DIY Deoderant



One of the ways I use Essential Oils (EOs) is in personal care products.  Whether I am buying ready-made products that use EOs (like my shampoo, conditioner, skincare, hand soap, and toothpaste), or making something of my own, I feel better knowing that I am helping to reduce my toxic load by replacing some chemicals with natural products.  The product I am most happy to have swapped out is my deodorant.  There has been a lot of publicity lately about why commercial deodorant and antiperspirants are not so great for you, so I’m not going to re-hash it all here.  I am going to tell you what I use and what to expect if you use it also.

First, let me tell you what happened before I started using this recipe.  I was stinky.  It was not cool.  I have no doubt that I need deodorant to remain an accepted part of modern society.  In fact, before I started trying all-natural recipes, I was using over the counter clinical strength deodorants, I even tried a few different brands, but I would still get stinky sometimes.  I don’t just mean at-the-gym stinky, I mean in-the-middle-of-the-workday-sitting-at-my-desk stinky.  My pits have issues.

I was given some recipes for deodorant using essential oils that would be liquid and used as a roll-on.  They all called for fractionated coconut oil as a base, but I used grapeseed oil because I had more of that at the time and I didn’t realize that the type of carrier oil was important, I thought the EOs were doing all the heavy lifting.  The result was me raising my arms to take of my backpack, my hubby getting a whiff of said raised arms, and then loudly exclaiming in the middle of an airport that he couldn’t believe I was the stinky person on the plane he was suffering through the whole flight!  The carrier oil is important!!!!  Coconut oil has its own anti-bacterial properties, and it’s the bacteria that causes the stink.  Stick with the coconut oil.  I was also sweating a lot, but I think that was merely an adjustment period and not necessarily related to the carrier oil.

After that I went back to my old deodorant for a bit until I came across a better recipe, which I found here:

I have tweaked it a little, this is what I use (mostly because I was being lazy, that’s how I roll):

  1. In a small glass or high-grade plastic jar, mix ¼ cup of softened or liquefied coconut oil (virgin, cold pressed), 6 drops Melaleuca (Tea Tree) EO, 6 drops of yummy smelling EO of your choice.
  2. In a separate small jar, mix equal parts corn starch and baking soda.
  3. Apply the oil mixture daily, use the powder mixture as needed.

When I first started using it, I was using both parts of the recipe: the oil and the powder.  This was partly because I didn’t know I couldn’t, and partly because I needed the powder to absorb the sweat, as you can expect to have a sweaty adjustment period.  I think (it was about a year and a half ago so I may not be remembering correctly) that the adjustment period was only about 2 weeks, then the sweating slowed considerably.  Mind you that this is not and antiperspirant, but that’s okay, sweating is actually good for you!  These days my shirts will get damp if I get hot, but not enough for anyone to notice unless I am raising my arms up.  There aren’t big sweat circles or anything.  And no stink!  Well, okay, occasionally there is some break through sweat, but it’s much better than the clinical strength stuff I was using.  Like I said, my pits have issues, I don’t think anything will be 100%, but I’m really happy with 98%!

One day, maybe a month into this new recipe, I was applying the deodorant and noticed in the mirror a large red patch under my arms.


What the heck?  It wasn’t itching or burning or anything, I wouldn’t have even noticed if I hadn’t seen it in the mirror.  I wasn’t sure what it was at first, but after more research, I came across this post which is super duper helpful at troubleshooting natural deodorant issues.  I realized that the repeated application of baking soda had caused a PH imbalance in my armpit.  I stopped using the powder for about a week, and did a diluted apple cider vinegar wash on each armpit before I applied the oil mixture.  I was back to normal in no time.  This is one of the few recipes I found that keeps the oil and the powder separate, but it’s much easier to control my PH issues this way.  Now I only apply the powder when I think I will be extra sweaty that day.  This is obviously more often in the summer, but in the winter I apply it on average of once or twice a month, and am doing just fine.

