DIY Beauty: a simple homemade deodorant

baking soda homemade deodorant

I was really excited to find out that tea tree essential oil, which has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, is good at resolving unpleasant odor and hence, can work as a natural deodorant. I was slightly skeptical about the effectiveness but still, I tried first by applying a few drops of the oil neat on my underarms and that kept me fresh the entire day! The only problem was, the strong smell didn’t dissipate as quickly and it was impossible to go out smelling like that!

Baking soda absorbs sweat and kills bacteria
I guess I could have masked the smell with another more pleasant smelling essential oil but I didn’t have any with me.  Or to reduce the number of drops so that the smell would be lighter.  Then I remembered Carla had left a comment in one of my earlier entries that baking soda can be used as a deodorant because it absorbs sweat and kills bacteria as well.  

No white residue left from the baking soda
This homemade recipe is really easy. What you need is to make a thick paste of baking soda with water. I made about a tablespoon and then mix in with about 3 to 4 drops of the tea tree essential oils. The smell of the tea tree oil was still present, but not as strong this time. And to apply, I used a cotton pad to dab the paste on my armpits.  The mix took a while to dry up but there were no white residues whatsoever left on my underarms and they actually smelled quite good for about 6 hours!

Need to test this homemade deodorant gradually
I didn’t step out under the hot sun so I can’t vouch if this will still work well when the underarms are all sweaty.   I guess I need to get over the mental barrier and test this gradually.  I mean, I don’t want to embarrass myself using this but stinking in public!  But if this works well, I can junk my deodorant which is full of chemicals and synthetics!

Word of caution regarding the two ingredients
However, one word of caution about this recipe.  Some people maybe sensitive to baking soda and have reported developing rashes from using the ingredient.  Hence, always do a skin patch test before using something like that.  In addition, do ensure that you’re in a suitable condition to use any form of essential oils.

More experiments ahead
I’m going get myself more sweet smelling essential oils to take this recipe further.  When I have time, I’m going to try to develop a deodorant stick!  And of course I’ll report back when I succeed!


  1. Vonvon says:

    Good luck in your experiments! I like the idea of all-natural deodorant. Currently I am using the crystal one, I agree that tea tree oil has a rather strong smell. But I might want to try the baking soda method ?

  2. The Undercover Gypsy says:

    Sounds interesting – I have to give this a try. Thanks for the instructions. I think I’ll try a few drops of lavender essential oil instead. I’ve been buying Nature’s Gate from the US (too expensive here!) so now I have a handy alternative.

  3. sesame says:

    The baking soda is good when used fresh. If you keep it for a few days, it tends to harden a bit and then it becomes sort of flaky when you rub on.

  4. sesame says:

    Nature’s Gate is expensive! That’s why I only bought it once.

    Lavender should smell better but I need something strong for my stinky underarms!

  5. Jyoan says:

    wow interesting. I think I also don’t dare to try this yet. But just a question, actually, is it really more beneficial to homemake everything? I have been wondering if I should stick to my beautician, or just homemake my masks etc…

  6. Sukidoll says:

    Hi Sesame, glad you discovered and posted this ?

    Baking soda works quite well for me. I included a link you may be interested in looking at.

  7. Lyndsay Cabildo says:

    It’s good to know this little tips about the tea tree oil wonders and deodorant recipes. That is truly helpful and productive post! Keep it up!

  8. Molly says:

    I will definitely try this homemade deo for my son. I can vouch on the effetiveness of using baking soda. I sprinkle enough to cover my toothpaste and brush my teeth everytime and the coffee stains(though I drink only a cup a day)lightens in just a few days use. Perhaps the stains were not that hard-core but nevertheless, it worked. I sprinkle some on my fingers and massage onto the pigmentation I have on the bridge of my nose and it has also lightened. I use it together with my dish detergent and whoa…easy wash and I drop a spoonful into my laundry beofre running the machine. list is exhaustive.

