Keeping it Fresh – Homemade Deodorant (2 Ways)

Homemade Deodorant (2 Ways)

Both are impressive. The first is easier to put together but I had some melting issues. I prefer the second, it takes a little more time and effort to make but it holds up better and will last a lot longer.

While I realize that I am stepping into “Too Much Information” territory I had to try this and share the results. This test made me incredibly nervous because I sweat, not a nice womanly glow but more like a laborer on a rooftop in the middle of summer (How’s that for a visual!) While that is an exaggeration I can assume that I have made my point. The really expensive deodorants give me 8-10 hours before I need to reapply them. I decided that I would make an excellent test subject and I knew Joe would love this test.

Ready for it?

Deodorant with 3 Simple Ingredients

This version is incredibly easy to make, it took about 5 minutes and minimal supplies.


I ordered the arrowroot powder from Amazon but it isn’t a necessary ingredient. I did half a batch using the arrowroot and another half using cornstarch and I didn’t notice any significant difference between them. I added a little essential oil to give it a nice scent then mixed it all up.


Once it was mixed I just spooned it into the deodorant containers and put them in the fridge to set.


This worked amazingly well. I wanted to make sure that I did a thorough test so I skipped showering to see how long it would take before I noticed any ummm, odor (I know, I know…there we go with the too much information!) Y’all it was nearly 2 days! I am not sure that I even smelled bad, I may have imagined it just so I could go take a shower. Joe was no help, every time he saw me coming with my arm held up to ask his opinion…he ran.

The problem that I ran into with this version is that there was nothing to hold the coconut oil together. Since it melts at 76 degrees, as soon as it touched my body it got runny. The weather is warming up and apparently my bathroom gets warmer than I thought because I kept finding puddles around the base of the container. I don’t know about you but I am just not comfortable keeping my deodorant in the refrigerator until I use it. So, I did a little research and found another version.


Homemade Deodorant

This version is very similar, but the addition of beeswax made me confident that it would hold up better.


Since I still have arrowroot powder I used that. If you don’t have it cornstarch will work just fine. The process is a little different when you use beeswax. The coconut oil and beeswax need to be melted down first. I threw them in my glass thingie and used my makeshift double boiler. I have started using the beeswax pellets instead of attempting to grate the bricks. They are so much better! Easier to measure and they melt a little faster than the others, these also came from Amazon. They still take a while to melt down so prepare to hang out for a while.


After it melted, I mixed the baking soda and arrowroot powder in a separate bowl and whisked them in together.


Once it is was smooth, I used tea tree oil and rosemary essential oil as suggested in the original blog. It has a very faint scent, I plan on experimenting with some different scent combinations later to see if I can find something I really love.


The mixture starts to cool immediately so get it in your container as soon as possible. I took some pictures and cleaned up a little before pouring it and wound up with a thick layer stuck to the inside of my glass container. I ran about a hundred gallons of hot water over it with hardly any effect. I eventually had to scrape it off and destroyed a sponge cleaning it…lesson learned.


The instructions say to leave it uncapped for 24 hours to set. I put mine in the fridge uncapped and left it overnight. I know that coconut oil sets up really well in the cold so it has become a habit to refrigerate anything that I make with it for at least a few hours.

This has been sitting on my counter for the last couple of weeks and I haven’t had any melting at all! I also did the time test with excellent results. Again, there was no odor until I hit about hour 50…very impressive. I do need to state for the record that the 50 hours is based on when I noticed that it smelled. I was doing frequent checks but Joe absolutely refused to do any sort of “smell check” while I was testing this. All of my attempts to sneak my armpit into his face went badly so I have no confirmation. However, I continue my efforts and will eventually catch him off guard. I am pretty sure he enjoys all of the testing I do, it makes his life interesting. Speaking of Joe, I need to wrap it up, I have an ambush to plan…I think I can catch him this time by hiding in the downstairs powder room, and grab him when he comes out of our bedroom…BAM a head lock!

I want to know what you think about switching to homemade deodorant. Does the idea scare you as much as it did me? Planning to test a batch? What essential oils would you like to add? Tell me all about it, you know I want to hear.

