Saturday, January 31, 2009

Still Using Baking Soda Deodorant

It's been more than four months since I officially ran out of deodorant and started using baking soda on my underarms to prevent odors, and all I can say is that it really works.

In fact, I've been doing aerobics classes four times a week and even after my hour-long workouts, my armpits don't really smell. I will admit that the texture of the baking soda does create a bit of friction during my workouts, but the irritation is not bad enough to motivate me to stop me from using baking soda.

Summary: baking soda deodorant is still amazing!

Update - 3.22.09 - At the suggestion of some readers, I am now using baking soda AND cornstarch mixed together (1:1) and I am no longer experiencing any irritation. Thanks everyone!

66 comments:

Patti Gibbons said...

Thanks for writing this blog! I am going to link to it from my own blog as I believe that we must change in order to save our planet. I have been using more natural products such as baking soda, vinegar etc. to clean with, make my own laundry detergent, NEVER heat my food in plastic, eat well, (quinoa is my new fave - SP?) and use the finest and purest things on my skin. I have a great place by the way if you love pure lotions/products. My friend in NYC makes it ...lornasnaturals.com.

KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! patti

Anne said...

I've been using baking soda for six months. I went down to the tropics (Bonaire) for two weeks and I call that a real test. Test passed beautifully! No smell from my underarms at all even in all-day tropical heat!

I just rub on about half a teaspoon of baking soda on each of my arm pits in the morning (don't shave right before because that would sting!). I think it must be the salty skin (salty from the baking soda) that keeps the smelly bacteria from growing.

Sandy said...

My big problem is sweat. I'm a sweaty Betty, and I don't really smell so much as just... have a rainforest under my arm.

Anonymous said...

I found a recipe that calls for 1/4 cub of baking powder, 1/4 cup of arrowroot powder and 4-5 tablespoons of coconut oil. You can also add some essential oils.

Another product I tried (it's in plastic though) is Geranium Lime 'Pit Putty from www.bubbleandbee.com. It works great. As soon as I buy the ingredients for the homemade deoderant I'll compare them.

Viki said...

Ugh. I gotta say, as practical as that idea sounds, and as much as it appeals to the practical side of me, I just can't stand sweat. Call me crazy... I need my aluminum sulfide or whatever it is that makes there be no sweat under my arms!

Anonymous said...

Its aluminum zirconium trichlorophosphate, and it's highly toxic. I wouldn't touch the stuff, wanting to avoid degenerative disease and all. But for some, sweat now is more frightening than having one's brain dissolve later.

Mojohito said...

I've found that salt is very effective at eliminating odors, and without the chalky texture of baking soda! My latest bar of salt is pink Himalayan salt, came packaged in paper, and will likely last three years, for less than seven dollars!

Olcountrylawyer said...

I cycle everywhere, so I've had to find a way to cut down on B.O. This is what works for me: Merino wool T-shirts, which are smooth as silk against your skin and don't itch. Best of all, bacteria cannot propogate in them, so they don't smell and they needn't be washed very frequently. Just hanging them outside every couple of days does the trick. I'm saving lots of water and using much less soap and detergent than when I wore cotton. Other tricks: keep underarm hair trimmed and wipe under there every once in a while with alcohol to kill oder-causing bacteria.

A Slice of the Pie said...

I am naturally... sweaty... but the baking soda really helps. I love that I can neutralize odors, too. Showering everyday is over rated!

Kel

Lisa said...

I use a big hippie salt crystal. It works beautifully! I will never go back to anything else.

Lisa said...

I have a question for you and your readers. What do you do about food leftovers? Ie, are there non-plastic alternatives to tupperware?

Ashley B. said...

If you're not into the texture, try using baking soda and melted shea butter. I've been using this recipe for 6-8 months and LOVE it. Not only is there not much smell, but seriously... so easy. I can get shea butter in non-plastic containers (er, bulk bins) at my local co-op.

3 Tablespoons shea butter
3 Tablespoons baking soda
2 Tablespoons corn starch
2 Tablespoons cocoa butter
2 vitamin E oil gel caps (puncture and squeeze out the oil)
Essential Oil (I used ylang yang and rose)

**recipe originally from AngryChicken's website: http://angrychicken.typepad.com/angry_chicken/2008/07/homemade-deodor.html

Good luck, and thanks for keeping up this blog-- always inspires me.

islandveggie said...

I have one of the big mineral crystals too and I LOVE it! I think it will las me and my daughter's lifetimes. I've had it a year and it looks pretty much the same as when I got it!

Elfine said...

