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Baking Soda Free Deodorant

Baking Soda Free Deodorant

A few years ago I made the switch to a natural deodorant. The switch was going great until I started to develop red marks and a light rash on my arm pits. I had no idea what was causing it until someone mention that I probably have an underarm sensitivity.

Apparently, many people have the same sensitivity to baking-soda so I tried to find a recipe online that didn’t use a lot of baking soda. And I found a GREAT one and I loved it for months and months.  I still love it…however, the underarm sensitivity returned even though this recipe uses a very small amount.

So, my quest continued and I found this recipe that uses magnesium oil and essential oils. I never knew magnesium oil could help with underarm stink! We had some magnesium oil laying around the house so I tried it and SURE ENOUGH it’s been working great! However, I love a “stick-based” deodorant and decided to formulate a recipe that is baking-soda free, yet uses magnesium oil.

Note: Magnesium oil isn’t technically an oil so it won’t leave your pits oily…yuck! It has a SUPER low PH which is very helpful at keeping stink at bay…plus you get a nice boost of magnesium which we all need!  Some people experience a tingling when they apply magnesium on their skin. No worries — many feel this during the first few applications, especially if you are a little low in magnesium.

A few more things:

  • I use raw shea butter which is yellow. You can use a lighter shea butter or cacao butter.
  • I find that giving my underarms a spray with magnesium oil while getting out of the shower helps a ton with odor! I then apply this Baking Soda Free Deodorant recipe. You can also make a apple cider vinegar spray to use before you apply your homemade deodorant! If you workout and sweat alot, I would highly recommend a pre-squirt of magnesium oil or apple cider vinegar.
  • TEXTURE – this is not like store-bought deodorant. The texture is more “wet” but will absorb quickly into your skin. Also, if you are using this deodorant recipe in a area with hot climate or in the summer, then you will want to put it in a small jar and scoop it out with your fingers.

Baking Soda Free Deodorant:

Makes one full bar if using a recycled deodorant stick! 


  • 1 Tablespoons of Magnesium Oil (where to buy)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil (where to buy)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Raw Shea Butter (where to buy) or Cacao Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons of Arrowroot Powder (where to buy)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Bentonite Clay (where to buy)
  • 5-8 Drops of Melaleuca Essential Oil (where to buy
  • 5-8 Drops of Geranium, Lavender, Lemon, Ylang Ylang, or Thyme (where to buy) – these essential oils pair well with Melaleuca and offer a nice fragrance


  • Wide Mouth Mason Jar
  • Immersion Blender (where to buy)
  • Small Glass storage container or Recycled Deodorant Tube


  1. Melt the coconut oil and shea butter in a double boiler. I stick the coconut oil and shea butter in a wide-mouth mason jar and put the mason jar in a pot of simmering water. Remove from heat when melted.
  2. Mix in the arrowroot and clay into the wet mixture with an immersion blender. I find the immersion blender necessary in properly mixing the oils and solids together and creating “emulsification”.
  3. Let cool for about 15 minutes. You may see some liquid rise to the top….that’s ok. We have one more mix!
  4. Ever so slowly pour in the magnesium oil while mixing with the immersion blender and mix until the mixture becomes creamy. This means you have properly emulsified the mixture.
  5. Add in your essential oils and mix and then blend again.
  6. Immediately pour into a small glass jar or a recycled deodorant tube.
  7. Allow to cool for a few hours before capping. If you are eager to use it, toss it in the fridge for 20-30 minutes!
  8. Slap on a pretty label and you got yourself a nourishing bar of deodorant that works great!

Baking Soda Free Deodorant  The Paleo Mama

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51 Responses to Baking Soda Free Deodorant

  1. Emily K December 19, 2014 at 10:53 pm #

    i have the same problem with baking soda. I even purchased a brand that uses just a small amt & still experience sensitivity. I wanted to know if dryness is an issue. Do your underarms stay wet because there is no baking soda or does the magnesium help with that.

    • The Paleo Mama January 5, 2015 at 10:35 am #

      The magnesium helps a lot with that and so does the arrowroot and clay.

  2. Stephannie December 20, 2014 at 9:06 pm #

    Jackie, does the deoderant pictured have clay in it?

    • The Paleo Mama January 5, 2015 at 10:30 am #

      Yes it does. There is bentonite clay in this recipe.

      • Stephanie July 27, 2015 at 2:40 pm #

        My deodorant came out much darker than the one pictured and is clumps more rather than is creamy. What did I do wrong?

  3. Emily K December 21, 2014 at 5:07 pm #

    Does this recipe keep you dry since it doesn’t have baking soda?

    • The Paleo Mama January 5, 2015 at 10:29 am #

      Yes it does because of the arrowroot and the clay.

  4. Jennifer December 23, 2014 at 10:01 am #

    Hi Jackie! I’m excited to try this! Does it leave stains or white residue on your clothes?

