Homemade Summer Deodorant (That Won’t Melt in Your Cupboard)

Last  year, I shared some of my favourite homemade body care recipes, including deodorant.

I’ve been using my own homemade deodorant for about three years now, to my complete satisfaction. It’s a very basic recipe, and you’re sure to find a bunch of similar ones online — it uses only baking soda, corn starch, coconut oil, and essential oils (especially tea tree).

This recipe is great because it’s effective, super-frugal, non-toxic, and much less wasteful than conventional deodorant, where you chuck out a plastic container every couple of months. I’m trying to reduce the amount of waste — especially plastic — I send to the landfill, so that’s a big deal to me. (I’ve been using this same Old Spice stick container for the last three years.)

About this deodorant, from the original post:

You guys: this stuff works. I tried several natural deodorants from the health food store before trying this and none of them worked like this.

The baking soda absorbs odour, the cornstarch absorbs moisture, the coconut oil makes it stick together and offers antimicrobial properties, and the tea tree oil kills bacteria. Any other essential oil helps make it smell pretty.

There’s just one problem with my regular recipe. In the summer, it melts.

See, coconut oil melts at about 72 degrees F — the temperature of a moderately warm summer day. During the cooler months, that’s not a problem — my deodorant stick remains solid, just like the store-bought kind. (I actually have to hold it against my skin for a few moments to warm it up so it can spread.) But as soon as the weather starts getting warmer — for me, usually around the end of May — my deodorant starts to get all gloppy and messy.

Some people remedy this problem by keeping their deodorant in the fridge. I’ve tried that, but it’s kind of a pain, having to head to the kitchen to apply deodorant every day; and I don’t like the jolt of cold against my underarm.

Some people substitute shea butter or cocoa butter for the coconut oil, since these are also natural ingredients that are good for the skin but stay solid at room temperature. I’ve tried these, too, but I found them too stiff and crumbly. They didn’t apply as smoothly. They also didn’t seem to protect against odour as well as the coconut oil — perhaps because they don’t offer the antimicrobial properties that cold-pressed virgin coconut oil does.

But I’ve discovered a simple tip to keep my deodorant solid during the summer, without storing it in the fridge:

Add beeswax.

Beeswax is a popular ingredient in many natural skin-care products, and it has this magical property wherein liquid oils remain in a solid state at much higher temperatures when mixed with it. (You can even turn turn olive oil into a creamy whipped lotion that stays solid at room temperature by adding some melted beeswax.)

With deodorant, I just substitute a small amount of my coconut oil with beeswax, and all that summertime messiness disappears.

Please note, however, that this recipe is still somewhat creamy, and less solid than most commercial deodorant. You will still want to apply it lightly, and may need to gently massage it into your skin. But it won’t ooze or leak oil all over your handy deodorant stick.

Where to get beeswax? beeswax

I’m lucky, in that my parents keep bees on their farm, so I have access to free beeswax (and honey!). However, it is a HUGE ordeal trying to clean and purify that stuff, so I highly recommend finding a source of already-cleaned stuff.

If you can, try to find a local source. If you know of a farm where local honey is sold, ask if the wax is available as well. Of course, you can also get beeswax pellets from Amazon if you can’t find a local source.

Ready for the recipe and instructions?

Recipe for Homemade Summer Deodorant

  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp grated beeswax
  • 5 drops tea tree oil*
  • 5 drops of some other essential oil (optional. I like citrus and lavender)

Begin by melting coconut oil and beeswax together over a double boiler. I rest a heat-proof bowl inside a small saucepan of water and heat it gently, stirring constantly, until the beeswax is melted.

melting beeswax and coconut oil

deodorant 020

Add the remaining ingredients.

homemade deodorant

Stir it all together. At this point, you’ll have a runny paste or slurry. This will change quickly.

making homemade deodorant

Work quickly: pour your deodorant slurry into your empty deodorant stick. By the end of this step, you may have to scrape the last of the paste into your container, push it down, and smooth the top. That’s how quickly it begins to solidify at room temperature!

pouring homemade deodorant

There you have it! A coconut-oil-based deodorant that won’t melt at room temperature.

summer deodorant with coconut oil and beeswax

One batch should last about two months.

A few notes and tips:

(taken from my original deodorant post)

*I am quite certain that the tea tree oil is an essential ingredient. Don’t skip it! It helps kill the bacteria that create stink. I once tried to make this recipe with patchouli oil instead and it was a complete disaster. I reeked. Likewise, my sister tried some natural deodorants without luck, until she bought one with tea tree oil. And then? No more body odour.

If you don’t like the smell of tea tree, 5 drops in a whole batch is not enough to be perceptible when you put it on.

