...Beauty, General ramblings

Homemade Deodorant

….but I am going to try making my own deodorant…

Since starting on the Waste Watcher’s campaign, (you can read all about it here)  one of things I have been doing is looking at what I am buying with reference to the waste that will be left at the end.

So with food-it is a case of trying to buy things with less/no packaging, or packaging that can be recycled.

And the same thing applies across the board, even with things like toiletries.

Now, most things in plastic bottles can be recycled (we now have a blue lidded wheelie bin in Wiltshire for plastic bottles and cardboard) as can aerosol cans (they can go in our kerbside black box) BUT what about roll-on deodorants? I don’t think these can be recycled in Wiltshire (although I am happy to be corrected), indeed, I am not even sure if they can be recycled at all.

So I am on a mission to make my own deodorant…

Is this (yet again..) a step too far..? We shall see if I end up with a body odour problem and no friends…

At the Green Clean workshop that I ‘helped’ with recently, Emma from Wiltshire Wildlife Trust showed us how to make a version of a deodorant from Neal’s Yard Remedies ‘Recipes for Natural Beauty’. And I got to take it home to test it….

If I’m being really honest, it is not that great. I tried it straight out of the shower, and it was just about ok for a ‘low impact’ day with little in the way of physical exertion (!) but really didn’t cut the mustard when I upped the pace a little! So I have been using my normal roll-on when I get out of the shower, and then using this as a ‘top-up’ instead of my normal aerosol. And it is just about coping (I am aware I am making myself sound like some extreme stinky sweater-I am not really..) BUT I want to find an effective alternative to my roll-on.

So after consulting Pinterest (you can see my DIY beauty and toiletries board here) and consulting the good people of social media-world, I have a recipe to try…(I was posted this recipe on FB by a friend-thankyou Claire!, but also found more detailed instructions here on Passionate Homemaking)

This is what you need:

deo and flannels1

  • 6-8 tbsps of coconut oil in it’s solid state-I got mine from Summer Naturals-1oog for £1, and I used about half of it here. It has made a tub that looks like it will last me several months
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of bicarbonate of soda-also available in bulk from Summer Naturals
  • 1/4 cup of cornflour
  • essential oils of your choice (I went with lemon and ta-tree oil-about 5 drops of lemon, and 3 of tea-tree)

This is what you do:

  • mush it all together with a fork until it comes together into a paste

deo and flannels2

In the Passionate Homemaking post it says about scooping it into your old deodorant containers, but I have no idea how this would be achieved-anyone else have any clue?! Otherwise it suggests keeping it in a lidded container and using your fingers to apply a ‘light smear’. I was a little dubious about this, and had visions of big clumps of bicarb around my ‘pits and flaking off onto my clothes, but this stuff is like magic! The coconut oil must melt at body temperature, beacause as soon as you apply it, it just rubs in and disappears. A bit like deodorant..!!

I have now ‘road-tested’ it for a day or two, and….

…it works!

OK, so it wasn’t a massively smelly day-I didn’t go for a run or anything, but it more than stood up to a normal day’s activities.

Hubby very kindly (?) had a close up sniff of my arm-pit when I mentioned how pleased I was with it, and to quote him “I am getting a faint whiff..” (I think he means of BO) but then I am not sure he has ever had such a close encounter with my arm-pit after using ‘normal’ deodorant, so we have nothing to compare it to.

I am going to stop talking now, as I am aware that I may be coming as some stinky-pitted weirdo with an armpit sniffing hubby.

The things you do in pursuit of sustainable living…

(PS. Apologies if you have had this post twice-I pressed ‘publish’ instead of ‘schedule’ last night…!)

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  • Reply Cath Snow August 21, 2015 at 9:20 am

    This really does work, I’ve just made my second batch, it’s better than any of the natural deodorants I’ve bought in shops.

    • Reply Jen August 31, 2015 at 6:50 pm

      I was amazed Cath! So pleased you get on with it 🙂

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  • Reply joelleharris March 4, 2013 at 6:37 am

    Interesting, going to have to try this, some great info in the comments too!

    • Reply Jen March 4, 2013 at 7:54 am

      Do try it Joelle-I still can’t quite believe it actually works!

