How to Make a Probiotic Deodorant Bar (Easy Recipe)

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Wellness Mama » Blog » Beauty » How to Make a Probiotic Deodorant Bar (Easy Recipe)

Natural deodorant has gotten really popular in recent years, but a lot of people have mixed results. This probiotic deodorant recipe doesn’t just mask the odor, it attacks it at the source!

One of the most asked questions on my popular homemade deodorant post is: “Can I put this in a plastic deodorant container for easy application?”

And the answer is- absolutely yes! But it will work better if you make a couple of tweaks! I’ve played with my original recipes to create several different variations, including this probiotic deodorant.

Why Do Armpits Stink?

Before we go into fixing the problem, it helps to know why it’s there in the first place. Conventional deodorants work by covering up body odor with fragrances. They also clog pores with aluminum to prevent sweating. But why do we get stinky to begin with?

B.O. 101

Like the rest of our skin, underarms have a natural microbiome complete with bacteria. When things are unbalanced and the bad bacteria is in charge it causes stanky pits. This odor-causing bacteria, not sweat itself, is to blame. According to Popular Science:

“Sweat by itself doesn’t actually smell. It contains long chains of molecules that are too heavy to vaporize and reach your nostrils. But the bacteria in your pits break down these big molecules into smaller molecules that fly off, and depending on what kind of bacteria are living on you, those volatiles can smell pretty foul.”

What we eat plays a big role in our underarm bacteria, as do healthy (or unhealthy) lifestyle choices. Genetics can also play a part. Our bodies detox through the sweat in our armpits. If there are more toxins released into our system, then naturally there’s more stinky sweat.

Want to Buy it?

I should confess that sometimes I don’t make my own deodorant anymore. The company I co-founded, Wellnesse, now offers a mineral deodorant. Check it out if you aren’t into the DIY version or don’t have the ingredients on hand.

It’s cruelty-free, phthalate and paraben free, and of course aluminum-free. It also features soothing ingredients like aloe, and cocos nucifera (coconut oil), without harsh preservatives.

Why Natural Deodorant Doesn’t Work

Many people who make the switch to natural deodorant are disappointed with the results at first. They may notice an increase in underarm wetness or even smell. Then there’s the infamous baking soda rash. But what’s really going on here?

If our skin is used to having blocked pores preventing it from sweating, then there’s a backlog of toxins. That area is also rich in lymphatic tissue which helps us eliminate waste products. Using natural deodorant helps to support these natural processes, but it takes time to balance things out.

Start with a Detox

If you’re new to natural deodorant, I’ve found an armpit detox, done once a week or so, greatly speeds up the adjustment period. It also makes the deodorant more effective more quickly. Here’s how to detox your pits.

Since switching to a natural deodorant I’ve gradually noticed less underarm odor and sweating.

Probiotic Deodorant Bar

That said, how can probiotics help us have healthier (less stinky!) pits? Probiotic deodorant works by adding more of the good bacteria to the skin microbiome. Over time this helps push out more of the bad bacteria strains that cause odor.

Some of the healthy bacterial strains found in armpits include Staphylococcus epidermidis and Propionibacterium acnes. Outside of test tubes meant for a lab, these strains are harder to source. Instead, most probiotic deodorants rely on strains normally found in the human gut, like lactobacillus supplements. While they’re still beneficial for skin, the effects may be more transient.

These nourishing probiotic deodorant bars are slightly thicker than my original homemade deodorant recipe in a jar. It also uses many of the same ingredients as my lotion bars and sunscreen bars. You can order the ingredients in bulk and save a lot of money on your family’s skincare products this way.

If you have sensitive skin or struggle with odor, this can be a great option! I did include some baking soda to help control odor. If you’re very sensitive you can replace it with more arrowroot for a baking soda free version.

Choose Your Scent

Essential oils naturally have antimicrobial properties that make them great for homemade deodorant. My favorite here are lavender, frankincenses and citrus essential oils. Here are a few more skin-safe options. You can also do an unscented version if desired.

