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The Pit Boss – Homemade Deodorant

I feel like we’re all close enough by now to talk about my armpits. Right? We’re that tight and cozy. I’ve got nothing to hide; take a whiff and a sniff.

Growing up in the 90’s, the cool kids had Teen Spirit Caribbean Cool deodorant in their backpacks and gym lockers. Everything was overly scented, and we assumed that we smelled amazing. After I started making the gradual switch to more natural products, much like popularity and breasts in junior high and high school, the perfect deodorant eluded me.

Conventional deodorants worked, but the aluminium on the ingredients list made me leery. Natural deodorants either made me feel sticky, or gave me pits o’fire with dry and itchy skin. I would do a dance between using natural stuff for a week or so, and then switch to “normal” pit stick once my skin started to reject whatever was in the hippie stuff. ย And then one day, I got tired of it all and decided there had to be a middle ground.

Thankfully, a few weeks later, I was at the Mother Earth News Fair, and met with one of the staff members who made her own deodorant. She also happened to be giving a talk about it at one of the breakout events. I used her recipe as my base, making tweaks here and there until it has become something I rely on, and a product that I truly love.

A bit of a Debbie Downer moment though – this recipe gave me the same itchy skin rage pits that store bought hippie deodorant did. At first. I’m guessing it is the baking soda. I stopped using it until my skin calmed, and then I went back and have been fine ever since. I would say easily 50% of the people I have gifted this to have had the same reaction. I am currently making a batch for those people to try that replaces the baking soda with corn starch, but I don’t have any info yet on how it works.

Pit Boss – Homemade Deodorant
Adapted from a recipe by Shelley Stonebrook
6 Tblsp baking soda
6 Tblsp arrowroot powder
1 tsp sweet almond oil
4 Tblsp coconut oil (melted)
1 tsp shaved cosmetic grade beeswax
1/4 tsp almond extract*
Essential oils (optional, but I have never added them)

  1. In a double boiler or a large mason jar, melt the oils and beeswax.
  2. Add the powdered ingredients, and stir to combine. If using essential oils or the almond extract, add now.
  3. Allow to cool/set for a few hours.

I store this in a 4 oz mason jar because I have loads of them, but an empty deodorant tube would work too! Heck, even old baby food jars would be awesome. Each batch makes enough for two 4 oz jars. In the summer, the consistency may be more liquidy depending on the temp inside your house. Coconut oil is solid in temperatures under about 77 degrees, so in the heat of summer, my deodorant is a little soupy. You could store it in the fridge, but I’m totally fine with the consistency it takes on for a few months at a time.

*The almond extract has zero cosmetic properties, so it is not necessary at all. However, I accidentally used some in one of my batches, and my arm pits smelled like sugar cookies, and I decided that should always be a thing. Make sure you add the almond extract AFTER you add the baking soda and arrowroot, or it turns the oils and wax kind of clumpy.

Arrowroot powder will be in the baking aisle, or if you have a grocery store with a great bulk bin section, you can usually find it there. A $2.50 bag from our bulk bin section made 10 jars of deodorant. It is not an expensive ingredient by any means.

If you have a reaction to the baking soda, wait until the redness has gone, and try again. If the reaction persists, you could try all arrowroot powder, or replace the baking soda with corn starch. Again, I don’t have real time results for these substitutions, but I am going to have friends try them out soon, and can update with results.

Life is too short to smell. Life is also too short to shell out $5 for a tube of chemicals that you are rolling under yo’ pits. Homemade deodorant is pretty much one of the easiest things you can make for yourself, and is cheap as hell. Save your coworkers, and try this DIY pitstick today.

Print
Pit Boss - Homemade Deodorant
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

A simple a natural homemade deodorant that actually works to keep you dry and stank-free! Adapted from a recipe by Shelley Stonebrook.

Course: DIY
Servings: 2
Author: Sarah, Frugal by Choice, Cheap by Necessity
Ingredients
  • 6 tbsp baking soda
  • 6 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 1 tsp sweet almond oil
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil melted
  • t tsp shredded beeswax cosmetic grade
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract optional
  • 10 drops essential oils optional
Instructions
  1. In a double boiler or a large mason jar, melt the oils and beeswax.

    Add the powdered ingredients, and stir to combine. If using essential oils or the almond extract, add now.

    Allow to cool/set for a few hours.

    I store this in a 4 oz mason jar because I have loads of them, but an empty deodorant tube would work too! Heck, even old baby food jars would be awesome. Each batch makes enough for two 4 oz jars. In the summer, the consistency may be more liquidy depending on the temp inside your house. Coconut oil is solid in temperatures under about 77 degrees, so in the heat of summer, my deodorant is a little soupy. You could store it in the fridge, but I'm totally fine with the consistency it takes on for a few months at a time.

    *The almond extract has zero cosmetic properties, so it is not necessary at all. However, I accidentally used some in one of my batches, and my arm pits smelled like sugar cookies, and I decided that should always be a thing. Make sure you add the almond extract AFTER you add the baking soda and arrowroot, or it turns the oils and wax kind of clumpy.

    Arrowroot powder will be in the baking aisle, or if you have a grocery store with a great bulk bin section, you can usually find it there. A $2.50 bag from our bulk bin section made 10 jars of deodorant. It is not an expensive ingredient by any means.

 

Making this recipe or others?

Post a photo on my Facebook page, share it on Instagram, or save it to Pinterest with the tag #sustainablecooks. I can't wait to see your take on it!

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13 comments on “The Pit Boss – Homemade Deodorant”

  1. Thanks for posting this! I have always wanted to try to make my own. I have been using a salt crystal and Kuumba Made oils (Egyptian musk or water goddess) for the past 10 years but it doesn’t work 100% and natural deodorants never work!

    I will def try this recipe!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Thanks for this, I’m going to give this a try. I pinned this so you are going to be super duper popular. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. If you don’t mind me asking how does the homemade deodorant fair with heat/sweat/smell?

    I’m interested in making my own but I live in Sacramento and summers are hot :p

    • I wore this in Denver in the summer while pregnant, and also in LA when we were at Disney when it was 90 outside. By the end of the day, I am as sweaty as I would be with normal deodorant, but not stinky.

  4. Interesting. I have super sensitive skin and most natural deodorants can’t touch my funk / give me fire pits / hyper-pigment my skin. I switched to applying baking soda directly (with an old make up brush) and suddenly I smell fine, no fire pits, and no more hyperpigmenting. I was just about to try to mix a batch of something more like this sometime this week because traveling with baking soda is kind of a pain in the backside. I’m curious if the baking soda really is the culprit.
    I also stopped shaving daily and switched to waxing. That made things sooooo much better too!

  5. I would be very interested to know if anyone has used charcoal to modify this recipe? I have been using Piper Wei for a few months and love it, but it is way more expensive than I want to pay.

  6. I’m very allergic to coconut products. Have you tried a substitute or does anyone have a goto oil that can replace coconut oil in homemade like this? I’m on a very tight budget. Thanks.

    • So, the coconut oil seems to mainly be a “carrier” oil in that it helps the other stuff get spread around. It also has the added benefit of being solid at room temp. You could always try to sub in another neutral oil that you have in the house (olive, walnut, avocado), but ramp up the beeswax a bit if you want a more solid product. Without trying it myself, I can’t really say how it will turn out, but since you’d mainly be using things you already have on hand, it shouldn’t be too expensive.

  7. I’m totally a stress sweater, and stress sweat smells even worse than normal sweat. Any chance you have a similar problem? (Too personal? Sorry lol) Just curious if it will work on my anxious pits. Thanks!