Two Ingredient Homemade Deodorant that Works

Homemade Deodorant

Last week I shared some tips for cleaning your home with just baking soda, vinegar, and castille soap.  Another way to continue to eliminate toxins while on the GAPS diet is to make changes in the personal products you use.  Today I want to share with you what I use for deodorant.

I’ve always had sensitive skin.  It turns red at the drop of a hat and over the past few years I’ve switched over to products that use natural ingredients.  A little over a year ago, though, I was having trouble even using a natural deodorant.  My underarms were often red, sore, and it just hurt too much to put on deodorant.  Yet, I obviously still needed to be able to use some!

Around the same time I had started reading the One Green Generation blog.  The author, Melinda, has a lot of great posts in her archives.  I started reading through the articles in her Lifestyle Changes section.  There are lot of helpful tips for cleaning, personal care, gardening, and much more.  The main one that caught my eye, though, was about making your own deodorant. It looked so simple to do, I thought I would give it a shot.  And I loved it!  It’s quick and easy to make, keeps me dry, and it’s easy to apply.  Plus, it’s very frugal to make.  I keep it in a glass jar with a locking top.  Right now I just use a cotton ball each morning to apply.  I’ve been looking and looking for a powder puff of some sort and it seems like there aren’t any stores in Boulder that carry one!  I’ll have to start looking for one on the internet.  I should also note that I use coconut oil as body lotion and put that under my arms first before applying. Here’s the recipe reprinted with permission from Melinda’s site:


  1. In a reusable and resealable container, mix 1 part baking soda with 6 parts cornstarch.
  2. Close the container and shake vigorously for about a minute to thoroughly mix the two powders.
  3. Then dab a small amount to the skin of your armpits with a soft cotton cloth, cotton ball, or cosmetic applicator.  Apply as if you were lightly applying baby powder or cosmetic powder. 


Just baking soda & cornstarch!

Isn’t that easy? I have only needed to reapply very rarely.  It’s usually been when I’ve been outside all day and got rather sweaty.  You do need to be careful when putting your clothes on, especially with black or dark items, as it can brush on them.  If you end up with a little on your clothes, I’ve found a quick dab with a damp wash cloth does the trick.

I’m so glad I found this deodorant recipe.  It has been great to use over the past year and my armpits are much happier!  What do you use for deodorant?  Do you have a homemade recipe to share?  I’d love to hear about it!

This post is part of Pennywise Platter ThursdayFight Back Friday, and Monday Mania, Simple Lives Thursday, Eat Make Grow Thursday, Small Footprint Friday.


  1. SulaBlue says:

    I’m guessing that this would work about as well as regular baby powder on other areas of the body, too, since most baby powder is cornstarch based?

    • Mindy says:

      I would think so. I know I’ve had friends use just cornstarch as baby powder for their little ones when over at my place and that has seemed to be fine.

  2. Kelsey says:

    So maybe this is a dumb question, but why is the cornstarch needed? I’ve been using just plain baking soda for quite a while, but I’m wondering if maybe the cornstarch just helps it stick to your skin better? I live in a very cool climate so deodorant isn’t something that is necessary every single day for me, although I usually wear it anyway (but I frequently forget). I just have some baking soda in a jar in the bathroom and I just scoop a tiny bit onto my fingertips and apply that way, I’ve never thought of using something else – but I guess it would make it less messy! :) And yes -baking soda does work really well as a deodorant!!

    • Mindy says:

      The cornstarch is for those whose skin is a bit too sensitive for just the baking soda. When I first found this recipe, I didn’t even try just baking soda since my underarms were so sore. Maybe one of these days I’ll get brave and try out just baking soda!

  3. bfrg says:

    Since I’m allergic to corn, cornstarch makes my underarms break out, so I’ve been using a mixture of talc-based powder and baking soda. The powder gives it a nice scent. Works great, even in Texas!

  4. Sally says:

    Some people might find that the constant use of baking soda will give them a rash. I have talked to a few people who did. I think it’s because the baking soda alkalizes your skin, which is not ideal. If your skin is healthy it has acidic secretions that kill odor causing bacteria, and for that reason I think something like a splash of vinegar right before you step out of the shower or some coconut oil on your skin is a better idea.

  5. Karen says:

    I may sound like I’m being super nit-picky (and I’m not) but both baking soda and cornstarch are not legal on the GAPS Diet and since the skin is the largest organ in our body and absorbs so much, wouldn’t this be a not GAPS-friendly deodorant? Again, I’m not telling, I’m asking!! :)
    After going to a Naturopath who gives me and my kids lots of topical vitamins/minerals, I’m much more aware of what I put on my skin! BTW: this natural deodorant (GAPS friendly or not) is obviously much better than a icky commercial brand with all those chemicals!

  6. Joanna says:

    There are companies that make a specific aluminium (aluminum)- free baking soda, it might be worth seeking that out for the next batch? Baking soda is great for deodorising things; underarms, the fridge, smelly shoes!

  7. miranda says:

    I’ve been making my own deodorant for years, though lately i just skip using it. No longer livign in Austin, TX i can get away with a little low-odor sweating, and i think my body smells just fine. 😉
    for my original deodorant recipe i used coconut oil, baking soda, arrowroot powder (like cornstarch, but less irritating) and soem essential oils. Worked great…. until my husband’s armpits started to break out. So, we switched to just powdered baking soda, no other additives, applied with a cosmetic brush. He still has problems occasionally – but t works pretty well!

  8. I really want to try this! Now that I only work away from home 1.5 days a week I find myself rarely using deodorant so some day when my current natural stuff is gone I’m going to try this. For an applicator, I’m wondering if you can make some small reusable pads- I have no idea if you’re a sewer but it would be super easy to do by just cutting a couple layers of soft fabric in a circle and zig zag or serge the edges together. I make/sell reusable nursing pads which would work to apply it but are definitely a little bigger than a cotton ball. I’m pinning this so I can make it later :)

    • Mindy says:

      I hope you like it, Annie! It’s so easy to make. :) I love the idea of some reusable pads. I’m unfortunately not a sewer at all. (I’m lucky to get missing buttons back on!) Do you sell those on your website? I may have to take a look and try them out. I’d love to quit using cotton balls every time.


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