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How to Make Aluminum Free Deodorant

How to Make Aluminum Free Deodorant

I have serious concerns with commercial deodorant and this is one of the products I feel most strongly about making myself.  Deodorants, or more accurately – antiperspirants, use aluminum to plug your sweat ducts and prevent sweating.  Aluminum is easily absorbed by the skin and has been linked to nasty stuff like increased risk of Alzheimer’s and breast cancer.  Furthermore, your armpits are a sensitive area.  Most people don’t realize that breast tissue extends all the way to your armpits.  Given the very high rate of breast cancer in this country, this is something I don’t want to mess with.  Also, on average your skin absorbs roughly 60% of the product applied to it.  However, certain parts of your body absorb a much higher percentage and your armpits are one of them.  Finally, armpits are designed to be a site of toxin release.  Blocking their ability to sweat also blocks their ability to excrete toxins from your body.  So an antiperspirant may make you smell nice on the surface but they’re pretty nasty for your insides.

Fortunately there are good alternatives to commercial deodorant and this is an area where I’ve experimented extensively.  I started using alternative deodorant about 4 years ago and have tried at least a dozen different formulas since then.  Until recently I’ve been using a homemade deodorant spray ( which I like a lot but I’ve been wanting to craft a deodorant that functions more like a commercial stick.  The change in season gave me extra motivation because it’s no fun to spray yourself with cold liquid when you’re already chilly.  After trying and combining several different recipes, this is the closest I’ve come to homemade deodorant greatness.  It’s all natural and aluminum free.  It works shockingly well and keeps me smelling fresh the entire day, even after a light workout.   It has a nice mild scent, with or without the essential oil.  It’s quite simple to make and isn’t very expensive. My only complaint is that the texture is slightly softer than normal deodorant.  It’s firm enough to pack into an old deodorant container but it smears a bit when you apply it, especially if the weather is hot.  When this happens you can just rub it a little and it disappears like lotion.  Whenever I work out this kink I’ll update the recipe but for now, please enjoy a darn good homemade deodorant:

Homemade Stick Deodorant


  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder (see note for where to find)
  • 4 Tbsp coconut oil (organic, unrefined)
  • 2 Tablespoons beeswax
  • Essential oil – 10 drops lavender or tea tree (optional)


  • Mix the baking soda and arrowroot powder in a medium size bowl and set aside.
  • Place coconut oil and beeswax in a small saucepan.  Heat on low stirring occasionally until melted.
  • Add the liquid to the baking soda mixture and mix with a spoon until it forms a smooth paste. Add the essential oil (optional) and mix it in well.
  • Pour/smush the mixture into an empty deodorant dispenser and let it cool for a couple hours.  Then cap and use like normal deodorant.


  • Container: I reuse an old commercial deodorant container for this recipe.  Once the deodorant is used up, I clean the container with hot soapy water (you can follow this up with a swab of rubbing alcohol if you want it to be extra clean) then dry thoroughly and refill.  If you don’t have an old deodorant dispenser, you can find them online.  One of the retailers I often use is Elements Bath and Body:  I haven’t tried this particular container, but in general I’ve been happy with their products and their service.  Alternately you can just store it in a small container such as a baby food jar or small mason jar and apply to your underarms like a lotion.  If you go this route I recommend omitting the beeswax – it’s function is to solidify the deodorant which isn’t necessary if you’re applying lotion style.
  • Arrowroot: Many people have never heard of arrowroot but it was surprisingly easy to find.  I got mine in the natural food section of our normal grocery store in the section with the grains and flours (it’s sometimes listed as arrowroot flour instead of powder).  Health food stores also carry it as do many online retailers.  For more information on where to find DIY supplies, here’s a post of my favorite resources:
  • Additional deodorant recipes:
  • And for other DIY bath and body recipes, please see:


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