Some pointers and answers to frequently asked questions:

-I apply the oil mixture using an old makeup brush I had lying around, but you can apply it with just your fingertips.  I bought a cheap bronzing brush to apply the powder mixture.

-Dab the powder on, don’t try to brush it, on or powder will go everywhere.  Until I got the hang of this, I would stand in the bath tub to apply so I could easily wash away the excess.

-All the jars I use are old jars I had lying around the house.  You typically want to use glass when dealing with EOs, but in this case they are so heavily diluted that I feel fine with using my high-grade plastic tub that used to hold my mineral makeup.

-If you make a big batch at once, put about ¼ cup in a small jar for daily use and store the excess in the refrigerator, because coconut oil will spoil.

-Don’t try putting it in a deodorant tube.  Coconut oil melts at 24°C (76°F).  You are likely to have a completely liquefied mixture in the middle of the summer, which is another reason I use a brush instead of my fingers to apply.  Also the reason I put my oil mixture jar in a ziplock bag when I travel.  The makeup jars I use were not meant to contain a liquid so they leak when I travel in warm climates.

-To soften or liquefy your coconut oil to ready it for mixing, the easiest way is to put the jar of oil in warm water bath and let it sit for a bit.  If you have a small jar of coconut oil, you can put the whole thing in the water bath.  If you are buying the huge tub from Costco, then chip out some with a butter knife and put the chunks in your small jar or a glass, then put that in the water bath.


I’m not using pimentos, this is one of those jars I had lying around that gets re-used.

-When it is especially cold in my bathroom, I blow my hot breath on both the brush and the surface of the hardened oil to soften them up enough to use.  You only need a tiny bit to warm enough to scoop out, so I usually only need one or two breaths to do the trick.

-Most recipes call for a pea sized amount of deodorant mixture.  This is about how much I use for each arm, maybe a little less.


-Keeping your armpits well shaved will help a lot.  The armpit hair is a breeding ground for bacteria and we are trying to eliminate the bacteria.

-Wearing natural materials (like cotton), instead of synthetic, around my armpit seems to help a lot with both the amount of sweat and the amount of stink.

-You don’t need to add the smell good oils to the mixture, but if you get hot you will start to smell the deodorant mixture a bit, and I would rather smell like pretty flowers than like Melaleuca EO.  I don’t suggest leaving the Melaleuca EO out, it’s a great antibacterial.  I had tried Wild Orange EO (which is also a great antibacterial) for a bit, but smelling like hot oranges was a little strange for me.

-The original recipe called for Vitamin E, which I kept forgetting to add.  I got away with it for a while, but realized that the longer my daily batch sat in the bathroom cabinet, the more the scent changed.  That’s when I started googling and found out that the Vitamin E was meant to be a preservative, not just to make my skin feel nice.

-I do get some oil residue on my shirts, but I find that it comes right out in the wash without any pre-treating or anything.

-Virgin cold pressed coconut oil does still smell like coconuts a bit, but it’s not like wearing coconut scented lotion.  Plus the smell good EOs I add cover it up nicely.

-If you think buying a whole jar of coconut oil is not worth it for just this recipe, consider all the other awesome DIY body products you can use it for, that it is a great carrier oil for your EOs, and that it it wonderful for cooking and baking.  Swapping out liquefied virgin cold pressed coconut oil for the vegetable oil when you are making boxed brownies will give you the best fudgy brownies ever!  And don’t believe the negative hype, it’s actually good for you!

I encourage you to give this a try, and for at least a month to give your body sufficient adjustment time.  Worst case is you won’t like it, go back to your old stuff, and you can use the oil mixture you have left over as body butter!

Happy Oiling :)

Internal usage and dilution

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Easy wood polish


We just moved into a furnished apartment, and one of the pieces of furniture was a coffee table that needed a little love.  I think that the damage around the inner edge of the table was caused by glass cleaner used on the center of the table.  And of course, there were the water rings and scratches that come with normal wear and tear.  As we had just moved, and our household goods hadn’t arrived yet, I didn’t have my Pledge handy.  I am trying to eliminate chemical cleaners from my home, so didn’t want to go out and by any more.  I was never very happy with Pledge anyway, my tables just seemed streaky and collected more pet hair than normal for the few days after use.