(I’ve read that lavender is also antibacterial, so you could probably swap that for the tea tree, or combine the two. I haven’t personally tried it without the tea tree, though, because I want to avoid another patchouli fiasco, but you might be more daring.)

Keep in mind that since it’s not an antiperspirant, it won’t stop you from sweating. But sweating is a natural process that helps your body get rid of toxins, and shouldn’t be inhibited. Embrace it. You won’t smell, I promise. And you won’t sweat as much as you do when you skip a dose of conventional deodorant/antiperspirant.

However, if you’ve never used a natural deodorant, you probably will have to go through an adjustment period. Your body has to get used to not having its glands blocked. Be patient. Pick a time when you won’t be around people too much. My transition period lasted a week or two.

How about you? Have you given homemade deodorant a try? What was your experience? Or are you hesitant to take the plunge? Tell me about it!

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Comments

  1. Kathleen! I’m so glad you posted this!! I literally just went out on Sunday and bought the ingredients to make my own shampoo and deodorant using your posts as my guide. I was SHOCKED at how ridiculously cheap all of the ingredients were (except organic coconut oil, which I already buy religiously – so I wasn’t bothered). Awesome posts! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Did I mention I am totally awed by you? I want to be you when I grow up..
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  3. Magdalene says:

    I got totally excited when I read the title of this post, since I’ve been having this melting-deodorant problem, but then I was disappointed because I have no idea how to find beeswax in Taiwan. Any suggestions? (PS When I put my deo in the fridge I can’t dial it up. Is that normal?)

    • Hey, Magdalene! I didn’t know you made your own deodorant! Yeah . . . I have no idea where you could get beeswax in Taiwan, either. Dang it — sorry! Can you order stuff online?? Is there a Taiwanese version of Amazon, or a way to get stuff shipped there from Amazon?

      Yeah, we’ve had that problem with being unable to dial it up when it’s too cold, too. With my Old Spice container, I just screw the bottom piece in the right direction (and it starts to screw OFF), and then I push it down on a hard surface to push the contents up. Not sure if that would work for you?

      • Magdalene says:

        Yeah, I made some before I left and took it along with me, since I didn’t think I’d be able to get coconut oil here either. I know they have shopping websites, so I’ll have to see if someone can help me navigate it. And I still can’t seem to dial it up… oh well, it works just as well melted, it’s just messier.

      • Kathlean says:

        I wonder if the problem with the deodorant not pushing up when it’s cold would be helped by lining the inside of the container with oil before pouring the deodorant in? Like oiling a bread-pan before putting the bread in?

        • I do beading and filled an old lip balm container with a beeswax blend to condition the thread (and my lips). Found I needed to lightly coat the inside with some oil otherwise it wouldn’t, ah, screw up.

  4. I soooo want to try this! I have all the ingredients too, except my coconut oil isn’t organic (I don’t think). How important is that? I just have to make time. I feel like I still haven’t caught up on my household since DD was born – 17 months ago! I’m amazed with everything you are able to do.
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    • Hi Michele! A few things:

      In regards to organic coconut oil, Katie and I had an interesting conversation about it here (in the comments). Long story short, it’s up to you, because it’s a complex issue; but pesticides don’t seem to really contaminate the coconut too much. It should still be perfectly effective.

      Also, this recipe is super-easy and quick to make, especially once you get the hang of it and have all the ingredients handy. It’s just gathering the ingredients and equipment and mustering the courage that are challenging. :)

      Lastly: I don’t feel like I’ve gotten caught up on my household since Lydia was born, either!! I feel like I’m always floundering, like everyone else can do so much more than me. The few things I AM able to do (like blogging!), I’m ONLY able to do because I have amazing parents/in-laws who generally take Lydia one day a week. I can’t get squat done when she’s home; I’m only productive when she’s out of the house. If I didn’t have their help, I would probably be eating Hot Pockets and watching Disney movies all week. :) I bet most people would be amazed at all the things you do. Didn’t you make a MEI TAI after your kid was born?!?! I can’t imagine sitting down and SEWING with my maniac toddler running around the house!!

      • Aww, you’re so sweet. I’m glad to know I’m not alone! I wish I had family nearby to do that. Ana was still immobile back when I made the Mei Tai, so she just sat in a blanket and we talked while I worked. Sometimes she would hang out with DH while he was home. I only recently posted the how-to (and took a finished photo) but she was 3-4 months old when I did the actual sewing.
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  5. i’ll have to look into changing to this recipe next year! i had switched to your recipe and the ratios were better so I was having great success with it (since january) but then spring/summer came and BAM, melt city. I actually forgot and took my deoderant with me on the plane to TEXAS and it melted all over the place. womp womp. so i gave in and bought some tom’s which, incidently, doesn’t work NEARLY as well as the stuff I made. or was it the humid sweaty weather that made me sweat more? Hmm…oh well! Maybe if I can find something else to use beeswax for I might try this!
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    • Alison, hope you found other uses for the wax. Otherwise, may I suggest you google lip balm, hand creme, etc. which use beeswax.

