Warning: (updated May 16th 2014) do NOT put this deodorant on broken skin...aka...just shaved skin. It will start to burn after about a minute and it will burn a lot. Wait awhile...soda is like salt...so it hurts on micro tears on skin.
The first warm evening of the year...the air conditioner didn't work...which led me to the deodorant recipe I've been meaning to try. I'll spare you the details on that motivation... ;) Lets just say that not wearing traditional deodorant with aluminum in it (consistently) for the last few years caught up with me... natural brands I've tried were a complete joke.
First step, (after bathing with some good soap that is ;) was taking an old container's labels off and pouring boiling water through it to clean it out. The chemical smell was intense while cleaning it. :P bleck...makes me wonder...
grating beeswax, it didn't come off my grater in the dishwasher. :( should have chopped it...
the recipe...it only needs the wax in the warmer summer months to help it stay solid- don't leave out the tea tree oil or it doesn't work well (or so I've read).
double boiler to heat wax and oil gently
add corn starch (I used arrowroot) and baking soda
makes a slurry
pour (quickly if it's cold in the house, or it will set) into cleaned out deodorant stick container. Since it was so hot in our house, I had to put it in the refrigerator to cool.
trying to twist it up the next day I realized, even with beeswax added, it was too soft set to use a stick. Moved it to a glass container. Considered stealing Luke's container because mine had holes in the push up bottom part...
it's hard to see...but it's just an X of plastic at the bottom but otherwise open. So the bottom came right up through the slurry instead of pushing it up.
Our air conditioner was fixed the next day and the stick worked just perfectly with the little bit I left in there. I would say a traditional container works up to 75 degrees or so. From 75-on up, you'll probably need a little pot style container and you'll have to use your finger tips to apply. The downside to that is you have to wash your hands really well afterward as this stuff has clinging power. :) You also must be gentle putting this on. There shouldn't be a lot of rubbing going on because the baking soda will irritate your sensitive under arm skin if used abrasively. I think that's probably why this stuff doesn't have a cult following (yet)...the texture is a bit gritty, you've got to watch the melting point since coconut oil melts easily and you've got to develop a knack for putting it on right.
if all that sounds terribly annoying...this may not be for you. But consider the upsides too. It's chemical free, it's cheap to make, with the small amount used-it lasts forever (or close to it ;), it works! (based on two days and nights in a house with no air...I haven't taken it on a workout test yet), it allows you to detox like you should without the funky smells, it doesn't stain or ruin clothes (at least it hasn't yet), it smells really clean and customized if you add essential oils to your liking.