  5. Ann January 3, 2015 at 1:36 am #

    Does this melt or get soft in the summer heat?….is it possible to email me your answer? TY…:)

  6. Shawn January 5, 2015 at 12:38 pm #

    The essential oils that you add (excluding the Melaleuca) is the recipes stating 5-8 drops of any of these oils such as Geranium or Lavender etc or is the recipe stating 5-8 drops of each of these oils?

  7. candace January 10, 2015 at 11:42 am #

    Mine turns dark brown when I use clay. What gives?

    • The Paleo Mama January 10, 2015 at 11:37 pm #

      It’s a tiny amount of clay so it won’t turn that dark.

  8. Ann Travis January 15, 2015 at 5:05 pm #

    I used the amount of clay in the recipe and mine turned dark brown too. Hoping it will lighten when it cools? Otherwise I think I did something wrong. πŸ™

    • The Paleo Mama January 18, 2015 at 9:19 pm #

      I doubt you did anything wrong. And it doesn’t matter the color. It still works great and some clay might be lighter than other clay. Depends on where you purchase it from

      • Shannon June 4, 2015 at 1:51 pm #

        I purchased the clay that comes up when you click on the where to buy link and my deodorant was dark as well. I don’t mind it but others seem to so what clay do you purchase to not have it come out dark??? Thank you in advance.

  9. Alli January 19, 2015 at 12:01 pm #

    Hello, I use another natural deo recipe with baking soda and but it stains my clothes yellow, and I am not able to wear any white clothes because of it. I don’t mind-because the trade off is worth it, however do you find this recipe stains clothing and in particular whites? Thanks!

    • The Paleo Mama January 20, 2015 at 12:05 am #

      I don’t wear a lot of white tops cause we have a farm and white does not mix well! But, I’ve never noticed any staining on any of my clothes.

  10. Leialoha February 6, 2015 at 9:20 pm #

    I have made this recipe and I just love it! I tried the all natural deodorant with baking soda and it felt like using sand paper on my tender area, arm pits. I didn’t like the dark color of the clay, so the second time I made this, I used DMAE instead of the clay and I like it much better. The clay worked just fine, I just didn’t want it to be that color. But this recipe is wonderful, thank you for sharing it. Recently my husband and I took a road trip, he forgot his deodorant. So he used my homemade, and he loved it! I was very happy about that!

    • cole December 8, 2015 at 10:01 am #

      Did you mean DME for diatomaceous earth? Because DMAE is something entirely different

  11. Kathleen February 21, 2015 at 3:24 pm #

    I can’t wait to try this! Magnesium has been on my radar, and give my underarm rash that started a few weeks ago, it might be time to ditch the paste I’ve been using (which includes baking soda). Thanks for the recipe! πŸ™‚

  12. Sara R. February 23, 2015 at 3:21 pm #

    I have everything geared up to make this recipe, but I have a few clarifying questions first. The first set of instructions have me melting the coconut oil and shea butter twice. Basically I am pouring the melted oil and butter into a mason jar to melt them again? Next, how do you clean your immersion blender once done? I have tried using other kitchen tools when making lotion and I still have a film on everything I used. Thank you!

    • The Paleo Mama February 24, 2015 at 4:31 pm #

      I recommend keeping an immersion blender that you only use for making things like this.

      • Rheannon July 3, 2015 at 3:37 pm #

        It would be helpful if you posted this tip in the main directions. I just made a batch and I’m having a hard time getting it off my stuff. :/

    • Misty August 1, 2015 at 10:56 pm #

      I use gloves and alcohol to get the film off my stuff, works great! Nothing else I tried to get it off worked.

  13. Heather February 26, 2015 at 1:37 am #

    This looks great and I’m gearing up to make a batch tomorrow. Question: Can I basically use any type of clay for this to work – for instance Moroccan red clay powder?
    Thanks so much, and I’ll let you know how this goes πŸ™‚

  14. Mary Ann Combs April 12, 2015 at 4:43 pm #

    What is the difference using arrowroot powder or cornstarch in making deodorant. πŸ™‚ Thanks!

    • Catherine R May 4, 2015 at 11:59 pm #

      I don’t know what Jackie’s reasons for using arrowroot were, but I always use it instead of cornstarch in my recipes b/c I’ve read from multiple places cornstarch can lead to yeast infections, and most of it is GMO.

  15. Candace April 21, 2015 at 9:40 am #

    Hi! I’m so excited to try this! I too get the b.s. rash and I know I’m magnesium deficient due to medication I’m on. But I’m wondering how many tubes this makes? I would like to make enough for friends and family to try πŸ™‚ Thank you!

  16. Angie May 19, 2015 at 8:53 pm #

    Mine would not come together at all. Not sure what I did wrong. Tried twice and all it came out to be was a grainy mess. Bentonite clay made it look like baby poop, so not sure what kind of clay you are using or if there are different kinds of bentonite clay. Would love to see a recent pic of some that you made up. So bummed. Magnesium oil is like gold. This was a waste πŸ™ I’ll stick to using magnesium oil neat with some essential oils.

