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246 Responses to “New News and pH Balancing Your Old Homemade Deodorant Problems”

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  1. Thumbelina

    we miss you!

  2. Mary U.

    Thank you for all this wonderful information about homemade deodorant. I have not been using commercial/chemical deodorant for more than a year. I have been using coconut oil and essential oils. I am eager to try your recipe. When I used commercial/chemical deodorants I had trouble with gray skin under my arms. I think that the gray skin may be because the area is dry. Think about gray knees and elbows. What is the culprit? Dry, dead skin. I exfoliate when I bath and for a time I would also apply lotion to my underarms. The coconut oil is also moisturizing. The skin coloration under my arms is no longer gray. So I would suggest moisturizing the underarm more. This could be achieved by using a natural lotion, cocoa butter, shea butter, etc. One of these or a combination of these could be layered with the pH balancer & deodorant or cocoa butter/shea butter added to the deodorant.

  3. v

    I can still hear the commercial in my head “Strong enough for a man, pH balanced for a woman.” Now I finally sorta know what that means!

  4. Fran

    Hi, I’m so glad I’ve found this website!! It’s very helpfull and really funny!
    I have a problem with the ph rebalancer. Everytime I make it, it goes bad after 5/6 days. At least it looks like it has gone bad. There’s floating some stuff in it that wasn’t there when I made it. I store it in the bathroom, is that bad? Does it needs to be stored in the fridge? It works like a charm, so I’m really happy with it! I really hope there is a solution for my problem. Thanks!!

    • Kelsey

      I may be wrong, but it sounds like if you’re making it with natural acv (Braggs brand, for example), it may be starting to grow a “mother”…. It’s not bad, it just means you’re using the good stuff.

  5. Rachel

    You know what works that requires no mixing??? Lemon or lime. I swear it. I used the homemade coconut oil/baking soda/cornstarch recipe until my poor pits started reacting to it. After a short internet search, (third time’s the charm in many things which now include internet searches), I found that a simple rub with a lemon or lime wedge will prevent odor. And, let me tell you, I had odor. Big time. First sign of sweat and I was terribly stinky.
    This works, and I won’t go back to anything else. Unless…

  6. MrsV

    I have been making my own deodorant for a while now, and have been fairly happy, minus the red bumps I get frequently, and the case of “falliculitis” (blocked glands) that had to be treated by antibiotics.

    My question, however, is about essential oils. I have read on some other sites that tea tree oil and lavender oil are not safe during pregnancy. I’m looking for a new recipe to try, and just wondering if you know of any safe/yummy smelling oils to put in deodorant. Thanks for any input you may have!

  7. Cathryn

    Is this blog dead? Am I missing something or is the last post from July? Leslie, are you still there?

    • Samantha

      Hit the Facebook link, and then the last post has a link to her closed “private” group, it says something about spammers is why she is going that route. I requested to be added, so we’ll see.

      • Cathryn

        Thanks for the reply Samantha! Alas, I’ve looked everywhere for the post with the “private” group link and couldn’t find it. Thanks anyway, I appreciate it!

  8. Yea, we can only hope this blog bursts back into life again. These posts are quality and a lot of fun to read as well as being so helpful.

  9. Brittany

    I’ve been using homemade baking soda and cornstarch based deodorant for a few months now and I haven’t had much problem with it aside from the skin darkening you mentioned. My mother has it too. She started using Tom’s brand deodorant before my homemade one and has the issue with both. Neither of us had the discoloration when we used the commercial, homemade stuff has so many more benefits though that we happily deal with the darker pits. I want to play around with some different recipes and moisturizers as well as essential oils to see if any of these have a lasting effect. so far exfoliating helps a little but it’s only about 30% effective for me. I would love to talk to you or anyone else looking into this more and hopefully figure something out.

  10. Is there a difference between Clove essential oil and Clove Bud oil? Also Cinnamon essential oil and cinnamon bark oil?

  11. miss sondra

    Sorry to break it to you! I am pretty light, bordering on pale. I get the skin darkening. But I do have a few ideas. One is that im half Mexican, so maybe it has to do with ethnicity vs actual skin color. I also have dry skin, not helped one but by this drought in California…. Anyway, hope it helps!

  12. Kat

    I’ve been using milk of magnesia as a deodorant and its works wonderfully. It’s really cheap and I don’t have any problems with itching, dry skin, or skin discoloration. I apply a nickel size amount under each arm and wait for it to dry before putting on my shirt.

