Introduction: Deodorant

Picture of Deodorant

In 5 minutes, you can make your own natural deodorant at home without all that icky Alzheimer's disease!

Using a few simple ingredients, you can make your own all-natural, skin soothing deodorant, scented exactly the way you like it. It's so simple and gratifying, you'll never go back!

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
To make your own deodorant, gather up:

  • Corn starch
  • Baking soda
  • Coconut oil
  • Essential oils (opt. - adds smellpretty!)
  • Vitamin E (opt. adds ooohskinsoft!)
  • An empty container to be filled with your new deodorant

Some great essential oils for deodorant also act as antimicrobials (since bacteria is what causes the smell, using something to wipe them out is even better!) While the oils of bay, cinnamon, clove and thyme are the most inhibitory, they can also lead to major sensitivity in the pit-ular area.

Tea tree, sandalwood, lavender, lemon, and neem oils are all good alternatives. Use one, none, or create your own blend!

Step 2: Mix It Up

Picture of Mix It Up

Combine 1/4 cup (60mL) cornstarch with 1/4 cup baking soda.

Add essential oils - I used 8 drops of lavender with 3 drops of sandalwood.

Add 2 Tablespoons coconut oil and a few drops of vitamin E oil (opt). Though the coconut oil I got for this project had a low melting point, the stuff I have at home has a higher one, which I would recommend. That kind I bought in my grocery store near the Crisco and other baking needs.

Mush the ingredients together until they start to form a silky mass. Add more of the coconut oil or dry ingredients to adjust. Then you're ready to start packing it in to your container.

Step 3: The Genius Part

Picture of The Genius Part

If it's ever bothered you that you don't know when your deodorant is going to run out until suddenly the whole thing has dropped out onto your bathroom floor rendering it scuzzy and no longer useful (though you pick out the gross and use it anyway) I suggest cutting out a piece of colored tissue paper to use as a flag.

Fill your container with about and inch or so of deodorant, insert your flag, and fill the rest of your container!

Step 4: Finis!

Picture of Finis!

Clean up the container and make your own clever label for it (like you won't remember what it is. . . )

Let it set up for a day or two.

Use liberally, and encourage others to do so as well!


Some final notes based on early comments:

Odor is caused by bacteria, not by sweating. The essential oils I mentioned are great antimicrobials and should do a real number on all that nasty bacteria. But I do look forward to hearing about some of the more interesting scents you all try too!

This product will not keep you from sweating. Aluminum is the key ingredient in antiperspirant, and that's the bad guy in our story here. It took me a long time (and many Texas summers), but I was finally able to get over my discomfort of sweating.



blister04 (author)2010-02-20

 just made it! Thank you|

I've made an amount of (about) 3 sticks (like the one in the pictures) adding 15 drops of neem oil. Good but I should add more (maybe 30).

Anyway, great one!

dummy1977 (author)2010-02-16

Surprisingly, oregano oil (though potent at first) can smell quite refreshing and is an excellent anti-microbial/bacterial agent.

AmberC77 (author)2016-11-03

I made this and I loved it, however I have noticed that I now have a dark spot on my underarm has this happened to anyone else

HollyU (author)AmberC772016-11-15

I am using one that I bought with nearly identical ingredients and have noticed this as well.

AmberC77 (author)HollyU2016-11-16

Great, I am so glad its not just me! I need to look for a different recipe but my lazy self still hasnt done it yet. LOL

ClairisaS made it! (author)2016-03-29

I made this using cinnamon and dragons blood oils, Works really well and smells great! It filled two empty deodorant stick containers.Thank you for this.

KarenS79 (author)2015-11-23

Lovely. I always have disliked the powdery scent of women's deodorant. Now I can smell like lavender.

Thanks for posting!

JJMK (author)2015-08-13

Aluminum is bad news! Stay safe..go with Lavilin. It is consistently rated the best among all-natural deodorants.

TheresaS6 (author)2015-05-16

Oh goodness people it's not just the alluminum that's causing alzhiemers.. It's all the metals.. Small parts of the metals collect in the brain... Thus..alzhiemers... Zinc.. Copper... Ect... And yes skin does absorb these metals as well...

