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Making your own personal products is a blast, and you can control the ingredients.


Today we share yet another way to help you live a healthy, more sustainable and self-sufficient life.

Homemade Deodorant

diyNatural reader Samantha said, “I was extremely, extremely skeptical. I think even a little part of me wanted to be able to come back and say – no it doesn’t work. But, it really did! Like others here, I already feel that I’m sweating less, but as much as I’m excited about not smelling anymore (who wouldn’t be), I’m more excited that I won’t be throwing away shirts that are ruined by deodorant stains. Forget what I save on the deodorant, I will save hundreds of dollars not replacing my clothing!”

Why Homemade?

I like to address this up front to displace the common assumption that homemade products are made simply for the savings… savings is just one handsome benefit.

In reality, the benefits of making your own stuff go far beyond saving a few bucks. DIY projects also foster family togetherness, self reliance, creative exploration, and a sense of accomplishment.

It’s Sustainable


If you are a frequent follower of our homemade endeavors you should know that I require homemade products to be easy to make.

For us, difficult recipes requiring a lot of uncommon ingredients is simply not sustainable. So we seek to always adopt solutions that are easy to make and contain common ingredients (whenever possible), yet work extremely well.  Today’s recipe will embody that product philosophy more so than any other.

The Recipe

To make your own natural homemade deodorant, follow these simple steps:

  1. purchase a bottle of grain ethyl alcohol, a.k.a. high proof liquor like Everclear, (we used to recommend isopropyl [rubbing] alcohol but do no longer because it can be toxic when used for long periods of time)
  2. purchase a small refillable spray bottle (we use the 3oz variety commonly found in the personal product travel section) – approximately $1.00/bottle (buy glass spray bottles here)
  3. pour the alcohol into the spray bottle
  4. spray on clean armpits for protection against body odor caused by bacteria
  5. if you’d like, add 10 drops of tea tree essential oil per 1 oz. of alcohol (4 oz. alcohol = 40 drops tea tree).

How To Make Deodorant 1

FAQs

Does it work? Yes – it works.  Yes – it’s that simple.  Yes – it’s that inexpensive.  Believe it… I have been doing exactly this for about 3 months now and will never go back to expensive, chemical laden, store bought deodorants.

Does it sting/hurt? It depends.  It never stings for me because I do not shave my pits.  My wife said that using the spray immediately after shaving does sting, but will only last for a second or two and is definitely doable.

Does it smell? It smells like alcohol, but can be supplemented with a few drops of your favorite essential oil.  (Find 100% pure essential oils here.) Try an antibacterial essential oil to combat the odor like peppermint, tea tree, lavender, or lemon. For excessive perspiration, try lemongrass or litsea cubeba.

Will I stink? No… remember question number 1 – it works.  The alcohol kills the bacteria that cause the odor.

Will I still sweat? Yes, and you should. Sweating is good for you; it is your body’s way of releasing toxins.  If you blocking your sweat pores by using antiperspirant you impede your body’s ability to naturally release those toxins.  Impeding this process can also effect the pH balance in your body leaving your body more prone to infection by harmful viruses and bacteria.  Using the alcohol allows your body to release the toxins unimpeded, yet still eliminates odors by killing the bacteria outside the body.

How long does it last? Depending on how much you exert yourself, it may last all day, or you may need to reapply.  In my experience I have NEVER had to apply it more than twice in one day – once in the morning… and once in the evening.

Will it stain or bleach my clothes? No, not in our experience.  I would say as long as you are not dumping copious amounts of alcohol all over your clothing you should be fine.

Is it safe? Using alcohol as deodorant is just as safe as use as an antiseptic on cuts and scrapes.  Unless someone has an allergy to alcohol, using it as a deodorant is safe for adults and young adults alike. Research has shown continued use of isopropyl alcohol on the skin can have adverse effects, so we recommend using a high proof ethyl alcohol instead.

Why haven’t I heard of this before? Because companies cannot make money by marketing it.

Are there other uses for alcohol? Sure, be creative.  I always encourage people to decrease their dependence on consumer products, and increase their own ability to “think and live outside the box.”

Did I mention that this will save you money?

GO TRY IT!

What do you have to lose?


*******

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DISCLAIMER: Information on DIY Natural™ is not reviewed or endorsed by the FDA and is NOT intended to be substituted for the advice of your health care professional. If you rely solely upon this advice you do so at your own risk. Read full Disclaimer & Disclosure statements here.