  6. Hey, Kathleen, works like a charm! One thing, though, and this may be more a Q for your husband: The ingredients are great, but I’ve noticed most of these deodorant recipes online are created by ladies, and so are being applied directly to skin. As a guy, I’ve found the DIY deodorant stick doesn’t glide very well through the — (ehem) — “terrain.” Any thoughts on how to tweak the recipe to hold its form in mid-swipe? (I’ve been using the jar-and-dab routine, but miss the convenience of a stick.)
    The Crunchy Urbanite recently posted..Vetiver & Tea Tree Moisturizing BalmMy Profile

    • Hi, Crunchy Urbanite! To be completely honest, this is an issue we struggle with, too. My husband uses the same recipe I do, in a stick, and he does have trouble with it clumping. He generally rubs/massages it in after application, which is usually okay, but still not perfect. We’re trying to think of a better alternative ourselves. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful!

      • Miss.Fanny says:

        maybe a bit more beeswax would help?

        also i just made some and its great ! except its a bit gritty, im not sure if its because i used arrow root powder instead of cornstarch. next time i make it im going to try keeping the dry ingredients in the double boiler for a little longer hopefully that will help but if not im going to try to find some organic corn starch.
        have you ever tried to make a deodorant with arrow root powder?

        • We do ours with arrowroot instead of cornstarch and it works great! It’s just the same as before we made that switch. We vary our EOs depending on our mood and the season. Another question on the “man” front though. Does anyone have any reservations about using Tea Tree or Lavender in formulations for men or is that totally silly and only apply to everyday exposure for young boys? Are there alternatives with equal antibacterial properties?
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          • That’s not a silly question at all! I have heard about both tea tree and lavender having estrogenic properties and therefore might be cause for reservation for men. I’ve decided to continue using tea tree oil in my husband’s deodorant, simply because I use such a tiny amount and haven’t discovered another oil that works as well. If someone has a suggestion I’d be glad to try it! :)

  7. Thank you for the great recipe. I will have to gather the ingredients and try to make my own. I would like to share an excellent all natural, aluminum free deodorant (I’ve been using for almost 8 months). I’ve tried the salt crystal, Tom’s, etc.. but they seem to work only for so long. However, I have experienced nothing but success with Nutural. After wearing this deodorant all day, and completing a 3 hour session of Tai Chi, Yoga and Pilates before dinner, there is still NO! stink and no stains on my clothes. I love it.
    nuturalife (dot) com

  8. Thanks for posting. Being a “guy” I made this and sort of added more beeswax then called for. I made several tubes of deoderant and they work great, but don’t “glide” very well, pulling the hair under the arms. Do you think that I can re-melt my tubes and then add more coconut oil to make them glide better? Thanks for your response.

  9. I am definitely going to try this recipe. I have contemplated about using beeswax and essential oils in my homemade deodorant which is simply coconut oil, baking soda, and cornstarch. Thanks for sharing.
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  10. I’m new to the world of all-natural deodorants. Had been using standard chemical-based deodorants my whole life, until I came across scary information linking aluminum to Alzheimer’s. My husband and I did a little more research and decided we needed to switch to an all-natural alternative. We’ve been using a deodorant called Lavilin (www.lavilin.com). We use both their foot and underarm creams and we love them! Great reviews of the brand online as well, so anyone looking for a new brand should check them out!

  11. Would Candelilla wax work just as well? I really don’t like to use products from bees.

    • Hi, CaioBella! I’m afraid I’ve never used it, but from my quick online search it looks like it would probably work! As long as it’s safe to use on your body (and it looks like it is!). Worth a shot, I’d say!

  12. That’s interesting that the patchouli smelled so bad on you. I have found that it is the ONLY essential oil I’ve tried so far that will cover the smell of my body odour. Lavender, on the other hand enhances it! Yuck! EOs are funny like that. My friend has a blend that she uses as perfume, and when my friends and I tried it on, it smelled completely different on each of us! On some people, it smelled floral, and on others it smelled spicy or sometimes even citrusy!

  13. Hello! Has anyone tried this with the lavender instead of the tea tree? I’d love to try this recipe, but I am allergic to tea tree oil.

    • Beeswax says:

      I combine tea tree oil and lavender…great scent. But lavender works well by itself too.
      Also, I’m trying 92 degree coconut oil for summer deodorants since the 76 tends to get runny when it gets hot. Also, if you use 76 degree coconut oil and travel, pack it in a plastic bag. Because of that we travel with the crystal deodorants in the summer but will see how the 92 degree coconut oil works.

