This sweat-absorbing homemade deodorant recipe is easy to make and will keep you smelling amazing all day! The deodorant takes under 10 minutes to make and has been a daily staple in my beauty routine for over 14 years.

Homemade deodorant on a glass jar.

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In 2008, I started my natural living journey by making DIY recipes, from homemade foundation powder to my favorite honey face wash to laundry detergent. 

The only problem: I couldn’t find any natural deodorant brands that worked or the right ones for me. 

I decided to experiment and make my own with a few natural ingredients known for nourishing the skin and keeping odors away.

The recipe I’m sharing today is the best recipe and the one I still turn to today when I want to make an easy homemade deodorant. 

You may also like to check out my natural deodorant guide with my top store-bought deodorant recommendations (there are now some great natural brands). 

​Homemade Deodorant Benefits

  • No Harmful Chemicals – Using a non-toxic deodorant is one of the best swaps you can make. Many commercial deodorants contain toxic ingredients like parabens, aluminum, dye, and triclosan. I highly recommend googling these ingredients to learn more about their effects. 
  • Simple Ingredients – My natural homemade deodorant uses shea butter, coconut oil, beeswax pellets, arrowroot starch (or cornstarch), and an optional essential oil for scent. 
  • Odor Control – Coconut oil is known for its anti-bacterial properties, making it a great option to control body odor (source). Baking soda is used for its deodorizing properties. An essential oil may also be added to help keep odors at bay. 
  • 12-Month Shelf Life – This deodorant will last just as long as regular deodorant, up to 12 months.

Before You Get Started: What You’ll Need

Ingredients needed to make homemade deodorant.
Top row (left to right): shea butter, baking soda. Middle row: arrowroot starch, essential oils. Bottom row: beeswax pellets, coconut oil.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup refined or unrefined shea butter – A natural fat from the nuts of the shea tree. It’s safe for all skin types, won’t clog pores, moisturizes, won’t make your skin oily after application, and has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties (source) and anti-inflammatory properties. Unrefined shea butter has a strong natural scent. Refined shea butter is odorless. Both are great options. 
  • 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil – Coconut oil contains fatty acids, like lauric acid, which help with odor control. 
  • 3 tablespoons beeswax pellets – the glue that holds the ingredients together and creates a solid product. The wax also provides a protective moisture barrier to the skin and may also help to soothe the skin.
  • 3 tablespoons baking soda – absorbs sweat and helps with odor control. Baking soda also makes a great body exfoliator and natural household cleaner. Baking soda can irritate, so reduce it to 1.5-2 tablespoons if you have sensitive skin. 
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot flour starch or corn starch- A white powder that thickens sauces and makes gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. It’s highly absorbent, making it ideal for absorbing sweat without clogging pores. 
  • 15 drops of essential oil (optional) – Tea tree essential and lavender essential oil are my favorite options. Tea tree essential oil is anti-bacterial and fights odor. Use your favorite essential oil. 

Equipment

  • Use a small sauce pan to create a double boiler by adding water to the saucepan and placing a heat-safe bowl on top. This method protects the fragile ingredients from burning.
  • Use a small or medium heat-safe bowl (glass or metal) to create a double boiler and melt the ingredients. I recommend keeping a bowl just for DIY projects. Clean with soap and water after use.
  • 4-ounce storage jar or two 2.5-ounce empty deodorant sticks/tubes  

How to Make Your Own Natural Deodorant: Recipe Steps  

  • Step 1 Combine Shea Butter & Coconut Oil – Place the shea butter and coconut oil in a small or medium heat-safe bowl or tall measuring cup. Place the glass bowl on top (or sitting inside) of a saucepan partially filled with water (about 1/4 way full) over medium heat (this creates a double boiler to protect the fragile ingredients from burning). Melt the ingredients (approximately 1-2 minutes). 
  • Step 2 Add Beeswax – Once melted, add the the beeswax and stir frequently until all the ingredients are liquid. Remove the bowl from the heat.
  • Step 3 Add Baking Soda & Arrowroot Starch – Quickly add the baking soda and arrowroot. Stir the baking soda and arrowroot into the liquid ingredients. 
  • Step 4 Add Essential Oils – If using, add the essential oils, stirring to combine all the ingredients.
  • Step 5 Pour into a Container – Pour the deodorant into a 4-ounce Mason jar or two 2.5-ounce deodorant tubes. The deodorant will solidify as it cools. 

Once the deodorant is fully cool, it’s ready to use. 

