Homemade deodorant offers a wonderful alternative to commercial products on the market. It is frugal, contains natural ingredients that you can know and trust, and can be tweaked to suit your family’s unique needs. In my quest to find one that would work well for my family, I experimented with three slightly different recipes.
I evaluated each recipe in terms of its effectiveness, texture, and scent. I stored all three in small mason jars and we applied them with our fingertips. My husband tried all three deodorants as well, and I included his thoughts in my results. Our days require varying levels of activity and therefore sweat levels, but we made sure to use each recipe on warm, active days to give each a real test for effectiveness.
Recipe 1: Passionate Homemaking’s Natural, Homemade Deodorant
It required two applications a day to be effective and held up moderately well to exercise and sweat. We enjoyed the scent, too, as it works well for both men and women.
Recipe 2: Wellness Mama’s Healthy, Homemade Deodorant
It is a little thinner than the other recipes but I just compensated by adding a little more.
I did not add essential oils as I like the smell of my shea butter and was happy with it the way it was.
This recipe did not even make 1 cup of deodorant (as you can see in the picture it only half filled my mason jar), so in the future I would double this recipe.
Recipe 3: Wardee’s Natural, Homemade Deodorant
- Makes about 3 tubes of deodorant (depending on tube size).
- Melt coconut oil and beeswax together over low heat until just barely melted.
- Remove from heat.
- Add remaining ingredients except essential oils.
- Let cool, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until it hardens to a pudding consistency.
- Put in the fridge to speed this up, checking and stirring frequently.
- Add essential oils and mix well.
- Spoon into empty deodorant containers.
- Let harden overnight in a cool location.
- You can speed this up by putting in the fridge to harden.
- Don’t have an empty deodorant container? Use a pint or half pint jar; use about ⅛ teaspoon for each arm. (Omit beeswax to make it easier to scoop.)
- Or, use muffin tins to create a “cake” of deodorant. Keep wrapped in tissue paper when not in use; rub the cake under arms to apply.
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The texture was quite hard after sitting in a cool location all night and quite “soupy” during the middle of the day. (However, keep in mind that it is high summer right now.)
To keep it the right consistency, I recommend storing it in a cool location, and I may play around with adding more beeswax next time especially for a summer batch.
I really like the quality of the ingredients and the healing benefits of having the clay in it to help avoid underarm bumps and rashes that can be a struggle for some. The clay gives it a medium grey-brown color, making it the darkest of the deodorants we tried.
A Final Experiment: The Stain Test
I took a white cotton onesie my daughter had outgrown and applied a liberal stripe of each deodorant across it (more than most would typically apply under their arms). I applied them in the same order as my reviews above: top — Passionate Homemaking; middle — Wellness Mama; bottom — Wardee’s.
After giving the deodorants about 2 hours to “set”, I washed and dried the onesie on the normal wash setting without using a stain remover.
The first two deodorant stripes (Passionate Homemaking and Wellness Mama) left no stain, and there was only a very slight mark on the last spot (Wardee’s), likely due to the clay in the recipe. This would probably not show up at all on light colored clothing.
If you are concerned about staining with Wardee’s recipe, perhaps use a little less clay or more coconut oil to “thin” the mixture. Or you could try applying a small amount of a natural stain remover prior to washing the clothing.
The mark was so faint, though, that I wouldn’t have noticed it without looking for it. Because most people usually wouldn’t have such a high volume of deodorant on their shirt anyway, I wouldn’t “sweat” it at all (pun intended).
My Final Choice
My top choice overall is Wardee’s recipe. I really appreciated its effectiveness and the health benefits of the clay.
But because I really enjoyed the shea butter in Wellness Mama’s recipe, I plan to experiment with adding that into my own version of Wardee’s recipe. It isn’t needed, but the texture and moisturizing effects were so pleasing that I think it will make the best deodorant for my family.
Have you tried any of these deodorant recipes? What were your results? What deodorant recipe would you recommend (even in addition to these)? What’s your favorite essential oil for homemade deodorant?
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