Photo: How to make deodorant

I share a favourite 5-ingredient deodorant recipe that works!

Creating a national energy plan for Canada might be easier than finding eco-friendly (Dirty Dozen-free and not tested on animals) deodorant that works!

So I'm sharing my favourite deodorant recipe — it even works on "TV sweat" (when I'm live, on-camera talking about the toxics in cosmetics).

And it's fit for the whole family — even winning over some hard-core skeptics — as revealed in the last Queen of Green Coaches program, where 50 families took steps to confront the toxics in their lives.

You already read what happened during Module 1: Waste and Module 2: Food. Module 3: Toxics is often cited as the most difficult for families going "green". It's a real game-changer, yet it consistently yields the biggest changes!

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Families committed to lowering their day-to-day exposure to harmful pollution by:

Don't sweat it deodorant balm recipe

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Yield: about 90 ml
Shelf life: six months


15 ml shea butter (or cocoa butter)
15 ml coconut oil
15 ml baking soda
15 ml cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)
30 ml beeswax, grated

Optional: 2-5 drops of essential oil(s) — lemon, tea tree, lavender, thyme, and myrrh.

*Note: essential oils are powerful, so start with small amounts. And always do a test patch on your skin. If you have sensitive skin or scent sensitivities, don't use essential oils.

Did you know that coconut oil has antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties?


Put about 50 ml of water into a small pot on low heat. Add first five ingredients to a small metal bowl. Create a double boiler by placing the bowl on top of the pot. Stir ingredients until melted. Remove from heat and add essential oils. Stir. Let cool before storing in air-tight container.

Dab a pea-sized amount under each arm. It will melt on contact with your body heat. Everyone's body chemistry is different, so you may find you need to adjust the blend and amount of essential oils that work for you.

Comment on this blog with your "must try" deodorant recipe!

Lindsay Coulter, a fellow Queen of Green

February 12, 2015

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Sep 26, 2016
11:27 AM

I love this recipe. I put it into a deodorant mould and just use a swipe. Any suggestions on cleaning the resulting build up on your shirts? I’ve not had much success with this

Sep 26, 2016
5:09 PM

I’ve never had this problem. Have you tried oxygen bleach? Or, an eco-friendly stain stick? Lindsay

Jul 19, 2016
4:44 AM

For those who are sensitive to baking soda, try using kaolin clay instead. It’s not quite as deodorizing but still works well and absorbs sweat too! I add a tbsp of it in addition to baking soda to my deodorant recipe for a super-strength mix. Good stuff!

Jun 26, 2016
8:11 PM

Really? Why would you think suggesting rosewood essential oil is a good idea? Rosewood trees are endangered, due in large part to being exploited for rosewood oil. No one should be using or purchasing products containing it until they can be produced sustainably.

Mar 01, 2016
3:51 AM

When it comes to children, they are usually directed to use the home based products as these are the safe deodorant for kids that will never react. Baking soda, coconut oil, butter and cornstarch are the common ingredients of the homemade deodorants. These deodorants suit to all skin types.

Jan 31, 2016
9:08 AM

How do you make the mixture smooth ? I’m getting a grainy texture. The only ingredient I left out is shea butter because of the high price.

Dec 29, 2015
4:20 AM

This homemade deodorant is really worthy and holds the quality of never affecting the sensitive skin whether it is a child or an adult. During the age of puberty, most children sweat so they must be guided to use the home based deodorants or renowned aluminum free deodorants. These deodorants contain oil that is extracted from the plants.

Dec 16, 2015
5:20 AM

I like the recipe, can we use any other instead of coconut oil . Secondly I head the aluminum free products are good. They don’t have any side affects. Is that true? Wee Keep it Kind is the brand , I am using these days

Mar 07, 2015
8:47 AM

Hi Celiac (posted Feb 28 11:50 am), Have some info that may be helpful and a suggestion. Why not try Arrowroot flour with coconut flour instead and drops of tea tree oil with peppermint oil? From what I’ve read, Baking Soda has 27,360mg of sodium per 100 grams, Cornstarch has 9mg per 100g, Arrowroot flour has 26mg per 100g , and coconut flour has 200mg of sodium per 100g. So, Arrowroot and coconut flour would reduce the sodium irritation, while providing sodium to fight bacteria, and the Tea Tree oil is an anti-fungus/bacteria fighter as well as the Peppermint oil being anti-fungal/bacterial fighter that also provides relief to itchiness. If this isn’t enough sodium, then maybe try reducing the Baking soda sodium with more of the other thickening additives and coconut oil. In our home we use Peppermint oil to our DIY deodorant and no other oils. Experiment! Your ideas are as important as anyone else. Our recipe uses equal amounts of Baking soda and Cornstarch.

