I have gone back and forth on whether or not natural deodorant is really a good idea. When I think about the kinds of chemicals you're putting onto (and into) your body when you use certain store-bought varieties, I feel all Earth Mama and ready to slather some homemade cream on the pits.
But other times, I want to be 100 percent confident in the fact that I won’t be sweaty—or worse, smelly—a few short hours after application. I’ve learned that when it comes to natural deodorant, you will sweat and possibly stink. And it is certainly an adjustment.
I have loved this coconut oil-based deodorant and even this DIY stick deodorant for some time. But I have come to realize that for the purpose of reducing sweat and handling odors, this vodka and essential oil-based deodorant spray is my favorite DIY yet.
Basics of Making Deodorant
Making your own deodorant can be a fun and cost-effective way to ensure that you're using natural ingredients on your skin. Using essential oils, baking soda, coconut oil, witch hazel, apple cider vinegar, aloe vera juice, magnesium oil, and more, you can create a natural deodorant spray that will leave you smelling fresh.
To make your own deodorant spray, you'll need a few essential ingredients, such as distilled water, witch hazel, and your favorite essential oils. You can use sweet orange, lavender, sandalwood, jasmine, rose, or any other essential oils that you like. Start by adding a few drops of your chosen essential oil to a spray bottle, along with witch hazel and distilled water. Then, add a small amount of baking soda and coconut oil to the mixture to help absorb odor and keep your skin moisturized.
To further customize your deodorant spray, you can add a few drops of apple cider vinegar, aloe vera juice, magnesium oil, or other natural remedies to soothe skin irritations and reduce excessive sweating. If you have very sensitive skin, you can use a natural preservative to prevent skin irritations. Additionally, you can add a natural blend of essential oils to your deodorant spray to make it smell even better.
To use your homemade deodorant spray, simply shake the bottle and spray it onto your underarms. You can also spray it on other parts of your body where you sweat. This natural deodorant spray is a great alternative to store-bought deodorants that may contain harmful chemicals. It's easy to make and will keep you smelling fresh all day long.
Flower Power DIY Deodorant Spray
Sure, you could add some tea tree to the mix, but in my opinion, that totally takes the joy out of the scent for me. On the plus side, tea tree has an added benefit of protecting your skin from yeast or fungus buildup [source], which is often responsible for malodorous pits.
It might sound strange to add vodka to a recipe for something you’re using on your body to smell, well, less, but it’s an important ingredient. In fact, it’s an essential ingredient. Why? Put simply, oil and water do not mix, but adding a little alcohol fixes that.
It disperses the essential oils and helps the scent linger in the pit area for far longer. I also think that the vodka dries things out a bit, kills bacteria (think: alcohol in hand-sanitizer) [source], and helps slow down the sweating in general.
When I shared this DIY deodorant spray on my Instagram page, I got some teasing and questions on whether or not it was drinkable! While I certainly wouldn't recommend sipping it as an alcoholic beverage, I guess that's your choice! However, I'm not a big fan of ingesting essential oils.
How to Make a Spray Deodorant
- 2 tablespoon vodka (the higher the proof, the better)
- 2 tablespoon distilled water
- 2 drops rose absolute essential oil
- 2 drops jasmine absolute essential oil
- 2 drops orange essence essential oil
- 1 drop lavender essential oil
- A 2-ounce amber glass spray bottle
- Combine all of the ingredients in a small, dark-colored bottle (to keep the essential oils from degrading). Shake the ingredients well so that they’re nicely combined.
- To distribute the essential oils efficiently, you’ll want to shake well before each use. Give each underarm 2–3 spritzes and let them air dry (this should only take a few seconds). It might sting a tiny bit at first if applied right out of the shower, especially after shaving. Apply again after exercising or heavy exertion, if desired.
I tend to spritz a couple of times a day just because I love the smell. Honestly, this recipe could easily double as a homemade perfume!
Deodorant Spray FAQ
Can I replace the vodka with another kind of alcohol?
We like to use vodka because it's both odor-free and effective. But you can try making it with gin, rubbing alcohol, or even witch hazel if you have some lying around. You may notice the scent of whichever alcohol you choose, but the smell should dissipate after application as the alcohol evaporates.
Can I use purified water instead of distilled water?
Sure! Go right ahead.
What other essential oils would work well in this recipe?
Does this DIY deodorant spray smell like vodka?
Once you water it down and add essential oils, you won't smell the vodka anymore. If you do happen to notice a slight vodka fragrance, it should dissipate once the alcohol evaporates off your skin.
Will this deodorant stain my clothes?
No, it shouldn't. Before applying, give it a good shake to evenly disperse the oils, and be sure to let it sink in for a few minutes before getting dressed.
Next: Check out this simple body spray that banishes bacne.
Essential Oil DIY Deodorant Spray
- 2-ounce dark mister bottle
- To make: Combine all of the ingredients in a small, dark-colored bottle. Shake to combine.
- To use: Shake well before each use. Give each underarm 2–3 spritzes, and let them air dry. Apply again after exercising or heavy exertion, if desired.
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Rina Mary Allawh, M.D., a dermatologist who performs adult and pediatric medical dermatology, skin cancer treatment and cosmetic dermatology. Learn more about Hello Glow's medical reviewers here. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.417