Comments

  1. Annie says

    Where can I buy the alcohol? I scrolled through multiple posts, but I didn’t see that info. Thanks so much!

  2. Lexi says

    I think I may have inadvertently come across this same concept while traveling. I was on a trip for work and discovered moments before I was to leave for an event that I had left my antiperspirant at home. Almost in an panic, I looked around for something to use, cologne, body spray, something! Then it occurred to me that the odor is caused by bacteria and that if you kill the bacteria you kill the odor so I grabbed my bottle of hand sanitizer and slathered it on, let it dry, dressed and dashed out the door with my sanitizer in tow. Being a sales person, I carry it everywhere so when I’m forced to shake hands all day I have some defense. Much to my amazement it worked! I took it with me to the restroom on my lunch break and reapplied and was as fresh as when I left my room that morning.

  3. Sue says

    Fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice works really well too. A light dusting of cornstarch after it dries and all is smooth and dry feeling. Just cut the fruit into small slices and refrigerate. Take one as needed. Love the refreshing smell in the morning. Been using for 6 months now and no odor. You will perspire though and that is good for the body.

  4. Jan says

    I used the alcohol (Everclear) with a drop of essential oil and it worked okay, but being menopausal and active, it was only “okay.” By the end of the day or after mowing the yard and such, I was a little gamey. But I stumbled on another recipe using coconut oil, baking soda, and cornstarch (to which I added a drop of lavender essential oil) and I absolutely love it! At the end of a long, hard day there is still no “stink.” The alcohol is handy and cheap and easy and refreshing, and I’ll probably still use it occasionally, but for me, the coconut oil recipe is a keeper!

    • says

      jan, i use the same thing and i too love it. i put it on at night after i shower and it last until the next night. i too am menopausal, and i think we have a harder time w/this. also, i work a lot outside in my garden and i will sweat like crazy, but my underarms stay clean w/o smelling:) i love this, and will prob. not change, ever! simple and safe, and totally effective.:)

  5. Jeanette says

    I have never commented like this. I used some hand sanitizer yesterday and i did not have a smell ALL DAY. Nothing! Wow. Im hooked. I made the shampoo and conditioner and will try today.

    Im off to find borax! Deleting one chemical product at a time

  6. Beka says

    When you say alcohol, do you mean like vodka? Can I just use vodka? Or alcohol like you buy at the drugstore?

  7. Jeanette says

    Matt, do I need to keep my essential oil (the tea tree) and/or the deodorant spray in the fridge.. someone mentioned it going rancid.. I am a week now on sanitizer and I am in AWEEE… I just bought everclear and tea tree to make the spray

  8. Ginny says

    I haven’t tried the alcohol, but what I use is 1 part coconut oil, 1 part corn starch, and a few drops of essential oil (I used grapefruit oil because that’s all I had). I have been using this for about 3 weeks, and I have to say – it works great! No smell. I don’t normally sweat, so there’s not much difference there. Sometimes I apply it with my fingers or sometimes with the back of a spoon.

  9. Jeanette says

    Im bummed. I started to use the everclear with a bit of essential oil and now after a week or so its failing. It makes it til after work but i definitely need to reapply and im sure i would need more if i actually sweated. Any thoughts.

    • says

      Making it until after work? That’s not a failure, that’s a success. Just reapply when you get home. I reapply some days, other days I don’t have to.

    • Tamarinera says

      I use 1 part baking soda to 2 parts corn starch to 2 parts coconut oil. Makes a paste that fits into a tin (I’ll get a small tupperware container for travel) and deodorizes great all day. I do need to make sure I use it daily (with commercial antiperspirants I could go 2 days) but I love the moisturizing of the coconut oil. I have not tried the alcohol but may give it a shot because it seems simpler and cheaper. I just know baking soda deodorizes just about anything!

  10. Marti Stevens says

    I will definitely try your alcohol remedy to underarm deodorant, as well as the coconut formula also mentioned by others. My grown children like very much the homemade glass cleaner, laundry soap, fabric softener, skin conditioners and other products I’ve recently made to help the environment, save money, and avoid harsh chemicals. My four-year-old grandson has had skin irritation all his life. His parents were told not to bathe him every day, and they were told to never use soap to wash him with. They use the soap I make now, and Derick’s breakouts and rashes have disappeared!

    Your recommendations and recipes are awesome! Thanks so much for sharing.

