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Finally! A homemade deodorant recipe that works (at least for me). This rosemary lemongrass deodorant recipe was inspired by one of my favorite, non-toxic deodorants from Bubble and Bee. I gave up commercial deodorants a long time ago, since I knew they were filled with all sorts of toxic ingredients. I have tried pretty much every non-toxic deodorant out there, plus several DIY recipes and have never really found anything quite right.
Then, I discovered the lemongrass rosemary deodorant from Bubble and Bee. You can read the review I did of their deodorants here. I’ve been using that specific deodorant for the last year or so and love it! Well, eventually, my stick ran out. 🙁 I am trying to maintain a budget, so spending $13.00 on a stick of deodorant (even if it will last me for a year) was just not going to cut it. I knew I had to make my own. Nothing against Bubble and Bee. I love their products and I appreciate their non-toxic mission. If you’re not a DIY-type person, then I strongly encourage you to check out their stuff! Sadly, I just noticed that they no longer sell their lemongrass and rosemary variety, so I guess I was destined to make my own regardless!
When I read the ingredients on my now empty tube of deodorant, I realized there was nothing complicated about their recipe. AND, even better, I had everything I needed on hand already, so I didn’t have to spend any money! Cha-ching! After some trial and error with proportions, I finally got the recipe just right and have been happily using my knock off deodorant ever since!
The bentonite clay helps with moisture and odor control, as does the baking soda. If you are sensitive to baking soda, I believe arrowroot or corn starch would work just fine, though I have not tried that.
I personally love the lemongrass and rosemary combination, but if you’re not a fan of those scents, you can substitute your favorite essential oils. Eucalyptus and tea tree are great for deodorants, as is lavender. But, really, you can use whatever you’d like.
This makes enough to fill one stick perfectly — if you need more the recipe is easily doubled, tripled, quadrupled, or more!
Recipe Ingredients – Delicious Obsessions Trusted Product Recommendations
I am always asked about my favorite ingredients and what I use in my own kitchen. I have linked to the products from my affiliate partners that I personally use and recommend. And now, here are the special coupon offers that select affiliate partners are currently offering:
- Thrive Market: If you sign up through this link, you will get 15% OFF your first order.
- Amazon, of course, has everything you need for this recipe. Their prices are often very good, though I love to shop around and sometimes find that Thrive Market has better deals. If you like saving money, it’s good to shop around! 🙂
- I get all of my herbs and spices, cosmetic butters, waxes, and oils from Mountain Rose Herbs. I have tried so many other brands and have never found the quality, flavor, and aroma to be as good as the herbs I get from Mountain Rose.
For more information about the essential oils I use for myself and my family, click here.
Homemade Deodorant Recipe with Rosemary, Lemongrass, and Coconut Oil
I have linked to the products from my affiliate partners that I personally recommend.
- 2 tbsp. beeswax granules (I get my waxes from Mountain Rose Herbs)
- 1¼ tbsp. shea butter, cocoa butter, mango butter, etc. (I get my butters from Mountain Rose Herbs)
- 1¼ tbsp. coconut oil
- ½ tbsp. bentonite clay (I get my cosmetic clays from Mountain Rose Herbs)
- ½ tbsp. baking soda or arrowroot
- 10 drops lemongrass essential oil (this is the brand I recommend)
- 6 drops rosemary essential oil (this is the brand I recommend)
1. In a double boiler, or a small saucepan over very low heat, combine the beeswax, coconut oil, and shea butter until melted completely and mixed well.
2. Remove mixture from heat and pour liquid into a glass or plastic container. Whisk in the baking soda (or arrowroot) and bentonite clay until well combined. Note: You want to make sure the bentonite clay does not touch any metal, as it can negatively react with the metal.
3. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes and then stir in your essential oils.
4. Take an old (clean) deodorant stick and make sure the plunger thing is twisted all the way down. Carefully pour your warm mixture into the container.
5. Let sit with the cap off until it has cooled completely. Then, use as normal.
Check out my skin care videos!
Since I am a fanatic about keeping my skin and body care non-toxic, I get a lot of questions about what my routine is and what products I use. I created this video to discuss all of that and more. The video below that features a lot of the hair care products that I use, including henna and my favorite clean shampoo.
I love Bubble and Bee deodorant as well, but I have been using their geranium and lime. I will have to try this! Thanks for sharing!
I love rosemary and lemongrass! I will definitely give this a try. I am sensitive to baking soda in deodorant but this one seems like a small ratio of baking soda to the other ingredients so it might just work.
