homestead (1)

Illustration by Elizabeth Rhodes.

Wake up and smell the roses: We all stink.When your pits or breath are making your eyes water, it’s easy to turn to commercial products to tame them. But there are many natural ways to smell nice and rosy without harmful chemicals getting in the way. Being self-sufficient — especially in odorous areas — can be hard, but with these recipes you’ll be smelling good and feeling good knowing you’re au naturel.   

Natural Deodorant

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 3 ½ teaspoons bentonite clay
  • 2 teaspoons diatomaceous earth (Bentonite clay and diatomaceous earth can be found at local health food stores like Earth Origins and Lucky’s Market.)
  • Any essential oil blend
  • 1 glass jar

Directions

  1. Scoop coconut oil into a bowl, then soften it in the microwave for a few seconds. It just needs to be pliable, so try not to melt it completely. If you do, that’s OK — it’ll still work.   
  2. Add bentonite clay and diatomaceous earth separately. Stir until each is dissolved.  
  3. Add essential oils. Any blend will do, depending on your preference. Our favorite is:
    • 7 drops grapefruit
    • 5 drops peppermint
    • 5 drops tea tree
  4. Apply a pea-sized amount every morning, allowing it to dry before getting dressed.

Pro Tip

Some of the ingredients called for in this recipe may sound like they belong in a potions book, but they have many uses. Bentonite clay has antibacterial properties, so it is perfect for a face mask, hair mask or toothpaste. It draws out toxins in your skin. Diatomaceous earth can be used as a refrigerator and garbage can deodorizer or a natural pest repellent. Be sure to buy food grade diatomaceous earth, especially if you are using it on your body. Witch hazel can be used as skin toner to prevent acne, treatment for under-eye circles, lotion for razor burn or relief from sunburns, among other uses.

Pre-Deo Detox

Before you make your own deodorant, it’s important to do an armpit detox. It’s easy and allows your armpits to flush out the toxins that have accumulated.

Ingredients

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup witch hazel astringent
  • 1 tablespoon fractionated coconut oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • Essential oils
  • Spray bottle

Directions

  1. Combine witch hazel, fractionated coconut oil and water. If you don’t have fractionated coconut oil, you can use regular coconut oil — the only difference is consistency. It won’t be as runny, so you’ll have to store it in a glass jar and apply the detox by hand, rather than spraying it on.  
  2. Add essential oils. Go as crazy as you want, but remember, you’ll have to smell this all day for a week. Our favorite mixture is 10 drops of lavender and three drops of lemon.
  3. As you attempt to rid yourself of toxic products like commercial deodorant, you have to give your body time to catch up to this change of pace. To prevent yourself from completely reeking during your week-long detox, apply the solution throughout the day as needed. In the morning and at night, rub apple cider vinegar on your pits to give your detox an extra boost.  

Pro Tip

Try to start the detox during a week in which you don’t have a lot of important things happening — like a job interview or a first date. An ideal time to start is a week dedicated to binge-watching “The Office” in the safe confines of your room. Not all of us are lucky enough to have so much free time, so it is best to pick a week with lower temperatures when you naturally sweat less. Because you’re letting your body adjust to life without deodorant containing harmful chemicals, you’re going to get a little stinky at first. But nothing smells better than chemical-free self-sufficiency.

Toothpaste

All the ingredients you used to freshen up your pits can do the same for your mouth and are completely safe to consume.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon bentonite clay
  • 1½ teaspoons diatomaceous earth
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Essential oil blend
  • 1 glass jar

Directions

  1. Scoop coconut oil into a bowl, then soften it in the microwave for a few seconds. It just needs to be pliable, so try not to melt it completely.  If you do, that’s OK — it’ll still work.   
  2. Add bentonite clay, diatomaceous earth and baking soda one at a time. Stir each until dissolved.
  3. Add essential oils.  Any blend will do, depending on your preference. We suggest:
    • 7 drops peppermint
    • 5 drops lemon
    • 5 drops lavender
  4. Brush at least twice a day, and breathe happy.

Eau de Toilet

No one likes to walk into the bathroom and be assaulted by a wave of stench or, even worse, to leave a stinky situation in your significant other’s toilet. Using the ingredients you already have, this toilet spray can save you in real times of need.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons witch hazel astringent
  • Essential oils
  • 4-ounce spray bottle
  • Distilled or bottled water

Directions

  1. Choose your essential oils. A blend of 10 drops lemon and 10 drops lavender will really knock out the stench.  
  2. Combine witch hazel and essential oils in spray bottle. Shake well.
  3. Add water to spray bottle until full.  
  4. Before using the toilet, shake the bottle and spray inside of the bowl to create a seal for the odor. Let the stink-free bathroom visits begin.