How to Make Zero-Waste Deodorant That Works

Making Zero-waste deodorant is one of the first steps of your eco-friendly journey. They’re plastic-free, easy to make, and free from the usual chemicals and toxins found in traditional deodorants. Yet, they still keep you smelling fresh. Try these eco-friendly deodorant recipes at home.

Why switch to homemade deodorant

Traditional deodorants are highly effective but they’re also packed full of toxic chemicals. These can be absorbed and disrupt the natural chemical balance of the body. What’s more, many of the chemicals present in store-bought deodorants, such as parabens and aluminium, are linked to long term medical conditions including breast cancer and Alzheimer's. 

When you take a shower, the toxins left on your skin are washed away and into waterways. Thereby increasing pollution in water bodies and harming aquatic life. Spray deodorants can be even more environmentally damaging. Aerosol, in particular, contributes to air pollution and ozone layer damage. Although traditional deodorants keep your armpits fresh, your body and the environment are suffering for it. 

Don’t forget about the packaging store-bought deodorant comes in either. It’s usually a disposable and non-recyclable plastic container. Even a roll-on sold in a glass bottle or a spray sold in an aluminium can are sure to have plastic caps and other plastic components. Making homemade deodorant is less wasteful and, if buy your ingredients from a zero-waste store, it’ll be plastic-free too. Ditching plastic at home is just one way that you can help the environment and support The Ocean Cleanup.

Zero-waste deodorant is easy to make. It’s better for your health and the health of the planet. And, it might just save you money

How to Store Homemade Deodorant

You don’t need any special container for your homemade deodorant. A regular mason jar will work just fine or you can be more sustainable by reusing empty cosmetics pots. For using on-the-go, you can decant smaller amounts into an empty lipstick container or lip balm pot. An empty bottle from a store-bought roll-on deodorant is perfect, reuse it for mess-free application.

3 Zero-Waste Deodorants That Work

Many eco-friendly deodorant recipes are floating around online. Some are defiantly more effective at fighting body odour than others. Meanwhile, some are better suited to certain people, depending on your skin and how heavy you sweat. If you have sensitive skin, you may prefer homemade deodorants without baking soda. Remember to test the ingredients on your wrist before using on your pits. 

I’ve tested a lot of DIY deodorant recipes but the three listed below are zero-waste deodorants that actually work

These three recipes are easy and inexpensive to make. Each requires only three or four readily available ingredients. 

Baking Soda & Coconut Oil Zero-Waste Deodorant

This recipe works with most skin types, the coconut oil is light and moisturising. All the ingredients in this recipe can be purchased from a regular store, no need to order online. The only utensils you need are a cup, something to mix with, and a container. Plus, it takes less than 5 minutes to make. 


¼ Cup of baking soda

¼ Cup of corn starch

2 Tablespoons of coconut oil

5-10 drops of essential oils (whichever’s your favourite)


Soften the coconut oil in a small pan or the microwave. It doesn’t need to melt completely but it should be soft enough to mix. Add the baking soda, corn starch, and essential oils and mix well. If the mixture is too thick, add a little bit more melted coconut oil. Pour the mixture into a zero-waste container, smooth the top, allow it to cool and solidify. Then it’s ready to use. 

Oil-Free Zero-Waste Deodorant

Some people find that oil-based deodorants stain clothing, particularly if you’re a heavy sweater. This recipe is oil-free. The baking soda absorbs moisture while the Himalayan sea salt helps to balance PH. Like the recipe above, it’s super quick, easy, and inexpensive to make.  


¼ Cup of water

1 Teaspoon of baking soda

1 Teaspoon of Himalayan sea salt (fine salt for a spray deodorant)


First, bring the water to boil on the stove for five minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda and Himalayan sea salt until both have dissolved. Allow the liquid to cool. If you have used fine salt you can pour the mixture into a spray bottle. If not, store it in a jar or empty deodorant bottle.  

Baking Soda-Free Zero-Waste Deodorant

Baking soda is often the key ingredient in eco-friendly deodorants and homemade cosmetics but for some people, it’s an irritant. This recipe is great for people with sensitive skin and you can customise the ingredients too.


¼ Cup of coconut oil (or shea butter)

¼ Cup of arrowroot powder (use corn starch if you can’t find arrowroot)

5-10 Drops of an anti-bacterial essential oil (such as tea tree oil)

5 Drops of essential oil (your favourite scent)


Heat the coconut oil in a small pan or the microwave until it’s soft enough to mix. Add the arrowroot powder and essential oils and mix well. Pour the mixture into your chosen container and allow to cool. Once solid, it’s ready to use. 

Making eco-friendly deodorant at home isn’t the only simple swap you can make for a zero-waste lifestyle. You can also ditch the plastic-wrapped soap bars and shampoo bottles and start using natural soaps and plastic-free shampoo instead.
Discover more Zero-waste tips here.