    Can someone please tell me where I can purchase the big box of Hammer Brand baking soda? The supermarts I frequent dont seem to carry big boxes anymore. Dont tell me I bought them all???? SOS

  9. sesame says:

    No, not really as you have to take into consideration skin type and condition. I would also say it’s a personal choice. Some people like homemade for the freshness and the lower cost or maybe the fun involved. But in terms of homemade, the results take longer plus you can’t be sure if the ingredients are really penetrating into your dermis layer. So I would say selective recipes are good. Eg. spot acne treatments, diy deodorants, masks, toners… If you have a specific skin problem, it might be better to seek professional advice.

  10. sesame says:

    Hey Sukidoll: Thanks for the link! I’ll definitely check it out.

  11. sesame says:

    I’m going to try out another spot treatment with tea tree oil…just lacking the ingredient now.

  12. sesame says:

    Where are you based? Singapore? I saw it at some of the NTUC outlets.

  13. everbluec says:

    Does the tea tree oil from bodyshop the same as this tea tree oil??

    If so… I can’t wait to try this fomular out #k8SjZc9Dxk__#k8SjZc9Dxk

  14. sesame says:

    TBS tea tree oil appears to have other ingredients and not 100% pure. But you should be able to use it.

  15. Kala says:

    You can also turn this into a powder form by mixing baking soda with corn flour (1:2 parts) and using about 1 tsp of tea tree oil to the mix. I find that if you add peppermint oil or amber – they will mask tea tree very well, or try bergamot essential oil. Hammer brand baking soda/powder can be found at most NTUC outlets at about 1.3+ for a regular box and about 2++ for a big one.

  16. chenyze says:

    hmm i think i read somewhere that baking soda can cause gums to be sensitive, so maybe it’s not a good idea to go cold turkey on other deodorants and use baking soda full-time (albeit with the tea tree oil).

    hmm if you want to really experiment in the hot sun, maybe you can bring your deodorant and perfume along as insurance?

  17. sesame says:

    Yup, some people reported rashes using baking soda after awhile. Maybe using it neat long term may cause some problems especially for sensitive skin. I’m thinking of making a stick with beewax or other ingredients and see if it’s easier to apply.

    I’m going to try half a day out first and see how. But bring deodorant and pefume is a good insurance! Thanks for the idea!

  18. sesame says:

    Hey Kala: thanks for the recipe! I’ve read about using baking soda as powder but haven’t tried it in that form. But definitely going to bear in mind about the other oils you mention. I like bergamot’s smell.

  19. chenyze says:

    hmm i just came across this! maybe you can use this to make your DIY deodorant stick (=

  20. sesame says:

    Thanks! I’ll check it up.

  21. Heidi says:

    Thanks for this! I had recently begun using Avene’s deoderant because it contains no alcohol, preservatives, or aluminum salts. I like it, but it’s not like a little sniff proves it to be super effective. Today I took some tea tree oil and applied a tiny amount to a wet cotton pad and dabbed it under my arms and it very quickly neutralized any natural scents (a polite way to say “odor”!).

    Great blog!! I’m a new “fan”! :o)

  22. sesame says:

    Oh great! I’m glad this tip is working for you. Good to neutralize the tea tree oil with water in case it is too much for direct application.

    Thanks for your comments about my blog. Come back often. ?

  23. Crystal - Beauty or Bust says:

    Great ideas! I love using tea tree oil as a toner (mixing it with water of course to dilute it), but I haven’t tried it yet as a deodorant. I just worry that it won’t block perspiration enough. I sweat like a construction worker!

  24. sesame says:

    Oh interesting you use tea tree oil as a toner! I’ve only used it for spot treatments. As a deodorant, it was suprisingly effective and I’m someone who has bad underarm odor. ?

  25. Jess says:

    They sell 13lb bags at BJ’s! Occationally they will have $2 off coupons in their coupon book too. Just picked another bag up this week.

  26. Grace says:

    Hi, My husband & I found a recipe very close to the ones I have read here. Here’s the thing, the baking soda is fabulous for my husband and now he NEVER smells anymore, NEVER! It worked beautifully in the aroma dept for me also but I was one of those people who slathered it on without doing a patch test and lets just say I learned the hard way when my skin became uber irrated! I still want to go the holistic route. Is there help for me? ThanX

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