homemade deodorants (without baking soda)

2021 edit: i no longer subscribe to or support the “all-natural” label. more here.

i’ve noticed a few of you are having some reactions to the baking soda. this isn’t uncommon. i’ve since scoured the hills for some gentle homemade deodorant alternatives that are (of course) chemical-free and crunchy!

> EDIT: 3/20/2019 – This post is from 2013 but is getting a lot of traffic recently. Since publishing, there has been an explosion of “green” deodorants available for purchase. Schmidt’s is currently the brand I use (baking soda-free options). It’s sold at Sprouts, Whole Foods, etc. 

chemical-free homemade spray OR roll-on deodorant (no baking soda or coconut oil)

this post is sort-of kicking off SKIN WEEK (which will be longer than a week, btw. i have so much to share with you guys!! so it might be “skin weekS”), so get excited about that!

is there anything wrong with my other homemade deo? absolutely not! i still use it! i have recently added arabian rose to mine and LOVE it! i just want to give readers with more sensitive skin some options 🙂 also, if you travel a lot or live in a warmer climate, these recipes won’t run all over your clothes like the coconut oil recipe will. yay!

witch hazel & aloe deodorant spray (from Tristin, an AE reader!)

  • in a spray bottle, mix 2 parts witch hazel with 1 part aloe vera
  • add a few drops of any essential oil of your choice (tristin used lavender! i think grapefruit or rose would be lovely, too! clary sage and tea tree oil are recommended as the EOs that would most work to cover BO. but if you’re busy creating a little human inside you, please do NOT use clary sage!!! aka, avoid clary sage if you’re pregnant.)
  • shake to mix ingredients and spray on your ‘pits!

distilled water & witch hazel deodorant spray

  • in a spray bottle, add 2 parts distilled water and 1 part witch hazel
  • add any EOs of your choice
  • shake to mix ingredients, and spray away!

apple cider vinegar and witch hazel deodorant spray

  • in a spray bottle, add 1 part acv, 6 parts distilled water, and 1/3 part witch hazel
  • add some EO drops of your choice
  • shake to mix ingredients, and spray away!

and of course you can add up to 1/4 part baking soda to the first 2 recipes (just make sure it dissolves) if you’d like, and if you’re not sensitive to baking soda.

and you also can of course put this in a rolly-ball container instead of a spray bottle. much more travel-friendly, right?

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49 thoughts on “homemade deodorants (without baking soda)

  1. I made mine today using baking soda and coconut oil and cornstarch… My mixtures seems too creamy and not dry at all. Did I do something wrong? I added more cornstarch and BS and it didn’t thicken up at all.

  2. I’ve just started using the aloe vera juice and witch hazel, but one question I have that isn’t asked on this post is: do you have to keep this mixture in the fridge since it has aloe vera in it?

  3. What are people using for witch hazel? Alcohol or alcohol free? Organic, or not? It looks like Thayer’s has glycerin in it….isn’t that bad? I’d like to try this, but don’t want to get the “wrong” stuff! Help!?

  4. Thank you!! I have been struggling with baking soda deodorants for awhile and I react no matter how little is in them. Others I have tried without baking soda were very ineffective. I tried the ACV and witch hazel one you shared and it works! No reaction! And even when I exercise twice in the day it is still working with no smell. I have been using it for a week now and I can nearly cry with happiness. You have saved my armpits. 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing.

  5. hey! I am in LOVE with your blog. thank you for doing all of this research & making it so easy for us newbies to get started with chemical free living!!
    my question is: because I cannot find any low chemical witch hazel (i checked it on the chemical rating site & the kind at natural grocers was no good), I was thinking about doing a 6:1 ratio of distilled h2o:acv. do you think I could also disolve some baking soda into this mix plus add in some lavender or tea tree oil? I just wanted your thoughts/suggestions on this. thanks in advance!!

    1. hey gea! thayer’s natural has a great witch hazel product, and some that are alcohol-free. check them out 🙂 as far as your alternative, don’t mix bs with acv. you’ll have a volcano effect, haha! but you can add oils, yep!

  6. I notice lemon juice is not mentioned here. It works perfectly fine for me, even in the days when I workout and sweat a lot. I wonder if it is ok to apply lemon juice on your armpits near your lymph nodes, though?

    1. I read somewhere that lemon juice kills cancer cells. So if this is true, I can imagine it would be good to use it on your underarms

  7. has anyone tried using lemon juice under their arms (not after you’ve shaved… ouch!)? i’ve read it works well! also, some people use milk of magnesium.

  8. Hey Alex! I am planning a trip this summer with a LONG flight (from O’Hare to Thailand). I am about to do a recipe for a kind of all-in-one hair refreshing/deodorant spray with witch hazel, and I’m wondering where/what brand witch hazel you use. Right now my recipe looks kind of crazy, with aloe vera, baking soda, witch hazel, a couple drops of tea tree oil/lavender, and distilled water in a spray bottle. I’m kind of interested in Thayer’s alcohol-free rose petal witch hazel toner, but i’m a little confused about it. The ingredients looks somewhat harmless, but do you know what makes it a toner, and if its good to use in deodorant? I’m going off of your deodorant spray, and it looks like you have a picture with Thayer’s in it, but wasn’t sure if it was okay to use in my spray. Or if you have other suggestions for a travel spray. Any info you have would be much appreciated! Also, I REALLY appreciate how you take time to respond to every post.

    1. I actually just bought Thayer witch hazel with lavender and aloe and used it as a deodorant and it works great. so easy, no mixing, just put it in a spray bottle and ready to go. I am debating adding baking soda. just wanted to reply to your post because i was wondering myself about thayer. hope this helps

  9. For some reason, baking soda-based recipes don’t do it for me. Not sure why! Good thing I came across this post!

    I currently use Lavilin (www.lavilin.com) – works really good for me! Any experience with it?

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