Last September, I reblogged The Zero-Waste Chef’s post about how to make your own deodorant and hoped that having it on my own site would motivate me to try this handy do-it-yourself option. I actually did get around to it within a few weeks…creating deodorant that then became unusable for me for months. It wasn’t until this spring that I was able to give it a fair trial. Now I can tell you what’s good about it and what isn’t.
The Good Things:
- It works!!!
- It truly was easy to make and took me just a few minutes. Combining the ingredients was soothing and satisfying.
- It hasn’t made grease stains or white marks on any of my clothing.
- It’s less expensive than buying natural deodorant, which is $5-$7 in my area. The ingredients for a baby-food jar full of DIY Deodorant, which gives approximately the same number of applications as a stick of solid deodorant, cost less than $1. It’s hard to find even a nasty-chemical-filled deodorant for $1 these days.
- It does not have a plastic package that will never biodegrade and is made from irreplaceable natural resources.
The Bad Things:
- It really needs to be stored at a room temperature of approximately 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Within two days after the time when I happened to make my DIY Deodorant, my house settled down to its winter temperature, which maxes out at 70 degrees on the thermostat but is a bit colder (66? 67?) up in my bedroom where I keep and use my deodorant. The coconut oil hardened so that I had a jar of solid stuff impenetrable to my fingertips. I considered using some kind of tool to scrape out each dose, but that would be really annoying–and given that I apply deodorant while I’m half-conscious and often stepping over a crawling baby, there was a high risk of flipping bits of this oily stuff all over the room! I ended up deciding to leave it alone until the weather got warmer. I live in Pennsylvania. This deodorant was unusable for seven months. And within a few weeks after it finally became scoopable, we had a 90-degree day when we left the drapes open so that the bedroom heated up, causing the coconut oil to become liquid so that the DIY Deodorant was unscoopable in a different way: too drippy! (It was fine again the next day, though, and didn’t even need re-mixing.) The Zero Waste Chef lives in central California, where the weather is more consistent, and I think that’s a big reason why this stuff works so well for her.
- You need to wash your hands after applying it, or at least wipe them hard on something that you don’t mind grease-staining. I’m not thrilled with adding this extra step to my morning routine.
- If you drop a bit of the deodorant–which is easy to do because it’s crumbly–it will leave an oil spot. Annoying. Especially on paper items, a tiny bit of coconut oil can make a big, obvious grease stain.
Overall, I think I will keep using this stuff until it’s gone and consider making more for late-spring-through-early-fall-except-on-very-hot-days use, but for most of the year I’m going to stick with Tom’s of Maine long-lasting natural deodorant. It works well for me, it’s easy to use, the fragrances are pleasant and not too strong, the price is acceptable with coupons and sales frequently available, and it’s sold in many stores that are convenient for me. Daniel and I both have been using Tom’s deodorant for about ten years now. We do not recommend Tom’s antiperspirant, and we have not liked any other brand of store-bought natural deodorant that we’ve tried. Tom’s deodorant is available from ePantry for only $5.89; click here to learn more about ePantry and get a special deal!
If you live in a consistently warmish climate, though, DIY Deodorant may be all you need! Give it a try!
UPDATE: Readers inform me that blending beeswax into your DIY Deodorant makes it more stable in changing temperatures, and you can even refill a twist-up deodorant container with it! See the comments below for information and links.