I just tried baking soda after reading your blog. I lived in California for years and have tried the salt crystal, Tom's, almost all of the natural brands, a couple of the evil ones..without much success. Now I live in the Netherlands and have tried the Euro health brands. I just had a kidney transplant and all of the drugs have made me so insanely smelly and sweaty...until the baking soda! I have used it for 5 days, stressful ones at that, and without so much as a hint of stink. Now, if I could just get the clay I use to wash my hair to work as well as this...

Meg said...

Hmmmm... interesting. I might have to try this some day just as an experiment, but I think the salt-block-style deoderant I'm using is going to last for one day less than forever at this rate!

Christine said...

Hi, just found your blog today, I use the Toms of Maine brand but, I would love to try something less expensive, without the plastic packaging and simpler. So, since I'm running out of my current brand I'm going to give baking soda a try. Sounds like it might be a bit more soothing to the skin too, for those who shave.

Salla said...

Yeah I think the texture could be improved by adding a little of some other incredient to the mix such as corn starch or clay. makes the stuff a bit smoother. I Also add essential oils just for the nice smell

Anonymous said...

I've been using baking soda as a deodorant for a few weeks now, but sometimes it really irritates my skin. So I tried dissolving it in a little water and dabbing it on with a cotton pad. It seems to work just as well and I never get the irritation using it this way.

I also often brush my teeth with baking soda. I was a little worried about the abrasion of the powder so I also dissolve it for tooth brushing and it works great.

Anonymous said...

Nice post!
for lack of any other thing usable in my house to block the stink...lemon peel, alcohol, socks (just kidding) etc. I stumbled on baking soda I had in the b-room for teeth. works great & has been a year. Hippie-rocks didn't work for me sadly, cause they last forever! I keep some baking soda in a little ceramic pot (Bob's Red Mill brand) and dab on after showering or whenever...use a little water on the fingers. Don't over-do it or a ring of salts? comes out on the clothing.

Liz said...

i've been using baking soda (aluminum free bob's red mill) for months and love it.

thanks for getting the word out about it!

Kathy said...

Okay, I have never heard of making your own deodorant! I especially like Ashley B.'s recipe for deodorant with shea butter! I will have to think about this and maybe try a small batch before completely committing. If it really works, I would consider it! I wear a lot of sleeveless shirts so I would be concerned with caking on the underarms part of the shirt! I love this site, there are so many great ideas.

Judith said...

A bit of lemon juice works wonderfully. I save my squeezed lemon from my morning lemon water and after I have washed up I squeeze out the last drops for under my arms.
Got this tip from a friend who had had breast cancer and suspected using commercial deodorants was partly to blame.

Judith

Anonymous said...

if you ever want less grit, but maybe a bit of plastic :/ buy salt spray or salt roll-on (the stone alone didn't do the job). no grit & w/ some naturally anti-bacterial soap, you're good to go for 24 hours - even w/ exercise.
thanks for blogging about this. you're inspiring & have a much-needed message!
c.
clevelandyogini.blogspot.com

::athada:: said...

Tried it. Skin got a little red and irritated. Gave up. Any suggestions?

LifeLessPlastic said...

Athada, Add some cornstarch to the baking soda. That helped me. I used a 1 to 1 ratio and I'm not experiencing any irritation now.

racherin said...

I started doing this because my old deodorant stopped working. I think it was because of hormonal changes after my first baby. I don't shower every day (dries out my skin), and I do struggle with BO. Commercial deodorants have just been making it worse, unless they have the toxic aluminum in them. I've started washing my armpits with soap every day, using a squirt of vinegar, and then after that dries some baking soda. I intend to try the homemade recipe, but the only way I can get the ingredients is online and it's too expensive. Just to encourage those who struggle with stink--This works better than Old Spice!

Colleen said...

I was happy to see this and find that I am not alone in using baking soda! I found out years ago that I had a very high level of aluminum in my body- high enough that it was not good. So I started trying all of the brands of natural deodorant and was not impressed. Recently I saw something online about baking soda so I figured I'd try it and was SO shocked! It's just perfect and I don't smell at all!
I even popped the roller ball out of and old roll on deodorant and washed out the bottle, filled it with baking soda and water and put the ball back in and now that is working great for applying it. If I could find empty roll on bottles I would make it for friends.
thanks for the thoughts!

Anonymous said...

i'm from malaysia, since it's a hot-climate country, can say that i sweat a lot (n daily), so does it work for me, this whole baking-soda-as-deodorant thing?

Anonymous said...

i am from a tropical country in SE Asia and i sweat a lot too because of the the weather.. but eversince I started using baking soda as my deodorant, it worked perfectly for me.. i dont sweat at all and my armpits have ZERO smell! i love it!

