Homemade, Low-Waste Deodorant & Toothpaste

Just lately I mixed up some new batches of homemade hygiene products and thought I'd share them... what I use for deodorant and toothpaste, and with emphasis on low-waste.  I'm hesitant to use the expression zero waste, as that is not always completely possible... :/ 

My most favorite form of homemade, low-waste deodorant is a VERY simple... Super easy! And it works, too! 

Natural Baking Soda Deodorant:

Mix 50-50 --one part each-- of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) and cornstarch (or arrowroot), add several drops of lavender essential oil. Mix together and store in a glass jar. 

To use, dust the deodorant powder into armpits with a makeup brush.

As we're having quite a warm summer for Norway standards, I'm sometimes finding my powder deodorant needs refreshing during the day. So I've been trying a different low-waste, homemade deodorant--one that is coconut oil-based...

Low-Waste Homemade Deodorant:

6 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
1/4 cup cornflower (or arrowroot)
20 drops of lavender essential oil

Mix up ingredients and store in a glass jar. To use, scoop a small amount on the tip of the finger and rub into the armpits. Tip: wait a couple/few minutes, allowing the deodorant to absorb into the skin, before putting on clothes.

** NOTE: the coconut oil can be sensitive to heat fluctuations and melt. Those in warmer climates might prefer to store the deodorant in the refrigerator than at room temperature, in order for the deodorant mixture to maintain its stability. **

And a homemade toothpaste is similar to the deodorant, just a different essential oil!

Low-Waste Homemade Toothpaste:

6 tablespoons coconut oil

6 tablespoons baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)

20 drops of peppermint essential oil

Mix up ingredients and store in a glass jar. To use, scoop a small amount on the tip of a toothbrush. 

** NOTE: the coconut oil can be sensitive to heat fluctuations and melt. Those in warmer climates might prefer to store the toothpaste in the refrigerator than at room temperature, in order for the toothpaste mixture to maintain its stability. ...Also, if a sweetener is desired, a little stevia powder can be added to the mixture. **

We are trying out the Humble Brushes... toothbrushes with bamboo-handles and nylon bristles. The bristles can be removed at the end of the toothbrushes life and the bamboo handle composted! Eco-friendly and recyclable packaging too. The supermarket we frequent most now has these in stock! These are medium on the comfort scale. I would prefer a softer brush, so will look for a soft brush next time...  

In truth, switching from commercial products to homemade can be a process. My own transition from commercial products to homemade began three years ago. It can take a period of adjustment getting used to setting aside time to make your own products, getting into the habit of using them, and even getting used to enjoying them. For example, I have used a simple toothpaste of baking soda (bicarb) and water for some time while phasing out commercial toothpaste. Switching it up to this one using coconut oil, it took me a few days to get used to the new, different texture, taste and overall experience. But being able to make my own products--to say NO to environmental disruption, NO to plastics, NO to chemicals, NO to big company advertising tactics and greed, NO to over-consumption, etc... it all matters. Every choice, no matter how big or small, matters.

For more full disclosure here... These homemade deodorants and toothpastes are ones that I am using. TJ's not been following me completely yet on the journey of homemade, sustainable hygiene products. He's still using some commercially made products, like toothpaste and deodorant. And that's OK. We all have our choices to make. Each of us has to be ready to try different turns in the road. We have to allow others their space for their journey. 

One day at a time, one step at a time, one product at a time to reduce impact on the planet, reduce our consumption and waste... Sometimes it feels slow, this low-waste, low impact, sustainable journey, but it feels good!


  1. I find your journey fascinating, Tracy. I might be a bit more like TJ, especially on the deodorant, since mine works for me well. But I really admire this and it's also just good to know this stuff. I confess, I never thought of making either one myself. And I really admire your commitment and diligence. I'm thinking the world needs more people like you than me.

    1. Oh, I think there's room for everyone, and everyone's ways, Jeanie! No one person is any "better" than another, I don't think. We're all in this together, and to help each other. :) And some of this stuff I try, I know is not for everyone. We find a product that really works, and we may even like it a lot, so it's not easy to part with that. Body care is a sensitive thing...even down to the toothpaste... LOL! For me, the less chemicals, the less ingredients, and less plastic, the better. :)

  2. my gram never used anything but baking soda for brushing her teeth!
    she didn't add anything to it. I need to get back to that.
    I stopped using deodorant about two years ago. and I love what I use now.
    what works for me is alcohol. one bottle lasts a long time.
    I read that it's the bacteria on our skin that causes odor. so I just swipe each armpit
    (what a strange and awful word! LOL) with the alcohol and amazingly I'm good for the day! it really works. and it's so simple. and no... to those who think the alcohol smell lasts. it doesn't. just the clean armpit! if I should go out in the evening I might do it again just to make sure. I love the quickness and the simplicity of it!
    but I like your approach too.
    I use coconut oil as a moisturizer for my face and body and have for some time.
    it's wonderful! and though I love the scent … it fades to nothing fairly quickly.
    and you're right. if one person just did a little. eventually some major differences could be made!
    to think there are now over SEVEN BILLION of us contributing to the waste on this planet. so it really is important.
    thanks for this wonderful and helpful post! xo

    1. Thanks for your lovely, share-filled post, as always, Tammy! It's so good to share experiences... even hygiene ones... LOL! ;) Alcohols are a component in a lot of commercial deodorants, especially the roll-on kind, which contain antimicrobials that kill bacteria on the skin. The bacteria is what leads to stinky, as you say. So I can see how you using straight up alcohol would be very effective. And you're using a lot less other stuff, so I like the simplicity of that! :) I must admit I do prefer the just baking soda as toothpaste. This mixture with coconut oil is very effective too, but the texture and all does take getting used to. And I have to keep it in the fridge at the moment, which is not int he bathroom... haha! I've been using olive oil for moisturize. I should try the coconut oil!

  3. Thank you for the recipes Tracy. It is hard to find a decent lavender commercial deodorant, so making my own could be fun! Wearing this sort at night especially, must be kinder to your body than bought ones. The recipes are also a good way to use up bicarbonate of soda which is close to its sell by date, that you may not want to cook with. Thanks for the share!

    1. Lavender is one of my favorite scents! And I really like it in my deodorant mixtures. I've never really needed deodorant over night, but these natural versions would be very nice of overnight use. And yes, no problems with "off the date" bicarb--good way to use it up, and it's still effective! :)

  4. Wow! Tracy! I don't think I could go to this extent, but I am thinking about alternatives and more healthy choices I might try from the market. I am totally impressed with your journey.

  5. I love these types of posts Tracy. I always learn a lot. Interestingly enough I stopped using commercial deoderants several years ago because of the correlations I read between the use of under-arm deoderant and breast cancer. As the daughter of a breast cancer survivor that is important to me. I don't use anything now, and happily have found that (after the initial adjustment) I don't need any deoderant at all. I simply wash day and night and that keeps everything at bay! I will also admit here freely that I don't shave under my arms now either. Haven't done for years. I think that also makes a difference. Hair has a purpose I suppose! Happily it works and it is completely natural. Mind you I have never worn sleeveless garments, so its not really a problem! Love you! xoxo


Post a Comment