  13. CC

    I, as well, have experienced the skin darkening problem. It becomes rather leathery, too. I had been using the baking soda+cornstarh+coconut oil recipe for about 2 months when I really noticed it. As you mentioned, I do have a darker complexion– I’m part Filipina, so I’m more of a medium-honey color. It got so bad (combined with the TERRIBLE itching) that I had to stop and switch back commercial deodorants. I am an extremely heavy perspirer, and now I’m in a massage therapy program, so I /have/ to make sure I smell clean and look clean, so I’m worried about trying this new technique and having it work just as well as commercial. Any news from heavy sweaters and how well this works for them?

    • Aditi

      I had the same problem. I’m Indian so brown. My pits were horribly itchy and got discolored, but every week or so, the discolored skin would peel off in horrible huge chunks and then the skin would be raw and miserable before the cycle restarted. I had even tried a similar pH rebalancing thing but it didn’t help, and at times it almost felt like the baking soda was just too physically abrasive, even if it was not a pH issue.

      I just stopped putting baking soda in my deodorant. It’s just coconut oil, arrowroot starch, and tea tree oil. I prefer refined coconut oil because somehow the unrefined one smells rancid on my skin, even when it’s not rancid in the jar!

      In any case, try without baking soda. You may find that you will be fine. I normally need to reapply after about 12h, but really I can only smell if I stick my nose directly into my bare armpit.

    • Aditi

      I also wanted to say, while I’m not a particularly heavy sweater, I am a stinky sweater. Or at least, that is what I thought when I was using commercial deodorants. I thought I was the world’s smelliest person and “needed” all these chemicals to keep the stench under control. turns out, I don’t smell so bad once I stopped putting scary stuff in my pits!

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  16. Naomi

    I had some adjustment issues with my homemade deodorant at first as well. I made my batch with more shea butter and arrowroot powder than baking soda, but it still caused some issues. It wasn’t burning so much as it was very ithcy, irritated. I found that using my apple cider vinegar & witch hazel facial toner was too strong for my irritated skin and made it worse, BUT using straight witch hazel calmed the irritation down almost immediately. Since that time, I have gotten into the habit of applying a few drops of oil to my armpits right after I shower (sometimes this is excess facial oil left on my hands after I’m finished applying it to my face!). The oil definitely helps to keep my skin happy and doesn’t seem to reduce the deodorants effectiveness at all. Happy armpits and happy me! I hope this helps someone! :)

  17. Erin

    Hey I found your blog looking for a hair mask. I also live in the Springs and that fire was scary and hopefully you still have your home:) I was disappointed to see your blog wasn’t updated but completely understand. The community amazes me that we all come together in time of crisis. Hope you get blogging again. God bless:)

  18. Caralain

    Ok so last time I tried homemade deodorant, it made my skin BREAK OUT in a crazy angry rash. I was trying not to cry and holding ice packs under my arms and taking advil. Are you sure that the redness is from PH and not because baking soda is crazy abrasive and I’m sticking it in an extra rubby spot?
    I don’t want to go through that again, but I really want a natural deodorant that actually works for stinkers like me!

    • Rachel

      Yeah, my homemade deodorant has not been my friend. Very painful rash, peeling skin, burning sensation. I went 2 months…maybe more, with NO problems whatsoever then it started up. I was so disappointed because it worked SO well for me. I’m going to try coconut oil, arrowroot and clay to see how that does. I’m very sad.

  19. Kelsey

    I’ve been using dry baking soda as deoderant for a week and I love it. The first day I made a mistake and scrubbed them with BS in the shower. The next two days they burned when I applied the dry BS, but since then they have been great. If I apply it once every 24 hours, I have no BO at all. I used to use Secret and only applied it once a week, but I’m so glad to be free of that horrendous stuff!
    I would guess that the infections and other problems I’ve been reading about are due to the cornstarch. I’m a nurse and have heard from many other nurses that cornstarch/baby powder can cause infections.

  20. imuneekru

    I’ve worked out a good solution to the dreaded messing up a whole batch of deodorant due to not getting the ratios right.

    Last year I made up a huge batch of lotion bars to give out to friends. I got a mix that’s solid at room temp using cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, beeswax, and a little Vitamin E oil. I didn’t scent them much except for a little lavender. The leftover ones ended up in my freezer.

    Now, when I run out of deodorant, I can just shave off a piece of lotion bar and play around till I get the baking soda and starch ratios right. I just throw a small amount in the microwave for a minute, add the powders and essential oils, and voila! Makes things so much easier and I don’t feel like I’m wasting ingredients if I screw it up. I get to play around with fragrances, too, using the little amounts.

