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DIY Plastic-Free Deodorant

Apply a dusting of DIY baking soda deodorant to your clean, dry armpits with gentle fingers.

When I went looking for plastic-free, safe, and effective deodorant, I turned first to Beth Terry and her Plastic-free Living Guide at her incredible blog My Plastic-free Life. Following her advice, I tried baking soda, plain and simple.

I’d been using baking soda for years as my main household cleaner, as a skin-soother in the girls’ bath water, and more recently in our zero waste toothpaste, but putting it on skin was a new idea to me.

Lo, it worked!

I’ve made it through the past year now with a pinch of baking soda deodorant massaged gently into each of my armpits each morning, and after every bath or shower, and I’m not smelling worse. In fact, I’ve found it more effective than any of the natural deodorants I’ve tried, all of the crystals, roll-ons, bars, and sprays that come in plastic packaging.

I’ve seen that some people use soft makeup brushes to apply their soda deodorant, but I’ve found that using my fingers works well enough – There’s less to pack when I’m traveling, and my fingers are naturally plastic-free and don’t cost me a penny.

I did add my own twist to the plain soda, though. I fill a small wide-mouth Mason jar with baking soda, add a few drops of my favorite essential oils, screw the lid on tightly and shake like crazy to disperse the oils into the soda. This gives me baking soda deodorant with a light natural fragrance that I like – I get deodorant and perfume in one step, the sort of multitasking that always appeals to my lazy not-a-morning-person self.

I’ve only found this irritating to my skin once, after I shaved my armpits with a not-so-sharp razor. I rinsed my poor pits off and applied a thin coating of coconut oil (our go-to plastic-free skin lotion around here) before the baking soda; that took care of the sting and soothed my skin back to happiness. Just after that experience, I came across this blog post from An Organic Wife about using straight coconut oil as a deodorant, and this one from Lana Purcell – My Slice of Heaven with a baking soda-coconut oil recipe for DIY deodorant. Both of these look like great options for those with skin that doesn’t care for straight baking soda. If you try this one, please let me know how you like it. In the meantime, I’m sticking with my mix-on-the-skin approach of baking soda, essential oils, and coconut oil.

Give plastic-free DIY deodorant a try and please let me know how it works for you!

10 comments on “DIY Plastic-Free Deodorant

  1. [...] your own zero waste deodorant. For a quick and easy deodorant see this post for a simple and effective DIY baking soda recipe in a jar. If you’d like something fancier, check out these recipes at The Greenest Dollar. [...]

  2. [...] By Rebecca Rockefeller (first published at Rock Farmer) [...]

  3. I have made the coconut oil one, unfortunately found it left greasy marks on my clothes. Have never tried just the baking soda, ta again!

    • Thanks for letting me know about the coconut oil version – I’ve been wondering. I’ve been trying a bit of coconut oil first, followed by straight baking soda, and that seems to do the trick without grease on my shirts or skin irritation, but then it’s still cold outside here and not exactly the best testing time of year for deodorant!

  4. This year for Christmas I gave away homemade deodorant (to special friends who wouldn’t be offended or think I’m weird!) made with the following recipe: 1/4 c extra virgin coconut oil, 1/4 arrowroot or cornstarch and 1/4 c baking soda. Mush all together with the back of a spoon until well combined, add a couple drops essential oil of choice and pack into used twist-up deodorant containers. It works amazingly well but does irritate some people’s skin, like you said.

  5. [...] at Rock Farmer posted her no plastic deodorant and how she prevents burns after shaving, best of all she uses an [...]

  6. It’s not a very romantic ingredient, but a spot of tea tree oil will give an extra dose of bacteria- and fungal-killing properties — and as I understand it, that’s the source of most odor, anyway.

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