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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Upcycled Life: Homemade deodorant

By Katie Patterson Larson For The Spokesman-Review

Making your own body products is a great way to cut down on plastic waste and plastic packaging. I’ve made my own deodorant for years now and prefer it over store bought for lots of reasons.

The biggest benefit is that I have the ingredients at home, and I only need to make a new batch about every three months. All of these ingredients can be found locally and are very affordable.

I source everything at the bulk section of the grocery store or at natural food stores like Lorien Herbs and Natural Foods in the South Perry District.

Upcycling a store-bought deodorant container for homemade deodorant makes application easy and mess free.

If this recipe isn’t for you, there are many others to try on the internet. Aim for one with ingredients like beeswax and shea butter that will stay solid at room temperature if you plan to use an upcycled deodorant tube.

Homemade deodorant

2 tablespoon coconut oil

1 tablespoon beeswax pellets

1 tablespoon shea butter

2 tablespoons Bentonite Clay

1 tablespoon baking soda (eliminate if you’re sensitive to it)

10 drops tea tree oil

5 drops lavender essential oil (or another essential oil of your preference)

Melt the oil, beeswax and shea butter in a mason jar set in a small pan of water over medium heat. Or melt in a microwave.

Stir in the dry ingredients. Let the mixture cool slightly before adding the essential oil.

To refill an empty deodorant container, you will need the plastic cap that came with the deodorant. It is essential that you have all the parts of the upcycled deodorant tube for refilling.

Remove the small plastic cap at the bottom. The easiest way to get the bottom cap out is by pushing it out with a bamboo skewer from the inside. Put the top cap and lid back on the empty tube.

Make sure to bring the internal component, it looks like a little shelf that goes up and down on a screw, back to the lowest position. Place the empty deodorant container upside down in a bowl of dry rice or beans to hold it upright with the bottom hole up.

The mixture will cool quickly when in contact with cooler objects. When it’s cool enough to handle, put the warm mixture in a plastic bag and cut off the corner so you can quickly squeeze the contents into the deodorant tube.

If the mixture cools too much and clumps up at the opening, warm the mixture again. Fill until the internal tray is just covered.

Let it sit for several hours or cool in the fridge. When fully set, replace the small cap on the bottom. Remove the top cap and save the top cap for your next batch.

If you don’t want to take these last steps to refill a deodorant container, omit the beeswax and store the deodorant in a small jar with a lid. Pour the warm deodorant mixture into a jar before it cools and then apply a small amount with your fingers as needed.

Katie Patterson Larson is the director and founder of Art Salvage. Art Salvage keeps usable materials out of the waste stream and makes them accessible and affordable. For more information, visit

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