Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Homemade Deodorant: Just Use Baking Soda!

While I was busy collecting my plastic waste last week, I was also running another experiment: testing if baking soda works as a deodorant.

The Hypothesis
Baking soda deodorant will leave your armpits smelling fresh and clean.

The Methodology
From Monday through Sunday last week, I replaced my usual deodorant with baking soda. To apply, I pressed an old powder brush for makeup, which I'm basically giving up, into a bowl of baking soda and dabbed it onto my damp skin directly after I exited the shower. Over the course of the week, I figured out how much baking soda to put on the brush based on how much would actually stay on my skin.

The Data
  • Six out of the seven days, I was pretty much smell free. No strong odors were noticable at all, even though I biked 10 miles round trip to work on three of these days. Note that I could detect a very, very slight odor of sweat by the time I went to sleep, but it was so hard to notice that it's almost not worth mentioning.
  • On one of the seven days, I could smell some odor under my arms. That particular day happened to be incredibly stressful at the office.
  • I've heard that some people experience skin irratation from the texture of baking soda, but I did not experience this.
The Analysis
Baking soda is indeed an effective underarm deodorant. By the end of each day, I could only detect the slightest odor, which I would guess is usually there but is difficult to recognize because of the strong fragrance of most deodorants.

Even on days when I biked long distances, I also noticed little or no odor. On the other hand, when I was under stress, the soda wasn't quite up to the task.

The Conclusion
Baking soda deodorant is great! It's prevents odors and is inexpensive and easy to use. Just use caution if you anticipate high stress situations.

Further Exploration
Since I've never been someone with horribly smelly armpits, my very informal experiment doesn't prove this will work for everyone. What we need is a larger sample size!

Anyone willing to try this out and leave a comment about how it worked for you? Any men interested in trying it out?

Update: It's a year and a half after I wrote this post and I'm still using baking soda as a deodorant. Please note that I now mix baking soda and cornstarch in a one to one ratio, which neutralizes the abrasive effect of the baking soda and makes it quite skin-friendly.

Art courtesy of Sweet Babboo.

112 comments:

Theresa said...

Hey, this is great! I've been trying non-aluminum-containing deoderants for about a year now and can't find one that works. I will give the baking soda a try - I already brush my teeth with it so it's right there in the bathroom ready to use.

shadowedreamer said...

As a scientist, I'm curious about the 'control' here: how much of an odor do you notice without any deodorant?

I ask because I've noticed (from anecdotes, conversations and personal observation) that people's b.o. output varies hugely from person to person and also across stages of life.

Ruthie said...

LOL Oh my goodness that is about the funniest graphic I have ever seen. Is there lightening coming out of his armpit??

LifeLessPlastic said...

Shadowedreamer, You're definitely right. Even thought I explained my experiences with the scientific method, my informal experiment definitely isn't proof this will work for everybody.

Soooo...in response to your comment, I slightly altered the Further Exploration section of my post :)

Thanks for your comment!

LifeLessPlastic said...

Ruthie, The drawing got me pretty good too. I think the lightening armpit is his superhero power.

N. & J. said...

I've never tried baking soda. But I just bought WELEDA which comes in a glass spray bottle. It's a bit pricey but it works all day and has a nice citrus scent. I have a more thorough review on my blog.

Shannon Hodgins said...

I've been using a deodorant stone for quite a while now and I'm very happy with it. These suckers last forever too! If you decide the baking soda isn't working for you, give the stone a try. Shannon

Beany said...

w/o any sort of b.o. protection, I smell awful. And I often will wear a sweater or button up my shirt all the way to avoid exposing my odour to others.

I began using baking soda a few weeks back and have had no problems. I am thinking of adding lavender oil to baking soda to just smell a bit lavendery.

Blue Collar Crunch said...

I'm definitely headed in this direction once I run out of already-purchased stuff...good to hear it's working for you!

Jess said...

I am currently testing baking soda for myself. I normally stink even with anti-perspirant, on a sweaty day. I work in a high-stress environment. At home doing housework on a cool spring day (i.e. minimal sweating), baking soda works just fine. One application in the morning seems to do it. I have not worked up the courage to try it on a workday yet, however...

The Green Panther said...

This sounds like a great idea that I'm afraid to try!

Much like quitting Ambien and chucking my refrigerator, blowing off deodorant is one of those things that sounds great in theory, but the potential outcomes scare me.

My mother doesn't use any deodorant and doesn't smell. That kills me. I sweat like a man.

Correne said...

I have used a deodorant stone for a year and I am reasonably happy with it. It doesn't really work on sweaty, hard-working, hot days. I find the baking soda works BETTER.

Actually, what I have found is that it's my clothing that smells, not me. I can get all sweaty and stinky, but as soon as I dry off I don't smell anymore. If I change my t-shirt, I'm totally fine. My clothes hold onto the odour.

Anonymous said...

Beth at Fake Plastic Fish tried thie recently with baking soda and tea tree oil and she said that it acted as an antiperspirant, too. I have recently purchased the tea tree oil and am ready to get it together. I am pretty sweaty and need to use the full plastic - chemical option while at work, but have used the deodorant stone at home, which sometimes works. Glad to hear that Correne's experience is that baking soda works better than the stone.
~ Molly in NH

LifeLessPlastic said...

Anonymous, Very interesting! I personally find tea trea oil a bit strong smelling so I wouldn't want to use it, but I bet people who actually sweat a lot would find the antiperspirant thing really great. For me, though the baking soda does an amazing job by iteself :)

Anonymous said...

I have tried oodles of "natural" deodorants to no avail -- they actually make the smell worse/more pungent -- I am a pretty smelly girl.