Hi Mindy – Thanks for stopping by! You could also leave the baking soda out and sub cornstarch or arrowroot. I have not personally tried that, but I know that many people have and it seems to work. I hope you like it! 🙂
I’m trying to get the chemicals out of my personal care products so this looks great! I would love to have you share this on The HomeAcre Hop!
Thanks Lisa! I’ll come check it out! 🙂
Just ordered stuff to make this from Vitacost. (You should get a credit :))
Can’t wait to try it out!
Awesome Beth! Thank you SO much!!! 🙂
Could I use other essential oils? I have lemon, orange, lavender, cinnamon, eucalytus…
Absolutely! I think you could use pretty much any essential oil you’d like! Eucalyptus and lavender are both common for deodorants, but I bet an orange cinnamon combo would be nice too! If you experiment, let me know how it goes and what your favorite scent combo is! 🙂
I used your recipe and scented it with cinnamon, clove, and a tiny bit of orange essential oils and it came out fabulously. I haven’t had any issues with the orange staining, but it could be because I only used about 3 drops in the whole batch. Thank you for the recipe, its my new favorite deodorant!
Hi Laura – Thanks for taking the time to stop by and share! I love your scent combo and will give that a try next time I make a batch. I am glad it works well for you! 🙂
Careful with orange, I used it in a deodorant before and it stained my clothes
Just placed my order via your link so you’ll get a $10 off coupon! Thanks for the link and the recipe!!!
Hi Mary! Thank you so much! I really appreciate that! 🙂
I just have a question, I normally use gels as they don’t leave residue on my clothes. What kind of white junk does this leave behind?
Cora – I have had no residue on my clothes after using this. I got paranoid, since it is coconut oil based, but for me, this left no residue. Everyone is different though, so I can’t guarantee that it will work the same for everyone. I also am careful only to do a couple of quick swipes, rather than using tons of it at once. That may be what is helping avoid residue. Hope that helps! 🙂
I came across this delightful recipe on the homeacre hop! I am so excited to make this! I, too, have been avoiding commercial deodorant and all of its scary ingredients. The prospect of being able to create an acceptable alternative that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg is AWESOME! Thank you for sharing!
Heidi on the wildbluebus.com
Hi Heidi — Thank you for stopping by! I hope you enjoy! I was so happy with how it turned out — it’s almost identical to the brand that I loved! 🙂
This sounds great. My question is – when it gets warm in the summer (typically my bathroom and upstairs to up to about 80 in the afternoon) will this still stay pretty solid due to the bentonite clay? If so, i am thinking I could maybe finagle this as a new deo for my husband as well…without needing to tell him I made it.
Thanks for the cool recipe 🙂
Hi Kerstin – Thanks for stopping by! The beeswax should keep it from melting during the summer months. Mine does get a tad softer, but it is never to soft to use. Hope that helps! 🙂
Yes it does…thanks, I will be trying this, and thanks for the quick response.
I looked up bentonite clay on Mountainroseherbs and one of its minerals is Aluminum. Isn’t aluminum one of the major reasons people make their own deodorant? I ask not to be rude or mean, but because I’m confused. Is it a different kind of aluminum?
Beginner To DIY beauty products
Hi Gina – I didn’t want you to think I was ignoring you! I’m just running way behind on things. It is my understanding that the aluminum in the clay does not have the same effect that the aluminum in antiperspirants does. Bentonite clay is used for detoxing purposes. That said, I have some inquiries in with some great resources and will make sure to come back and share what I find out. You have prompted me to see if my knowledge from years passed is indeed correct! 🙂
The aluminum in bentonite clay is safe. Here’s an article that might help: http://www.naturalnews.com/033381_bentonite_clay_detox.html
Hi Raquel – Thanks for sharing! I also contacted the folks at Mountain Rose Herbs and they said it’s safe as well. I need to go back and edit the post to include that info.
Could you give us the beeswax measurement in weight? I just have a large block and am not sure grating it will really produce the same volume as your granules. Everything else looks like it can be easily measured by volume. Thanks!
Hi Erika – So sorry for the delay in responding! The weight for 2 tbsp of the beeswax that I use is 0.6 ounces.
Now if they only had BPA free dispensers..
