I’ve been using this DIY deodorant for over a year now, and it’s by far my favorite recipe.

If you’ve made the switch — or tried to make the switch — from conventional deodorants to natural alternatives, you know that natural deodorants are often kind of spotty. Sometimes they work. Sometimes they don’t. What’s pretty consistent about natural deodorants is that they come with a hefty price tag, though, right? This DIY deodorant is inexpensive to make and works much more consistently than any of the store-bought ones I’ve tried.

Why Choose Natural or DIY Deodorant?

Conventional deodorants are bad news for your health and for the environment. Deodorant works by killing bacteria. It’s not sweat that makes you stinky. It’s that your pits are a warm, dark place, and when you sweat you’re basically creating an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive. Kill the bacteria, kill the smell. Unfortunately, conventional deodorants use nasty chemicals to do that.

Natural and DIY deodorant recipes rely on gentler methods to keep you dry and smelling fresh. These natural methods aren’t always as effective as chemicals like triclosan, but they are safer for you and for the planet. One powerful agent you have against bacteria is essential oils, and I’m going to talk a little bit about choosing the right essential oil for your DIY deodorant recipes next.

Choosing Your Essential Oils

You can use whatever blend of essential oils you like in the recipe below, and I suggest putting at least one oil into your mix with antiseptic/antibacterial properties. Here are some antibacterial essential oils for you to consider:

  • Lemongrass
  • Thyme
  • Lavender
  • Tea tree
  • Rosemary
  • Geranium
  • Lemon

The trick to tinkering with essential oils is knowing their strength. Lemon and lemongrass oils, for example, are very strong. Just a few drops will do the trick in this DIY deodorant recipe, where something less powerful like lavender  takes 15-20 drops.

My advice when getting used to essential oils is to start small. Add a few drops, mix, smell, repeat. You can always add more, but you can’t take away.

DIY Deodorant Recipe


Materials & Supplies

  • Small, wide-mouth glass jar – I use an old jelly jar. You need to be able to get your fingers in there, because you apply this with your fingers.
  • Spoon
  • 1/4 cup baking soda – Baking soda absorbs moisture, which helps keep you dry.
  • 10-20 drops essential oil of your choice – See the section above. If you don’t want to tinker, start with 15-20 drops of lavender, depending on how strong you want the scent to be.



You can make this DIY deodorant right in your jelly jar. Spoon in the baking soda, add your essential oil, and mix it up well.

How to Apply Your DIY Deodorant

It’s best to apply this right out of the shower. Give the jar a good shake before opening, then dip clean, dry fingers in, and pat the deodorant onto your pits. I do this over the sink, because it’s a little bit messier than applying stick deodorant. Pat – don’t rub – until the powder is no longer visible on your pits, and you’re good to go.

What have your experiences been with natural deodorant?


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