Monday, November 4, 2013

Homemade Deodorant Recipe

Interested in making your own deodorant? The Climate Crusader shares her favourite recipe.

I've spent a number of years working to shift my personal care routine to safer options. I've been washing my face with honey since 2006. I've been washing my hair with baking soda and apple cider vinegar (also called 'no poo') since 2010. And for the past year and a half when I need a little bit of moisture on my skin or hair, I've been using coconut oil.

Earlier this year I decided to try greening one more of my personal care products: deodorant. I was a little bit leery about this one. I've tried so many 'green' deodorants, and I haven't really been happy with any of them. I was skeptical that something I made myself could really work. However, I'm happy to report that after some months, homemade deodorant is my favourite deodorant. I use the crystal as a back-up, and I'm perfectly satisfied with it, but I don't love the crystal like I love my deodorant.

This isn't the first time we've talked about homemade deodorant here on the Green Phone Booth. You can find a homemade deodorant recipe round-up here. All the same, everyone has their own favourites, and so today I'm sharing mine:

Homemade Deodorant

  • 4 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp beeswax
  • 5 Tbsp arrowroot flour
  • 2 Tbsp baking soda
  • 12 drops grapefruit seed extract
  • 10 drops tea tree oil
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 2 old, clean deodorant tubes

Melt the coconut oil and beeswax in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring to blend. Remove from heat. Stir the arrowroot and baking soda together in a medium-sized glass bowl and add the melted coconut oil and beeswax. Mix well to combine. Add the grapefruit seed extract, tea tree oil, lavender and peppermint. Stir well again, and then use the mix to fill the deodorant tubes. Place the filled tubes in the refrigerator, with the lids off, until they've thoroughly hardened.

  • I grate the beeswax so that I can measure it more easily, and so that it melts more quickly. I recommend warming the beeswax for a minute in your hands before grating it, to make it easier.
  • Many people use corn starch instead of arrowroot flour, but I've heard it can encourage the growth of yeast, which is why I use arrowroot.
  • You can replace the lavender and peppermint with essential oils of your choosing, or skip them altogether.
  • It's really tempting to try to fill the deodorant tubes all the way to the top, but don't, because it's messy, it will be harder to use later, and the lid may not fit.
  • The reason you leave the lid off while it's hardening is because a little bit of the deodorant often ends up on the outside of the tube while you're filling it, and if that hardens with the lid on, the lid will be very hard to get off.
  • If you don't have enough to fill a whole tube, move the dispenser up until it's at a better height.
What about you - have you made your own deodorant? How did it work for you?


EMMA said...

I've been making my own deodorant for about a year now. My recipe is similar but doesn't have beeswax, and I don't use as much essential oils. I think I will try your next time I make some.

Amber Strocel said...

@EMMA - The beeswax is just meant to help the deodorant from melting in warmer weather, as coconut oil can. I don't think it adds anything functionally beyond that, but if you're going to put it in a tube it helps.

Christy said...

Over the past year I have switched to the salt crystal for deoderant. I used it in the past but gave up because I am a highly sweaty person and very self conscious.

Overall I like it and I certainly don't miss the white stain on my clothes, but sometimes I find it stings. Cost wise it is a good option because it lasts forever.

Does it leave white marks on your clothes? I think this might be my next DIY project (as I don't like the occasional stinging of the crystal).

robbie @ going green mama said...

I did a similar simpler recipe. I don't really have an issue with the whiteness, though the tea tree smell is a bit much for my preference so I just use it at days I'm bumming at home.

Amber Strocel said...

@Christy - Yes, this DIY deodorant definitely leaves white marks on your clothes. It's not really visible on my skin (I'm fairly pale, so that may be part of it), but my black bra has some white marks on it, so some caution is required.

@Robbie - The reason I use half-and-half tea tree and grapefruit seed extract, and add the peppermint and lavender, is to avoid that overpowering scent. Mine doesn't smell like tea tree pretty much at all to my nose.

Sandra Harriette said...

It has been stated that brands like Arm & Hammer baking soda contains harsh chemicals. Bob's Red Mill makes a cleaner version. Definitely all for using what's available first, but I'm also thinking about putting this on my armpits. I have definitely broke out under there. Otherwise, I think this would be a cool project to try. Do you think you would post more photos of the process you did after cooking the coconut oil? I'm really visual.

Amber Strocel said...

@Sandra Harriette - That's a good point about the baking soda, thanks for weighing in.

The process is really very easy - I honestly just throw everything in a bowl and mix, then spoon it into the deodorant tube. The images I have just aren't that detailed, because there's not much to it. However, maybe these will help a little:


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