Try making your own deodorant if you haven’t already. You’ll not only save money and avoid synthetic chemicals, but I’ve found the homemade versions work better too!

probiotic deodorant
5 from 4 votes

Probiotic Deodorant Recipe

This simple recipe helps fight underarm odor naturally, with healthy probiotics!
Prep Time5 minutes
Active Time30 minutes
Cooling Time8 hours
Total Time8 hours 35 minutes
Yield: 5 deodorant tubes
Author: Katie Wells



  • Combine coconut oil, shea (or other) butter, and beeswax in a double boiler, or a glass bowl over a smaller saucepan with 1 inch of water in it. Combine in a quart size glass mason jar with a lid instead and place this in a small saucepan of water until melted. This will save your bowl and you can just designate this jar for these types of projects and not even need to wash it out…
  • Turn the burner on and bring the water to a low boil. Stir ingredients occasionally until they're melted and smooth.
  • Remove from heat and add the vitamin E oil, baking soda, arrowroot powder, probiotics, and essential oils. Make sure the mixture is not hot to the touch (warm is ok) so that the heat doesn’t kill the probiotics. If you're using the brand I've linked above, they're fine at higher temperatures.
  • Gently stir by hand until all ingredients are incorporated.
  • Let cool for about 15 minutes, until the mixture is slightly thickened, but still a pourable consistency.
  • Pour the deodorant mixture into new or repurposed and cleaned deodorant containers. Let dry overnight to fully harden.


  • This recipe can be adjusted to make any quantity that you’d like by increasing the amount of ingredients used.
  • Shea butter yields a softer deodorant consistency, while cocoa butter is much firmer. You can also use a blend of shea butter, mango butter, and/or cocoa butter.  

Deodorant FAQs

Why is mine taking so long to harden?

This is common when using the baking soda. Try putting it in the fridge for a few hours to harden. I actually like keeping mine in the fridge all the time and applying it while I’m making breakfast since it keeps it really cool and refreshing.

It seems to be leaving stains on my shirt- what do I do?

This is likely due to the oil residue that’s there for a few minutes right after applying. Try keeping it in the fridge so a smaller amount is transferred to the skin. Or wait about 5 minutes after applying before putting a shirt on.

Help! I have a horrible rash after a few days/weeks/months of using this.

This is common in some skin types and if you’ve used conventional deodorant for a long time. I’ve found that doing an armpit detox once a week makes a huge difference. You can also try omitting the baking soda from the recipe. This resolves the issue for most people.

Is this an antiperspirant?

No. Stopping the body’s ability to sweat is not a natural process. There’s no way I know of to do this naturally. The good news is that you’ll sweat less as your body adjusts to a natural deodorant and it won’t be needed anymore. Again, the armpit detox can help speed that up. I went from using clinical strength deodorant to not needing an antiperspirant at all!

I’m allergic to coconut oil

If you have a coconut allergy then you can use 2 Tablespoons of a liquid oil instead of the 1/4 cup of coconut oil. Olive oil, grapeseed, and sweet almond oil are several different options.

Have you ever made your own deodorant? How did it go? Leave a comment below and let me know!

This homemade deodorant bar recipe will save you money and help you avoid nasty chemicals. It's easy to make and completely natural.
Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


354 responses to “How to Make a Probiotic Deodorant Bar (Easy Recipe)”

  1. L Hill Avatar

    I’ve found this recipe to be very successful but I do sometimes get irriation from the baking soda. When that happens I stop using it for a couple days. On those days I’ve found that tea tree oil works really well at keeping me fresh. I have also found that witch hazel immediately kills any odor, not sure why but it works really well so I have a small spray bottle of witch hazel with a few drops of whatever essential oil I like the smell of ready to refresh through out the day.

  2. Lolly Avatar

    Well, I gave the original recipe a try.

    I am one of those sad people who is sensitive to baking soda, it turns out. I am not surprised since I am allergic to a lot of standard cosmetic ingredients too. I didn’t stink for a day, which was nice, but my underarms burned like heck. The burning took two days to finally show up. At first I thought I’d be okay….NOPE! LOL.

