How to Make Natural Deodorant with 3 Simple Ingredients

April 1, 2012

How to make natural deodorantReady to ditch the store brands and make your own natural deodorant that actually works?

2015 update: The recipe has been a long-time favorite so I’ve updated this post with what I’ve learned over the past 3 years of using natural deodorant.

Before I had kids, trying a natural deodorant seemed like a nice, crunchy idea that I had no intention of trying.

But when my first son was old enough to grab my Secret and try to eat it, I was picking antiperspirant out of his mouth and thinking…hmmm…maybe I should give that natural stuff a go.

I mean, have you ever read the ingredients on your standard deodorant stick?

First and foremost is the aluminum. After that comes cyclopentasiloxane, talc, stearyl alcohol, dimethicone, hydrogenated castor oil, fragrance, polyethylene, dipropylene glycol, silica and behenyl alcohol.

If you don’t want it in your mouth (or your kid’s) you also don’t want it getting absorbed into your skin.

The thought of giving up “real” deodorant/antiperspirant was scary. What if I’m…sweaty???

But our bodies are meant to sweat. It’s an important function that detoxifies our system and keeps us naturally cool.

Standard deodorants provide fragrance and use alcohols or chemicals to keep bacteria at bay. Antiperspirants use aluminum compounds to physically plug the sweat ducts under your arms.

So how can something natural work?

It’s been three years since I started using this deodorant every day and it’s been a fantastic switch. Coconut oil is naturally anti-bacterial, baking soda helps with odor, and cornstarch absorbs moisture.

Best of all, my body seems to have adjusted – I simply don’t get as sweaty as I used to!

DIY natural deodorant recipe

After applying, I like to wait a few minutes for the oil to absorb. That way it doesn’t get on my shirt. I haven’t had a problem with staining and the white “rub off” is actually less than with standard deodorant sticks.

For sensitive skin, you can try using only 1/4 cup baking soda and increasing the cornstarch to 3/4 cup.

If you’re avoiding corn, you can use arrowroot instead.

DIY Natural Deodorant
Prep time
Total time
There are a number of versions of this recipe around the web - this is what I've found to be the most simple and effective. One batch lasts several months.
  • ¾ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • Edited to add: I've been adding about 20 drops of tea tree oil to the mix and find it makes this deodorant even more effective. It's optional!
  1. In a bowl, mix all ingredients together very well. (You may need to melt the coconut oil first.)
  2. Store in a spill-proof container. Apply with fingertips. Depending on the temperature, it could be more solid or liquid throughout the year. No worries. It works the same, either way.
  3. Optional: Spoon mixture into an emptied, twisted-down, plastic deodorant container. During the warmer months, store in the refrigerator to keep the stick solid. It can then be applied just like any store-bought deodorant.