Aluminum-Free Deodorant




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Since showering 5 times a day isn't practical for most, the rest of us rely on underarm deodorant to keep us feeling fresh and clean...and frankly, not smelly. Well, who would have guessed that you can make your own deodorant with only THREE ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry! Here's a quick and effective how-to, and best of all, its aluminum free!

Interestingly enough sweat, itself, does not cause any sort of smell. It is the bacteria on the underarm skin that may contain bacteria, that is your smelly culprit! And our armpits, which are usually covered by clothing, are consistently the warmest places on our bodies. Coupled with the dampness of perpiration that bacteria thrive on, and you got yourself quite an unpleasant odor!

So whats all this buzz about aluminum in our anti-perspiration deodorants? Different forms of aluminum salts are the main ingredients in anti-perspirants, which believe it or not, the FDA considers a Drug (albeit, over the counter.) The aluminum salts coupled with enzymes in our sweat create a physical barrier in the form of gel plug within the pours, which then, of course, cannot excrete any liquid, thus preventing any sweat reaching your skin's surface.

Many people have begun to find aluminum-free cosmetic alternatives, as it can be a skin irritant and debatable carcinogen (although the FDA and the American Cancer Society (ACS) have not found a direct link between anti-perpirants and cancer)

Whatever your opinion about the dangers of aluminum present in underarm cosmetics may be, aluminium zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly, is the proven cause of armpit stains on many of your favorite shirts!

So without further delay, lets get this party started!

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Step 1: Gather the Ingredients

1/4 cup Baking Soda
1/4 cup Corn starch (plus a couple extra tsp's if needed to solidify end product)
6 tbsp coconut oil (room temp, solid form)

this will yield about 8 ounces of glorious underarm deodorant

You're probably thinking putting coconut oil on your armpits will definitely leave a weird stain on your shirts, but that coupled with your sweat is no obstacle for the ultra- absorbent powers of baking-soda! So why even use coconut oil? Because the lauric acid in coconut oil kills bacteria, viruses and fungi. This will help eliminate any smell that may come from bacteria.

Step 2: Mix It All Up

Throw all of your ingredients into a bowl, and mix until a deodorant-type texture is achieved. I ended up adding about 2 extra teaspoons of cornstarch to get the texture I wanted.

Step 3: Put Into Containers

This mix will yield about 8 ounces of deodorant.

Option 1: I put 4 ounces into 2 small mason jars. For application, I use small popsicle sticks .These can be bought at any craft store.

Option 2: I put 4 ounces into a cleaned-out preexisting deodorant applicator. This gets a bit messy, but makes applying really easy.

Et voila! You're ready to enjoy your new homemade aluminum-free deodorant!

Step 4: Enjoy!

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    37 Discussions


    10 months ago

    I wonder what is the melting point of this particular deodorant formula. I live at a place that has summer temperatures as high as 110-115ºF (43.3-46.1ºC). Coconut oil melts at 76ºF (24ºC). What ingredient could replace coconut oil in this case?


    3 years ago

    I made a few changes as baking soda can be irritating. I cut the amount of baking soda in half, and added more starch to compensate. I also added about 10 capsules of Full Spectrum Plant Enzymes, from the brand Organika, to help fight odours. I added Rosewood essential oils, and now it smells really good! Thanks for the Instructable!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    This is really helpful - thank you. I stopped using anti-perspirant and 'mainstream' soaps, shower gels and cosmetics years ago when I learned about the possible health risks of them all. I never thought about making my own deodorant until I saw this and will now try it. I buy whatever niche products I can find aimed at us 'weirdos' who want to avoid harsh chemicals as much as possible. It gets expensive and you can never find really simple products with minimal ingredients like this.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I've been using a homemade deodorant with the similar ingredients for over a year with great results. I use arrowroot instead of corn starch and add a small amount, prob less than 1/2 tsp, of color- and odor-free beeswax (to prevent it from separating) and a couple of drops tea tree oil (because I like the scent and it's supposed to have antibacterial properties). Even on hot days when I sweat a lot, it's controls odor better than store bought products. It seems to be effective even if I skip a day. It does leave stains or residue at all.


    5 years ago on Step 3

    Have you used this formula for a while and can confirm the oil doesn't stain the shirts? That's always been the thing that concerned me about these natural formulas. If you say the baking soda absorbs the oil, I wonder what that means. Does it emulsify the oil? I mean the oil doesn't go away, right?

    I'm also thinking about what kinds of spices to add to make me smell like a freshly baked cookie.

    9 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I've tried Tom's but it doesn't conquer the stink as much as I'd like. My favorite is Now Long-Lasting Lavendar. But it's got propylene glycol in it. Doesn't bother my skin though.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Just read the wikipedia page on propylene glycol. Yup, food-grade anti-freeze. It describes it as having very low toxicity and requiring large quantities to cause health consequences. In a way, it is good to know that this fluid that will spill onto the roads is not super toxic. There are a number of substances that lower the freezing point of water- this is apparently a good one for that.

    I've noticed it is even included in eye-drop lubricants!


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Have you tried Kiss My Face? Tom's didn't last a whole day for me but KMF does. I'm still "fresh" in the morning before my shower, something Tom's never did even if I showered and applied it at the end of the day. I like the sport sent


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks, I will try that. They make good products. But my pits also produce a very powerful product as well. (Sorry, that was disgusting.)


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Practically aLL deodorants are aluminum free. Once you add the aluminum then the deodorant becomes antiperspirant instead of deodorant (as a product name).


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I add a couple drops of Lime Essential Oil to make it smell fresher


    5 years ago on Introduction

    This works great! Have used it for 2 ACTIVE days without any odor or excessive sweating.