Mineral salt deodorant sticks are sold at health food stores and online. They are a bit expensive to buy, but quite inexpensive per use because they last a really, really long time. Unless you drop it on the tile floor and it shatters into a thousand shards. That’s when I switched to baking soda. If a piece breaks off and leaves it too sharp to use, you can sand down the sharp edge.
To use baking soda as deodorant, I put about ¼ of a teaspoon into the palm of my hand and add enough water to make a thin paste. Then I rub my hands together and pat the baking soda onto my armpits. Baking soda can be abrasive, so I pat instead of rub. Some people dust the dry powder onto their pits instead of getting it wet first. A great advantage to baking soda as a deodorant is that it works even if you already stink before you put it on.
I have seen recipes online for making deodorant by mixing baking soda with other things like coconut oil and alum. I also know one person who uses alum by itself as a deodorant. Alum is sold among the spices in the baking aisle. White vinegar is another option. Dab some into each armpit. This works better for some people than for others. It’s just incredibly inexpensive, and thus perhaps worth a try. I’ve also seen mention online of using rubbing alcohol, Milk of Magnesia or coconut oil individually as deodorants. I haven’t tried those.
The commercial deodorant products that we think we have to buy and use are a fairly new thing. They’ve really only been available since Mum came out in the late 1800s. Before that, many, many generations of people used natural things to control body odor.
Marie Brack is the author of Frugal Living for the 21st Century: Adventures in Using Your Money Wisely. It’s available on Amazon.com in both Kindle and paperback versions.