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Homemade deodorants?

Last post Sun, Aug 22 2010 8:39 PM by haverwench. 31 replies.
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  • Wed, Jun 11 2008 11:28 AM

    Homemade deodorants?

    I like to buy cosmetics and toiletries that are "cruelty free" (not tested on animals). This is no problem with things like soap, conditioner, and so on--they're easy to find at a reasonable price. However, I've had problems with deodorants. Most of the big brands use animal testing, and the few that don't (like Tom's of Maine) tend to be both expensive and not very effective. So I was wondering whether making my own deodorant at home would be a practical possibility. I know that baking soda and vinegar are both effective for deodorizing spaces in the home (like the fridge or the garbage pail); is there any way to use them on your body?

    I did a bit of searching online and found a few ideas:
    * plain baking soda, applied with a damp washcloth
    * a mixture of baking soda and alcohol in a spray bottle
    * a solution of vinegar or lavender oil in a spray bottle
    * a mixture of baking soda, corn starch, olive oil, and a nice-smelling essential oil, rubbed into the skin with the fingers

    Has anyone tried any of these or anything similar, and if so, did you find it to be effective? I could just do a little trial-and-error experimenting to see what works, but I thought I'd ask you folks first and see if anyone has any recommendations.
    My Ecofrugal Living blog: ecofrugality.blogspot.com
  • Wed, Jun 11 2008 11:38 AM In reply to

    • Brandy
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    Re: Homemade deodorants?

    I have been experimenting with cornstarch scented with essential oil. I don't really perspire often though so I don't know how well this would work for someone who does.

     

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  • Wed, Jun 11 2008 12:39 PM In reply to

    • Pat
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    • Joined on Tue, Mar 6 2007
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    Re: Homemade deodorants?

     Underarm odor is caused by bacteria, so anything that kills bacteria will work. Baking soda will kill some, but is more of an odor destroyer, so that the odor comes back. Vinegar kills more bacteria, but again, it doesn't last and you have to keep reapplying it. If you're at home or somewhere so you can reapply it every so often, it would be no problem.

    If your skin can handle it, oil of oregano should work (dilute it with olive oil). Or try strong sage tea, tea tree extract, things like that. In a pinch, I've used antibacterial cream and that works very well, but it's neither frugal nor natural. Unfortunately, the things that really kill the offending bacteria are not good for our bodies. 

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  • Fri, Jun 13 2008 8:16 PM In reply to

    • Lily
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    • Joined on Sun, Jun 8 2008
    • Posts 7

    Re: Homemade deodorants?

    I've read of simply wiping on rubbing alcohol, or peroxide to keep down the bacteria. I'm going to start doing that and see how it goes. I figure it will work fine at home and I can save the anti-perspirant for when I really need it--outside where I sweat. Perhaps carrying a small bottle and cloth in my purse to re-apply as needed would be an option also.

  • Fri, Jun 13 2008 11:01 PM In reply to

    • Gigi
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Posts 1,065

    Re: Homemade deodorants?

     

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  • Sat, Jun 14 2008 12:24 AM In reply to

    Re: Homemade deodorants?

    Milk of magnesia works wonderful. I have tried deodorants aluminum free and it doesn't work as an antiperspirant very well but they are great as deodorant. 

    The milk of magnesia on the other hand works super well both ways, I don't really smell like anything and it dries up quickly.  I had some generic (a big bottle) and decided to try it.

    Apple cider vinegar works great as a rinse.  I started a week ago and my hair is more manageable, it doesn't frizz anymore and it can hold curls very well.  It doesn't smell after I rinse.  Ijust put about a tablespoon in a cup and add water (a cup or so) and rinse.  I noticed that my hair doesn't get as greasy anymore. 

    I brush my teeth with baking soda often and my smile is whiter now.

  • Sat, Jun 14 2008 9:11 AM In reply to

    Re: Homemade deodorants?

    Carmina:

    Milk of magnesia works wonderful....I don't really smell like anything and it dries up quickly.  I had some generic (a big bottle) and decided to try it.



    How did you ever think of that? If I had a bottle of milk of magnesia, I doubt it would ever occur to me to put it under my armpits. :-D

    Still, maybe I'll give it a try. Here's what I have tried so far:

    * baking soda applied with a damp washcloth: didn't work noticeably
    * apple cider vinegar applied with a cotton ball: worked better than the baking soda (and better than my $3 Trader Joe's deodorant) but not so well as to eliminate all odor

    Next up on the list is plain alcohol, and if that doesn't do the trick, then the alcohol-and-baking-soda mixture, and I'll work my way up to the more complicated remedies until I find one that works. Not going to try milk of magnesia next because I don't actually have any in the house, so I'd have to buy some specifically for this purpose.
    My Ecofrugal Living blog: ecofrugality.blogspot.com
  • Sun, Jun 15 2008 3:08 AM In reply to

    Re: Homemade deodorants?

    Try messing around with your diet to see if there are certain foods that make you smell.  Onions and brocolli do it for me.  So, if I really need to smell nice, I avoid those.  (I'm vegetarian - but in the past, meats also made me smell.  Beef stinks, and fish is pretty smelly.)
    A diet heavy on fresh vegetables smells less.  There's even a study that confirms this: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=16891352

     

  • Sun, Jun 15 2008 4:28 PM In reply to

    • Gigi
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    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
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    Re: Homemade deodorants?


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  • Sat, Jun 21 2008 7:36 PM In reply to

    Re: Homemade deodorants?

    I had the same question and found an answer that works for me. Alcohol and water, with a few drops of pure vegetable glycerine, and a drop of the fragrance oil (essential or otherwise) of your choice, in a spritz bottle, works very well indeed, gets through underarm hair for those who have it, doesn't irritate my sensitive skin, and is cheap to boot. play around with the amount of alcohol til you have what works for your odor level and skin sensitivity. I figured this out when I tried a commercial product that is basically just alcohol, water, glycerin, and fragrance in a spritz bottle, and it's called "Fresh and Clean" by dove, I think. Then again, I stink a lot less since I quit eating dairy... the Japanese called it "Batta Kusai" or butter stink, the stench of body odor of those who eat butter... did notice a dramatic drop in my body odor due to quitting dairy, so whether this works well when one eats dairy remains to be seen.

    HTH!

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