonite)
- 25 drops tea tree essential oil
- 5 drops lemongrass essential oil
Makes about 3 tubes of deodorant (depending on tube size).
*Increase beeswax during the summer or if you live in a warmer climate.
Melt coconut oil and beeswax together over low heat until just barely melted. Remove from heat. Add remaining ingredients except essential oils. Let cool, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until it hardens to a pudding consistency. Put in the fridge to speed this up, checking and stirring frequently. Add essential oils and mix well. Spoon into empty deodorant containers. Let harden overnight in a cool location. You can speed this up by putting in the fridge to harden.
Don’t have an empty deodorant container? Use a pint or half pint jar. Use about 1/8 teaspoon for each arm. (Omit beeswax to make it easier to scoop.) Or, use muffin tins to create a “cake” of deodorant. Keep wrapped in tissue paper when not in use. Rub the cake under arms to apply.
A Few Notes For Successful DIY Deodorant
Summer weather. The deodorant is like soup in the summer, whether in a jar or in a tube. I tried doubling the beeswax and that does help if the temp is just warmer but not really hot. Here's what you can do in very hot weather.
1) Keep your tube of deodorant in the fridge. While it's firm but just a little softened from rubbing it on your body, twist the deodorant up to the level you'll need it next time, then put it back in the fridge. (Right out of the fridge it's hard to twist up.)
2) Or, keep your deodorant in a jar and apply with fingers. You might notice a little separation of coconut oil settling on top; just stir that in with your fingers, then scoop some out and apply to the underarms. I actually prefer applying with my fingers rather than a stick — because I can rub it in well and I find better odor and moisture benefits.
So just play with it and don't let summer weather prevent you from using and loving natural deodorant.
Reusing deodorant containers. It's not the easiest thing to get chemical deodorant out of containers — that junk definitely repels moisture and doesn't want to come out! However, a basin of soapy water for soaking and an old toothbrush does a pretty good job. Once you've got clean containers you can reuse them again and again. And again.
Adjusting. Coming off chemical deodorants, you might find natural doesn't work for you right away. Give your body time to adjust. A few weeks.
Big batches. You can triple or quadruple this batch. Store what you don't use in a jar in a cool, dark cupboard. Remelt over a simmering water bath and refill tubes as needed. It's a big time saver!
Do you use natural homemade deodorant? What's your favorite DIY deodorant recipe? Any tips? Please share!
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