reid.mcewen (author)2014-09-05

The most effective deodorant that I have ever used is Ozone Layer Deodorant, it also happens to be all natural. It's just Shea butter and beeswax infused with oxygen, eliminating the bacteria that cause odor in the first place. It is so effective that you can apply it after you already experience some body odor, its incredible. Check it out at

aircrewwife (author)2014-07-28

wow, so many 'attacks' on personal beliefs for a "how to" post. Regardless of whether or not you personally believe aluminum causes Alzheimer's or breast cancer or any other disease for that matter; it still prevents your body from its natural processes which in and of itself can be toxic to your body. Sweat is a waste product produced by your body just like urine and feces. Sweating allows your skin to purge impurities (hence the reason native people often use what they called a sweat/hot box (and what we know today as a sauna) when they were ill. The reason big box companies add aluminum to their products is that aluminum enters the sweat glands when applied and when the individual begins to sweat the aluminum swells thus blocking the sweat pores and allowing the 'waste' of sweat to exit the body. So even if you don't think that "low levels of aluminum" on a daily basis are toxic to your body, the process those low levels of aluminum prevents from taking place ARE toxic to your body's overall well being. And that kids, is science!

Esmagamus (author)2009-06-25

I've been using blocks of alum. There are "good natural stuff" stores that sell big chunks of it as deodorant from the start. I hope I don't have to tell you how expensive that thing can be! Then, since I know a bit of chemistry, I just go to a hardware store and by a barber's stone, which is a rectangular block of "cast" alum. It doesn't have aluminium in it, so it's not irritant for my skin. The only downside is that I tend to drop my stones and curse at the small useless chunks on the floor!

scoochmaroo (author)Esmagamus2009-06-25

Oh no! Look what I just found: Alum is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a food additive, but in large quantities — well, an ounce or more — it is toxic to humans. Alum is short for potassium aluminum sulfate. (Notice the aluminum in there?) Should have been obvious, but I guess that's what kept me looking.

mje (author)scoochmaroo2009-06-25

1. You don't eat it. You put it on your pits.

2. Aluminum does NOT cause Alzheimer's. The early finding of Aluminum in the neurofibril tangles of Alzheimer's patients was due to a problem in the tissue fixing process.

The notion that Aluminm caused Alzheimer's was disproved DECADES ago, yet continues on as a folk legend... in large part because people trust what someone emails them instead of looking up primary sources!

maggiesbiz (author)mje2010-04-18

The skin is an ingesting organ. That is why some meds are given in cream forms like estrogen, vitamin D, etc.  Everything you put on your skin , eventually, ends up in your blood system and runs around your body.

bigjeff5 (author)maggiesbiz2011-11-04

From what I understand, the vast majority of the aluminum absorbed by the body comes from food, not from deodorants or anti-persperants.

See, aluminum is the third most common element on earth and is the most common metal - as such it isn't surprising to learn that just about every organic creature contains some aluminum.

That's right, every time you eat a plant or an animal you are ingesting aluminum.

The kidneys happen to be very good at removing aluminum (again, not surprising, since aluminum bonds to ammonia, and ammonia is found in urea - the major constituent of urine).

So, like any other mineral, what aluminum is not required by the body is flushed.

Like just about every other medical topic, however, the issue is always up for debate. The human body is essentially an absurdly complex chemical reaction, and understanding each component's function and potential malfunction is never easy and rarely (if ever) completely understood. That said, after 40 years of study the link between aluminum and disease has only gotten weaker, not stronger - such that it lives on primarily as folk wisdom, not sound medical doctrine.

tl;dr:  Like a great many topics of folk wisdom, fears of aluminum in anything but very large quantities are almost certainly unfounded.

mr_man (author)bigjeff52014-02-19

You should all definitely jump into a large vat of "aluminium zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly". What could possibly go wrong? Someone you never met said it's fine, so dive right in. Great idea! Put that on your skin everyday for the rest of your life, and pay them for the privilege of that exposure. Then you can buy a bridge from them and jump off of it, preferably into a large vat of "aluminium zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly".

junket2mars (author)mje2009-09-20

and cigarettes don't cause cancer either, right? after all, Philip Morris put a LOT of time, effort, lawyers and $$$ into that one... all i know for certain about the aluminum/Alzh connection (controversial as it remains) is that: my granddad died of Alzheimers, and -quite by coincidence, im sure- he just happened to have aluminum toxicity.

Esmagamus (author)junket2mars2011-06-26

So what? Are you going to say metalworkers who work on aluminium all day have a substantially higher chance of getting alzheimer? And they do touch it, smell it and might even get some swarf or dust in their food.

Could you say someone died of smoking too much just because you found tar in their lungs?

Meuryn (author)junket2mars2011-06-26

And you think that one case is enough to prove a whole link? Oh please, this is pseudoscience at its best.

jackfaciale (author)mje2009-06-26

there was an hoax mail saying it causes breast cancer as well.. any way i learned a lot about baking soda ... thanks ! I like ton make my own wax for a haircut "surf style" which is matte not glossy, havent you any idea ?

