DIY zero waste deodorant (that actually works)

You asked for it, now here it is! How to make your own super effective, beautiful-smelling, cheap zero waste deodorant. All from the stuff in your pantry.

This recipe makes enough to fill the tiny jam jar I used, but given the minuscule amount I need each day, I know it will last me months (if not a year).

This is really just a guide, as I started with a small amount and kept adding until I had the right consistency.


Small mixing bowl
Small spoon
Small glass jar - preferably a recycled one! I use a tiny Beerenberg jam jar, great for travel too.


All of these pantry ingredients can be bought in bulk by refilling your own container. The essential oils come in glass bottles, and if you now anywhere that refills them, please let me know!

UPDATE: Good news if you're Brisbane-region-based - you can now refill essential oils (lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint and sweet orange) at Biome's stores, yay!
  • 1 tbsp cornflour - or tapioca, or arrowroot powder, both also available to refill
  • 2 tsp (to start) coconut oil - I used Cocolife's cold-pressed, organic virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 -  1 tsp Bicarbonate soda - your active ingredient. No more than 1 teaspoon but you can use much less! I'd recommend starting with less and seeing how your skin fares, if this is your first transition to DIY or natural deo.
  • Essential oils of your choice - I used a 'vitalising blend' I already had at home - citrus, bergamot scents - or a combo of peppermint and lavender. 


Start by combining about 1 tablespoon of cornflour and a small amount of bicarb soda in your bowl - you really don't need much bicarb; I used about 1/2 teaspoon but you should be able to use even less for it to be effective.

Once those are combined, add 2 teaspoons of coconut oil (to start with) and mash it into your dry ingredients.

Add about 3-5 drops of your essential oils.

Now it's really just experimenting! Keep adding cornflour and/ or coconut oil and stirring until you get a think, creamy consistency. More cornflour = more of a hard paste; more oil = more runny!

You should be able to pour or scoop it into your jar. It will settle in the jar and harden slightly, depending on the climate you live in. Coconut oil liquefies when it reaches 24 decrees Celsius, but mixed with the cornflour it's fine.

If you want to add more to this basic recipe, bentonite clay is detoxifying, can be bought in bulk, but adds a brownish tinge - and make sure you mix with a non-metal spoon.

I have also added shea butter for a moisturising quality.

To use:

Simply wipe your finger over the paste so it just covers your finger tip, then rub in as if you were applying moisturiser.

I'd love to hear about your own DIY experience - I hope it works as well for you as it does for me!

-  Ash


  1. I tried this recipe and I was super impressed how well it worked as a deodorant. The only problem is that as I sweat, it does seem to leave quite visible marks on my clothing. So far, they've scrubbed out well afterwards, with some extra attention, but I'm worried about permanently staining my clothes, which would be a bit of a waste. Have you had this problem?


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