You could put this in any container that you want. Some people just put it in a small glass jar or a metal tin and just use their fingers. Whatever you have on hand and works for you! 🙂
Hi Jessica! Thank you so much for this recipe…I had been looking for one that combined bentonite with the beeswax as most of the bentonite recipes were creams instead of solids. I did want to warn you and your readers of one thing in case you didn’t know – bentonite clay should *never* come into contact with any metals prior to its use…as we all know its ability to bind with heavy metals is strong which is good for detoxing, but if it comes into contact with a metal prior to application to skin or use in a detox bath, it will actually expose you to those heavy metals rather than drawing the ones already in your body out of it. From what I understand, I would strongly suggest not adding the bentonite clay to the mixture until you have heated it and transferred to a metal free container, and also definitely not storing it in a metal tin. Other than that, I can’t wait to try this recipe!!! Thanks again for sharing!
Hi Brittany – Thank you for the tip! I wrote this recipe so long ago that I didn’t know about that when I had posted it. I will make sure that the recipe instructions reflect that! 🙂
Anyone have any ideas for what essential oils to use if the deodorant is for a man? I made it for myself using rosemary and lemongrass like suggested in the recipe and LOVED IT. Now I would like to make a stick for my husband to try.
Hi Amanda – Cedarwood, Ylang Ylang, Patchouli, Cypress, Spruce, Sandalwood are all nice “manly” scents. I personally love sandalwood and patchouli! I found this article, which might be of interest too: http://www.motherearthliving.com/natural-beauty/the-scent-of-a-man.aspx Hope that helps! 🙂
I’ve been looking into alternatives such as good one (can’t wait to try and see how this one works out) but I’ve been hearing more and more about the importance of pH balanced products on your skin or hair. Would that be an issue with this deodorant that you know of?
Hi Shaylee – I have not done much research into that, so I can’t answer for sure. Good luck in your research! 🙂
Hi everyone! I am making this right now and decided to try using my essential oil warmer and put the ingredients in a jar. I use the warmer to melt the wax I use to wax my eyebrows, and thought it would work for this too. It works! And I don’t even need to wash the jar afterwords, I’ll just put it away and use the same jar again next time I make it. Cool!
Hi Anna – Thanks for sharing your tip! 🙂
I made this deodorant the other day and it’s awesome! It was even working after I rode my bike on a warm, humid day and was sweating. I messed up the recipe, though…I ordered some form of liquid bentonite by mistake (the consistency of yogurt) instead of the powdered clay. Then, I used 1 1/2 tbl. of it by mistake instead of just 1/2 of a tbl. The consistency is really crumbly, but it still works great even with my screw up. I’m ordering the correct bentonite clay and will make it again.
Hi Kim – Thanks for the feedback! I have tried many home recipes and this one works the best for me. I think it’s the combination of the clay and essential oils. I had no idea that there was a liquid version of bentonite. Interesting! I’m glad it’s working for you 🙂
ok i can’t read…. i did follow recipe… delete my first comment please! 🙂
LOL! OK! 🙂
I am so excited to see this recipe!!! My son reacted to a crystal deodorant and I’ve been wondering what to do for him instead. Thank you!
I have a question too. I have a lot of french green clay that I used in a recipe for facial powder. Can I use that instead of the bentonite clay?
Hi Monica – I hope this one works for you guys! The French clay should work just fine, though I have never used it in this recipe. Let me know how it turns out! 🙂
I made this recipe and have used it twice. Both times it yellowed the armpits of my shirts. Have you heard of this and what might be causing it? Beeswax?
Also, the deodorant is on the softer side so I have been keeping it in the fridge.
Hi Sheri – I am not sure why it would be doing this. I have never had any issues with it staining my shirts. As a matter of fact, after I read your comment, I went and checked my recently worn shirts, just to make sure and there was no residue. I am not sure what the yellow color would be coming from. It might be the clay, perhaps? If you’re finding the mixture is a tad too soft, add just a teeny bit more beeswax. Mine stays firm, even in the hottest part of summer (and we don’t have A/C). Also, I don’t use a lot of this, I just do one or two swipes of the stick and that’s good. If you are using too much, I can imagine the wax might cause a residue. Hopefully that helps! Sorry that it didn’t work well for you! 🙁
I had that happen with mine too, yellow stains in the arm pits of my clothes. I am guessing it is from the beeswax. It has been awhile since I made it, so I can’t remember what other ingredients I put in it but I remember thinking there wasn’t too much else that would possibly do that other than the beeswax.
Hi Tammy – Yes, I am thinking it is the beeswax. I keep meaning to experiment with one that does not use beeswax, but have not had time!
Just wondering how you find this at the hormonal times of your cycle – ie the 36 hours around ovulation and the 2 – 3 days before Day 1. I had been using a crystal, but had to top up every couple of hours at those times. I had made a homemade liquid deoderant with witch hazel and essential oils like patchouli lavender etc and that seems to be better but not fully working against perimenipausal ponging!!