If I go without our DIY deodorant I can’t stand myself by the end of the day. if I use our deodorant, three days later I still smell sweet. However, shower and apply everyday as a rule!

Mar 04, 2015
10:06 AM

would avocada butter work instead of shea

Mar 03, 2015
8:31 PM

Love this! I hope the folks will read this will try it out and see how epic it is for themselves! I have made my own deodorant since 2011 and I have not looked back. I was always trying the more “eco” ones in stores and was quite displeased…they didn’t work, I still smelled, and I had lots of sweat. While I still sweat ….I don’t find it to be as much (baking powder and arrowroot function to absorb a bit!), I feel great knowing it’s non-toxic, I save money because I make it myself, I feel more connected to what I’m using on my body, and all in all it’s been an epic game changer, and it really does combat the smell. My recipe is a touch different, in that it only uses three of the items above main ingredients… coconut oil, arrowroot powder (which I prefer to cornstarch b/c of corn being increasingly more GMO), and baking powder…. tea tree oil (anti-fungal etc), and peppermint essential oil. Thanks for sharing Lindsay!

Mar 02, 2015
3:54 PM

To Pamela There are sites to order beeswax ( I have used Canwax in Huntsville ON) but they will only mail it in the warmer weather as it becomes too brittle in the cold

Mar 02, 2015
3:52 PM

Can food grade soy wax be substituted for the beeswax? Thanks

Feb 28, 2015
10:30 PM

I have found that just a mix of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) with maize cornflour ( 1 part soda: 3 parts maise cornflour) and some essential oils ( I love rose and sandalwood) in a talcum powder bottle works a treat for me. I run every day and perspire heaps but no body odour. So simple to make a put on without feeling wet or greasy!

Feb 28, 2015
8:41 PM

It sounds good, but I find my environmentally friendly natural mineral salts stick (aka crystal deodorant) is cheap, lasts for ages and works just fine.

Feb 28, 2015
2:17 PM

I bought shea butter from my local pharmacy,and beeswax from art college store! (These were for other projects). Beeswax should also be available from local bee keepers. Find out at your local farmers’ market!

Feb 28, 2015
12:59 PM

In the recipe, do you mean 2 to 5 drops of EACH of the essential oils, or should it say a Maximum Combined Total of 2 to 5 drops of these suggested essential oils (you prefer). ?

Feb 28, 2015
12:48 PM

Can your recipes be reprinted in a magazine, giving you credit, of course?

Feb 28, 2015
12:28 PM

You can usually find unprocessed Shea Butter in a neighbourhood African store for a very reasonable price. Make sure it is an oatmeal/beige colour (sometimes with a fleck of fibre) and NOT the pure white processed/purified stuff that many craft supply stores sell. It is thick and smells like brazil nuts.

It’s the main ingredient in most lip-balms and cuticle creams and can be used that way straight. It has an SPF of 15. Some people use it to control wiry hair or as an ingredient in soap. It keeps for absolute ages without refrigeration so repackage some to share with friends.

I love these articles too. They remind me of what is important, and are easy to share this way.

Feb 28, 2015
12:12 PM

Cheap hand soap: Add to blender 1 cup of hot water. Cut into blender 1 bar of Ivory soap. Blend 7 seconds. Fill to top line of blender with water and blend another 7 seconds. Pour into containers and use. Shake container if soap thickens. Our DIY Bodywash: 1/2 bar Dr. Bonner’s soap grated and added to 1 cup hot water using the same method as above recipe. Then pour into a bowl, whisk in 2 tbsp Dr. Bonner’s liquid castile soap for more sudsy body wash. pour into containers and use. Rinses off in shower leaving a good fee to skin.

Feb 28, 2015
11:56 AM

What’s the purpose of the shea butter?

Thanks for the great recipes and hints!

Feb 28, 2015
11:50 AM

I can’t use baking soda on my skin, as I get an immediate, fierce skin rash. Is there a substitute that can be used? Thanks!

