Aug 3, 2013

Winning the Battle with Me Stinky Pits

My Pot of Pit Purifier. tee hee.
UPDATE #2: Due to my own pit sensitivities, I stopped using my homemade and had to go back to some horrible antiperspirant brand. And then I found the Ava Anderson deodorant stick. AND IT WORKS. I'm now an independent consultant for their products. Take a look at the whole nontoxic product line on my affiliated page.

UPDATE: I have heard mixed results from users of this deodorant recipe. Everyone seems to think it works really well - better than store-bought brands I've heard - on B.O. But folks have also experienced rashes in one or both pits - sometimes pretty severe. Try it at your own risk, but here's a couple of tips that might help: 1. Rub it in very gently. That baking soda is scratchy and I think rubbing it in hard could be contributing irritation that leads to rashing. 2. Try just coconut oil. This doesn't work on B.O. quite as well as the original recipe in my opinion, but it definitely provides some protection without the irritation of the baking soda. Just be sure to use a very small amount (just touch the tip of your finger to the oil and rub in really well).

Oh, B.O. Why do you love me so?

Some people have a really pleasant, earthy, musky body odor. But not me. My B.O. is sharp. Ripe. Stinky.

And hard to cover up.

For years, I refused to use antiperspirants (because of my health concerns associated with it) and instead used more natural deodorant brands. They didn't work. I found that especially when I was wearing a shirt or sweater that was a blend (having some poly fiber mixed in with the cotton) the natural deodorants didn't last an hour. I would spend the rest of the day trying desperately to remember not to lift up my arms.

Even at office jobs, I get stinky. When I began working in a professional office and in someone else's home, it felt unprofessional to subject the people there to my naturally-deodorized (but not really masked) B.O. So I bought a trusty store brand.

For a while, I would try to wash it off as soon as I got home. Eventually, I got lazy and stopped doing that. But I never stopped looking for an alternative to the chemical deodorant that I had to use to manage my stinky pits.

Whether or not you believe that antiperspirant can have negative health impacts on your body is your own decision to make. But there are a number of other reasons I didn't want to continue to use store-bought antiperspirant (or even store-bought natural deodorant, for that matter).
  1. I try not to use chemicals on my body, especially for things like lotion or deodorant that stay on long enough to absorb into my skin.  If I'm going to clog my sweat glands, I'd rather it be with something natural.
  2. I like to be able to pronounce the ingredients in my body care products (and food, and cleaning supplies).
  3. Even the "unscented" antiperspirant that I used had a pretty strong unnatural odor. Yuck.
  4. Deodorant comes in a ridiculously un-reusable containers. And it isn't cheap - especially the natural brands. 
  5. Plus, even many of the natural brands are owned by huge corporations that I don't really want to be supporting with my limited funds. (Here's a fairly shocking flowchart of ownership you might be interested in.)
So I made my own. In about five minutes. Inexpensively, with two ingredients. AND IT WORKS. Here's the breakdown of my results after about a week of use:

  • Wearing a 100% cotton shirt: at the end of the day, there was NO SMELL at all. No fragrance, no B.O.
  • Wearing a cotton shirt with some poly mixed in: Most of the day was the same as the 100% cotton shirt. By the end of the day, my pits had a very, very faint sweat odor when I stuck my nose in them and took a deep whiff. Still completely acceptable. Amazing.

So how do you make this wonder pit concoction, you may be wondering? Here is the entire recipe:

The Green Gazelle's Seriously Unscented Pit Purifier

  1. Pour baking soda into a small bowl.
  2. Add coconut oil by the spoonful and mix together very well until you have a very thick, crumbly paste. If you've added too much oil, just add a bit more baking soda.
  3. Scoop about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon out of the jar with your fingers and massage into your armpit. It should feel more grainy and gritty than creamy. Rub in until it isn't too oily. Repeat on other side.
  4. Wash hands.

I've left measurements out so you can run a small trial batch to see if it works for you. In case you were wondering, I haven't yet had any oily spots show up on my shirts, probably because the consistency is so baking-soda heavy. The only issue I had was when I wore a black tank top and a light dusting of the baking soda ended up on my shirt. I just used a lint roller to remove it, and went on my way.

Mine sits in this cute little ceramic bowl on the back of the toilet. And I will never, ever buy deodorant in the store again.

These are wonder ingredients, I swear. What do you use coconut oil for? Baking soda?


  1. Hi. my Husband and I have been on a similar quest with deodorants. So, a few days ago we marched into our local health food store and asked the shop keeper what she recommended. We left the store with two products. The rock salt kind made from Crystal, and bio balance from Lavilin. We like them both but something about a deodorant that lasts for seven days leaves me uncomfortable. How does it work? And, you said something about the companies..are these decent companies? I also found another recipe for natural deodorant but haven't tried yet but the recipe calls for probiotics two capsules that you open up and mix with cocoa butter,coconut oil, shea butter, beeswax,arrowroot, baking soda, vitamin E oil, essential oil, and you heat it up, pour into an old deodorant container. I haven't tried to make this yet, so many ingredients. What I really want to know is about the companies we just bought our natural deodorants from are they just as bad as the companies in the big stores?

  2. Good question. I'm not actually sure about those two companies. I haven't been able to find anything online saying they are owned by larger companies. I also don't know how the seven day deodorant works, but I bet they could tell you if you called their customer service phone number. I've never tried the Lavilin, but I used the Crystal for many years. My B.O. was just too powerful for it!

  3. That's great Thank you for responding! I just made up a batch of the recipe that you posted above. It worked better than the rock salt and I spent hours in the hot and humid hoop house harvesting! I only changed or added one thing. I added a few drops of lavender for me and a few drops of frankincense for my husbands.

    1. Glad you liked it! Check out my update at the top of the post.