Anonymous said...

i have been a fan of this until i developed rashes, irritation on my amrpits from using this. I wouldnt really know if mixing it with cornstarch would solve the problem. why is it causing irritation? is it something in my sweat? it is to "rough" that it is making it swell?
This is so effctive and i dont want to give up using it
thanks!

LifeLessPlastic said...

Hey Anonymous, Before you give up on the baking soda, try mixing in some cornstarch. The baking soda can be pretty abrasive and cause irritation. If you mix in cornstarch (maybe 2 parts baking soda, 1 part cornstarch) the mixture will be softer on your skin.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I just tried a mixture of baking soda and lemon juice for the first time and I am amazed! I've struggled with BO for a while and have wasted money on a lot of products. I wash often, would reapply deodorants, tried the stone. Nothing really worked. Yesterday morning I wiped with an alcohol pad first. Then I sprinkled some baking soda and few drops of lemon in my hand. Let it fizz and then rubbed it on and it pretty much disappeared. It's now a full day later and I can't believe how fresh I still smell! I always smell in the morning and this morning I couldn't believe it! I feel like I've been given new life! All the doubters out there......IT WORKS!

WynnR said...

Pure baking soda irritates the skin. Diluting it with cornstarch (baby powder) works great. I would start with a 50/50 mix and gradually reduce the proportion of baking soda until you can tell the difference.

The baking soda shifts the pH of your underarms above the range bacteria thrive in, but hopefully not high enough to be caustic to your skin.

Everybody’s skin is a little different. That’s why you want to play with the ratio. I use 1 part baking soda to 2 parts cornstarch, and I think I can get away with 1 to 3. I add a few drops of hop extract and lavender oil, that might have something to do with it.

Kimberly said...

I've been using a deodarant these last few (hot) weeks-- equal parts baking soda and cornstarch mixed with coconut oil and a few drops of lavender oil just bc I looove lavender. I'm not sweating or stinking! (And I've asked!!) It's working better than any commercial stuff I've used.

Seduction Adviser said...

Yep, been using it for a couple of years now, the best deodorant bar none!!

I've been looking for a company/product who have made an easily appliable version though, the closest thing is made by hand made cosmetics company called Lush here in the UK.

Good to see that people know about ti and don't have to suffer with often expensive and ineffective deodorants.r

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing about baking soda as a deodorant. The 'natural' deodorants (Tom's, JASON) were just not working for me and I was so embarrassed of my BO that I was considering going back to regular deodorant even though I was unhappy about the aluminium content. But baking soda (I'm mixing it with a little lemon juice) is working SO well for me!! :) Even when I'm sweating a lot, I'm not smelly. Yay!

Giovanni said...

I too have switched to Baking Soda. I tried it and found that amazingly it stopped all arm pit odor completely. and it lasts for hours even into the next day. It is much better than all those expensive commercial deodorants
The only thing I am trying to figure out is how to stop it from irritating my arm pits. It tends to burn and irritate the soft skin under the arms. Sometimes it burns pretty bad through out the day.
There must be a balancing agent to stop the acid burning affect of the baking soda.
Nevertheless, it works so good that I am willing to take the burn.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to add to the rest of these comments and say that I've been using baking soda ( without aluminum ) for a few weeks now and it works great. Much better than alot of other so-called natural brands and definitely better than the toxic ones. Make sure to buy your baking soda from an organic or natural foods store and to make sure there is no aluminum in it, otherwise you might as well use the toxic stuff.

Anonymous said...

Just so you know, baking soda doesn't contain any aluminum- baking POWDER contains some because it's a mix of things for baking. Baking soda is just sodium bicarbonate- that's all.
I use a mix of coconut oil, baking soda and cornstarch and am still playing around with ratios and different add-in's like lavender and shea butter- but none of the versions have let me stink!

Herbs and Spices said...

I just stumbled on this blog, while searching for natural and affordable deodorants. I LOVE it. It's great to have another Earth friendly and health conscious blog to read.

Well here's my blog. Hope you find it interesting. Only on my first post though.

http://spices4health.blogspot.com/

stresshead said...

thank you all so much for your honest comments on a bit of a embarrassing problem. My right underarm is the main culprit and even after showering and using an antiperspirant my right underarm smells as soon as i start to sweat (so much for antiperspirants stopping the sweat).

It started after having my third daughter and the whole thing is really stressing me out. So will give baking soda a try.

thank goodness for the internet hey!

Tami da Hippie said...