      • Did you try the 92 degree and has it been working for you?

      • Just for anyone reading, it might be worthwhile to know that the crystal deodorants are made of allum which is another form of aluminium as I understand it. That’s why I stopped using them. I make my own deodorant much the same as here. Sometimes using cocoabutter and shea butter which works really well for me and means no need for beeswax, however the beeswax & coconut oil is properly the more economic way to go in the end. The baking soda is the main ingredient which stops odor …baking soda is incredible in that respect I use it for so many things. Once my son vomitted in the car all over the floor carpet and baking soda was the only thing that finally got rid of the smell! Sorry gross I know …but it’s the baking soda that is the real odor killer…I don’t even need tea tree in my deodorant for it to work well.

    • Iuse a very similar recipe for my natural deo but as it’s summer now, I am sorry i didn’t add beeswax in my most recent batch! Ugh! If only I’d seen this post sooner! Totally trying this next time.

      As for EO’s, I use a mix of 2 parts lavender to 1 part peppermint. I usually do 10 lav. & 5 pep. because I love the scent combo and the cooling of the peppermint. Both are anti-fungal and smell much better than tea tree oil imo.

  14. I have used coconut oil , baking soda , arrowroot and lavender oil in my deo. I am using it from last four month and was very happy to use it. However recently my underarms becomes quite dry and itchy by end of the day. what do you think have gone wrong.

    • Google crunchy Betty and underarm ph. She has a post on some side effects of natural deo and ph and a fix. That may be your issue.

  15. I am deathly allergic to coconut, is there anything else I can use?
    It’s a weird allergy, but I break out in patches of swelling and hives.
    I’m really into natural remedies & would like to give this a try.
    So maybe I could just use the beeswax instead?

    • Hi Katlyn! You definitely need some kind of oil. Luckily, if you’re adding beeswax, it can emulsify any oil (i.e. turn it into a solid). You would just need a smidge more beeswax. I’ve heard great things about unrefined sunflower oil for skin, or any favourite liquid oil that you would use on your body. Shea butter is also an option, but since it’s solid, you would need LESS beeswax (or maybe omit it completely!). I also find that it tends to crumble a little bit.

      I guess that’s a long way of saying you might want to experiment. You can definitely use some other oil! Hope that helps. :)

  16. I’ve tried several handmade deodorant recipes, and I like this one the best. I’m going to take this as a base recipe, because the consistency is so great and add some French clay and/or arrowroot powder, just to experiment.

    From my experience with this recipe, as a whole, it would be better to let this one cool a bit before pouring it in the container, because the baking soda/corn starch does sink to the bottom as it cools and hardens leaving the top portion not as effective.

    • Thanks for the tip, Esther. It probably depends on the temperature of the room — mine hardens so fast (like, instantly) that I don’t have that problem. In a really warm climate, it might help to let it cool a little.

  17. I made a 1/2 a batch about a month ago. My 9 year old is becoming of age where her body is changing (seems WAY too soon). I didn’t want to get her any deodorant and hard that the Tom’s brand really burns your underarms. ANYWAY, I made some for BOTH of us to use. I have to say, I love it. It took my body no time to adjust to the lack of junk I was applying. The downfall of this is that I find that my underarms are yellow by the end of the day. It does wash off, just wondering if this is just me or others are experiencing this too?

    • Hi Sarah! So glad to hear it’s working well for you! I used to find that my shirts got yellow underarms, too, but for some reason I don’t have that problem any more. I think maybe I just apply less than I used to? I find I don’t need much at all any more — just a very light swipe.

      • Thank you! I tend to use a small amount. It hasn’t stained my clothes, and does wipe off. Just wanted to see if it was “normal” for this.

  18. Thanks Kathleen for the awesome recipes. I haven been making the simple recipe that you have posted here. I added two tablespoons of beeswax, because it seems to hold up better especially when it’s warm here in the South.. I added 5 drops of tea tree and 10 drops of lemon verbena and it is just lovely. I have tried several recipes, but this one is by far the best.

  19. rand robinson says:

    I have a question – with the oils in it, does it stain your clothes? Do you have to pay special attention to getting the oils out of the armpits of your clothing when you wash it?

  20. Hi Kathleen, :)

    Wildcrafting Wednesday is hosting a special Hygiene Edition this week (3/5/2014) for posts on personal care and cleaning recipes; ideas for eliminating disposable cleaning items; and tips for making cleaning easier, faster, and more efficient. We’d love for you to share this post with us!