Feb 28, 2015
11:00 AM

I have been really happy using organic coconut oil to cook for some years now. Lately I have used it as an excellent moisturizer for clients who need to avoid the alcohol and toxic chemicals in most products. (I’m an RN.) My mom has experienced some changes in her cognition in the past few years. She has been taking 2 tablespoons of coconut oil daily for 4 months and her cognition has improved measurably. (In addition to B12, fish oil and magnesium.) Last month, at a colleague’s suggestion, I tried using just coconut oil mixed with baking powder as a deodorant. It’s been good so far even in some pretty tense and hot situations. I will try out the recipe that you suggest too. I’m so glad that someone suggested coconut oil to me 5 years ago. (By the way, I did wonder if there would be an oil stain on clothing but there has been none at all thus far.)

Feb 18, 2015
9:51 AM

Hi Pamela, if you are in Canada you can order online from Coop Coco and Calendula or go directly if in Montreal. That’s where I buy all my raw ingredients. They have great quality.

Feb 16, 2015
8:07 PM

Does this only work for smell, or does it also work as an anti-perspirant?

Feb 20, 2015
2:41 PM

It’s a deodorant so it won’t stop you from sweating…which is a good thing! :)

Feb 16, 2015
2:15 PM

I made this one before but I think I added or removed something… I forget what it was now. I used a little too much of another oil and it turned out soft and greasy, but a friend of mine at the time loved the prototype… so I keep meaning to make it again.

Feb 20, 2015
2:44 PM

Beeswax will prevent the greasiness.

Feb 16, 2015
12:15 PM

Just wondering where one buys shea or coco butter that has not already been made into a body care product and beeswax that has not been made into something like a candle.


Pamela Cochrane, AB (near Calgary)

Feb 20, 2015
2:47 PM

Try a health food store or an organic grocer. Or buy it online from a soap making store.

Feb 16, 2015
11:25 AM

Won’t all the oils in the product stain clothing?

Feb 20, 2015
2:43 PM

I’ve never had that problem because you create a balm. It would be different if it was only oils.

Feb 15, 2015
1:52 PM

It is difficult for readers to find where they can add to benefit growth and to compliment how wonderful your site is. Although, with much looking readers may stumble onto a space now and again to post comments.

The SHAMPOO recipe is great, thank you. Although, may not be good for every hair type and water type. Hair maintains health with a 5 PH level. Shampoo should ideally target a 4.5 to 5.5 PH level and not over a PH level of 6. Having worked in a hair salon, we sold products containing apple pectin etc for PH balance. This is why many use the apple cider vinegar rinse to keep the frizz free shine to hair, after using most of the DIY shampoos. Water is PH 7 (neutral except for mineral content etc), castile soap approx. PH 9 (very alkaline), and the only ingredients you use that may balance the PH levels are the herbal ingredients that may reduce shelf life since it isn’t in oil form. It would be a huge benefit to include the PH levels of the product ingredients. Here is a link to a PDF chart and research will find you more.

SHAMPOO: Here is a recipe I have come up with but haven’t tried it yet…so can not promise that I finally have ingredients to best the off the shelf brands yet….but I am trying. PH levels are real close using charts.

1 cup (may try 1/2 cup instead ) of liquid castile soap PH 9 1 tsp wheat germ oil or omit if too oily for hair. PH is neutral (oils usually) 1 tbsp honey PH 3.9 (acidic) 1 tbsp lemon juice PH 2 (and/or pectin PH 2.8 — 3.6 to increase acidity) 1 tsp salt Ph is neutral This is not a recipe from this link. This link is interesting. Method: Pour honey, wheat germ oil and salt into blender. Blend on low/med until well incorporated. Add castile soap slowly through top of blender lid and blend well. Watch how it becomes a nice thick shampoo. It is lathering really well and now it is time for me to try on my hair. Approx the size of a dime to a quarter in the palm of your hand. if my hair falls out I will get back to you to let you know. LOL….not a chemist or expert so use at your own risk.

Feb 15, 2015
11:13 AM

I love your website! Thanks for the helpful ideas and getting people involved. We use the deodorant at home and it is better than the commercial brands in my opinion. Our deodorant is a little more simple and works just as well. 1/3 cup coconut oil, 1/4 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup cornstarch and essential oils. or measure equal amounts of the baking soda and cornstarch, adding coconut oil until you have the consistency desired. Add essential oils or not. Our mixture also melts on contact with skin and a pea size portion will keep you smelling sweet and feeling good all day.

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