I do, however, have sensitive skin, and repeated use of baking soda can cause irritation to the point of skin shedding.

What I am going to try is mixing the baking soda with an oil of some sort, maybe jojoba or coconut, and a couple drops of essential oil. I did discover a nice coconut deodorant ( http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/deodorant.htm )but who wants to spend that much and buy into more packaging...

I must say, baking soda is one of the most useful household products and the start to a cleaner life, in many ways.

Keep up the green work!

Jess said...

I have now spent over a week 'testing' baking soda. It works. As a control, I already know that even with deodorant/antipersperant, I am often smelly by the end of the day. I have not needed to 'reapply', and this has been a very stressful week at work - I am a definite convert...

Theresa said...

I have tried the baking soda for the past two weekends with great success! Most days I can't smell a thing, and only once did I even smell a the smallest hint of b.o., which happens sometimes even with commercial deodorants. I will be trying it again this weekend under a bit more challenging condidtions (i.e., stress, exertion) and if that works then I'll be a definite convert.

Crafty Green Poet said...

This is an interesting solution to try. Currently I use a deodorant stone (no plastic packaging, no aluminium) and it works well and has lasted ages already with a lot of life left in it still, but once it disappears i may try baking soda.

elisa said...

I love your blog and baking soda is great for stinky feet too!

I wanted to let those who use the deodorant crystals know that they're made of alum, so they're not an aluminum-free alternative...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alum

Change of subject, sorry, but i was just given a gift of an aluminum bottle as a replacement for polycarbonate...

hmmm not sure I want to soak my water in Al OR bisphenol... I will stick to old juice bottles (glass)!

What do you think of that? do you have a metal bottle?
;-)

Pam in Colorado said...

I have had sweaty/odor problems since about the age of 12. I was told I would out grow it by 18. I'm now 44 and it is still a problem. I can not wear many materials and colors due to the amount of sweating that shows. I have also had to be so choosy on materials I wear due to the odor that accumulates on the clothing and makes the whole problem worse.

I used the strongest men's deodorant for years, used prescription deodorant for a while then became very concerned regarding potential health issues so I switched to natural deodorants (stone, stick...) nothing worked.

This past week I decided to try baking soda only. It is amazing. I have had no odor. My clothing has had no odor. It has been in the 90's here and even the increased heat has not been a problem. I have not been in a public high stress situation, nor worn any of my dressier clothing that tends to create greater odor issues, so can't verify all situations, yet.

I have found irritation from the baking soda so thought I'd try a little cornstarch with it as a buffer. I've also considered wiping my underarms with alcohol or witchhazel first then putting the baking soda on. But for now the baking soda alone is incredible.

I am going to have my 17 yo son try the baking soda only for a week. He and my oldest daughter have the same sweat/odor problems. Perhaps we have found the answer. We are all tired of our clothing smelling and becoming discolored as well.

I wish I would have tried this sooner!!!!! I apply the baking soda in the morning and have not reapplied and I go to bed with a clean smell. Yeah!

Jocelyne said...

Another baking soda convert here. I read about it on some website or other a couple of months ago and thought, what the heck. I was AMAZED at how well it works. I walk to work every day (about 25 minutes either way) and it is HOT here in the summer. I'm dripping with sweat at the end of the walk ... but no odour whatsoever.

I used to use ordinary deodorants/anti-perspirants, which worked to a point, although I hated how they built-up on my clothes (even the "clear" ones). Then of course I heard about the health concerns, so I tried lots of different natural deodorants, including the rock, which sometimes worked for a while, but usually didn't. I am so glad I never have to waste money on any of that junk ever again!

scr said...

I have been using baking soda for 5 to 10 years. I have tried other "natural" deodorants, but have always come back to baking soda. It's the cheapest and the best. After years of trying, I have finally convinced my wife to switch. She loves it. However, my kids refuse to even try it. Let them live and learn!

Spencer said...

this is sooooo awesome!!
reading all of these comments (& blog) got me so (stinkin') excited to try baking soda!!
I've tried a bunch of natural alternatives to alum, and they never work- always have to resort to my aluminum anti-persp at about mid day when i realize that the natural stuff i've tried is a joke.
anyway, thanks for posting this- it was extremely helpful to read.
spencer
san diego

Edgar said...

What a great idea, to use baking soda as deodorant.

Lyndee said...

I have heard that anti-perspirent deoderants casue brest cancer so I quit and tried baking soda and I love it! It destroys the smell and is healthy and no cancer!

patrickturtle said...

If I do not put deodorant on in the morning, by the afternoon odor definitely becomes a problem. I've been using baking soda for about 2 weeks and have detected no smell, and I walk 1.3 miles to work every day and bike to all other destinations, which inevitably involves sweatiness. Additionally, baking soda feels so much cleaner and fresher than even non-anti-perspirant deoderants. It just kills the terrible odor of my old running shoes too!

Anonymous said...

My father was an adept of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) as a deodorant and I know it works well. Could anyone, however, assure me there is no influence of baking soda in high blood pressure... it is an idea I have since I think the skyn could absorb the sodium...
Does anyone know about this?

bollybutton said...

I gave up chemical deodorants after a young colleague of mine developed breast cancer. There's no proven link between the two but all of a sudden I realised just how much crap I put on my body.

To those of you saying you sweat too much - stop using anti perspirant and your body goes crazy for a while. You will sweat like mad. Then it seems to find its own rhythm. I now sweat what I would call a normal amount but I do smell really bad unless I can use something.