    Thanks! :)
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  21. Laura Kae says:

    Hi there!!
    I just wanted to thank you so much for posting this recipe!! I have suffered from excessive underarm sweating for years. It doesn’t seem to matter what kind of antiperspirants I be tried, I will soak my shirt within 20 minutes after application. It was incredibly frustrating and embarrassing. I am very happy to say that I tried this concoction to my complete satisfaction. Very little to no sweating at all, and absolutely no odor. I will never buy antiperspirant again. I am so grateful for your post…thank you!!

  22. Does stain clothing?

  23. I made this a week ago & it seems to be working pretty good. It doesn’t stain my clothes & sometimes it’s hard to tell if its actually rubbing off on me, but I have no odor issues at the end of the day. I have tried a few other recipes & they were too wet feeling once I put it on my skin. The only problem I had was that it was too thick to really even stir when I added the baking soda & corn starch. I had made a double boiler w/a mason jar & I popped it right back into the hot water to see if it would thin it out & it did. I do have beeswax pastilles & I know that grated beeswax is usually a lot more “fluffy” than pastilles, so I may have just put too much beeswax in it, since I used pastilles instead. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.

  24. Bethie Lou says:

    Is there any way I can make this free of nuts, tree nuts, coconut, etc? I’m seriously allergic…and do I have to use a starch? Allergic to those, too…

    • Hi, Bethie Lou! See some of my responses above to similar questions. You can use different oils, though you may have to adjust the ratio of beeswax to make it solid enough.

    • if you really just need at deodorant that works and your skin can cope with it…just dabbin a wet finger in baking soda and putting it under your arm will do the trick wonderfully. I sometimes get a little stingy or rashy when I do this but it’s not really bad for you or anything. Baking soda is very alkaline so sometime will cause a sensitive person to rash but most of the time it is good for me. Sometimes with persistence your skin gets used to it too. And it’s the best flipping odor killer you will ever find.

  25. I’ve been using homemade coconut oil deodorant for around 6months, my recipe is pretty much the same as yours but I just used coconut oil, corn starch and baking soda ie no tea tree oil. I never really noticed that I smelt bad and I get close and willing friends to smell my armpits from time to time to check whether the deodorant works and they didn’t notice any bad odours. So we probably have very different body chemistry or maybe you just needed some more time to adjust to the deodorant.
    Nevertheless, I’m going to try this with tea tree oil and patchouli and see how it goes.

  26. I love this recipe. My only question is can you substitute arrowroot powder for the corn starch and get the same results? Corn is on my list of don’t use items but I do have arrowroot powder. Thanks so much for this recipe.

    • Yes you can, Marcia. I personally thought it was slightly less effective when I tried it; but lots of people substitute arrowroot powder to their great satisfaction.

      • I have been using this same recipe for three years, but with arrowroot powder with fantastic results. During my research, I found numerous studies which linked cornstarch-based powders to the advancement of yeast infections. Armpits are warm, moist environments where such infections can occur easily. Arrowroot, on the other hand, serves a dual purpose: having the absorbent properties of cornstarch, but also has anti-bacterial properties which fight odor and the potential for infection. You can also be assured that with arrowroot powder, you are not perpetuating or supporting a GMO crop, as many cornstarches out there are made from GMO corn. My two cents :)

  27. Wonderful!

    I am going to try something like this. I currently use Primal Pit Paste, which is awesome but pretty pricey. I like how soft it is though.

    Just wondering, what would you add or use to make this deorderent super strong. As in, remove odor for someone who is VERY active all day long.
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    • I added more baking soda. It became quite thick but I put it in a cream container and stirred it the next day. Maybe you can also try putting in more drops of tea tree oil.

  28. Your recipe inspired me to make my own! I made a few alterations to mine though. I absolutely LOVE IT! Been using it for about 2 months now and will never use regular deo again. Thanks for the post!
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  29. Ii have not ventured into making this yet but bought all the ingredients but beeswax. Since I haven’t found any cornstarch that is GMO free, I went with arrowroot. I was thinking of putting it in a little tub and using a makeup sponge to put it on. I have been using coconut oil in the shower all winter with fantastic results. The closest, smoothest shave EVER. No rash after and no itching as it begins to grow out during the day. I have been putting it on all over after turning off the water and it has eliminated my winter chafing anywhere seams touch my legs. This knocks off nearly all the water so I can just pat dry. Added bonus, I forgot to put on my regular deo one day and didn’t stink. Tried just leaving the coconut oil from the shower the next day…no stink. Of course it is not summer and I am not really sweaty yet but for winter…I think I just coconut oil might work for me! Has anyone tried it that had a really bad odor problem even with regular deo? My niece has the worst BO ever. She could bathe 3-4 times a day and use fresh deo and clean clothes and still stink. I wonder if this would work for her.