P.S. The ambush attempt was not successful. I did surprise Joe and got my arm around his head. However, I was off balance and when he ducked, I tripped…unfortunately, all he did was step over me to get to the couch and his TV.

He might be getting TOO used to the testing process…


  1. Franci Allyson Haynes says

    Hahaha! at least Joe doesn’t have both of us chasing him around for the armpit test anymore. I was thinking about adding baby powder to it since that has been my favorite scent. I will let you know how it goes.

  2. says

    Great post – I love your test approach. I am always looking for homemade, natural cosmetics. I’m going to try the one with beeswax. :)

  3. says

    I love this post. Definitely bookmarking it to try it. My hubby uses natural deodorant. I’ve tried using it, but it burns my armpits (TMI, I know). So I am super excited to try this one. Visiting from SITS.

    • says

      I haven’t tried any of the natural ones that they sell in the stores but I haven’t had any problems at all with this version. If you have any issues with this you can always modify the formula a bit until you find what works best!

  4. says

    I actually just converted this week to something similar to this. I just used coconut oil, baking soda and essential oil (I used lavender and grapefruit), no cornstarch. It is kind of melty, so the beeswax is a good idea! Wow does it ever work though! I’m amazed, I always thought I was just annoyingly smelly, because no deodorant would work. Lo and behold, something so simple works like a charm! Pretty awesome.

    • says

      The beeswax made all the difference in the world for the melting problem, I was actually surprised how much. The lavender and grapefruit sounds like a great combination, I will definitely have to try it.

  5. LizW says

    This sounds like a great idea! I, too, feel that I sweat like a man running on a treadmill on the roof in the middle of July. What is the actual recipe you used?

  6. jessica says

    Loved your comparison! i had pinned the first recipe, but didn’t think about the melty thing… i’m wondering, can you use cornstarch instead of arrowroot for the second recipe as well? thanks!

  7. Kelli says

    I’ve read that the coconut oil can stain your clothing over time…have you noticed any residue?

  8. Tara says

    Hello, did this work for your sweating also or just the odor? I got the odor down using lemon but now I need something for sweating!! Talk to you soon!

    • says

      Hi Tara, technically it is not supposed to fix the sweating BUT I have noticed that it does seem to absorb some of it so it’s not as bad as it used to be. Hope that helps!

  9. says

    I was shocked to find out I smelled BETTER and sweat LESS with homemade. I even did the derby girl test. I used regular deodorant at a Wednesday night practice (which is 2 hours of insane), then homemade Thursday night (another 2 insane hours) and was actually told by teammates I smelled better. :) I don’t worry about setting and just mixed at room temp til it was the consistency I wanted, then I rub it on like a lotion. It does mean I get my hands in it, but it was too much trouble to buy the empty deodorant container. Since the ingredients aren’t icky, I just rub any excess into my hands like lotion or wash it off. Super simple and no worries about setting or temps. Only if I leave it in the car (after gym) or if it’s super cold out does it get weird. Here’s my post:
    Kirsten Oliphant recently posted…Life of the Party #30My Profile

    • says

      Yes, yes and yes! I have had some minor problems with irritation after using it for a year but I have some minor modifications that I am considering to fix it.

      I’ve heard that some people have had issues with the essential oils so I’m going to cut back a little on them. I think I might also need to cut back the arrowroot/cornstarch a bit because that’s another potential cause.

      I need to compare yours with the one I am using to see if the ratios are a little better. I am due for another batch really soon so if you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them.

      • says

        I ever now and then have irritation, but I also tend to not throw out razors for a year, so it might actually be razorburn. :) I personally like to sort of adjust the ratios from the basic until it’s good at room temp. Every now and then I’ll go back and add more of anything I need. Like, if it’s too mushy and liquid, more cornstarch. Mostly I like the ratios, but I have found that making it in summer v winter matters.

        We’ll have to do an armpit smelling tradeoff next time I see you! JUST KIDDING. I’M NOT THAT CREEPY.
        Kirsten Oliphant recently posted…Life of the Party #30My Profile