  17. Melissa May 30, 2015 at 4:36 pm #

    I tried this recipe. I didn’t have an immersion blender so I just whisked it really well. While it was setting I saw that the oils were rising to the top, so I mixed it in… though after it set in the fridge and I took it out to use it, the texture was heterogeneous. Some of it would congeal into this rubbery, plastic-like sticky stuff and some of it was runny and slimy like coconut & magnesium oils. The rubbery stuff would all clump together when I applied it to my underarms rather than spreading out over the skin.

    What happened? Did I not emulsify it completely? Should I not have stirred it after it had already started to set?

    • Rheannon July 3, 2015 at 3:40 pm #

      That’s a good question I’d love to know the answer to as well. I saw the same thing happening and that’s when I pulled out my immersion blender. I poured the mixture into a deoderant tube quickly and out it in the fridge… Hoping it sets up ok in there.

      • Melissa July 21, 2015 at 7:05 pm #

        Hey Rheannon, did it work after you immersion-blended it, or did it still take on that clumpy/greasy texture?

  18. NancyL June 14, 2015 at 3:29 pm #

    i don’t believe the picture shown of this deodorant is actually from this recipe. I used a very light tan clay and still the deoderant was very dark gray. It would not spread on my underarms without making a mess. I threw it away and I am really disappointed that I wasted the ingredients. I followed the recipe exactly as stated.

  19. Laurel June 27, 2015 at 7:04 pm #

    I am also having problems. I used the clay and the shea butter from the link provided. The final product looks like ground beef! πŸ™‚ I thought it over mixed with the immersion blender until I read that someone else had a similar issue from whisking. It’s still cooling, so I’m going to see if it still works. I’m afraid it is too separated though. If you have any ideas as to what happened, I’d love to hear them. Thanks in advance!

    • Stephanie July 27, 2015 at 2:43 pm #

      Mine turned out looking like ground beef too! Did you ever solve that problem?

  20. hillary July 3, 2015 at 2:48 pm #

    Can I use tea tree to kill the bacteria instead of the other oil?

  21. lise July 11, 2015 at 2:36 pm #

    Hi! is this safe for children/girls under 10 years? thanks in advance!

  22. Dawn Hickman July 15, 2015 at 8:07 am #

    Hello. I made this last night and its still super runny.. Could I have done something wrong? I double checked all my ingredients? I’m gonna try it out today anyways though.

  23. R. Pacheco August 10, 2015 at 6:19 pm #

    Can I use cornstarch in place of the arrowroot?

  24. Kathy August 12, 2015 at 2:24 pm #

    For those having difficulties, I have made this a few times now and have figured out a few things: First, an immersion blender is definitely needed to get this well emulsified. To clean it well afterwards, rinse it right away in boiling/very hot water and wipe off as much residue as possible. Soap and water should take care of the rest. Alcohol works well, too for the residue, if needed. Second, if you heat shea butter too high or for too long it will become grainy. Keep your heat low and slow to avoid the grainy texture and take it off the heat as SOON as everything is completely melted. Third, yes, it is quite pasty, not firm like “regular” deodorant. To combat that, try adding some beeswax. I’m still working out my own ratios but I’d recommend starting with at least 1 TBSP of beeswax for a more solid consistency. It will likely take more than that for it to be more like the solids you’re used to. Hope this helps some of you out! πŸ™‚

  25. rutaichanok September 17, 2015 at 1:29 am #

    could I apply this deo. after shaving or not?

    • Jackie Ritz September 17, 2015 at 8:31 am #

      Unless you have really sensitive skin, it should be fine to apply after shaving.

  26. Krista February 14, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

    Have you tried adding beeswax to make it firmer?

  27. Sophie February 20, 2016 at 7:52 am #

    Will this work without the clay?

  28. Hazel March 11, 2016 at 11:49 am #

    I made this recipe & had to use magnesium gel because I couldnt’ find magnesium oil locally. I also added in an extra tbsp of the arrowroot & magnesium gel & it worked better for me to stop smells from happening. πŸ™‚ One thing I found is that when I spread the deodorant on my skin it tends to pill. Anyone else experience this? I’m wondering what is making it pill? The bentonite clay? When I finish this batch I’m going to try without bentonite clay.

  29. Stephen March 27, 2016 at 7:40 am #

    I found that using essential oils, such as eucalyptus, will kill the bacteria that causes body odor.

  30. Cheryl May 6, 2016 at 12:30 pm #

    One thing that I haven’t seen mentioned is that bentonite clay should not come into contact with metal…which means no immersion blender (unless there is one with plastic parts). I too was having problems with pilling. I suspected that it was the Arrowroot and decreased the amount of it and the pilling stopped.

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