    • My niece had the same problem, she’s in her early teens and ever since she’s been using this deo, she doesn’t have that problem any more. It also works magic on smelly feet ;)

  30. I put my deodorant in a regular cream container and apply it as almost solid cream with my fingers. With that kind of application it is even welcome to have it melted to some extent. Plus, I regulate the thickness of the deodorant by tweaking the amounts of ingredients slightly. And I must say, it’s the best deodorant I’ve ever had except for the white marks on dark shirts.

  31. Seems like a good recipe and one that I’d like to try, save for one detail. I would not reuse an old plastic deodorant container for this purpose for a couple of reasons. For one thing, you are pouring a warm, liquid product into this plastic container, repeatedly. I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing this in case there is a possibility of some of the chemicals in the plastic leaching into the deodorant from the heat of the fresh, unset product. Them there is the possibility the container will gather bacteria from repeated uses since you can’t really effectively sanitize plastic. Little scratches in the plastic, as well as crevices in the inside of the applicator can gather bacteria over time. My advice would be to keep the deodorant stored in a glass container and scoop out with a spoon before applying with clean fingers.

  32. This is great! I have been struggling with the inconsistency of coconut oil during hot and cold periods. So excited to find this recipe. I just made some and it came out perfectly. Plus it is so much cheaper to make than to purchase the non-aluminum brands. I just passed this site on to some friends of mine. I know they will love it!
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  33. I have been using this (with the addition of a few drops of lavender) for a few days and it’s THE BEST deodorant I have ever used. Chemically or not. When I am breastfeeding for some hormonal reason I stink. Holy crap I stink. I have always used the Rx strength stuff but now I know better and can’t unlearn what I’ve learned about that stuff. For a double whammy I live in Florida. Anyway I kind of feel like if it worked for me while breastfeeding, in Florida, in the 80’s, after spending the day on my friends farm, it will work for anyone! Also my husband wears it with the addition of a bulletproof vest, 25lbs of equipment and a black uniform, IN FLORIDA and comes home smelling like a daisy.

  34. Oh, I forgot to mention for those who don’t know. There are yellow and white beeswax. I use the white and have no problems with staining on me or my shirts.

  35. I’m so happy you posted this and in so much detail. I’ve been making the original recipe for two years (corn starch, baking soda, coconut oil, essential oils) and I hate how it goes liquid in the summer. I’m going to try this recipe for sure! I really appreciate it. I haven’t used tea tree in mine and I find I don’t stink. I love combining launder, pink grapefruit, and peppermint. It’s so fresh and light smelling. In my very first attempt I tried balsam fir and cedar because I love woodsy scents but I found that those low notes do not combat body odour. You need lighter notes like florals and citruses.
    Thanks again!!!

  36. Hi Kathleen! I just wanted to say that I loved your post and I tried this and it worked wonderfully. It was warm yesterday and it didn’t melt. Wore it to the gym and I didn’t offend anyone with stink lol. I wrote about it in my blog and gave you a shout out http://dirtyfoodgoneclean.blogspot.com/2014/05/dirty-beauty-gone-clean-clean-deodorant.html Please take some time to check it out.
    Jessica – Dirty Food Gone Clean recently posted..Dirty Beauty Gone Clean: Clean DeodorantMy Profile

  37. This is the perfect ingredient to a problem I have been having with the melty coconut oil. All I can say is WOW Kathleen. I’ve been making my own deodorant for a year and a few months and I must say…adding a natural wax made a HUGE difference. I didn’t use beeswax, instead I used candelilla wax which is a vegan alternative to beeswax. Very pleased with this addition to my healthcare arsenal.

  38. I had been using Tom’s of Maine deodorant — I would stink halfway through the day and have to wash an re-apply. I tried out this recipe a few days ago (I used lavender only and orange essential oil, as I didn’t have tea tree on hand), and it works GREAT! There hasn’t been ANY stinkiness, even the next morning after 24 hours since my last shower. I’m amazed, and it’s wonderfully easy and cheap to make. (FYI — I used beeswax pastilles from Mountain Rose Herbs, which worked great.)

  39. Wendy Hoff says:

    I have been making the deodorant without the beeswax and my only complaint is the graininess from the baking soda. Does the beeswax help this?

  40. First of all, thank you for sharing your recipe as well as all of your knowledge! The website WellnessMama has a similar recipe that has shea butter with the ingredients that you list. I haven’t tried making my own deodorant yet but am preparing to do so now. I see comments from other guys about the issue of not gliding well on hair…. do you think that the shea butter will help with this or do you have any other thoughts about using shea butter? Thanks again!

