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Hi,

I'm a student and trying to be frugal :). I like reading about life hacks type stuff to find out where I can save money by using household products instead of specialized products, and one hack that always seems to come up is using baking soda instead of deodorant. I'd rate my sweat/body odor about a 7 on a scale from 1 to 10. I can imagine that people who are less smelly could even get away with not using deodorant at all, but I'm not one of those people. 

So, does this natural alternative to deodorant actually work? And I mean for people who are actually quite sweaty/smelly, not the lucky ones who just don't stink or sweat much?

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The general idea is to scoop up a bit of baking soda, add a little water to make a paste, and to rub it under your armpits. Some people also add cornstarch to avoid wetness later on. 

Is baking soda really a viable alternative to deodorant, smell wise? Will it work for you? I don't know, but the good thing is that a little home science experiment (AKA actually trying baking soda as a deodorant) will tell you whether it masks body odor for you. It will cost you next to nothing, so trying will not harm you. 

I'd be more concerned about whether baking soda leaves a nasty looking residue that could "shine through your clothes" than whether it actually works to mask body odor, though. My guess is that it will, but you can easily find that out for yourself as well. 

Please let us know how it goes!

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I tried baking soda as a deodorant because the idea that it was all natural appealed to me... there's stories about commercial deodorants containing harmful ingredients that might even cause cancer all the time! If something all natural can do a good job, why not? Well... it backfired. Hugely. I made my own "deodorant" following a recipe I found on Pinterest that had coconut oil and cornstarch as well as some drops of essential oil in addition to baking soda. My skin become ENORMOUSLY irritated. Red as hell! And it hurt, too.

Lesson learned! Just because it is all natural doesn't mean it can't wreak havoc on your skin!!!

Commercial products do go through testing, etc. And if you want all natural, you can get organic brands. I understand it's different if your motivation is financial though. Still don't be surprised if your skin gets angry.
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Yikes, that sounds terrible! I have seen this suggestion, to use baking soda as deodorant, as well and I have not tried it just because I hadn't got around to it but I was quite curious in general. Your experience certainly makes me rethink the idea that if baking soda doesn't work out well as a deodorant replacement, it can't do any harm to try it so there's nothing to lose. I didn't know baking soda could be irritating at all. I use it to get rid of heartburn sometimes and it works like a charm.
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Me! I use it! I generally wear at least short sleeves so the residue isn't a big deal, and besides, you get that with commercial deodorants all the same, that white streaking. (I think it's the zinc?) I am not naturally a very sweaty person and before I used baking soda for deodorant, I used those crystal deodorant sticks as well. I'm mostly odorless most of the time, though if I work out or it's particularly hot I might need an extra wash here and there, which is no big deal either. I have had no skin irritation and I like it a lot.
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478 posts

Hey,

I really wanted to like baking soda deodorant, I really did. Alas, it wasn't meant to be. :( 

My skin became quite rough and irritated, I did not like the feel of the baking soda, and while it might have contributed to sweat fighting to some extent, it wasn't enough by any means. That is a no-no then. I have looked for, but not discovered, other natural deodorant recipes you can make yourself that do not include baking soda. In the end, I've chosen to go with a crystal deodorant stick, which works just well enough for me to want to continue using it. 

Rosie

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Yeah, no. I have highly smell underarms and have had since I was a teen, like starting from age 13 or so. Classmates used to tease me 'cause I ponged, and I still have a little bit of a complex left over from all that. I use Nivea Stress Protect as it's the only thing that's worked. The times I've tried deodorants from the Body Shop, I've literally been smelly after 10 minutes. I assume they use similar natural ingredients but perhaps more of them. Whatever it was, it so didn't work that I'd never, ever consider making my own deodorant never mind something that just has baking soda and water. 

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Ugh, I doubt. I have used natural deodorant in the past, but they were these crystal sticks and they seem to do the job quite well but not perfectly. Baking soda, on other hand, will probably not even stay in place if you start sweating! It will just migrate everywhere and ruin your clothes. So would advise you against trying if you don't want to damage your clothes.

However, baking soda is very good to clean your toilet with, and also if you have water stains on your taps, you can use baking soda and lemon.
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