Esmagamus (author)jackfaciale2009-06-26

Try to heat some beeswax and dilute it with something like coconut oil. I'm not the best person to advise you on that but... try stuff! You might come up with something extraordinary!

Esmagamus (author)mje2009-06-25

I never mentioned alzheimer's did I? The safety of anti prespiration chemicals such as aluminium chloride are still being studied. I'll prefer a simple, cheap, odorless deodorant made of a substance that is known to be safe.

VRAndy (author)Esmagamus2009-06-25

"Known to be safe" is a tricky concept. Many substances that were known to be safe fifty years ago are now off the market for safety concerns. Many of them perfectly natural. I assume you've read studies on the safeness of underarm Alum, but, are you also confident that scientists have stopped studying it forever? Because you seem to distrust anything that is the subject of current research. In either case, you're far more likely to get smashed flat by an automobile or train than to be offed by anything you dab under your arm. But I'd be willing to bet you don't go around telling people to avoid those. (And car and train fatalities are "Still being studied"!)

Esmagamus (author)VRAndy2009-06-26

You must have the dedcutive skills of Hercule Poirot to know, from simple remarks what I do trust or not. Obviously "know to be safe" is never to be set in stone. The widespread use of asbestos in the past proved that. Still, from roman times, "a disease in the lungs" was noticed in asbestos workers. That is not the case with alum. As for the use of aluminium salts in deodorants, there were studies that found a corelation with cancer. As for alum, the molecule is far too large to be effectively absorved and it is even used internally. The fact I can be hurt by a car or a train is no argument not to be careful. I'd like to see a comrade of mine that works as a high voltage electrician juggle grenades just because he could get fried all the time before he joined the army.

belsey (author)scoochmaroo2009-06-25

An ounce of aspirin is toxic too, but that doesn't mean you should never use it -- quite the contrary! A small daily dose can help a bad heart. Alum is perfectly safe, as are the other types of aluminum used in antiperspirants.

Esmagamus (author)belsey2009-06-25

That is still being studied.

belsey (author)Esmagamus2009-06-25

Hopefully everything will always continue to be studied... but the size of the molecules is known, and the molecules are too big to get through the skin. So whether or not all aluminum is eliminated quickly and harmlessly is irrelevant if it can't get into the bloodstream. And although you have not mentioned Alzheimer's, that particular urban myth seems to be the reason why aluminum is portrayed as the bad guy here. Quite unfairly, in my opinion.

lisalynn (author)belsey2012-03-09

as a side note.. Alzheimer's is callted the diabetes of the brain.. new research shows that Coconut oil improves ALZ in patients because it can be easily used by the brain. (( OUR brains only function on SUgar )) & could possibly prevent it.

labelng something " FREE OF this or that " is sometimes just bogus.
I could label our eggs "Farm Fresh Eggs , SUGAR FREE '' & thus charge you a lot more !! LOL

Esmagamus (author)belsey2009-06-25

Some people even think that aluminium cooking pots are harmful. There is currently no evidence to prove that to be true but... anything worth studying is worth studying twice. As for urban myths, they just seem to be a new form of religion: whether proved or not, people believe it just the same.

GDParduhn3 (author)scoochmaroo2011-03-20

you've done a great job staying neutral (ha) keep up the great work, , this for one is a bang up topic for ible and discussion and keeps people talking for who knows how long. . good choice..

i believe you did an ible on toothpaste as well. . ??

i hear baby food is in debate now that a new baby food maker is one the market clouding late night tv with adds for overpriced equipment.

i did think you could run with the whole pvc tubing thing for homemade chap stick.

(cooked down aloe and beet juice for that one !!)

Good luck and again keep up the good work.

kirnex (author)scoochmaroo2009-06-25

True, true. Alum is used in the traditional process of pickling (which, really, is somewhat archaic, as technology has afforded other, less-harmful ways of pickling things) , but is definitely toxic if directly ingested. There was a case several years back of a woman who....well, used alum as an alternative to divorce. 'Nuff said.

Esmagamus (author)scoochmaroo2009-06-25

Potassium alum, ammonium alum, chrome alum, rubidium alum and caesium alum.

Esmagamus (author)scoochmaroo2009-06-25

I have never said all chemicals that contain aluminium are harmful. I know perfectly that, for example, biodiesel is made with highly poisonous and highly caustic chemicals such as methanol and sodium hydroxide and still the end product is perfectly safe. Water is toxic to humans: drink a lot of it at once and it will mess up your electrolyte balance.

scoochmaroo (author)Esmagamus2009-06-25

I've been trying to find alum so I can grow my own chunks and make an I'ble about that. Take your small useless chunks, put them in a spray bottle, add water, and you've got spray-on deodorant!

kirnex (author)scoochmaroo2009-06-25

look in the spice/baking section of (most) any grocery store. might also be with canning supplies, if the store has that in a separate section.