  41. I finally added shea butter to mine as it would puddle in summer and FREEZE in our cold, old house in winter. Hadn’t thought about beeswax. I need to mix up more though and I have 5 kilos of beeswax sitting on my counter…Will have to try this.
    kimberly recently posted..rainbowMy Profile

  42. Hi Kathleen,
    First of all, let me give you a million thanks for the post, — beeswax is truly a lifesaver!
    I was wondering if the same should apply for the shea butter body lotions? I’m considering switching to either kokum or shea butter from my usual coconut oil based bodycare, but I’m not quite whether or not they’re affected by summer temperatures, and if they are — what the amounts of beeswax I should add to them are.
    Cheers,
    Kate

    • Hi Kate! In my experience, shea butter is not really affected by summer temperatures. It might get a little softer, but not liquid like coconut oil. I would go ahead and try it without any beeswax; and if you find you want it a little firmer, try adding only a very small amount of beeswax (like half a tsp) to the mix the next time.

  43. I first found your site when looking for a dry shampoo recipe and I have fallen in love! I adore your blog and can not wait to try this recipe for homemade deodorant. Thanks so much for sharing!

  44. I made the deodorant using organic almond oil instead of coconut oil with excellent results! I also added tea rose itr (natural alcohol free perfume). My wife and daughters love it.

  45. Kampeerbus says:

    With commercial (aluminum) based deodorant, I used to have transpiration issues. Also my skin was leathery from the deodorant.
    I switched to alun for some time; this helped a little for my skin but not for transpiration. Also, alun is still an aluminum salt and for some reason, I do not trust aluminum…
    Ever since I started making (and using) coconut oil based deodorant, my transpiration issues went away and my skin is soft and healthy.

    My recipe:
    50gr unrefined coconut oil (smells great and slightly antibacterial; just enough for me)
    30gr corn starch
    20gr baking soda
    I mix these ingredients cold, resulting in a slightly fluffy substance that can be applied like a cream. Mixing it takes some effort though (especially in the winter).

    In the summer my deodorant becomes liquid; very impractical. So thank you for your recipe! I have found beeswax (hard to come by here) and I will try swapping some coconut oil for beeswax (no cold mixing this time). I will also try adding some teatrea oil.

  46. I was right with you until you mentioned tea tree oil. I’m allergic to tea tree oil, so I’m going to try this with lavender oil instead. I cannot apply anything containing tea tee oil to my skin without risking a horrendous allergic reaction. I hope the lavender does the trick.

  47. Hello, I would like to know for how long can I keep this stored, in case I make a lot of them at once. Thanks

  48. First of all, thank you for this great recipe. I have been using it for 2 1/2 months now with great success- even in Atlanta’s muggy summer. It absolutely works, but I had a couple of notes I wanted to share with folks who are considering trying this out:

    1) It can be a little irritating to my skin, but I’ve found ways around it. The deoderant has a very light grit to it, and I find that to get an even application, I need to rub it on with my fingers- taking extra care not to rub too hard or it can be like sandpaper. It also stings like mad when applied just after shaving my armpits, which I now only do at strategic times when I won’t have to put this on until the next day. These were both easy things to resolve.

    2) Even the non-melting recipe melts on your skin in high heat. When I workout it feels like an oil-slick coming down from my armpits. But I have noticed no stains on my clothes, and absolutlely no odor- it totally works, but the feeling took some getting used to.

    3) I had a bit leftover when making the recipe, and I put it into an empty chapstick container. I carry it around in my purse just in case I might need a quick re-apply, or for travel.

    Again, my thanks, I will be using this forever.

  49. Hi! I just wanted to drop by and let you know I tried your natural deodorant (minus the beeswax, which will be a new additive) and it works FABULOUSLY! I too had the one week transition period, but after the ‘pits’ got cleared out from the gunky, pore clogging, aluminum filled deodorant/antiperspirant I was using, I was hooked on this recipe! It’s cost efficient, smells ok (I got some sandalwood to add in this new batch with the tea tree), and I HIGHLY recommend it to my friends and family! Thanks for this post! :)

  50. Anyone else experiencing redness and itchiness? The baking soda is irritating my skin, sadly, I really want this natural deodorant to work. I found on another website to first apply an apple cider vinegar solution to your armpits and let dry be applying the deodorant. It works ok sometimes. It is supposed to re balance your PH.

    • It is somewhat irritating to me too, but I wash it off before I go to bed and slather on some coconut oil. Seems to heal any irritation there and I don’t get irritated the next day. I only have problems if I leave it on 24/7. Taking a break from it at night is all I have needed. Hope this helps you!

