DIY (do-it-yourself) Projects

Published on December 3rd, 2017 | by Scott Cooney


Homemade natural deodorant that actually works for men

Got stinky pits? Of course you do, like me, you’re a sweaty, gross dude (or the partner of such a dude that was desperate enough to google how to get his pits to stop stinking so bad). Many men are becoming chemically sensitive to the nasty chemical deodorants on the market, and have started to opt for a natural brand, like Tom’s of Maine or Jason. Both are good, but neither worked for me very well, and I’ve had a lot of my dude friends confide that they only last a few hours before the stank returns. I’ve tested some others, including TLDYEU, a brand we reviewed over at Vibrant Wellness Journal a while ago, and we tried to replicate something like that one with a DIY recipe here on GLI. But as we found out, that worked well in Hawaii, where we lived, but when I moved back to the mainland to the icy great white north (San Francisco), the cocoa butter / shea butter as well as the coconut oil were just so solid as to make the spreading of the deodorant a job hard enough to make you start sweating…kinda defeating the purpose, ya know?

At some point, though, I was reading a great article on how to de-stink (“deodorize”) your refrigerator, and realized that baking soda has these natural properties that would be good for skin as well–keeping things dry and deodorizing them. And thus was born the natural deodorant powder that I’ve been using ever since. It’s a super simple recipe, and one that I’ve now refilled my container with several times, but there are a couple of tricks to it. First, the recipe and ingredients.

Homemade Natural Deodorant Recipe


1 cup baking soda
Your favorite essential oils (I recommend Melaleuca, Tea Tree, Sandalwood, Peppermint and Lemon as the most dude-like essential oils that work in deodorant…anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and don’t smell like any damn girly flowers)
10-20 kernels of rice


1. Grab a sifter or fine mesh strainer. Pour the baking soda into the strainer and use a spoon to stir it until all the baking soda goes through the strainer. This will result in a very fine, powdery baking soda with no clumps.

2. Add several drops of your choice of essential oils to the mix

3. Stir the mixture. Clumps will naturally occur around where the heaviest concentrations of essential oils are. Here’s trick number 1: sift the mixture again, back through the fine strainer the same way you did the first time.

4. Trick number 2: add rice. This will help the deodorant stay without clumps through abrasive action as you shake it out onto your palm, but also help keep it dry, because, well, that’s what rice does, as anyone who’s spilled water on their laptop knows.

5. Put the resulting twice-sifted and essential oiled product into a container with a fine mesh lid. You can find these online or at a natural food store near you.

Using the natural deodorant and other tips

To apply, you just shake some of the product out of the mesh top onto your palm, and apply to your pits. Yes, this is a deodorant recipe that requires you to touch your armpits every day. I’d recommend, if you’re a hairy Italian like me, to do this right after showering. But that’s convenient, because that would tend to be when logical people might put on deodorant anyway.

The only other thing I’ll add is that no deodorant ever worked for me. Not the natural store bought brands, not the nasty chemical ones…. nothing would last more than a few hours. That is, until I started manscaping the pits. If you’ve got a small blueberry bush of hair growing out of your pits, well, you’re gonna stink. No deodorant has a chance to even penetrate the depths of that jungle to help you stay dry and stinkless. So do yourself, and your loved ones, a favor, and trim that stuff! There’s nothing unmanly about using a set of hair clippers to trim your beard, and the same should go for your pits–trim it down to a number 2 or 3, and your overall odor will be greatly improved.

I hope it helps! All I can say is that I’ve used this deodorant recipe for almost two years now, and love it. On top of that, I’ve probably spent a grand total of about 13 cents on it, because there are few things less expensive than baking soda. Green, effective, money saving and healthy. Boom. Now get on with your green living.

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About the Author

Scott Cooney is a serial eco-entrepreneur including being the solo founder of Pono Home,, and CleanTechnica; author of two books; former sustainability consultant with clients including Johnson & Johnson, Eastman Chemical, Wal-Mart, and Duke Energy; former Adjunct teaching the first course in sustainable business in the MBA program at UH Manoa; lover of local, healthy food and especially vegan nachos. Find Scott on Twitter

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