Hi Janie – I have never really noticed, but now that you mention it, I am going to start paying closer attention and see if I notice any specific changes!
Hi, is there a vegan alternative for the beeswax that I could try?
Hi Monica – I have heard that you can use carnauba, candelilla, or soy waxes, though I have never tried any of them, so I can’t attest to how well they work. If you try one of them, let me know how it works! 🙂
Thank you for the great recipe. I will have to gather the ingredients and try to make my own. I would like to share an excellent all natural, aluminum free deodorant (I’ve been using for almost 8 months). I’ve tried the salt crystal, Tom’s, etc.. but they seem to work only for so long. However, I have experienced nothing but success with Nutural. After wearing this deodorant all day, and completing a 3 hour session of Tai Chi, Yoga and Pilates before dinner, there is still NO! stink and no stains on my clothes. I love it. nuturalife (dot) com
Hi Patty – Thanks for sharing! I have not heard of that brand, but I’ll check them out! 🙂
I know exactly what you mean Patty. I was using and loving the Tom’s Calendula and for some reason they discontinued it. I’ve tried the lavender and the unscented and less than half way through the stick they stopped working. Thank you Jessica for this recipe. I’m going to try this with calendula to see how it works.
Hi Beth – I hope it works! Let me know how it goes! 🙂
is this still the recipe you use? Thanks!
Hi Gail – Yep! I still use it every day! I am also experimenting with some new recipes though, because now I’m getting bored since I’ve used this one for so long! 🙂
first of all: thanks for sharing all your knowledge here. I visited your website for the first time today and I really appreciate it!
Nevertheless, I have a question regarding the bentonite clay. I didn’t know the word so I googled and found in wikipedia that it contained aluminium. I was told that aluminium in our deodorants was suspicious to cause cancer, so I am a little confused. Could you please help me with some explanation regarding this issue?
Many thanks and kind regards,
Hi Iris – That question is answered a few comments up from here. “Aluminum is part of the structural make up of all clays. The aluminum in Calcium Bentonite Clay is in a safe oxide form, not the dangerous man-made processed aluminum. The many trace minerals in Calcium Bentonite Clay are fused together into a super compound structure known as a clay particle, which cannot break down and cannot be absorbed by your body”. Hope that helps!
Hello. Would raw shea butter be okay to use instead of organic?
Hi Ali – Yes, that would be fine. Enjoy!
I was wondering if I could use fractionated coconut oil instead?
Hi Sheila – That should work fine for this recipe.
All the research I’ve read about rosemary is that it’s a stimulant and increases hair growth- which is why so many people use it in their shampoos. Have you noticed that it makes your armpit hair grow faster?? That would be the only downside I’d see to this particular recipe lol! Just curious 🙂
Hi Rachelle – I have had several people mention that to me and I have never had any issues. I have also used rosemary on my hair to help increase growth and it has not helped there either, so perhaps it just doesn’t work for me! 🙂 You could always leave it out or sub with an EO of your choosing, but I really don’t think there’s anything to be concerned about.
Hi!! I will try your recipe!! I’ve made other deodorant stick and it leaves my underarm white and my clothes too 🙁 Then I’ve tried the spra, but I’m under the impression that it doesn’t work and I smell a bit :/ (my boyfriend says I’m a bit paranoïd with the smell of my underarm). So does it stain white because of the baking soda, or does it stain greenish because of the clay?
I don’t have any issues with staining, as long as I don’t use a lot. One or two swipes is sufficient, but if you really layer it on, then you could enjoy up with a bit of staining from the beeswax. Hope it works for you!
Just curious… do you know whether Fuller’s Earth Clay would work in place of the bentonite? I ask just because that’s what I already have on hand… and have a LOT of it, so if it would work I’d rather use that than buy something different! 🙂
Hi Laura – I have not used that one, but I think it should work just fine. I’m all about saving money and using what you have on hand too! 🙂
I thought you should put bentonite clay in plastic or metal; only glass containers.
Hi Cristina – You are correct! I wrote this post so long ago that I didn’t know that at the time. I have since updated the post to reflect that change. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
Hi, Thanks for your post, have all the ingredients minus the bentonite clay. Which is my question. Which clay do you use? They have calcium, sodium, french..etc. So which is the one to use or can they be interchangeable? Thanks so much!
Hi Lena – I get my clays from Mountain Rose Herbs. For this recipe, I used the Bentonite Clay on this page: https://www.deliciousobsessions.com/Mountain-Rose-Herbs. It’s the very first listing. I do also use some of the other clays for skin care. I did a breakdown of a few of them here: https://www.deliciousobsessions.com/2013/10/use-clay-skin-hair-care-bentonite-french-green-rhassoul/
This is great! Excited to try. Quick question though: how often do you have to reapply? Thanks!