  51. Hey! After looking for natural homemade deodorant solutions, this was the one that finally worked. I love the smell of the coconut, honey (gotta love the local beeswax), and the herbaceous tea tree and lavender. It smells really fresh and kind of masculine, like my dad’s Irish Spring deodorant… but I still like it. It doesn’t keep me dry, but it’s not at all oily when I sweat. After it’s put on, I don’t smell any of the essential oils or anything (which is half the reason I put them there, oh well.) and at the end of the day it leaves a faint coconut scent in the sweat stain on my shirt. I like it. Thanks for the recipe and take care :-)

  52. Hi! Love these homemade deodorant recipes. I have been using one with beeswax for some time- great in the winter but in the Deep South in summer it still melts! Ugh. I am in South Carolina. So last go round I subbed in candelilla wax 2:1 to beeswax. Then I added a few drops of castor oil for slip. It has turned out well. Much harder; however it still goes a little soft when I am applying and takes much too long to dry in the humidity. Yes I have air conditioning. I’ve had requests often to make it hard enough to be able to carry in a gym bag etc. I believe I will have to drop the beeswax entirely for all candelilla!

  53. I have broken out in a rash from this recipe….what could be causing it? I don’t want to stop using it….I love it….just wondering what it could be and if I can substitute something? Thanks!

  54. I just made my first batch. Used lavender and tea tree. Feels nice going on, let’s see if I can join the “it’s amazing” club lol! I am another who tried the crystals (epic fail, I’m glad I wasn’t booted from the plane). Tom’s and other “Heath food store” brands didn’t do it. Adidas (coty) had one with cotton – no aluminum – that kicked my stinky pits. It’s discontinued and I’m down to my last half stick. Fingers crossed!

  55. I love love love this homemade deodorant. Seems to work pretty well but I do have the problem of it feeling a bit gritty going on and clumping under my arms. Small price to pay though. So after making my first batch I adjusted the recipe by adding about a tbsp of Shea butter and a few more bits of wax (oh I’m using candelilla wax) thinking it would help it to go on smoother. It does go on a bit smoother but could still use some work.

    Thanks again. Can’t wait to keep experimenting!

  56. Oh! I also added Lemongrass EO. Makes a great combination with the tea tree and lavender EOs and makes it a bit more neutral and useful for both men and woman.

  57. This is darn good stuff. I’m a guy (specifically a physically active software developer addicted to great coffee) so I get a good stink going by the end of many days. In fact with natural deodorants I’ve tried in the past I get so bad that I have a hard time scrubbing off the stink often times. I think my trouble is highly related to diet (too much coffee not enough water and too much gluten/carbs/sugars).

    I was hopeful about this and just a couple weeks ago finally took the plunge and made a single batch. I’ve made it to the end of the day at the office where I work and also through hot, humid Ohio summer days for 8-9 hours working in the back yard. This deodorant surpasses off-the-shelf natural deodorants I have tried by orders of magnitude. Even after the 8-9 hour days outside in the humid heat I’m just on the bad side of neutral as far as pit stink.

    I really feel like I found information here worth an incredible value. I was really losing hope after trying two natural deodorants that I thought would work. In the end neither did. So far this recipe has made the cut by far.

  58. Dangit, I had more to say (contribute back).

    I did use 4 or 5 drops of tea tree oil. So maybe a little heavier than the recipe called for.

    I also felt like it was crazy difficult to separate the cooled beeswax concoction from the cookware that I used. I plan on setting aside equipment just for this task so I can worry less about getting all the residue off.

  59. I have read that cleavers (sticky weed) works well as a deodorant….but this liquid only lasts for a week.
    http://www.everygreenherb.com/cleavers.html
    Has anyone here ever tried making a solid deodorant like the one you describe above using cleavers extract/juice in the mix?

Trackbacks

  1. [...] tree oil is one of the most antimicrobial, and even if you don’t like the smell, as Kathleen at Becoming Peculiar has recently written, it really does help with keep the bacteria at bay. I like adding lavender and [...]

  2. […] are lots of homemade recipes out there: I use this simple baking soda, corn starch, coconut oil and essential oil recipe (adding beeswax in the summer to prevent […]

  3. […] 10. Embrace the crunchy. There are oils and natural deodorants that can help decrease body odors! Do some research and find some new things you’d like to try! If you want to get super crunchy, try making your own deodorant! […]

  4. […] found the perfect, beeswax + coconut oil based deodorant recipe on a blog called Becoming Peculiar. I asked my two nieces, Dara + Keira, and my friend Renee to test out the recipe with me this past […]

  5. […] asked me to make some for Kayla. Since I’d made my first batch around Feb, I decided to use a recipe better suited to warmer weather for Kayla (i.e. contains beeswax). This didn’t really work out as well as I’d hoped, […]

  6. […] the summer.  If you don’t like going to the fridge in your bra to put on deodorant, you can add beeswax to the recipe to keep it solid in the summer heat.  The beeswax recipe is also […]

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