Writings from my little corner of modern domesticity.

MYO: Deodorant/Antiperspirant

Since we’ve been on a seriously restricted budget, I’ve muddled around several make-your-own recipes and substitutions for various household and personal care items. But this has by far exceeded my expectations, and I will never buy deodorant again (unless I somehow forget to pack this stuff and we’re traveling, then probably, if I don’t just steal Ryan’s).


Ignore the weird flake in my counters. It was there when we moved in. Aaand now you can’t stop looking at it…

Really. The recipe was shared with me in a local mom’s group on Facebook, as an answer to my request for deodorant/antiperspirant recommendations (Side note: I know deodorant and antiperspirants are functionally and chemically different things; but let’s just agree it’s like Kleenex and Xerox and let me get away with just saying “deodorant,” ok? Great.) It’s super simple to remember, and the ingredients fairly easy to find.


Homemade Deodorant

  • 2T Baking soda
  • 2T Arrowroot powder
  • 2T Shea butter
  • 1T Coconut oil*

*I screwed this up when I did the first batch, and used 2T of everything. Buuut, apparently with no ill results, so if it’s easier to just remember 2T of everything, go for it.

The arrowroot powder was, ounce for ounce, the most expensive ingredient. That jar cost me about $6. Yeesh. But, still cheaper than the typical stick of “clinical strength” deodorant I’d use before. The Shea butter, I never did find locally, but I got lucky and it was offered up on a trial page I’m a member of, so in exchange for my review of the product on Amazon, I was able to get that 16oz. jar of raw Shea butter for $2.50, shipped.

Anyway…you melt the coconut oil and Shea butter together- I did two 30-second rounds in the microwave in my handy Pyrex measuring cup there (LOVE those things!), giving it a stir in between. Then you blend in the dry ingredients, pour it off into your container of choice and let set. Which it does well, even with my overzealous coconut oilage. I used a little recycled glass jar from some artichoke hearts or something, but next time I just might try putting it in a cleaned-out deodorant stick. It’s working just fine, dipping my fingers in and getting a little chunk to rub in, but I’d like to not have it all over my fingers.

And voila- homemade deodorant. As for how it works…well, it’s been life-changing for me. Seriously. I have PCOS, and part of my cocktail of symptoms is elevated testosterone, which makes me sweat like a man. A large, stinky man, who probably works outside or something. I used to reapply deodorant at least an extra time every day, and sometimes was STILL stinky when I went to bed. But not this. It even went through me going swimming without reapplication. And I haven’t stained any light shirts (the two left in my wardrobe after I *finally* said “No more!” after not wearing any white/ivory tops for fear of sweat-staining them). Hubs hasn’t mentioned me being smelly (and he definitely does- by request, since I can’t always smell myself). It’s been three weeks, and it’s outperforming every store-bought deodorant I’ve ever tried. Even the “clinical strength” sticks. I seriously am never buying deodorant again (thanks, Sarah!) And, as a bonus, it’s made my armpits and the resident hair super soft- I still shave it; but it no longer stabs me before I get to it (I’m a mom; sometimes the armpit shave isn’t on the list for the week). Neat!

I will say, though, that I do not care for the smell of the Shea butter. It’s not potent, but it’s enough that it’s irritating to me to smell in the hour or so after I’ve put it on. So next time, I’m going to try putting a couple drops of an EO or a fragrance oil in there and see if it helps. I just need to decide which one- any suggestions?



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