Just started using baking soda 2 days ago after reading a doctor recommendation online...I am amazed at how well it works. Deodorant, no matter what brand, has been causing major itching and irritation for a few years now, so I am excited to try something new!

I will definitely be trying the cornstarch mix to help minimize abrasion, though it is still more comfortable than the horrible itching from before.

Anonymous said...

I've been using baking soda and cornstarch (1:3) as deodorant for about a month now. I love it..will never go back to any commercially produced brand, hippie or otherwise. I usually have to apply twice daily (morning and afternoon) which some folks might think is once too often, but the benefits of this natural method far outweight that inconvenience for me. I used to have to apply other deodorants twice or more as well, and they ALL left me smelling like BO and flowers by the end of the day and usually ended up ruining my shirts after a couple of months of wear. Soda/cornstarch never stains, washes right out and immediately neutralizes any scent when applied. Awesome! Though beware the security people at the airport - a tin of white powder really sets off red flags! lol!

Anonymous said...

well, if you dont like to sweat... wait til all the chemicals you are putting on your body give you disease and cancer; YOU THINK YOU ARE SWEATY now!!!!? Go to Baking soda and fix your bodies electro' signals.. otherwise, you are gonna be one hell of a sweaty bitch when disease gets' you.

Anonymous said...

well, if you dont like to sweat... wait til all the chemicals you are putting on your body give you disease and cancer; YOU THINK YOU ARE SWEATY now!!!!? Go to Baking soda and fix your bodies electro' signals.. otherwise, you are gonna be one hell of a sweaty bitch when disease gets' you.

Anonymous said...

Stresshead...I fully understand one underarm acting as if you didn't even wash it. It's might right one too, coincidentally...But anyway, I've always had issues with musty underarms, no matter what I've used...I've used everything put out that says that it is the best...Only masked the odors...I did the baking soda thing years ago, but the mixture I was told about was vaseline and baking soda, which of course would basically ruin my clothes, so I stopped using it...I wasn't funky, but it made my skin raw too...Not a good feeling...I'm a very clean person, and for this to seem to take over my life has been very hard, but I'm going to try some coconut oil, baking soda, and corn starch...I hope it works, because I LOVE the smell of coconut!!!

Anonymous said...

I seriously have been using cornstarch and baking soda for 2 months now...It is the greatest deodorant EVER. I use half baking soda and half cornstarch in a salt shaker..the boyfriend thinks I'm nuts ...but he agrees ...no B.O. and no scent what-so-ever...I love it..it does not interfere with a fragrance if you choose to wear one...and best of all does not stop working , all of a sudden...as I've found with most ANTIperspirants...(the ones with aluminum) So , YES , you will perspire(sweat) in your pits...but that's natural...But , with baking soda/cornstarch, you will not stink! It's a beautiful natural thing!

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone!

So! I work for a spa, and I had a customer come in looking for some Essie nail Polish. As she was buying them she asked me if they will make her nails yellow. And how other nail Polish out there was making them yellow. So, the hint she gave me was mixing baking soda with vinegar and soaking your hands in it. She also mentioned about her daughter using baking soda and cornstarch as an deodorant! I did not believe anything she was saying so I decided to research it! And seriously I can't believe it! I cant believe today was the first time I ever her about this!. So, after today I'm heading to my 24hr Walmart to shop for some soda, cornstarch, and vinegar. updates soon to come!:-)

Anonymous said...

Milk of Magnesia is a great deodorant and even seems to reduce the sweating.

Bouncy said...

Ive been using BS for a couple of weeks now and the burning was horrible the first few days. Now I just rub some coconut oil around before dusting the baking soda on and its been perfect ever since :) Works so much better than even the most expensive or toxic store brands ive ever tried!!

heartnation said...

I've just made the baking soda, corn starch, with coconut oil, vitamin E oil and a little lavender oil. Boy, do I smell like lavender! It's good, though, since it is the pure essential oil. For the past several years, I've been using coconut oil only with maybe a little drop of an essential oil for fragrance. Coconut oil is antibacterial so it kills the things that cause body odor. IT WORKS -- biggest test was clearing out a storage unit in Florida's humid summer weather. I was hot and sweaty and I smelled great! I was amazed. So, if the baking soda irritates your skin, try just using coconut oil alone -- it's actually great for your skin, and for cuts, scrapes, etc. I never use antibiotic ointment which causes horrible allergic reactions -- use coconut oil instead. It heals quicker, cleaner and safer.

Anonymous said...

