Should You Make Your Own Deodorant?


Deodorant. It doesn’t exactly break the bank. I probably spend under $10 a year on deodorant, so I have often wondered if making it is a good use of time. Yes, you might save a few pennies, but is it worth it to bother?
Wise Bread asked the same question. Marla Walters made her own deodorant using this recipe, which includes coconut oil, cornstarch, baking soda, and essential oils for smell. She tried it out in several high-pressure situations and found that it worked well:

The final test? I strode into my husband’s man-cave, holding up my arm, and said, “Wanna sniff my pit?” (Bear in mind that we have been married for thirty years.) After giving me a look, and actually not laughing, he said, “Sure, why not?” His proclamation? “All I smell is lemon.” He’s a real sport.

The price comparison is a little confusing here, but it sounds like homemade deodorant is cheaper than the store-bought “natural” deodorant, although she doesn’t say by how much. Walters also thought the homemade deodorant smelled better and had the health benefit of using all natural ingredients.
The downside is that while this recipe keeps you from smelling, this is not an antiperspirant and will not keep your armpits dry.
I would also like to hear more about how the homemade deodorant is applied. In the recipe, it looks like it is in a jar, which means you put it on like lotion? I’m not sure.
I’m still skeptical. The last time I bought deodorant it was around $2, and it lasts me a long time. Sometimes it’s worth it to pay for convenience.
But what do you think? Have you made your own deodorant?

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7 thoughts on “Should You Make Your Own Deodorant?”

  1. I tried making my own once with a recipe similar to the one in the link. Aside from the money saving aspect, I wanted to use fewer chemicals on my skin. I put it in an empty old deodorant container so I could apply it like normal.
    Applying it worked just okay. Coconut oil melts at 76 degrees so if the house was warm I’d have to keep it in the fridge. When it went on, I often had to rub it in and sometimes there would be little white globs that formed.
    My real issue was that it made me sweat WAY MORE than if I just skip deodorant. I searched the internet to see if others had that reaction and found that the baking soda was probably irritating my skin and causing excessive sweating.
    I’d be interested to hear if your readers have had the same issue and if they have any suggestions.

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  2. I have never made my own deodorant, thought I’ve thought about it. What scares me away is that often the ingredients are expensive. So if you need to buy a whole jar of coconut oil just to make a smaller portion of deodorant, it ends up costing a lot. Do you know what I mean?
    I tried a few natural deodorants, but my pits had some weird reaction. I do like the crystals, but I could only use them in the winter.

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  3. We’ve been using this recipe for about 4 years,after trying the stone (which didn’t work and stings like a mother on freshly shaved pits).
    Over all, it’s fantastic, but there are some things to remember:
    -Coconut oil isn’t just for deodorant around here.. it make a killer foundation for stir fry, makes a yummy addition to smoothies, and we use it for lots of skin care purposes.
    -Costco has a gigantic container of coconut oil for a great price, and Trader Joes has it for a good price, and it frequently goes on sale at natural markets (the price markup is ridiculous in some places!).
    -There is always a compromise to be made when you are switching to an all-natural solution vs: a storebought product.. I guess it’s all in what you value.
    -I could eat my deodorant if I wanted to with no ill effects. So could my kids. Not that I would encourage that, but the point is that I wouldn’t want to do that with a commercial antiperspirant.
    When we tried it for the first time, I did pack it into deodorant tubes. What a mess! I just stick it in a jar, and smear a bit on in the morning. It’s not much different from facial lotion, or foundation. Your fingers come away fairly clean, and can be easily wiped on a towel or if you’re lazy, your pants.
    I like that I can control the ratios of ingredients to make my own personal blend unlike with a purchased stick.
    I like to make ours lighter on the baking soda, and a little heavier on the starch. This cuts down on the extra moisture and irritation for Allan, since he’s a bit more sensitive.
    I love that I can put it on in the morning after a shower, and I don’t smell at the end of the day.
    I am glad that the coconut oil washes out and doesn’t stain as badly as when we used commercial deodorant. Seriously… know how when you take a shirt out of the dresser clean but you put it on and it warms up and begins to smell like smelly arm pit? That would be the deodorant you use that doesn’t come out all the way in the wash. It’s permeated the fabric. Ugh. The same thing happens in your underarms. You just can’t tell because of the major perfumes manufacturers put in.
    There are numerous reasons beyond health benefits that we use homemade deodorant. For us, it just seems to be more practical than storebought.

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  4. Not using antiperspirant should actually be a benefit of making it! Deodorant works by clogging up naturally occuring sweats and this is not good for you.
    When I lived in Malaysia, everyone used the alum rock which is a deodorant and not an antiperspirant. It is very, very hot there and I don’t remember noticing people being smelly. I personally don’t make my own, but I do use the alum rock and love it.

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  5. If it keeps someone from smelling yucky, go ahead and make your own. I’m lazy and buy mine at Kroger.
    When we lived in Germany, courtesy of Uncle Sam, I was amazed at the stinkiness of the locals. Yep, they sold deodorant in the stores, but, very few used it. I almost passed out the first time my nose was accosted! Mercy!

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  6. Great Antiperspirant: The aluminum in baking soda will cause pores to close, thus reducing/eliminating sweat.
    Of course, there are such things as over use (some people use it too much, and it cause them to break out). When first using only baking soda, I suggest a once daily use for a week. After that, every second or third day.
    Coconut oil is a great natural disinfectant. It has antibacterial properties, so it helps to keep down b.o. by killing the bacteria that cause the smell.
    Not sure that it’s all that worth the savings, since there’s a bit of work involved. However, I have made my own before. I guess the real question is: Do you want to pay a few cents more for perfumes and chemicals, or do you want to take a bit of extra time to make sure those things aren’t going into your body?

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  7. For ages I used tea tree oil as a natural deodorant. It’s antibacterial and anti fungal properties prevent the sweat under your arms from smelling. I did eventually start to react to it. It says not to use it on the skin in full concentration and I was doing it anyway. I am still able to use it, just not every day.
    Instead, I use perfume/body spray with a high alcohol content. It works the same way, killing the bacteria under the arms that cause them to smell. Although not a money saver, my motivation was trying to find something natural that works. 😉

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