I’ve been working on a simple deodorant recipe for a while. There’s lots of them on the web, but it’s difficult to tell which ingredients are the ones that actually stop the smell (versus ingredients that make the bar harder or smoother, etc). I’m pretty settled on the ingredients now, although I may tweak some of them. This recipe makes enough to fill two typical deodorant sticks.
Melt over low heat:
1 ounce coconut oil 92 degree melting point or 1 ounce cocoa butter, by weight You want the hardest butter you can find. Some of the softer butters have lower melting points and in Austin, that can mean your bar is pretty soft in the summertime. The cocoa butter creates a nice bar, but it can stick to your clothes so if you can find the harder coconut oil, give it a try. You can split the types of coconut oil (see next ingredient) more evenly than in this recipe.
3 tablespoons coconut oil 72 degree melting point – this has a low melting point so it will help make the bar easy to apply.
1 tsp kaolin clay – helps everything stick together, absorbs moisture
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder – helps everything stick together, absorbs moisture
.3 ounce beeswax (POINT three ounces NOT 3 ounces) – this helps harden the bar and is antibacterial so can help keep bacteria from growing. It’s very soothing for skin and is protective.
2 tablespoons baking soda – I’ve made these bars with and without, but this is a KEY ingredient in stopping smells.***
2 tablespoons epsom salts – Another key ingredient in making the deodorant effective. Made with and without, in wins.***
1 ounce cetyl alcohol, by weight – this hardens the bar and helps with glide. It’s not a drying alcohol–it’s actually a fatty alcohol/waxy substance that makes the bar harder and helps it glide across skin. It is often used in lotions as as an oil-free moisturizer. It can be derived from palm oil or petroleum products. I found using just beeswax made the bar harder to a point, but it was also “sticky” and tended to clump off the sides of the container. You can leave this out, but if you do, you might want to add additional beeswax to try for a harder bar. I did try more beeswax, but didn’t like the texture much better. In cooler climates the bar might not be as sticky as it is here in Austin. I like the cetyl alcohol in these bars and won’t be leaving it out, but feel free to experiment!
During the cooling stage (below about 90 degrees) add and stir well:
1 or 2 capsules of probiotics – the theory here is that the probiotics will eat up the smelly bacteria that normally grows as you sweat.
Scent of choice. I use a few drops of lemongrass. (Also available at Walmart). The scents may or may not help with the deodorant properties. If you use baking soda and epsom salts you shouldn’t need to worry about covering up any odors!
Some of the powders do not melt so the bar retains a bit of “grit” that you can feel with your fingers. This is perfectly normal and pretty much expected in home made bars.
This deodorant works better than any store brands we’ve ever tried.