Zero Waste Deodorant – Homemade


“Common sense is like deodorant….the people who need it most, never use it.”

Hahaha!  That Ghandi was a riot!

My father probably thinks I’ve gone into the deep end of the hippy pool and sworn off deodorant, but that’s not the case.  I just don’t want to create more waste while masking my eau de self.  Last week I showed you some store-bought deodorant.  This week chronicles my attempt to make it at home.

Most homemade deodorant recipes use :  baking soda, a thickener (like arrowroot or cornstarch), and a smoother (like coconut oil or shea butter or both).  I think arrowroot is preferable to cornstarch and shea butter would have been a nice addition, but I went with what I had on hand and what would leave me with fewer containers to recycle.

Here I am, ready to go with my three ingredients, rolling around on an office chair after busting up my knee last week.  Crutches and a two-year-old, good bedfellows they do not make.

I had my double boiler ready to melt the coconut oil, but no need as it was 85 degrees in my kitchen so the only hardware I had to gather was a bowl, a whisk, a butter knife and my confident five-year-old.

The recipe:

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup baking soda

Mix well.

Add 1/4 cup coconut oil.
This time of year (not winter, that is) you probably don’t need the coconut oil in a fully liquid state.  Just stir it up.

My recipe yield a 1/2 cup.

Which confounded me because I used 3/4 cup of materials and I’m pretty sure there’s a scientific rule out there in Smart-people Land that says you can’t create nor destroy mass, only change it.  Apparently I’ve defied science.  Or suffered mass attrition at the hands of my daughter.

With tweezers and a glass of wine (not optional), I cleaned out an old anti-antiperspirant tube, filled it with my coconutty concoction, poured the leftovers in a muffin tin, and popped them both in the fridge for an hour.

So how does it work?  Well, it works better than no deodorant.  You stay a little damp (like with most deodorants) but you don’t reek.  It passes the black t-shirt test and doesn’t leave any white residue.  Like store-bought hippy deodorant, you need two applications (one morning, one midday) for stressful or active days but one should (just barely) suffice for normal toddler or office manager day-to-day operations.

The smell is a little heavy on the coconut side and in the middle of summer in the middle of a swamp cooler cooled-apartment (I’m using that word liberally), it’s not as firm as I would like it.  So next time, I would start by using only 2 Tbsp of coconut oil, and adding another if it needed.

But will I continue to make it?  Meh…

It’s nice to have the option but I think I feel more secure with store-bought deodorant.

Maybe I can bring it back out after Thanksgiving, evoking white sand Malibu Rum dreams as I hang Christmas lights in the snow.

July 14, 2015

About Me

About Me

I’ve been passionate about combatting blind consumerism since 2008 and joined the Zero Waste movement by starting this blog in 2013, soon after my second child was born. I think it might have been trying to unwrap a toy or someone’s attempt to sell me a butt-wipe warmer that put me over the edge… read more



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