Homemade Deodorant: A How To

Ever since I started making my own body products I’ve wanted to give DIY deodorant a try. I already shun antiperspirant — except in extreme situations — to avoid the aluminum salts that plug pores and keep me from sweating. And I’d love to curb buying high priced pit sticks that travel long distances before hitting the shelves at my local shop, the trash, and eventually the landfill.

Luckily for me while researching a recent post about Tracy McNeil (full disclosure: she’s married to my cousin) and Teebags, her sustainably minded sewing business, I discovered she’s been making her own non-toxic deodorant for years. Overall the process is pretty simple, and — lucky for you — she agreed to share her recipe with me!

However, she did make me promise to highlight that baking soda causes irritation for some folks. So if you find yourself with a rash at the application site stop using your DIY deodorant and consider the methods below that are said to help curb negative reactions to the soda.

Now all I need to do is choose what essential oils to use. In the meantime I’m going to share the recipe with you.

Toxin-Free Deodorant


2–3 TBSP Coconut Oil

2 TBSP Shea Butter

2 TBSP Arrowroot Starch

1/4 Cup Baking Soda

10–15 drops Essential Oil(s)


  • Gently melt oil and shea in a double boiler (or glass/metal bowl over a pot of boiling water)
  • Remove from heat, stir in baking soda and arrowroot
  • Stir in essential oils
  • Pour into an airtight container and shake every so often as it cools to keep solids suspended
  • Store in a cool dry place


Apply a pea size amount to each underarm


  • A small percentage of people find they are sensitive to baking soda. If rash appears, discontinue use. Some report it’s possible to neutralize any irritation by spraying diluted apple cider vinegar on the area first or by cutting the amount of baking soda
  • Avoid applying to freshly shaven skin

Robyn McNeil is a Nova Scotia-based freelance writer, bartender, and editor of the Whole Family Happiness Project. She lives in Halifax, with her son and a penchant for really strong tea, yoga, hammocks, and hoppy beer.


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