    I put some on this morning and ouch! Washed it off and soothed it with shea butter. Fixed.

    I’ll try this with w/ou the baking soda next time.

  3. Hanna Avatar

    Just wanted to share what works for me:
    I make a cream deodorant and a powder deodorant and use both.
    For the cream I combine purified water and coconut oil in a boiler until the oil melts, and then I add wax in order to make a cream base. To this cream base I add zinc oxide and any nice smelling essential oil.
    For the powder I combine cornstarch, baking soda (the amount depends on skin sensitivity) and any essential oil.
    Every morning, first I apply the cream on my armpits. And then, using a large powder brush, I also apply the powder.

    I noticed that in combination, both the cream and the powder work effectively for me, and keep the smell away until night even on the hottest day. If used separately, either cream or powder are effective for a shorter amount of time.

    So far, this treatment works well and doesn’t cause sensitivity for me, although in past I had sensitivity to using too much baking soda. While doing research I found that zinc oxide is antimicrobial (so that helps eliminating bad smell) and its non-nano particles are considered safe.

    Will try other recipes too!

  4. Jenna Avatar

    Have you tried adding activated charcoal or magnesium to the deodorant recipe? I had used your previous recipe and it worked great, but have been hearing great things about charcoal, too. about to make my next batch and just curious if you or any readers have tried that.

  5. Carol Avatar

    I add about 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons of grated candelilla wax and it gives *glidability* to the final product, as well as helps it twist up more easily when put into empty roll-on deodorant dispensers. 🙂

  6. jeni Avatar

    I have been using your deodorant recipe above for years and LOVE it!!! Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

  7. Patricia Elizabeth Avatar
    Patricia Elizabeth

    I made this deodorant and it worked brilliantly. It has not, however, been a match made in heaven as it has turned the armpit area of my whites a brownish yellow color. Luckily, I was able to treat the stains with a combination of white vinegar, baking soda, peroxide and hot water. I’ll be on the hunt for a better recipe in future that doesn’t harm my whites. I’d hate to be walking around with brown stains under my arms.

  8. Anna Avatar

    I have been using your basic recipe for a while and I love it. I wanted a version that would be more shelfstable so I made this one with beeswax and shea butter but it feels too sticky or thick or something. would adding a little water or more arrowroot powder help with that?

    Thank you for sharing these recipes I live in hot and humid Florida and even do hot yoga and I used to use antiperspirant. I actually had to detox my armpits but since then I never looked back.. I still do not need to use antiperspirant and I can even skip a day without deodorant in the summer. Thank you !!!

  9. Lynn Avatar

    First and foremost if you are going to go natural. You need to use all organic ingredients. Otherwise your skin will absorb all the pesticides and chemical laden fertliizers that are used in growing the coconut, arrowroot, and essential oils, etc.
    Keep in mind what ever you put on your skin will also be absorbed in your liver. If your liver has to work over time to detox, not only what you are eating but what you are using on your skin, then health issues may become a problem in the future.

    Unrefined, pure, virgin, Coconut oil is naturally anti-bacterial, anti-microbal, anti-fungal, and anti-viral. Unfortunately, it is literally pointless to use probiotics since the coconut oil will completely neutralize all the bacteria, good and bad in the probiotics.

    If you have sensitive skin do not use baking soda. Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate and can be extremely harmful for those who are sensitive at any level. (Please research sodium bicarbonate.)
    Replace all baking soda with organic arrowroot. Most people are pleased with the effectiveness of arrowroot ability to keep you dry. (May take several weeks for your body to get accumulated, but it does work.)

    Remember, research everything, impower yourself to be educated, correctly.