How to Use This Deodorant 

  • Use this homemade recipe just like store-bought deodorants.
  • Deodorant in a Jar – Remove lid, scoop a small amount (dime-size) from the jar (using your finger) and apply it under the arms.
  • Deodorant in a Stick/Tube – Remove lid and roll under the arms.
  • Reapply the deodorant throughout the day, as needed. 

Substitutions & Variations 

  • Sweet Almond Oil or Jojoba Oil – Instead of coconut oil, sweet almond or jojoba oil are lightweight oils that work well. 
  • Mango Butter – Some people are allergic to shea butter. In this case, mango butter may be used instead. Cocoa butter is another option; however, using this ingredient will result in a hard final product that may be difficult to apply. 
  • Tapioca Starch – Tapioca starch may be used instead of cornstarch or arrowroot starch. 
  • Vegan Deodorant – To make this basic recipe vegan, you must substitute beeswax for plant-based wax, like soy wax, carnauba wax, or candelilla. 
Homemade deodorant on a countertop in a glass jar.

How to Prevent a Rash From Natural Deodorant 

If you experience a rash or discomfort from this recipe or any natural deodorant, here are a few tips to try.

  • Don’t Use After Shaving – It’s best to shave several hours before using this deodorant, as the baking soda may irritate freshly shaven skin. I recommend shaving at night and applying the deodorant in the morning. 
  • Avoid Essential Oils – Essential oils can be irritating for some people. Some oils, like cinnamon, may also have a burning sensation on the skin, as they’re known as “hot oils.” 
  • Use Less Baking Soda – Baking soda can irritate; using less may help if you have sensitive skin. 

Best Essential Oils for A Fresh Scent

Here are a few of my favorite essential oils for a great-smelling deodorant. Use one oil or a combo of a couple of different oils. 

  • tea tree essential oil 
  • lavender essential oil 
  • peppermint essential oil 
  • lemon essential oil 
  • patchouli essential oil
  • grapefruit essential oil 
  • bergamot essential oil
  • geranium essential oil
  • Plant Therapy Deodorizing essential oil blend

How to Store & Shelf Life

  • Store up to 12 months at room temperature.
Deodorant in a glass container.

FAQs

  • Is this recipe an antiperspirant, too? No, this recipe is for deodorant, the better option for odor control and absorbing sweat. It’s best to avoid antiperspirants as sweating (through your sweat glands) is the body’s natural way of regulating temperature. 
  • Can I make homemade deodorant without baking soda? Yes, you can; however, the deodorant will be less effective. Use more starch to make up for the lack of baking soda. 
  • Is this deodorant okay for daily use? Yes, I use deodorant daily. 
  • Do you have an excellent store-bought deodorant recommendation? I use the Native brand (easily found in many stores). Here’s a list of my favorite natural deodorants. 
  • Can I skip the beeswax? Yes, you can. If you skip the beeswax, the deodorant won’t be hard enough for a deodorant stick/tube. It will be more of a soft paste and should be stored in a jar. There’s no need to melt the ingredients if you choose to skip the beeswax, as long as the oil and shea butter are soft enough to stir with a fork.

More Natural Beauty Products

  • Lip BalmNaturally moisturize your lips with this 3-ingredient shea butter lip balm recipe.
  • Body ButterUse shea butter to make a luxurious homemade body butter to moisturize the whole body.
  • Honey Face WashUse honey and castile soap to natually clean your face and remove makeup.
  • Best Natural Face MoisturizersThe best natural moisturizers for all skin types and budgets.
  • Best Store-Bought Natural DeodorantDon’t want to DIY? I’ve gathered my favorite store-bought deodorant brands.
Homemade deodorant on a glass jar.
4.90 from 19 votes

DIY Homemade Deodorant with Lavender

This sweat-absorbing homemade deodorant recipe is easy to make and will keep you smelling amazing all day! The deodorant takes under 10 minutes to make and has been a daily staple in my beauty routine for over 14 years.
Kristin Marr
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course DIY
Cuisine Body
Servings 4 ounce jar

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Combine Shea Butter & Coconut Oil – Place the shea butter and coconut oil in a small or medium heat-safe bowl or tall measuring cup. Place the glass bowl on top (or sitting inside) of a saucepan partially filled with water (about 1/4 way full) over medium heat (this creates a double boiler to protect the fragile ingredients from burning). Melt the ingredients (approximately 1-2 minutes).
  • Add Beeswax – Once melted, add the the beeswax and stir frequently until all the ingredients are liquid. Remove the bowl from the heat.
  • Add Baking Soda & Arrowroot Starch – Quickly add the baking soda and arrowroot. Stir the baking soda and arrowroot into the liquid ingredients.
  • Add Essential Oils – If using, add the essential oils, stirring to combine all the ingredients.
  • Step 5 Pour into a Container – Pour the deodorant into a 4-ounce Mason jar or two 2.5-ounce deodorant tubes. The deodorant will solidify as it cools. 
  • Once fully cool, the deodorant is ready to use.

