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Simple DIY deodorant. Because I’m that crunchy

Way back before Monkey was born, when we had stuff like money, I experimented with a heap of natural, commercially available deodorants. Most of them were rubbish – I could smell my own body odour while using them, and quickly moved on… Huge fail.

The only one that I liked was this roll-on by Miessence. It was the only one that stopped me from being Stinky McArmpits. Given that it is a deodorant not an antiperspirant I sometimes noticed a bit of a damp smell if I got really sweaty, but it wasn’t bad – I personally don’t like the idea of an antiperspirant, it seems so unnatural and I worry about all the chemicals in them. I used that product for a long time.

But I always prefer to make things myself if I can – especially on the cheap! Just before Monkey was born I found this recipe for a homemade deodorant over at Crunchy Betty’s. It gets rave reviews, and I planned to try it. But Monkey was born before I got around to it, and now it’s 18 months later and I still haven’t found the time!

Still, I wanted to find some way to make my own frugal, crunchy deodorant. So at the start of summer, I decided to experiment. Now summer in Australia, she gets hot. It wouldn’t take long to find out if my deodorant would cut it or not.

I have a bit of a (bad?) habit of secretly trying out crunchy things without telling Hubs to see if he notices – this is my benchmark. If he doesn’t notice anything, I assume that the crunchy method is as good or better than the supermarket chemical method, and I’ll generally stick with it after that. I did this with soapnuts and we haven’t looked back (well, except when Monkey was having chemo but I think we get a pass for that).

Almost three months later and I’m still using my new deodorant, and I haven’t had any complaints (would anyone tell me if I stank or would they all be too polite?). More to the point, I can’t smell my own self, which I generally consider a good indicator!

The ‘active’ ingredient in both the Miessence deodorant and Crunchy Betty’s recipe is bicarbonate soda. Cheap, readily available… And powdery. Powdery = messy. Apparently also very drying. But finding time to mix it up with beeswax and carrier oils and set it into a nice little tube somehow? Not going to happen.

Then one day I had a brainwave. We get olive oil free from my parents, who have a small olive grove and press their own oil each year. I had already switched to using nothing but pure olive oil as a facial moisturizer (yes really!) so I thought… Why not just bicarb and oil? How much simpler can you get?

I wasn’t sure how to mix it for easy application… And in the end, I haven’t! I simply keep a jar of bicarb in the bathroom (which I also use to clean the bathroom) along with my moisturising oil. Then after a shower, I simply mix a small pinch of bicarb with a small squirt of oil in my palms, and then rub it onto my armpits.

In support of my very scientific method of measurement, here are pictorial instructions for you. You’re welcome!


A pinch of bicarb (a literal pinch, not a TV chef pinch!)


A squirt of carrier oil

I’ve had no problems at all with this, but my skin is not at all sensitive, so if yours is, proceed with caution!

Have you had success (or failure) with natural or homemade deodorants? What is your favourite way to stop the stink?


3 comments on “Simple DIY deodorant. Because I’m that crunchy

  1. Olive
    February 20, 2013

    I make my own deodorant too! My recipe is almost the same as the one you linked. and I highly recommend it – it’s incredibly fast to make and inexpensive. I actually posted about it a while ago: One adjustment I’ve made is to soften it with a teaspoon of olive oil in the winter months so it stays soft. In the summer it does often melt when it gets too hot but it still works well. I love it. I’ve been using it for years and my body has really gotten used to it – I’d say I don’t smell or have much perspiration at all with this unless I’m working out very hard.

  2. Mina
    February 27, 2013

    I am thinking of giving this a go. I am never fully satisfied with the deodorants I get from the market, so I might as well try this. Thanks.

    • boringyear
      February 27, 2013

      Try it! You can always switch back, and you probably have the ingredients lying around already anyway!

      I’d love to hear whether it works for you.

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This entry was posted on February 20, 2013 by in crunchy hippie.
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