If you put the baking soda in a trouser sock and tie it off, you can pat the sock under your armpits to easily apply a smooth thin layer. This not only makes it easy to apply but cuts down on the abrasiveness of baking soda as a deodorant.

Anonymous said...

I recently got diagnosed with MS, and I read that it may be caused by environmental factors. Needless to say, my lifestyle has done a 180. I stopped using normal deodorant with aluminum and parabens and bought a safe one. It wasn't working. I smelled like a hippie by noon and it was sticky. I spent $8 bucks on the sucker, so I didn't want to throw it out altogether. I then grabbed the baking soda from the kitchen and dipped my deodorant into it. It stung a little at first, but it works marvelously! I smell great!

Anonymous said...

I like a brand named PrimaJolie. It's pretty simple but works very well and they use baking soda in their ingredients along with some other stuff like aloe. it works very well - I'm content

Anonymous said...

baking soda is really great deodorant! it is indeed - the best! except for some vivid irritations and marks on the pits. but i really don't want to stop using it as i don't smell awful throughout the day which is great for me. i would love to try it together with cornstarch as how some bloggers suggests to do it that way. thanks!

Anonymous said...

baking soda is really great deodorant! it is indeed - the best! except for some vivid irritations and marks on the pits. but i really don't want to stop using it as i don't smell awful throughout the day which is great for me. i would love to try it together with cornstarch as how some bloggers suggests to do it that way. thanks!

Morgan said...

I started using baking soda before my first daughter was born as a way to make my body cleaner for pregnancy. I'm STILL on the same box I started on nearly four years ago! I dust it on with a makeup brush (sometimes over Alba Botanica tea tree deodorant, but often just by itself). I NEVER stink, ever. It's the best! Thanks for the cornstarch idea. I will try that next.

Jacki said...

I too have had years of trouble with B.O. I remembered my mom having the same issue and she would wash her underarms with baking soda, this would get rid of the smell but because i had trouble with commercial deoderants it was a very temporary fix. two weeks ago i decided to just put baking soda under my arms to see what happend and it was amazing, no underarm oder even into the next morning. I do experience some irritation but will try cornstarch mixed with baking soda to see if it helps.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad I read this. I've been using baking soda for a few weeks now and my skin was so irritated, i was sad I might have to stop using it because it works wonders. But since I read this now I don't have to stop and I can't continue being green!!

Anonymous said...

I have always had issues with sweating profusely and odor. Even the strongest deodorants would eventually stop working for me. Then I started using baking soda.
I get my fingertips damp on the faucet then dip them in the baking soda, and rub it on my pits. I hardly sweat at all anymore and no odor. Now I can actually wear my shirts more than one time. What a relief it has been. I think I have been using it for about 8 months. It even worked this summer in the desert. 90 plus degrees outside.

Anonymous said...

Baking soda really works..Ive been using 1 tablespoon of pure baking soda mixed with water until it because pastey...let air dry and gently wipe off...although my skin is a little sensitive afterwards it's well worth it ...I don't ever have to worry about sweaty stinky armpits again...

aluminium free said...

to safe my breast from cancer i always use aluminum free deodorants ,and i think this is the reason i am 65 year but Brest is free of cancer ,good alternate of deodorant is coconut oil and baking soda

Angela said...

I am busy writing a book called Nature's Way and I would love you to explore and experiment with me - it's amazing what I have discovere, and yes one thing has been baking soda deodorant :)

http://kingsdaughters21.blogspot.com/2011/12/natures-way.html

Anonymous said...

Baking soda works great for me too. I'm afraid of antiperspirants, because so unnatural. I bet it has something to do with breast cancer.

I don't have any irritation and my skin is fairly sensitive, but try mixing cornstarch with baking soda.

Anonymous said...

Please becareful doing this – I tried it and yes it worked (amazingly well at first) but a few days later I broke out in boils, alot of boils. The bicarb obviously irrated my skin big time. Since then I have spent 6 months in and out of hospital with intravenous antibiotics and surgery (twice!) because of a subsequent MRSA skin infection. Finally after 3 months taking a high-dose combination of two different oral antibiotics, I seem to be in the clear and will never, ever try DIY deodorant again. I'm posting this on a few blogs about baking soda to hopefully save one or two people from the hell I've been through!

Anonymous said...

Ladies: a lovely (and easy) home-made deodorant recipe.. 15 minutes, i'd swear by...

4 tbsp vaseline (melt down)
2 tbsp corn starch
2 tbsp baking soda
and a few drops of your favourite essential oils

stir until smooth, pour into a little bowl or container and voila! You can use it right away but if you let it sit for 30 - 45 minutes it will harden right up. Love it!