Baking soda so far is the best performer out of everything I've tried. I tried some scented deodorant bars from lush.co.uk which are based on baking soda and they did work, but not as well as plain baking soda. The key for me is that without any fragrance at all, it's easier for me to tell if I need a top up.

Sweat doesn't cause the smell. Bacteria does, so keep clean, stick at it for a month and you'll notice that you sweat less and less.

lady coveted said...

is there something baking soda can't do?

i have a few friends who stopped using deodorant all together... who are surprisingly non-hippy...

they said at first it was hard, but after the detox period, there's no smell.

and i can attest these friends aren't smelly girls. or maybe i've never been to close to them.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your post. I am on day 4 of using just baking soda. I am amazed at how well it is working. It does a better job for me than the commercial stuff I have been using. At the end of the day there is NO odor. So easy and talk about cheap! This is my kind of deodorant...

Anonymous said...

baking soda works great( I am very stinky and have been using it for months now) BUT do not use it after shaving your pits! It will cause quite a rash and skin peeling( last about a week). Other than that , it is much better that any other natural product or crystal deo that I have tried.

Tammi said...

I have also switched to baking soda! I stopped using dove about 3 weeks ago and tried the crystal and Tom's natural deodorants and they didn't work at all, then I read online to use a cotton ball to apply a bit of baking soda paste and I could not believe how well it worked! I used it in the morning and same night no stink even after going for a 5 mile walk. I feel so good about using baking soda, it never felt right using the aluminum deodorants and was always at the back of my mind...now I don't have to worry anymore!! :)

Miranda said...

Thank you for posting this! I've especially loved reading the comments from others who tried it and were hooked. I went out of town for the holidays and returned late in the night; next morning I discovered that we had left my deodorant behind when we packed our suitcase to come home! Our religious convictions prevented us from going to the store to buy anything on a Sunday morning, so I searched for a homemade way to not fill the chapel with the smell of my armpits :D I was getting discouraged at all the "recipes" for homemade deodorant that called for essential oils and alcohol, then I found this! I used it today with no smell whatsoever by the end of the day. I'm especially loving that I don't have that funky "deodorant mixed with sweat" smell. I'm really looking forward to not staining up my shirts anymore with my old antiperspirant, as I'm not planning on buying new deodorant as long as baking soda is working so well! It was a good thing we forgot to pack my old deodorant yesterday!

Lie said...

For safe deodarants you can also have a look at www.goodguide.com

It's still a beta-version, but once it will be finished it's gonna be a great source to find healthy and environmentally responsible products.

Danielle said...

The best deodorant ever, and I have tried pretty all ranges of the fancy organic stuff onward, is this homemade recipe that my husband found somewhere on youtube. You just mix equal parts cornstarch, olive oil and baking soda, and then add a drop of essential oil for fragrance, if you like. You also have to keep it in the fridge (which makes mornings fun because you get to put your deodorant on in the kitchen). By far the most effective deodorant I've ever used.

Anonymous said...

This sounds crazy, yet it works. I read online that eating organic dairy products eliminates underarm odours. Since I have been unable to find a natural product that has worked, I decided I had nothing to lose. Sure enough, when I eat only organic cheese, yogurt and milk for a week or two, my sweat has no odour at all. When I return to eating "conventional" stuff, the odour returns. Everything really is is connected... :)

Anonymous said...

I notice that certain clothes store that awful smell no matter how freshly laundered and how much deodorant I use. When I sweat, it just mixes to that stubborn sweat smell in the clothes. I googled "how to get rid of sweat smell on clothes" and there were a lot of links about bicarb soda...Then I thought what if I try it on my underarm as well as adding it on my clothes when I wash?! I'm on day 2 now of bicarb soda trial on my underarm...so far so good! I have to convince myself every now and then that I don't have that awful smell! Will keep you posted after a few days!
Happy armpit.

Anonymous said...

I was googling this topic because I have been using baking soda as deodorant for a month now and wanted to know if others were as well. It is the greatest thing I've ever discovered! I just put it on dry, saves LOTS of time inthe morning not having to wait for deodorant to dry! The only drawback I have found is that when I use it while doing aerobics, it scratches my skin since I am moving my arms around so much. I might try to disolve it a little with water, as others have suggested, but I love how quick I can get ready by just putting it on and going!

Anonymous said...

Happy armpit again!! And yes, smell free for nearly a month!!!How good is that!

amy said...

I used to use antipersperant/deoderant every day. I still had breakthrough stink. Especially premenstrually.

Over a year ago, I started eating a vegan diet. Something I noticed is that I stopped having the breakthrough B.O. After a while, I noticed that even when I forgot to use deoderant I didn't stink. Now, I rarely use it at all. I simply don't need it.

Someone else mentioned dairy products (said organic is better). I don't know if it's my diet or what. But there's a good chance that there's a connection. I really don't eat much refined sugar, refined flour, or packaged foods.

To be honest, I'm pretty lazy about shaving too, so it might have something to do with that as well.

Salla said...

I have been using baking sode mixed with a bit of clay and essential oils. I first apply a layer of cream or oil on my under arms and then a layer of the baking soda mixture. without the cream or oil the thing doesnt work for me. it is the best and cheapest deodorant ever and has solved my 15 year old odour problem fully. now i can wear the same t-shirt for three days!

Anonymous said...

Hi guys,
So do you say it is enough to apply just baking soda to your armpits and that's it? But baking soda is a powder ... How does it stay in your armpits?

Most of people commenting here were talking about bad odour - that baking soda helped them to get rid of it. But I have another trouble... I sweat like hell. Does baking soda help sweating less? Or do you know about anything that can will make me sweat less?

Thanks for any advice
Kristina

Anonymous said...

Hi guys,
So do you say it is enough to apply just baking soda to your armpits and that's it? But baking soda is a powder ... How does it stay in your armpits?

Most of people commenting here were talking about bad odour - that baking soda helped them to get rid of it. But I have another trouble... I sweat like hell. Does baking soda help sweating less? Or do you know about anything that can will make me sweat less?

Thanks for any advice,
Kristina

Nubinikki said...

Hi everyone. Thanks for the tips. I tried baking soda this morning because I don't want to use the aluminum-based deodorants on the market for a number of reasons.

Kristina, here's my mix:

1 tablespoon baking soda
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp aloe vera gel
3 drops peppermint oil

So far so good. And it dried real fast. I think the mix should last me a week. My only question is--should I refrigerate the mix?

Anonymous said...

we use to use baby powder as deodorant and that seems fine to me. We used to wash our armpits every morning with a light dusting of powder. I am not really sure that we are saving on the plastic but this was softer than baking powder which abrades the skin.

bactitech said...

I am a clinical microbiology technologist. One of the points that seems to be forgotten in all these posts is the role bacteria has to play in the production of odor. The skin has many microbes that inhabit it. I would suspect that the underarm area supports a certain microflora that may differ with the person. I do know that we get cultures of axillary abscesses fairly often. Besides Staphylococcus aureus (which can cause abscesses in any part of the body) I tend to see the growth of a genus called Proteus. Common species seen from human specimens are P. vulgaris and P. mirabilis.

http://tinyurl.com/c2hx5m

The organism stinks when growing on a Petri plate. One of its biochemical reactions is that it uses urea. The breakdown of urea produces ammonia (same reaction you get with an old wet diaper sitting around for hours). I would think that the cleaner you can make your underarms, and the cleaner your clothes next to your underarms, the less you will smell. I don't think you have to become absolutely fanatic about it, but in the summer months you'll probably want to change your T-shirts more often, especially if you've worked out.

Some people have the condition that is called hyperhydrosis, which is excessive sweating all over the body. I wouldn't begin to know if baking soda would work on something like that. Hormones and pheromones make a difference also. People who don't shave are going to have hair under there that will catch more sweat, dead skin, etc. that have the propensity for odor than people who shave.

I personally have not made the move to get rid of plastic in my life yet - just started reading this stuff - but I thought I'd throw in my comments from a microbiology standpoint.

economom said...

Hi there! I have tried baking soda as well only I used the old fashioned powder puff and container I scored at a thrift store. It worked pretty well! I also just wanted to mention I have also used vinegar, and it worked EVEN better! I just dab some on a cotton ball and onto my pits and thats it! ---ecomome.info

A said...

This is day one, but I agree with all of the above comments - I'm converting. I was using a baking soda spray to get the smell out of clothes pre-wash. As I was doing my daily after work spray down I had an idea. Would this work on me? A spray of baking soda water in the pits totally eliminated (neutralized) the smell from a long days work. Nothing else does that. I'm sold. Ditching the crystal for baking soda.

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna try this tomorrow, but I STILL wonder about the mix.

I guess I'll try each one - I bet the baking soda alone will hurt for me (red head, fibro, sensitive skin, etc.)

Which oil to use? Or put on dry? Or mix with corn starch (what IS that stuff anyway?) or baby powder?

Oy ... decisions decisions.

alicesworld said...

I decided to try baking soda after reading your posts and I have been really surprised at how well it works in eliminating odor.

My issue with it is that I'm getting razor burn now and I never used to get this. Why is this? What can I do to get rid of it? How do I combat this? Has this happened to you?

LaneVids said...

My aunt gave me a recipe that included baking soda in it, and it has been the best deoderant that I have ever used, and I have some pretty fonky armpit smell.

http://www.associatedcontent.com/video/25473/how_to_make_a_homemade_deodorant_.html?cat=5

Here is a video of me making the recipe

Lane
www.LaneVids.com

bactitech said...

To Lanevids: Does the olive oil leave oily stains on your shirts? That would be the biggest reason I would be reluctant to try this. Oil is very difficult to wash out of some fabrics.

Knittin' Geekin' Loser said...

I haven't tried baking soda as a deoderant alternative yet (though I do use it in lieu of commercial shampoos) but wanted to add that sage - either powdered in your coffee grinder or in essential oil form - has been used traditionally to decrease sweating. (Taken internally, it will also cause supply problems in nursing moms, so proceed with caution if that is you)

Otherwise, I would just like to thank everyone - the Life Less Plastic blog goddess, and all of the awesome commenters - for the many options I have to chew on for cutting down on plastic use in our own home. You're all exceptional people!

Girl Has Brain said...

I've been deodorant free now for 6 months. What has worked for me is using rubbing alcohol on my pits. The rationale is that alcohol kills bacteria and bacteria is what makes you stinky. I'll give the baking soda a try for those extra sweaty days though! Great tip.

Anonymous said...

I have been using baking soda and corn starch for the last two weeks. By trial and error I found that a 2 parts Baking Soda and 1 part Corn Starch mix was the most effective at keeping me odor free. A 1/1 ratio just did not cut the mustard, so the odor neutralizing concentration of the baking soda was increased into the mix. Compared to all the other deodorants (as a series of Controls) I have used, this was the most effective. I apply it after a shower while in the tub with a makeup brush my wife purchased for me. I will never go back to other deodorants again, though you need to be in the tub when applying it. It can get a bit messy.

Anonymous said...

I have been using baking soda for a month and it has been the most effective thing! However, it has been irritating my skin and my underarms have become very dark until the dead skin peels off. Does the cornstarch and olive oil mixture remedy this? Please advise on what other remedies I can take, I really hate to think I would have to go back to toxic deodorants.

Anonymous said...

I have suffered BO and sweating since I was 9y.o, it really affect my self esteem, and so far BAKING SODA is the most effective deodorant ever and its cheap!!!I cant live without it, also I apply APPLE CIDER VINEGAR first before applying BS, it gives right PH balance to your skin.

Anonymous said...

You know what? Baking soda gives me back the confidence to socialize with people. I have been aloof for many years because I'm afraid they would smell my bad odor. Thanks so much to baking soda.

Here's another tip I can give you guys, particularly with those whose clothing are already infected with it. WASH YOUR CLOTHES VERY WELL PARTICULARLY IN THE UNDERARM AREA. Spray or soak the underarm area first with white vinegar to neutralize the odor. Brush the area for some strokes. Then toss it in the washer. Dry the item immediately.

THANK GOD, HE INVENTED BAKING SODA.

Valentin David said...

I would split have two groups of people. One using flour, and one using baking soda. Also, I would ask to several people to smell them.

Milady Carol said...

I've used baking soda as a deodorant for over an year. The results are just amazing, I've never used a better deodorant in my life. The problem is it can be very irritating on the skin, I also got burns and the skin of my armpits got dark and peeled off... Now I'm trying the combination of baking soda and cornstarch (proportion is 1/1 so far). This is the first day and it seems as effective as when I only use baking soda, and I'm amazed with how gentler the mixture is on my skin... I'll keep on trying but I always have some baking soda in my purse, just in case !

ilovedominguez said...

i also use this to exfoliate my skin. I think its great! check out my blog ilovedominguez.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I love baking soda, but it gives ma a rash...at least I can still brush my teeth with it!

Anonymous said...

I stunk, stunk, stunk! That WAS the truth. I mean I had a bad rep with people at work, school and everywhere else I'd go. Even with family members. I have tried Mitchum, Secret, Sure, Teen, Baking Soda stick deoderant, Arrid Xtra Dry-even the clinicals-none worked! If it was on the market, I tried it. I mean I stunk like a skunk. It didn't matter how many times I'd take a bath, my armpits stunk like sweaty stinky horrible pits. Ever see Pepe La Pue? (however U spell it-green vapors?) That was me. I was so embarassed. I have always wanted to be carefree about raising my arms in public, but wouldn't dare. Not until I tried using baking soda. I just right out of the blues, grabbed a box that I had in the fridge and added a little water to it, then dabbed some under both of my arms. I figured if it could keep the fridge smelling clean, which is bigger than I am, then it should be able to handle my odor. Sure enough, it did. I went all day without smelling, which is a HUGE accomplishment. I've been doing this a week, and I'm still satisfied. My husband and I just finished weedeating and I still smell good (sniffing my pits right now). I would strongly recommend this for anyone out there who has the same problem. You can use this regardless of odor level-it's cheap, and better than the ones at the store that have all the bad "stuff" in them. Iwish u the best in smelling good...trust me, you will not be disappointed.

Anonymous said...

I just happened to read the ingredients of my "NATURAL" deodorant and the first ingredient is PROPYLENE GLYCOL (the primary ingredient in anti-freeze). I use baking soda as a mouth wash, and just last night as a facial cleanser for the first time. Now I'm using it to replace my "NATURAL PROPYLENE GLYCOL" haha

Anonymous said...

Now that I've tried it as a normal deodorant, I'm going to try using baking soda as a shoe deodorant.

Anonymous said...

I always used unscented antiperspirant and would have a bit of b.o. regardless. I switched to homemade about 6 mos. ago -- and the only time I notice even a hint of odor is after I run, and that's as it should be. My recipe is about 75%corn starch to 25% baking soda (I eyeball it), about 3 drops of lavender. Then, to get it on my skin, I squirt a tiny blob of aloe vera gel into my hand, shake a bit in my powder mixture (I store it in an old oregano spice bottle)and then wipe it in my pits. I have pretty sensitive skin and have had little to no reaction. A little irritation sometimes but still better than the itching & redness I got with antiperspirants.

Anonymous said...

I mix the baking soda with a little lotion to make it creamy making it easier to apply and it works so well!! I've had to try it because I'm allergic to many differant products. My husband though had a bad reaction to it.

Karen said...

I've tried many of the natural deodorants out there...Tom's, Jason, regular deodorants...none of which worked. Have been using baking soda mixed with a lotion for over a year with great results living in a hot climate. I will try the cornstarch mixed, thanks for tip!

a friend of a friend said...

I just started the baking soda solution just over a week ago. The skin under my armpits began to get red and irritated after a few days. I went online to check it out, and found out from another website that I am just using too much baking soda, and possibly not dissolving it enough in water before applying it. Too much baking soda can irritate the skin, as well as not dissolving it enough as it can be used as a non-abrassive cleaner. So, I took a break today, and am starting again tomorrow, but all redness aside, there has been no odor, and the presence of the redness bothered me more than the feel of it. And I have pretty sensitive skin. My husband has psoriasis, and I am currently working on him to convert to baking soda. It is natures solution.

LifeLessPlastic said...

A friend of a friend, thanks for your comment. I just added this info to my original post, but I now use baking soda and cornstarch mixed together to make the baking soda less abrasive and it works quite well. I don't experience any redness at all when I do this.

CC said...

I have been using a blend of half baking soda, half cornstarch with a few drops of TeaTree oil mixed in.
I love the feel and smell of this as I dab it on my underarms!

I am odor free, irritation free and happy to be off commercial deodorants. Only on days when I wear clothing that is not cotton do I notice an odor. Of course, summertime is months away....we shall see how this works in the heat of the summer.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone tried mixing the BS with a little Aloe? I have an aloe plant in my kitchen for burns, and I thought that maybe a bit of the gel from the plant applied to the skin before the BS might 1. help the BS stick better, and 2. reduce skin irritation from the BS. I'll let you know how it goes!

Peg said...

I too have been using baking soda for a deodorant and since I have some irritation I don't use it all the time. Only if I notice I'm getting a little stinky do I rub a pinch of it under my arms and the smell goes away. I will try mixing it with the corn starch. Thanks so much for the tip.

colleen said...

I was just about to start an deo experiment of my own, as an extension of my current obsession with baking soda, when i stumbled on your site. Nice layout and easy to read info! Found someone who mixed it with water before applying...I'll let you know how it goes after i test it on a soccer game!

Pam said...

I had been using deodorant (not anti-perspirant) for years, and at the end of every day, shirt definitely a little stinky, even after a day of just sitting in an office. I do not sweat much, either. For about a month, I have been using a mixture of BS, Corn starch, coconut oil (solid at room temp) to bind it together, a few drops of lavender oil, and one or two drops of tea tree oil (figured it's anti-bacterial, what do I have to lose?) I loaded it into an empty deodorant stick.

My clothes now have zero smell at the end of the day, my pits also--only the nice scent of lavender w/ tea tree. Last week I wasn't feeling well, did not shower for 3 (eek) days. Asked hubby to smell me. He thinks I'm nuts, but could not smell a thing.

Baking soda is the BOMB.

Anonymous said...

Do I have to put water on BS? i Figured it will not stick on my underarm if its dry..

Anonymous said...

Wow, thats really interesting :D
i was just googling home made deodorants,because i kinda ran out :/ lol, and i cant get to the store. my b.o isnt that bad, its pretty average, and i think im gonna try it :D and this kind im sure cant crumble into piece like stick deodorant (:
im 15 so i hope my crrazzyy hormones dont ruin it hahahha

Maho Lucil said...

Etude's Magic crystal peeling cream has exfoliation effects for all skin types. It effectively removes excess dirt and oil, leaving the skin smooth and clear. It also removes dead cells that are clogging the pores. You might wanna try Etude's eye wrinkle cream as well, effective in reducing wrinkles and other signs of aging.

Maho Lucil said...

Did you know that Baking soda is used for medical and cooking purposes. It contains ingredients that can effectively reduce bad odors. It can also be an effective tool for cleaning and scrubbing. Deodorants work efficiently by neutralizing the smell of the sweat and by antiseptic action against bacteria. You might wanna try this remedy since its safe and more cheaper. For reducing fine lines and wrinkles, you might wanna use some organic eye creams. 

Missy said...

Love your site! I have been making my own products including shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, dishwasher liquid. handsoap and laundry soap and fabric softener , in part b/c I hate plastic and packaging and chemicals!

One hint for your baking soda/cornstarch combo: I have used this exclusively. I found that breaking some bay leaves in the mix itself (the brush won't pick up leaves) imparts a great bay scent. Also, I once tossed in a mint tea bag (whole) and it left a really great scent too. I have added a couple drops of tea tree as well, but it's not necessary. You may want to try the bay leaf--remarkable scent!

Thank you!

Vicky said...

Your are the best, it works so far, I hope it continues; will add cornstarch later to test theory.

Anonymous said...

I am one of those unfortunate souls who's underarms have earned the reputation of "acid pits". I inherited this malady from my father and am the only one in the family - lucky for the rest. It is a horrible obsession for me. I am otherwise a highly hygienic person. I have tried every deo out there, natural and unnatural. The chemical ones make me smell like stinky chemicals and the naturals leave me smelling like herbal BO. I also tried soaking my pits with black tea daily for a month. I even applied alcohol followed by triple antibiotic ointment.

Some have helped a little, nothing has been the silver bullet.

The baking soda is the first to seemingly neutralize the smell. I am only on day 2 of my soda experiment, but so far so good. I'll go workout later and see how it holds up. Fingers crossed!

Anonymous said...

I am one of those unfortunate souls who's underarms have earned the reputation of "acid pits". I inherited this malady from my father and am the only one in the family - lucky for the rest. It is a horrible obsession for me. I am otherwise a highly hygienic person. I have tried every deo out there, natural and unnatural. The chemical ones make me smell like stinky chemicals and the naturals leave me smelling like herbal BO. I also tried soaking my pits with black tea daily for a month. I even applied alcohol followed by triple antibiotic ointment.

Some have helped a little, nothing has been the silver bullet.

The baking soda is the first to seemingly neutralize/prevent the evil acid pits. I am only on day 2 of my soda experiment, but so far so good. I'll go workout later and see how it holds up. Fingers crossed!

Anonymous said...

It really works too!

Anonymous said...

I have been using baking soda paste for 2 weeks,no fancy mixes yet. I am in love! I tried to get extra funky doing yard work, exercising etc. you know testing it, still no smell.Yeah! I will never buy deodarant again. HalleluYah!

Raw Milk said...

I've been doing "no poo do" for a good while (months), took a break from it (ran out of baking soda, had to buy more, so started back to shampoo - mistake). I got back to no poo do again. This time even converted my wife, and *SHE* now wants for me to use it for the kids!

I even use baking soda for toothbrushing, and other purposes. I try to use no soap for my shower/morning... except on rare occasions, and after using the toilet or before cooking. Yes, I look and smell good!

I've been using a crystal for *YEARS* now and will never go back to using chemical crap from stores again. I am a hefty guy, and the fact that a crystal works for my BO is a testament that it works. Again, it has been years now.

My crystal has been on the way out, getting very small now. Before buying a new one I decided to google what other options there are. Baking soda strikes again!!! God, what the heaven would we do if it weren't for baking soda???

So I grabbed my bottle from the shower that contains baking soda saturated dissolved water, which I use to shampoo & wash my body with (note that I follow B.soda with a vinegar wash) and splashed some of the slippery baking soda water into my armpits and massaged in with my fingers for a couple of seconds to ensure good coverage.

Would you believe that I can go multiple days with just this???

Bottom line is that I'm finally giving up the crystal despite it's good service for years. Baking soda is now my new under arm friend.

As a parting thought... I am astounded that baking soda is virtually forgotten about today. Seems that people have absolutely no idea what a good and useful thing it is. Too bad. Perhaps due to our affluenza inflicted minds we think that only complicated chemical-rich and expensive store bought products could be any good. Who would think that something so frugal and simple could actually be superior!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much. I have finally found an answer!!!! I love Baking Soda/Cornstarch and will never go back.
I've been on the hunt for a deodorant for a year now. Tried everything on the shelf. Everything irritates my skin(red,itchy,swollen). In the past 5 months Ive tried only deodorants from Health food stores which have left me frustrated because they cost so much and with in days i can tell they either don't work or cause skin problems.
Ive tried the Baking Soda/Cornstarch combo for 3 days now. I am amazed. Usually after a long days work(i am a nurse Aide)with regular deodorant i have a small ordor. First day..NO ODOR!! I was amazed. So i put it to a bigger test..Volleyball after work:)..No Odor again. 3rd test..1hr sweaty workout..No Odor. I am amazed!!! and so happy. thanks so much. Im going to make my husband test it for a bit to see if i can make a believer out of him too:)

Anonymous said...

I am also one of those people that has smelly armpits no matter what I do. I've tried every antiperspirant, every deodorant and every homemade recipe to solve this problem. I have now been using only baking soda for the past two months, and I'm telling you, it's a miracle. I even use it when I do my exercises with my personal trainer and NO SMELL. The only thing I've still had a problem with is getting a white ring under my armpits when I sweat a lot. Still need to figure out a 'cure' for that. But baking soda definitely works for me.

Bouncy said...

I have SUPERSTINKYPITS and this is the best thing EVER!!! I get a nasty stinging and rash on its own so I simply rub coconut oil on first and powder over and its been great ever since!! Only the faintest 'hot salt' smell by the end of the day. One day I forgot to use it and was confused when I smelled my BO it had been so good for so long haha! I soooo love getting rid of all that packaging plus normal deo is EXPENSIVE!! Best of all no nasty chemicals now yay!! :D

Anonymous said...

Before you bathe spray/rub stinky areas with white vinegar.

Vinegar contains acetic acid which kills odor causing bacteria.

After you finish bathing apply the baking soda corn starch mix in order to stay fresh.

wannabestinkfree said...

I fell upon this baking soda phenomenon accidentally. I was lookin for ways to WHITEN my underarm and fell upon sites talkin bout baking soda as whitening agent. So yesterday I decided to give it a try. I wet the baking soda, just enough to make it pasty. I showered, cleaned my pits, then applied it. I left it on for a minute or even less, I didn't have a watch. I was just counting in my head. Then I washed it off.

So I went to bed. Didn't put any deodorant on as instructed on the site I've been on. I always had a stinky pits, sadly, most especially my left armpit, even after I showered and applied deodorant...still stink! Neways, that's why I tried the baking soda whitening procedure at night, so that I won't have to worry about stinkin up...

Interestingly enough, when I woke up in the morning and out of habit sniffed my pits... There was hardly any smell... I couldn't believe my nose!!! I went through my day at home without applying any deodorant and I still didn't stink as much as when I was using commercial deodorant...

This evening, after shower, I tried it again..put it on for a minute then rinsed it off... I went out, felt a sweat in my pits and got kinda anxious about it. when I got home i smelled it.. NO STINK!... got a tissue to wipe off my pits hoping to smell that familiar stink...but NOPE! WASN'T THERE! I am still in disbelief! this is only my second time!

I'm gonna keep on trying it until it sinks in my head that THE STINK IS GONE!

Anonymous said...

This is an old post, but wanted to add my experience. I have long wanted to stop using antiperspirants. I am sensitive to smells, so can only use unscented or baby powder scent and I don't like either. PLUS all my shirts get ruined with stains from the antiperspirant.

I have tried other "natural" stuff, Tom of Maines, Avalon Organics, Crystal, but none worked well for me.

I found a recipe for baking soda/corn starch and decided to try it. It works! I have been using it for 2 weeks and I love it. No more sweaty/deodoranty smell or stains on my shirts!!

My recipe:

1 part baking soda to 2 parts corn starch. I mixed it in a glass jar, added 3 drops of tea tree oil and shook well. I use an old blush brush to put it on. If I know I might be sweating more than usual, I put it on over slightly damp skin with my finger tips and rub in well. Then apply the normal dusting.

If I can't shower, I just wash my underarm and reapply with no smell issues. Could never do that with Secret solid!

I am sold on it! I have found that if I don't use a good razor to shave, the mixture will slightly irritate me, but only for that day. I have been more careful about shaving and that has solved that problem for the most part!

Cecilia said...

I've been doing this for two days and not a whiff of body odour...hot days.. transit rides and stressful office...I'm in love too....

Anonymous said...

what if you have a sweating problem? do you think it will work?

Anonymous said...

