I am trying to get rid of as many toxic chemicals as I can. In that quest, I have been cleaning my home mostly with baking soda a vinegar for years and now am making over our people cleaning products.
One of the first things I tackled is deodorant. It is difficult to find women’s deodorant and the men’s deodorant all smells like men. The ingredients list on the commercial brands are downright scary and what is almost equally scary is what happens when you try to wash out an old container of deodorant. The concoction sticks to the container and not even hot water and soap releases it.
After spending some time trolling around the Internet looking at various recipes for home-made deodorant, I have decided on a recipe that includes: coconut oil, the ubiquitous baking soda, cornstarch and some tea tree oil.
Here is my recipe:
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1/4 cup corn starch
- 10 drops of tea tree oil*
Melt the coconut oil in the microwave until it is almost melted and has a few solid bits still in it. Stir until all the oil is melted. Add the tea tree oil and stir again.
Meanwhile, thoroughly combine the dry ingredients.
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and mix well. Allow to cool.
Everything I read lead me to believe I would get a lotion in the end, but I got a solid (similar in consistency to the commercial solids). I was quite excited. The concoction was so firm, that I remelted it and poured it into an old deodorant container which immediately stopped working after getting about 3 mm (1/8″) of the deodorant out.
So, I decided to try a different, DIY approach. I took a piece of parchment paper and wrapped it into a cylinder, placed inside a recycled cardboard tube – I made my own, but you can use a toilet paper roll. Then, I remelted the deodorant at low power on the microwave and poured it into the parchment cylinder. For some reason, not all the deodorant came out of the deodorant bottle, but got stuck. When cooled, I put in into the refrigerator to chill.
This worked well, for a while. Then it started to warm up outside and inside. And, like all those before me, my solid became a lotion and my homemade tube leaked the lotion all over the medicine cabinet and leaked right though the cardboard.
Now, I just keep the deodorant in a jar and use a popsicle stick to scoop out the lotion (as seen in the photo at the top of the post).
Other than the adventures with the packaging and application, the deodorant seems to work well and I like it. I have been using it about a month and so far, so good!
* The tea tree oil adds an antiseptic quality to the deodorant. However, if you are pregnant or breast feeding, you probably should not use it. If you have sensitive skin, you may also want to avoid the tea tree oil as some people so have a sensitivity to it. Also, be aware that the combination of tea tree oil and lavender, imitates estrogen and may be endocrine disruptors. To make a more informed decision on whether you want to include the tea tree oil or not, you can do some of your own research . The US NIH (National Institutes of Health) have a web page dedicated to tea tree oil, HomeRemediesWeb.com site has information on tea tree oil, AltMedicine.About.com has information about a few studies that discuss tea tree oil, the dangers of tea tree oil are discussed on LiveStrong.com and the Guardian.co.uk cites concerns about tea tree oil in strong concentrations. In this recipe the a concentration is well under 1% – using the definition of a drop being .05 ml, 10 drops equal .5 ml. The recipe makes approximately 125 ml of deodorant and so the concentration is approximately .4% well within the safe limits. Of course, as with all things, do your research and make your decisions based on it, not on what I or some article in a newspaper says. I have no medical training and nothing I say should be construed as medical advice. Gads, perhaps next time I will just skip the tea tree oil. I think I just scared myself!