Esmagamus (author)kirnex2009-06-25

Not at all. People here in Portugal do very little canning. On the other side, you'd find plenty of spices.

belsey (author)scoochmaroo2009-06-25

I'm surprised you aren't aware that alum is an aluminum compound... that's why it works as an antiperspirant. Although generally I like avoiding chemicals with unproven safety records, aluminum in deodorant is not one of them. It's not the bad guy. Aluminum compounds are too large to be absorbed through the skin -- but even if somehow some managed to squeeze through into the bloodstream, it is quickly eliminated in the urine. Unless your kidneys aren't functioning, which explains why the warnings on antiperspirants pertain to people with kidney disorders. The evidence linking Alzheimer's with aluminum is purely circumstantial and has largely been dismissed, according to the Alzheimer's society website. If despite current research you still choose to avoid aluminum in deodorant (one legitimate reason would be to avoid yellow underarms) try using zinc. It will make your underarms white, but it works too -- in fact it was used in Mum's, the original antiperspirant.

Esmagamus (author)scoochmaroo2009-06-25

I've tried that and found that ammonium alum has very little solubility (that was the one I used to find). I've left a whole stone crushed to bits in a jug of water for weeks and it didn't change a bit. I think the industrial process to make barber's stones is a casting process. I'll try to melt some alum today and I'll report back to you. Some rivers have huge chunks there. A friend gave me a chunk that was as big as a soda can. Ask some old barber or drugist where to find some.

MorganGardiner (author)2014-01-14

Interesting... Seems like a good solution to a costly product.

Themoomoobear (author)2013-11-05

I made mine using olive oil and ground lavender from my garden, it actually smells really nice and is a good deodorant

vamos3 (author)2013-08-23

Genius. Fighting stinky pits with my own essential oil concoction. Thanks ^_^

StitchesTheMurderer (author)2013-08-13

Could I replace the essential oil with a cologne or perfume of some sort?

Shippygirl (author)2010-06-21

I broke out in a vicious rash from a recipe that contained cornstarch, baking soda, and coconut oil in the same amounts. It didn't include the other ingredients. It worked until I broke out. :(

ToniRose (author)Shippygirl2010-08-07

I haven't broken out (yet), but it hasn't worked as well for me using the same formula (except cocoa butter instead of coconut oil). I'm wondering if the essential oils are more, well, "essential" than I'd realized.

In other words, without some antimicrobial, perhaps the butter or oil is acting as a culture medium. Any thoughts on my theory, scooch
 or other folks?

HollyMann (author)ToniRose2013-02-01

I have a tip or idea...i have yet to make this though. BUT, i have been researching great deod. recipes (all natural) recently and one of them looked interesting. It had included 2 capsules of acidophilus ...which might do the trick - look it up!

deannac (author)Shippygirl2010-06-24

My daughter broke out too. I think that the next time I make deodorant, I will cut down on the baking soda. When I use cornstarch as a body powder by itself, I have no problems, but when I add too much baking soda, it dries my skin out and cracked skin develops on body creases. Unfortunately, my daughter (11) will probably never want to use another one of my "experiments" again. Too bad because it really worked for her too.

klofquist (author)deannac2011-06-21

Because regular old Arm and Hammer baking soda contains aluminum (my main reason for making my own deoderant) I use either aluminum free baking soda bought through Azure Standard or I have also used Arrowroot powder with wonderful results! Hope this helps!

suckrpnch (author)klofquist2012-01-25

I am almost positive (almost) that baking soda does not contain aluminum. Baking powder, on the other hand, mixes baking soda with a few ingredients, one of which, often has aluminum in it. You can always make your own baking powder, though, with baking soda and cream of tartar (optionally with corn starch added).

starspinner (author)Shippygirl2011-05-08

I agree with the comment by deannac.cut back on the baking soda.

bakins soda is awesome. I used it to save pans that fall victim to people forgetting their macaroni on the stove. mmm burnt pasta. but think of how effective that makes it. if you've ever used it for cleaning, you can feel the spotless cleanliness on your fingertips. cut it back. it's just like diluting vinegar - different strengths for different purposes.

About This Instructable




Bio: Hello!
More by scoochmaroo:Halloween FoodSparkle Unicorn Floof HatPumpkin Carving
Add instructable to: