6 plastic free deodorant ideas

plastic free deodorantWhen trying to reduce waste, most people are left with a few items in their landfill bin; much of which is plastic.

So one way to get close to zero waste is to reduce the amount of plastic you use.

But it’s everywhere isn’t it?

From disposable biros to carrier bags to packaging, we can’t get away from it.

I’ve decided to do a ‘shopping list’ series, tackling some of the everyday things we use and trying to find alternatives.

I’m starting with deodorant – something most of us reach for at least once a day.

Aerosol cans are recyclable along with food tins and cans but many people use roll on or stick deodorants which come in thick plastic packaging.

Let’s take a look at some of the alternatives:

Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

Bicarbonate of soda is the simplest powder deodorant you can use! Add a few drops of your favourite anti bacterial essential oil such as tea tree or lemon if you’re worried about pongy pits and apply the powder to your underarms.

Coconut oil

Apparently, the lauric acid in coconut oil kills odour-causing bacteria to keep you smelling sweet. And according to users it doesn’t stain clothes; which was my first concern. To use, just dab a tiny amount of the coconut oil on your fingers and rub around your underarms.

Crystal deodorant

Natural potassium alum works on the bacteria that causes wiffs. Some brands, like Pitrok, shape their crystals into plastic packaging, but if you buy from somewhere like Natural Spa Supplies you’ll get your crystal sent to you wrapped in cardboard and paper.

Glass bottles

Weleda sell deodorant in glass bottles which you can then refill at home if you choose. Refill with witch hazel, distilled water and essential oils of your choice. I make mine using lemon, lime, grapefruit, coriander, clove and lavender for a lovely zesty fragrance.

Solid deodorant

LUSH sell a couple of solid deodorant bars containing bicarbonate of soda and essential oils which can be bought sans plastic packaging.

DIY deodorant recipe

If you’re feeling creative, why not give this a go:


  • 4 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 4 tbsp arrowroot
  • 6 tbsp coconut oil
  • 10 drops favourite essential oil


  • Gently melt the coconut oil in a bain marie
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients
  • Pour into a suitable shaped mould (a great way to reuse a rogue plastic vending machine cup, perhaps?) and leave to set

What about you? Any suggestions for plastic free deodorant?

Posted in

Rachelle Strauss


  1. Sarah on June 8, 2017 at 10:21 am

    Hi, I enjoyed your article. How long do you think a deodorant bar made to your recipe would last for 2 people?

    • Rachelle Strauss on June 8, 2017 at 7:50 pm

      Hi Sarah, it’s not a recipe I’ve made as I’ve found a alum stone that works really well for me. I’d suggest trying it out and seeing how long it lasts. Perhaps you could let me know 🙂

  2. Mary on July 6, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    Hi Everyone, My husband and I have been using alum stone deodorants for at least 10 years. Daily use means no odour (you still sweat but the rock kills the bacteria ) and no wierd chemicals on our skin. My husband is a kayaker and outdoor worker but still finds this solves the “pong” problem. We also find one tennis ball sized rock lasts us both for a year. Give it a try and good luck. Mary

  3. Kate Shennan on July 14, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    Very useful information Rachelle, thank you. Have you come across any anti-perspirants that don’t come in plastic containers?

  4. Natalie B on September 4, 2018 at 11:18 am

    Hi, I made my own deodorant and it worked well (apart from feeling occasionally “damp”) until our UK heatwave summer kicked in! After a bit of research, I realised my favourite branded roll-on contains aluminium, which blocks the pores and actually stops you sweating. Contrary to claims that aluminium is bad for you, I love feeling dry and so tried a spray deodorant of the same flavour. But, alas it was more expensive and still didn’t work as well. Sadly I’ve returned to my old reliable roll-on. I have an active lifestyle and enjoy feeling dry… is there anything else I could try?

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