Deodorant DIY: Try These 6 Natural Solutions to Keep You Fresh

July 24, 2015

We try our best to fight perspiration and odor, but it’s just a part of life. Even the coolest cats can start sweating under the pressure of an important meeting or a hot date.

If you notice petunias wilting in your wake, don’t stress. In fact, your anxiety could be making things worse—stress sweat is emitted from a totally different gland than exercise sweat (which is mostly water), and it contains some lipids and proteins that feed the bacteria on your skin, creating foul odors.

Sometimes commercial deodorants just don’t cut it, plus the chemical ingredients in these products that keep you from sweating and smelling aren’t necessarily the greatest to swipe on your sensitive skin daily.  Aluminum in antiperspirant deodorants have been linked to breast cancer in women. Parabens (synthetic preservatives) can disrupt hormonal balance.

So, instead of relying on formulas that barely make an impact, try a little bit of natural healing—sometimes that’s all it takes.

Baking soda

Take a cue from the popular trick of leaving an open container of baking soda in the fridge to absorb odors. This pantry staple is a natural at deodorizing, so why not use it for just that? Mix two tablespoons of baking soda with one cup of water and put it in a spray bottle. Spray it on areas prone to getting funky like the underarms and feet.

Apple cider vinegar

Okay, it might seem weird to battle B.O. with something so pungent, but the scent of vinegar will fade away, while body odor is there to stay—unless you do something about it. Infuse a cotton ball with some ACV and swipe it on your pits. It can lower the skin’s pH, killing odor-causing bacteria that typically survive on high pH levels.

Witch hazel

Like ACV, this astringent can also lower the skin’s pH, but it’s odorless. Just do the same steps—swipe it on smelly body parts with a cotton ball to kill bacteria and cut smell fast.


Same deal with pH here. Cut a slice of lemon or lime, squeeze the juice onto a cotton ball and apply. Swiping lemon or lime on your underarms can aggravate sensitive skin, so test this on a small patch of your skin first.

Tea tree oil

This herbal oil is a natural antiseptic that can kill bacteria and fungi. It is pretty powerful, though, so dilute it with water. Use one tablespoon of water for every drop of tea tree oil. Mix it in a spray bottle and you’ve got an herbal deodorizing mist.


One of the root causes of body odor is an overload of bad bacteria in your intestinal tract. Eating probiotic foods, which are comprised of good bacteria, can improve digestive health and stop body odor in its tracks. There’s good old ACV again—taking a shot of it can help nourish the good bacteria in your belly. Other foods to indulge in: Kombucha, kefir, miso, kimchi, sauerkraut, and yogurt containing live active cultures.

If you want to go the traditional route without the chemical load, Thrive Market offers tons of natural deodorants to help you banish body odor.

Photo credit: Paul Delmont

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Dana Poblete

Dana's love for all creatures under the sun (bugs, too) drives her in her advocacy for ethical eating, environmental sustainability, and cruelty-free living. A natural born islander, she surfs when she can, and writes, always.

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