  11. Cheryl Reed says

    I made this when the recommmendation was isopropyl alcohol and it is great. I have always been allergic to anti-persperant and as such have tried the crystal and many other store bought deodorants over the years. Being 50 this year I have started to sweat more and was not getting enough protection from the store bought deodorant. I made this and have great results, I do have to apply a second time when I exercise but that is ok. I feel good about this and know that it keeps chemicals out of my system.

  12. Elaine says

    I don’t drink-is this the type of alcohol that people drink? If so does it get in your system? Sorry if that’s a dumb question.

  13. Vinnie says

    I read over this past weekend a natural deodorant, tried it and all I can say is WOW! Simple and effective;. You rub a stainless steel spoon across your arm pits. I actually placed one in each arm pit and sat that way while going through email. When I removed the spoons they smelled like body odor but my arm pits had zero odor! Give it a try, it might work for you as well! It has been hours since trying this and still no BO!

  14. Lilly says

    For the body deodorizer using coconut oil, are we talking virgin coconut oil or the regular cheap coconut oil processed under high heat?

  15. Folly says

    Pls help me with d best solution for my groin odour. Ur suggestions work great for my underarm but am stil having odor problems with my groin.

  16. Folly says

    How do u use the hand sanitizer. Do u just use it to wash d armpit and rinse off or apply and leave to dry up?

  17. David says

    I rinse my pits with cider vinegar and then clear water when I shower (I keep the vinegar in a plastic diner ketchup bottle), or I do the same thing in a sponge bath form with a washcloth. It does the same thing as the alcohol but doesn’t dry out your skin. Plus no smell at all after rinsing.

    • Lisa says

      I use witchhazel to wipe down my pits prior to putting on anything else. I often go with nothing else, but I want to try applying coconut oil, but I do worry about the oil stains.

  18. yvette says

    I have been using baking soda mixed with some cornstarch from May this year.I dust it on every morning and night.I always carry a little in my purse in case of emergency and I have emergencies twice, both of them during a camping trip this September(In the Caribbean the heat can be unforgiving). I just dusted some on real quick and that was the end of the problem. I am never going back to antiperspirants. I got really scared when I found out that they played a major role in breast cancer.

  19. yvette says

    Some body mentioned about cheap coconut oil processed under high heat. Maybe i need to get a little more educated about this virgin coconut oil thing because i am fifty years old and as a child I was taught to make coconut oil my my grand mother and the process was simple we heated the coconut milk to extract the oil. we used it to cook (our elderly would be 80 years and up and going up to the hights to do their gardening. Our elderly being senile is a quite recent thing.) we used it for medicine, to heal wounds and sores,for babies skin, for our skin etc etc. I have known it no other way, my parents have known it no other way , my grand parents have known it no other way. Now that coconut oil have become the New Thing (Its no new thing to us, we have been using it for centuries and experienced all its benefits) we are now hearing that heat extracted coconut oil is not good. Could someone please enlighten me

    • Stacie says

      I would say that if you are making it yourself, it’s fine. You and your family have been doing it for generations, and it’s probably better than the high prices the rest of pay at the store. Don’t worry about it, and keep doing what you’re doing Personally, I’d love to know the process you use.

  20. Laurie says

    I’m in Canada and can’t find Everclear at the LCBO. Where can I get it or can I substitue another alchocol?

    • says

      No, but follow these instructions:
      1. use less than a pea-sized amount
      2. let is absorb into your skin for a few minutes before putting your shirt on.
      Blessings!

      • Catherine says

        Perfect….
        I had bought some Tom’s of Maine…(I should have known when he sold out it wouldn’t be the same) and never read the ingredients….it has aluminum in it !
        So now I am making my own….teaching my children that the big Co’s only care about bottom $….not the earth or people’s health.
        Thank you so very much.

        • Shannon says

          Just FYI…the Tom’s of Maine antiperspirant has aluminum in it, but their deodorant doesn’t. I was just looking at their products. I have noticed that many are almost as bad as the regular commercial products.

          FWIW – I have been using the everclear/oil concoction for a month now, even on my runs! I only had one day where I noticed a slight odor. I was out and about & used hand sanitizer to “tame the beast” until I got home. Overall, I am very pleased with the recipe & am a convert!

  21. Alison says

    I use white vinegar with some lavender essential oil, I also shave my armpits every day, so far have been doing this for approx five months and works very well, I rarely have to re-apply and I reached my half century in January! :o)