I finally decided to try out one of the recipes listed in the “Using Essential Oils, a Beginner’s Guide” booklet that I used to give out at every 1 on 1 personal essential oil discussion.  There is a section in there with recipes which I have yet to try.  I use lots of similar recipes from other sources that I love, but decided it was time to try one of these.  The Furniture Polish recipe would be perfect for this project: 1/2 cup olive oil with 10 drops of Lemon Essential Oil.  As My table was half glass and half wood, I only made a half batch, and that was still more than I needed.  All I did was rub the oil mixture into the wood with a paper towel, then go over the table once more with a dry paper towel to blot off any excess oil.  I didn’t even use any elbow grease 😉

Check out these before and after photos, I think you will agree the results were pretty impressive!



Obviously this is not a refinishing job, but for just a little oil mixture that I wiped on and wiped off, I was very happy!  It has been about 2 weeks since my first application, and it still looks great.  Best of all, it was never oily, streaky, collected any pet hair, or required any harmful chemicals!

Cleaning with Oils and doing your research

I only want to use safe, easy, and effective non-toxic cleaners in my home, and especially my kitchen.  My biggest concern is after I handle any meat in my kitchen.  I want to disinfect the counter, the sink, the sink handle (that I handle with meaty hands), the knife, the cutting board…everything!  Maybe it isn’t as big a deal for the counters and sink (even though I am still breathing in the mist of whatever spray I am using, so still a concern), but I certainly don’t want to spray anything on my knifes and cutting board that says “avoid contact with foods.”  My knifes and wooden cutting board are not dishwasher safe, and I don’t trust that my sink water is getting hot enough to kill the germs, so I always spray them with my Lemon Essential Oil and water mixture before I start cleaning them with the dish soap.  I was telling my Hubby about this, and he didn’t believe that Lemon Oil was powerful enough to kill salmonella, so he Googled it.  He found articles that showed that Lemon Oil was in fact very effective against salmonella.   Plus, one of my favorite things about using my Oils for cleaning is that I can use the oils for so many other things as well!

My go-to surface and air disinfectant has been my Lemon Oil mixed with some water, about 5 drops of oil per ounce of water.  Search for natural kitchen cleaners and you will find all kinds of options, but for me it doesn’t get any easier than fill bottle with tap water, drop in some oil, shake and spray.  There are many oils I could use to disinfect, but Lemon Oil has been my favorite because I love the clean smell, it is the cheapest single oil we carry, if I don’t rinse well enough and there is some lemon flavor left on my cooking surface it won’t ruin the taste of my food, and it works.

However, when I was looking up some research studies to show you how awesome Lemon Oil is for cleaning, I changed my mind!  I’ve been happy with my Lemon Oil, but after doing even more research, I found that Lemongrass Oil (same price and smell is pretty close to Lemon) may be more effective against some common kitchen bacteria, and Oregano Oil is even better!  I just added some Oregano Oil to my current batch of cleaner, and did not find the smell as overwhelming as I anticipated.  Once this batch is gone, I’m going to switch to Lemongrass and Oregano oil only, because why use “good” when you can be using “better?”  Update:  I now use about 10-20 drops each (because I want it super strong when spraying raw meat juice, you can try less) of Lemongrass and Oregano mixed with 4oz of water in a dark glass spray bottle as my antibacterial cleaner and love it!  The smell is actually rather nice, very much like the Lemongrass, not so much like the Oregano.

In summary, I have two take-aways for you:

  1. Oils are a great all natural cleaning option
  2. Do your own research (well, at least your own Googling).  Essential Oils are being researched more and more every day, and doing your own searching helps you get the most up to date information.

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