  10. Elizabeth Avatar

    I was nervous about this recipe (after I made it) because of posts saying people developed a rash, etc. I made mine with a soap mold and keep the one I am using in the fridge and the others in the freezer. I used it the first time about a week ago and LOVE IT! I don’t smell at all after 24 hours and I have noticed a sweat a little less then I did before, I have used natural, store bought deodorants, but this works way better! The only pain is it having it bar form. I am going to buy deodorant containers and make more. I’ll still keep it in the fridge because it feels nice to put on cold (also, I am afraid it will melt in my apartment). The only think I did notice was that I have a few red bumps. I think it is from using it after shaving. It didn’t burn at all though and I put in on about an hour after shaving. I think when I make it, I will use a little less baking soda. Great recipe! Thanks Wellness Mama!

  11. Tamara Avatar

    Thank you for your wonderful recipes and information. Really LOVE this deoderant. It works really well, especially after doing the arm pit detox (which is another wonderful, wonderful formula). I have a slight problem with using the product out of my used container, however and I’m hoping you can shed some light: I can’t get the deoderant to screw out of the container – it’s like it sticks to the inside of the container, a most frustrating problem. Did I do something wrong? Is there a way to fix it?

    Thank you!

  12. Casie Avatar

    I recently found this site and decided to try this. I really didn’t put too much hope into it working though. I have tried everything, save from actually seeking professional medical help for this, from “prescription strength” OTC sticks, to store bought all natural stuff. Nothing was working…I sweat all day and by mid day I could smell myself. It wasn’t overly offensive but very annoying to me. So, I made these about 2 weeks ago. Absolute heaven! Not only do I not have razor rash from shaving (I’m assuming from the shea butter) but I don’t smell anymore, and the sweating hasn’t been as bad. This is incredible for me. It was a really large batch and since a friend of mine was looking for a more natural deodorant I gave her one of the pieces. I did also do the arm pit detox like the article suggested and I couldn’t be happier with the results. LOVE THIS!! Thank you SO SO SO much for posting it!!!

  13. Johnna Avatar

    Is the plastic containers used to put this diy deodorant and lip balm in safe? Aren’t we trying to rid our lives of plastic? Thank you

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar

      Yep.. this is an older post, but these can just as easily be made in soap molds and used like a bar of soap but on dry skin for deodorant. Lip balms can be put in small jars or stainless steel tins.

  14. Jessica Avatar

    I’ve been using the recipe for over a year now. I’ve noticed the armpit area in my clothes smell sour after I wear the shirt once and come back to it in about 2 weeks time. It’s very hard to wash the smell out by machine, I have to handwash it out. I wonder if perhaps one of the ingredients is interacting with my sweat to produce this sour-like stench??

  15. Melissa Avatar

    I followed this recipe (minus the baking soda as I have sensitive skin) I put into deodorant containers however once firm I cannot twist the stick up. Has anyone had the problem. I did check the containers prior to filling and they worked properly.

    Any suggestions?

  16. Sunny Avatar

    Ok, my understanding is that all essential oils, other than citrus, have a good amount of phytoestrogens. Citrus oils, especially lemon is very good for your liver and will help restore its full function in boosting your ability to flush out extra estrogen. Tea Tree, Lavender, Cinnamon and Peppermint happen to be on the high end of the phytoestrogen scale. If you’re making your own deodorant to avoid such things, why risk using an essential oil that contains phytoestrogens, even if only in small amounts. Plus, not to mention, if you are reusing a plastic deodorant dispenser, your are absorbing the molecules from the plastic. Only glass is safe, but I do like using the muffin paper and just using the deodorant as a “brick”.

  17. Tina Avatar

    I tried this recipe most recently, but before I was using one of your other recipes (without beeswax or probiotics). I believe I’m going to switch back. I think the beeswax makes it harder to apply to the armpits and I feel like I’m having to swipe more often. However, both recipes definitely work at keeping me nice and fresh 🙂

  18. Chelsea Pulley Avatar
    Chelsea Pulley

    The armpits of my shirts turned neon yellow and are permanently stained. I’m not sure if it is because of the beeswax or because I used orange EO. It isn’t detox though, because I’ve been using organic deodorant for months. Thoughts?

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