  21. Kyonna

    I am an African American woman and Ive been using homemade baking soda deodorant on and off for about a year. Unfortunately after a few weeks of use my left under arm turns dark. As a matter of fact it’s dark right now, hence me stumbling across your page. I hope there is a fix for this problem because I have no desire to go back to store bought deodorant.

  22. Cordy

    I’m a (pale) Caucasian, and I got armpit darkening. What I think was actually happening, though, is that the PH of my first mix of homemade deodorant was so high my skin was basically forming protective calluses. (Hot!)

    I gave my skin a break, exfoliated like mad, and then experimented with making a new batch of deodorant. I basically started with a very low level of baking soda, and kept increasing the amount until I hit a level where it definitely controlled smell, but doesn’t (after a couple of months, knock wood) seem to be causing any skin problems. I also found that adding tea tree oil to the mix seems to help control smell at lower levels of baking soda.

    Just in case this helps anyone else!

  23. Claire

    Can anyone tell me if it’s ok to use potato starch instead of corn starch? I live in Ukraine and I haven’t been able to find corn starch for months now… Until it comes back in stock is there any reason why I should sub potato for corn?
    Thanks

  24. CT

    I sweat like a trucker (per my husband) and have always had to use the strongest deodorant I can find. While I really wanted to find a natural deodorant, the thought of rubbing baking soda/coconut paste on my pits just didn’t sound very appealing. I had already tried the crystal/rock with minimal success only if I wore 100% natural fiber clothing in the middle of winter and didn’t sweat… otherwise I couldn’t get near anyone. I was also aprehensive about the straight baking soda as some folks mentioned it messing with the body’s PH. SO… I have been successfully been doing the following for several weeks – through many fake fiber shirts of all kinds, through hard exercise routines, and sweating on my walk into the office in a suit jacket: Dab on undiluted ACV (regular vinegar might work too)to entire pit area, then using an old makeup brush, apply straight baking soda on top. It’s a bit messy, but it’s just baking soda falling on my bathroom rug, which needs a little deodorizing anyways… so two birds with one stone! No reapplying has been necessary throughout the day, nor have I experienced any negative reactions, detoxing, adjustment period, etc… Hope this helps!!

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  26. Nadiya

    I was thinking about the dark skin complaint. Grapefruit EO has whitening effect, therefore it might be a good idea to add few drops to your home-made deodorant. Have not tested the idea yet though.

  27. Sandy

    I’m light skinned and have had darkening of armpits. It seems to get slightly better with exfoliating. I only mention it because I saw it in this blog, otherwise I don’t really care cause it’s pretty rare that anyone sees my armpits. I’m definitely more concerned with keeping away the smell and my baking soda coconut oil mix has been working well.

  28. I’ve been using homemade deodorant for at least a couple years — coconut oil, cornstarch, baking soda, EO. It works great for me. No problems. Except sometimes I stink. Not always, but sometimes.

  29. I am so glad I found your site! New fan/follower and NEW to Green Cleaning! Following ETSY too! :-) Thank you for all of your brilliant easy-to-follow help!

  30. sanjanas

    Does crunchybetty not post anymore?

  31. nk

    I wanted to change my facial products with organic, i wanted to have everything on my face chemical-free so i google organic facial cleanser and this website was one of the million results google provided me with, i read the article and ended up opening one article after another until i realized i have been browsing this website for 3 hours!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and its so worth seriously i love it thank you so much and definitely without a doubt the best website for everything, i like how i can find so many things i need and have always thought id never find. best tips/ingredients i found online all from the kitchen and organic.

  32. Karen Rubio

    Part of the problem with some of these “deodorants” is you are trying to stop sweat , a natural process which is good for us ,
    I’m definitly off commercial antiperspirant we absorb that and if u read label kidney patients shouldn’t use it , so we probably shouldn’t either

  33. D

    Hmmm. I had the itchy skin and muddled through it. Now my underarm skin is suffering from the “shadow.” I am super white – can’t tan even if I wanted – but can’t get rid of the shadow. I’ve tried the exfoliation, but nothing. I’ve been using homemade deodorant, but not the recipe found here. It contains shea butter, cocoa butter, arrowroot powder, baking soda, vitamin e oil, and essential oils. I’m gonna try the ph resolution cause I sometimes have a recurrence of itching. For the most part though that shadow is the only issue. :0)

  34. Andi

    I use vegetable glycerine in my deodorant instead of coconut oil as I seem to be a bit sensitive to coconut oil. I find it doesn’t leave any oily marks and I noticed I seem less sensitive to the baking soda then when I did try it with coconut oil.

  35. Stacie

    I have the armpit shadow and I have quite pale skin. I’m going to try your tips.

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