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  • Writer's pictureThomas Crouse

The World's Best Natural, Homemade Deodorant Recipe

Updated: Mar 1

A glass jar half-full with homemade deodorant sits in a garden with text bubbles exclaiming "So fresh!" and "Fer yer pits!"
The most effective natural deodorant EVER?

You can make this natural deodorant at home in 15 minutes. It's crazy-effective without the BS (baking soda). That means my recipe works without irritating your skin or staining your shirts.

This recipe's skin-safe ingredients form an antimicrobial barrier that lasts all day. It's so effective, it can be used as a "field shower" - a small dab to your underarms instantly kills the worst BO on the spot.

And did I mention there's no baking soda?!

Seriously, if this recipe works for me, it'll work for anyone. I'll explain why my deodorant recipe is so effective in a second, but let's cover the details first...


2 Tbsp ethical shea butter

2 Tbsp ethical coconut oil

1/3 c arrowroot powder

1 Tbsp natural magnesium hydroxide

OPTIONAL: ~10 drops of your favorite, skin-safe essential oil

OPTIONAL: 1–2 drops of tea tree essential oil

Coconut-free Version:

3 Tbsp ethical shea butter

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/3 c arrowroot powder

1.5 Tbsp natural magnesium hydroxide

OPTIONAL: ~10 drops of your favorite, skin-safe essential oil

OPTIONAL: 1–2 drops of tea tree essential oil


Small or medium saucepan

Small (8 oz.) glass jar


Reusable stir stick (I use a metal chopstick)


  1. Put 3–5 c of water in the saucepan and bring it to a simmer over medium-low heat. Make sure the water level is at least 1" below the height of your glass jar.

  2. Put shea butter and coconut oil (olive oil for coconut-free) in the small glass jar.

  3. Place the small glass jar into the saucepan of simmering water with tongs.

  4. When the oils have melted, add essential oils and mix with the reusable stir stick.

  5. Add the natural Magnesium Hydroxide and mix with the reusable stir stick until smooth.

  6. Add the arrowroot powder 1 Tbsp at a time while constantly mixing with the reusable stir stick.

  7. Use tongs to remove the glass jar from the saucepan and allow it to cool until solid. Covering and cooling in the refrigerator is recommended. Stirring occasionally during cooling is also recommended, to prevent settling.

IMPORTANT NOTES (Skip these at your own risk!)

Here’s a breakdown of the ingredients and what they do:

  • Shea butter is a carrier oil for essential oils and it moisturizes the skin.

  • Coconut oil is also a carrier oil and a moisturizer. More importantly, it’s antibacterial, which makes it an active ingredient in this recipe.

  • Extra virgin olive oil serves as a replacement for coconut oil, except it’s not antibacterial.

  • Arrowroot powder is a skin-safe filler to thicken the deodorant.

  • Natural magnesium hydroxide is an antibacterial that does not absorb into the skin. It creates a long-lasting barrier that kills odor-causing bacteria all day (more details in the “Your sweat don’t stink” section below). It is the main active ingredient in this recipe, and far less irritating than baking soda. Although sometimes produced synthetically, it is a naturally occurring compound.

  • Essential oils add a pleasant scent, and many of them are antibacterial. Many of them are good for the skin if used in small amounts with carrier oils. Check out this list of essential oils good for skincare if you’re unsure which ones to use. Tea tree oil is anti-bacterial, -viral, -fungal, -microbial, it’s basically anti-everything.

  • A small glass jar is reusable, just toss it in the dishwasher when it’s empty. Forget about buying a plastic tube every time you need 3 oz. of deodorant.

Why no baking soda?

Many "green" deodorants use baking soda as an ingredient because it’s natural and antibacterial.

But baking soda is alkaline, contrasting with your skin’s acidity. It’s also a mild abrasive, which can cause irritation and chafing.

Worst of all, it'll stain your clothes!

I tried MANY natural deodorant brands before creating this recipe. The baking soda in (almost) all of them left me itchy and ruined a couple of my shirts. It was my frustration with other natural deodorants that led me to create this recipe sans baking soda.

Antibacterial deodorant is WAY BETTER than antiperspirant!

You’ll never find a natural antiperspirant because the idea of stopping your body’s perspiration is wholly unnatural.

Worse yet, commercial antiperspirants use friggin’ aluminum to literally clog your pores. It can lead to irritation, acne, infection, and a host of other skin issues. Because it's a metalloid plugging your pores.

Plus, aluminum can turn your sweat yellow and stain your clothes worse than anything else.

So don’t clog your pores, it’s not a good idea. Your sweat actually isn’t the problem, because…

Your sweat don’t stink.

Think about it. Your sweat is just salt water, which doesn’t have a strong smell.

But I’ll tell you what does stink: bacteria.

And bacteria love the damp environment your sweat creates. Body odor isn’t the smell of sweat, it’s the smell of bacteria.

So say it with me this time:

“My sweat don’t stink!”

Using a natural deodorant with antibacterial properties is the best way to eliminate BO. It kills the unwanted bacteria at the source of the stink. That’s why this recipe is optimized to be natural and antibacterial.

This recipe’s main active ingredient, Magnesium hydroxide [Mg(OH)2], is antibacterial and does not absorb into your skin. It creates a long-lasting barrier that kills the stink before it forms. It won’t clog your pores or absorb into your body. It just sits there, killing odor-causing bacteria for at least 8 hours.

I also use this deodorant as a "field shower" - applying a small amount instantly kills the worst BO and leaves you smelling fresh in 4 seconds flat.

Take it from a sweaty guy…

I’ll spare you the details, but I used to think only prescription-grade antiperspirants would work for me. Drinking copious amounts of coffee didn’t help.

Then I started researching what’s actually in the deodorants and antiperspirants on market shelves.

And I was horrified.

So I tried A LOT of natural deodorants, but most of them couldn’t cut the stink. They irritated my skin and stained my shirts because most of them rely on baking soda.

So I did even more research, and a bunch of testing (on myself), to come up with this recipe.

Since perfecting it, the stink is gone without issue. My skin feels great. And I don't throw away a plastic tube every time I use 3 ounces of deodorant.

I’m never going back to the store-bought stuff again.

Other important notes

  • Yes, you have to apply this deodorant to your underarms with your finger or a small spatula. Make sure your glass jar is small enough for you to reach the bottom. If you care about eliminating single-use plastics, you won’t mind.

  • I (Thomas Crouse) am not legally responsible if using this deodorant recipe causes you any harm. Make sure you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients. Do your own research. This recipe is not intended to treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition.

  • That being said, my wife and I have been using this recipe for two years without any adverse effects. She even used it while pregnant without issue.

  • A little goes a long way. Don’t use more than a pea-sized amount for each underarm. You only need enough for a thin coating. I find the amount in this recipe lasts me 2–3 months.

  • This recipe can be doubled if you want enough deodorant to last 4–6 months. You’ll need to use a larger glass jar, which might be difficult to reach the bottom.

Leave a comment below if you have any questions about this recipe or suggestions to make it better. I’m always looking to improve it, even though I’m quite happy with how it works right now.

By day, I'm a copywriter and email list manager. I'm not an authority in the beauty sector. I wrote this little recipe for myself and was surprised by the results. That's it.

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