Hi! This is my Day 1 of using Baking Soda and so far so good. I just wonder of the actual mix of Baking Soda to Cornstarch powder? Do I still have to add a little amount of water to make it stick on my pits?

Looking forward to your answers :)
Thanks!

glomp said...

I am very curious seeing how this will work for me. It is summer, humid (90% to 100%), and temps barely breaking 100 degrees F here. Everyone has given so many choices! I'm excited and don't quite know what I will choose. I recently starting making an effort to use more natural products. The firsts were my toothpaste and soap. The biggest challenge is now my deodorant. I was using an aluminum one and changed to a salt crystal but with debate over the ??? alum in it, I want alternatives (also it doesn't work after a few hours and I have never used the spray).

The possible mixtures that I will give a shot (thanks to you all) are:
1.baking soda and apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle and perhaps sage, lavender, bay leaves, or vanilla for fragrance (I don't know what would smell good mixed with apple cider vinegar. Any advice? :D);
2.baking soda and coconut oil; 3.baking soda and water in a spray bottle;
and 4. baking soda and corn starch.
Dumb question alert:
Would mixing #4 with water in a spray bottle cancel out the sweat absorbing power of the corn starch? *Runs and hides*

Anonymous said...

Check out primajolie.com - I think you might find what you are looking for.

Anonymous said...

There's a company named PrimaJolie that makes an all natural deodorant that really works great. It has baking soda and some other ingredients.

Anonymous said...

Does baking powder work just as well? Or do you have to use baking soda?

Anonymous said...

I have just started using baking soda the other day and have been really surprised with how effective it is. I always thought that I had- I'm a little embarrassed to mention but I guess this is pretty anonymous here- particularly smelly armpits but I haven't noticed any kind of odor at all with baking soda, even the next day after applying. I just would want to get the word out so that more people would use this rather potentially harmful chemicals. I had looked a long time beforehand for a natural product that works and could find nothing. Even traditional deodorants weren't really enough to last all day for me. I encourage anyone to give this a try. I really feel it's the most effective way of preventing underarm odor out there and it's cheap and I can't imagine it has any negative health consequences considering how basic and natural it is.

Anonymous said...

I have been using a non-aluminum crystal for a few years now... Sometimes I get a bit of a musty smell with it... but nothing too offensive. I am going to try using baking soda with coconut oil and possibly a bit of corn starch (because i have sensitive skin). Thanks for the testimonials guys!!

AwkwardRose said...

Hello,

I have actually been using baking soda as a deoderant for about 3 months, and am currently having irritation; which is how I came across your posting. I will try the cornstarch tip and hopefully it will help, because I love baking soda in place of the traditional deoderant which never really seemed to work efficiently for me, and always left my underarm skin tacky. Thanks for the tip!

jessica wilson said...

this was excellent to find! my mister was tired of the store-bought stick deodorant and its build up on his skin and clothes. started using the baking soda with equal parts corn starch and is delighted at the results. no stinky mister! thank you for the post...awesome-sauce!

Anonymous said...

Is anybody concerned about all that sodium entering your body? In the same sense that some people irrationally think driving is safer than flying, it seems foolhardy to trade mainstream compounds for a crazy amount of sodium. Consider how high sodium intake is far larger of a contributor to disease than synthetic compounds. Not as entertaining to hear, but true.

kitty said...

man, cannot wait to do this bs ;) i've been stinky forever and thankful i landed on this blog! gotta run now, go get and do me some and lotsa bs! thank youuuu!

Anonymous said...

well, I haven't tried baking soda because i've heard that it darkens the skin under your armpits if you have dark skin.

However, I've been using Apple Cider Vinegar for over 6 months and it's worked really well for me. I use a spray bottle to apply it but you can also use a cotton ball/pad. The vinegar smell disappears once it dries! You can also rub a slice of lemon under your pits and it works just as well!

LOST said...

Nice blog, Thanks!
Will surely try this later.. =)

Anonymous said...

I've been using baking soda for 2 years now and it works for me really well before I'm using deodorants like dove and secret and I've noticed that even though i don't have smell on my armpits but when i get sweat i don't feel fresh all day, but with baking soda i feel fresh no smell at all, i combine it with corn starch because the baking soda is a bit hard on the skin if you apply it directly during my first week I've notice some rashes then i search on the internet that if you combine this with corn starch it will work on your skin and the result is good and I'm happy with it and its better to use natural products than to use deodorants and anti antiperspirant.

Anonymous said...

One of the best things I've found that works is after the shower get a lemon wedge and squeeze some juice in ur palm and slap it in ur pits! Let air dry!

Lizzy said...

I started using baking soda under my arms over a month ago. It works better for me than any deodorant I've ever used (including the crystal). I pour a small amount into one hand, wet the other hand, rub both hands together and then under my arms. If this doesn't work for you, for three days, start the process by wiping your underarms with a cotton ball saturated in rubbing alcohol. This will get rid of the bacteria.

I wonder how safe baking soda is? I have never felt comfortable using deodorant because it delivers toxins directly to the lymph nodes. I was ignorant to the fact that baking soda is very effective as a deodorant and so I used all kinds of toxic deodorants my entire life. Many of the "natural" deodorants are toxic.

Is there a way to find out about the safety of baking soda?

Lizzy said...

Warning to the person who adds tea tree oil to the mix: it could negatively effect your hormone levels.

Anonymous said...

I have strong armpit smell usually. Then I had a very stinky armpit week of very bad odor and I got desperate. I even showered and scrubbed twice but still smelled even right after the shower. Then someone told me about baking soda. It worked immediately and neutralized the smell for days! So easy to apply and it works so well. Try it!