Hi Malia – I just use it in the morning after my shower. I don’t find that I need to re-apply at all! 🙂
I just came across this recipe and am excited to try it. I am wondering whether zeolite would be an acceptable substitute for bentonite? I have some of this on hand and thus it would be great to use it up!
Same question for your toothpaste recipe
Hi Natalie – I answered your other question regarding this, but in case you missed it, I have never used zeolite, but I think it would work fine.
Hi Natalie – I have not used zeolite before and don’t know much about it, but I think it should work. Let me know if you try it and how it turns out!
Looking to make this recipe this weekend. How do you clean out your old deodorant containers? After reading through all the comments (yes I do this so I don’t ask a question that’s already been asked)some people were noticing yellowing of their clothes. I have made two other recipes for deodorant. The first one left stains and the second one didn’t. Other than using a different combination of essentials oils, the only difference was the type of butter used. The deodorant that used cocoa butter left stains but the shea butter didn’t. Hope this can help some people.
Hi Jennifer – Thanks for stopping by and sharing the tips on the butter. I have not had issues, but I don’t use but a single swipe when I use this kind. As far as cleaning out the containers, I put mine in a pot of hot water and let the old deodorant dissolve. I then wiped it out with a soapy rag and rinsed well with warm water. Hope that helps! 🙂
If I don’t have the clay, is there another alternative I can use?
Hi Alanna – You could just leave it out if you like!
Hi, I’ve been making my own soaps for years and found your deodorant recipe the other day. I just made my first batch and can’t wait to try it out.
Awesome! I hope you like it! 🙂
Does this stain clothing?
Emma – I have found that it won’t stain as long as you’re not loading your pits up with. You don’t really need a lot, just a swipe or two (at least in my experience). If you sit there putting layer after layer on then yes, it can stain. The staining comes mostly from the wax. Hope that helps! 🙂
Just curious – have you experienced any strange reactions with beeswax? I made a version of this (without the clay) and the smell under my arms was just terrible. Maybe its just me or can beeswax be bad or go bad? I am looking forward to trying to this with the clay but trying to decide if I should leave out the beeswax. I realize the consistency will be different. Thoughts?
Hi April! I have never had that issue. So strange. You could leave the wax out but if you do, this will most likely need to be stored in the fridge unless your home stays pretty cool. The wax is what helps is hold together in the tube. You could just store it in a small jar and then just use your fingers to apply when needed. Hope that helps! 🙂
Hi Jessica, I just tried out your recipe and as soon as i removed the mixture from the stove and added the clay and arrowroot it turned into a harder consistent, almost like a lotion. I tripled checked to assure i had the correct measurements but there is no way I am going to be able to pour this mixture. It would be more of a scoop and smush lol. Wondering what I may have done wrong?
Hi Madison – That is really weird. I have not had it set up like that when I make it. It thickens a little bit, but is still pourable. You could gently reheat it just enough to make it liquidy. It should not be like clay, it should be a really thick syrup consistency. I need to make another batch soon with different brands of ingredients, so I’ll give it a go and see if anything is amiss. 🙂
I know this is an old post. I just found you on Pinterest. I was wondering how I might go about removing or substituting the beeswax for something vegan.
Great post! Thanks!
Hi Cindy! Welcome! So glad you found me! I have not personally used anything other than beeswax, but I know that candelilla wax is the best sub for beeswax. I *think* you can use a 1:1 ratio, though you might want to check that since I have not used it before. Hope that helps! 🙂
what are the measurements for the rosemary? how much and when do you add it? and did you have to grind the herb or can you buy it already ground? (and i’m not talking about the rosemary that you buy in the super markets, lol) thank you!
Hi Dena! Thanks for stopping by! You will be using rosemary essential oil for this recipe. The amount is in the ingredient list above. Hope that helps!
Do you think this recipe would be safe for a child?
Hi Genevieve! Thanks for stopping by! I am not well-versed on what essential oils are safe for children since I don’t have any. I would recommend doing a little research to check and see what would be safe. You can always switch out the EOs in this recipe for any of your choice. 🙂
How much Magneium oil could I add to your rosemary/lemongrass deodorant recipe? Would I need to alter bees wax or butters to compensate for extra magnesium liquid??
Hi Gina! I’ve never experimented with that so I can’t really say for sure. If you decide to play around with it, let me know how it goes! 🙂