February 21, 2013

Throwing Out This Week: Destructive Deodorant

I've decided to do a series of post on items we are eliminating from our home due to the toxic ingredients they contain.  
I'm starting with deodorant.  Three of the four of us in our house use the same one. Boy #2 isn't old enough to need it yet.  I cut out antiperspirant several years ago, because my husband and I both have cases of Alzheimer's Disease in our families and there is a possible linkage there.  I thought it would be better to play it safe.
Here's the one we all use now:
propylene glycol, among other things...
I just watched a show a couple of nights ago that said propylene glycol has been linked to increased rate of tumor growth!  As my husband said, "if we're all so worried about breast cancer, why would that stuff be in the very thing you put right next to them every day?"  Good question.
I had previously decided after attending a sustainability conference to try making our deodorant at home. And, thankfully, the ingredients that ordered arrived yesterday.  After two days of using odor-control powder, I was so happy to see that box on the porch!

Here's the recipe I used:
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup corn starch (It was mentioned at the conference that arrowroot powder might work, too.)
1 TB coconut oil (solid form)
7-10 drops favorite essential oil (I used lavender)
You combine all the ingredients and mix together.  It's sort of dry. You may need to sprinkle a little bit of water on it before applying a pea-sized amount.  

Today, we'll find out how effective it is.  I'm a little nervous about it.

I was looking at the containers of deodorant that we have and got an idea. I am going to take out the original product and see if I can put my homemade deodorant in it's place for easier application.  I'll have to figure out how to make it more solid though.  The first thing I'm going to try is adding more coconut oil.  If you have any experience with this or any other ideas on how to make the deodorant more solid, please leave a comment.  

I'll update on how bad good we smell at the end of the day!

Quick update: As I was typing this, my husband called and said that it's working. Of course, that after only 3.5 hours, but it's a good sign!

Friday morning update:  Yesterday was a complete success!  The recipe above worked perfectly.


  1. I use the same ingredients, just in different amounts. The only problem I have is the baking soda REALLY irritates my pits. I have tried cutting it down but it still breaks me out. My "fix" is putting some coconut oil on my pits BEFORE I put on the deodorant. It isn't perfect but it does allow me to use my homemade safe stuff instead of manufactured stuff that can harm me. This stuff really does work very well.

  2. I had the same problem as Tracy. I liked it but the irritation the baking soda caused was so bad I couldn't put my arms down. I may try her solution and see if it works, seeing as how I am out and 4 hours from town.

  3. This is on my to-do list in the near future. My Tom's of main is about out and I'm going to use the container to hold the homemade stuff!

  4. I make deodorant as well but I think I use a bit more coconut oil and mine does stay together pretty well. For those that have troubles with the baking soda - use less of that and more of the cornstarch in your recipe- it will still work. The first time I made I did put peppermint oil in it - that was interesting as peppermint oil rather burns. I got used to it but others might learn from my mistake!

    1. I will try using more coconut oil next time. Thanks for the advise.


I would love to know what you think about this. My policy: Keep it family-friendly.