Storage & Shelf Life:

  • Store at room temperature for up to 12 months. If the deodorant is stored in a jar, seal with a lid after each use.

How to Use:

  • Either scoop a small amount from the jar (using your finger) and apply it under the arms. Or, if using deodorant tubes, roll under the arms. Reapply the deodorant throughout the day, as needed. Do not use after shaving as the baking soda will burn.

Notes

Sensitive Skin – See notes above in the article if you have sensitive skin. You may need to skip the essential oils, reduce the baking soda, or avoid using this product after shaving. 
My Favorite Essential Oils for Deodorant: tea tree essential oil, lavender essential oil, peppermint essential oil, lemon essential oil, patchouli essential oil, grapefruit essential oil, bergamot essential oil, geranium essential oil, Plant Therapy Deodorizing essential oil blend
Refined vs. Unrefined Shea Butter
  • Unrefined Shea Butter – This type of shea butter contains all its natural nutrients. It has a strong, earthy scent and cream color. Some people don’t like the scent. 
  • Refined Shea Butter – Due to the refining process, some of its natural nutrients are removed, making it odorless and white.
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

Natural Body-Care Simplified

Learn how to make your own body and beauty products with simple ingredients.

4.90 from 19 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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145 Comments

  1. I just made this and my arrowroot stayed very clumpy so I strained it out. Is there a way to get it to blend better or would I be better off subbing cornstarch for the arrowroot?

    1. Hey Jennifer, You could try adding the arrowroot to melted coconut oil first and whisking to dissolve. Then add this to the remaining ingredients. If the ingredients are really HOT when the arrowroot is added, that can effect the arrowroot starch and its ability to dissolve.

  2. Hi!
    Can I replace the coconut oil for almond oil? Maybe 1 TB of almond oil would be enough, instead of 2 TB of coconut oil? Or is it better the same amount?
    Thank you so much!!!

      1. Just another question: can I sub the arrowroot for white clay? I have sensitive skin and maybe the clay could be useful:)
        Thanks again:)

  3. I bought unrefined shea butter and I cannot personally stand that smell..I would like to know if I can replace shea butter with cocoa butter.. Will the outcome be any different if I do that replacement?

      1. If I use shea butter, it won’t be so hard..

        What will happen if I use both shea butter & cocoa butter?

  4. Love this deodorant recipe. Full silicon ice cube trays and then I use one a month. Enough for a year. I do double the recipe. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Hi! I recently discovered your website while looking for a natural deodorant alternative. Ive tried Green Beaver, Toms, and other mainstream products but found thise products dont last and I end up smelly in a few hours. Your recipe is amazing and has helped so much! After making 2 batches over the last few months I’m wondering if the deodorant is supposed to be hard/firm. I pour into a small mason jar and leave it and found it very hard to scoop up with my fingers. Would you have a suggestion for this? I am using standard corn starch in lieu of arrowroot. Maybe that’s it? I’d love to know how to make it scoopable like the picture or maybe more balm-y since the ingredients are really great and have helped out a lot. Thanks!

    1. Hi Kendra,

      The ingredients naturally get hard if its in a cooler temp environment. If you scoop it out and let it sit on your finger tips or palm it’ll soften and be easier to apply.

      Hope this helped!

      LS Team.

  6. Hi Kristin,
    I would like to make this deodorant recipe but I have a little concerned regarding the amount of baking soda, I tried to make one without baking soda using zinc oxide and kaolin clay but it didn’t work with me. So I returned to use my old recipe like yours but without shea butter and with different ingredients amounts. I like to make yours but My question is can I reduced the baking soda and add kaolin caly too.. also I like to add tea tree, peppermint , sweet orange and lemongrass essential oils. Also my deodorant keep leaves yellow stains is it because of the beeswax? Thank you

    1. Hey Nada, You can definitely reduce the baking soda and add clay. And also add essential oils of choice. The yellowing is from the oils in the deodorant typically. The baking soda should help with this, but it won’t prevent it fully from happening. I use a homemade bleach when things get bad: https://livesimply.me/2015/07/19/homemade-bleach-alternative-3-ingredient-whitening-solution/ And you can also let Sal Suds rest on the spots if you find the armpits on the garments are darkening due to oil. Then wash the garment in the washing machine.