  • Reply Chris February 28, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    I have never used a deodorant and I am a retire fitness instructor of 30 years, I always had lots of clients and have never lost any friends as far as I know. Fresh sweat does not smell it is only stail sweat that emptied the gym [mostly mens unwashed kit]. I only ever use soap and water.

    • Reply Jen February 28, 2013 at 6:42 pm

      Impressive stuff!

  • Reply Jo aka Kiwijo February 27, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Im like Lola and have been using Pitrok products for ages (the deodorant is like a solid crystal stick that you wet with your hand) and it can last up to 12 months (applying it every day – not just one application! heehee) You still perspire as its not an anti perspirant but certainly does not smell, so once you get used to perspiring you will be OK). You can also get spray ones, which you top up with water and will get three fill ups before the crystals are all used up).
    If you like I can have a look through me fav ‘recipie’ book (the one with the stuff I have sent you before, shampoos, lip balm etc) and see if there are deodorants in there, just let me know.

    • Reply Jen February 27, 2013 at 10:22 pm

      Thanks Jo, I am really happy with this recipe at the moment! If anything changes, I may well ask you for an alternative to try 🙂

  • Reply Heather February 27, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    I love this article, it really did make me laugh! Well done on making the deoderant though, I’ve got most of those ingrediants here so I think I’ll give this one a go too.

    • Reply Jen February 27, 2013 at 2:00 pm

      Glad I made you laugh Heather! Do give it a go, and let me know how you get on 🙂

  • Reply Lola Lemon February 27, 2013 at 10:21 am

    I use one that is a salt rock (i think) i paid £3.50 for a trial one that was over 5 years ago now, the name has dissapeared from the tub. best deoderant i have found – no nasties in it. I am liking the idea of this one. we already use coconut oil for just about everything in my house (including a little in a cup of tea!).
    I make my own washing powder – cant remember the quantites soap flakes (i buy grannys flakes from my local iron monger) soda crystals and borax… its something like 6 cups flakes, 3 cups soda crystrals 1.5 cups borax… works great for me and my family – only thing is, their is no smell, i use vinegar in the conditioning drawer and add essential oils to get a nice scent .
    you use a tea spoon of powder and place in with the washing, not in the drawer… 1 teaspoon for light clothing, 2-3 for heavy soiled clothing.

    Toothpaste is next on my list!!!

  • Reply mehubbyandthekids February 27, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Apparently the ball on a roll on deodorant “pops” out so you can refill it. Can’t say I’ve tried it but I do have a craft idea waiting if I ever felt the need to try.

    • Reply Jen February 27, 2013 at 2:00 pm

      Oooh, I might have try! Would make great painting toys if it works!

      • Reply mehubbyandthekids February 27, 2013 at 2:02 pm

        That’s how I saw the idea. You fill them with paint and you have a no-spill, great for little hands, paint brush

        • Reply Jen February 27, 2013 at 2:52 pm

          Great idea-let me know if you try it!

  • Reply sarah@everydaylifeonashoestring February 26, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    If there was a prize for the best ever ‘engaging all the senses’ blog post, this would win hands down! I could imagine the feel of it, and I love the ‘hubby smelling day old armpit’ description! In true Wilts waste watching style I’ve been road testing my first ever homemade washing powder this week which has involved sniffing lots of laundry, but it’s not really in the same league as your armpit.

    • Reply Jen February 26, 2013 at 8:18 pm

      Oooh, how is the homemade washing powder?! I have seen a ‘recipe’ I want to try. Let me know how you get on 🙂

  • Reply Hazel February 26, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    This is something I want to try. Got all the ingredients, just need to get round to it.
    I would think you might be able to squidge (technical term) it into a solid deodorant holder?
    Glad to hear it seems successful, anyway!

    Have you tried making your own toothpaste? I’ve found a recipe I want to try- no soda bic, so not too abrasive. I find the tubes hard to recycle and then I keep reading about why glycerine etc in toothpaste isn’t good, and I try to avoid SLS, which can be hard…Thought DIY toothpaste might be easier!!

    • Reply Jen February 26, 2013 at 7:26 pm

      Would definitely recommend the deodorant. I am starting to find that it is all one of those things where you are going around in a state of blissful ignorance, but then once you start changing one thing, it becomes apparent how much you didn;t know…!

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