The Stank Has Left The Building.

Remember my stank scale? Remember my lofty goal to not smell like the couch cushion of a Vegas nightclub after a series of Paris Hilton exposures?

Should this sound unfamiliar, allow me to present, for the second time, my Stink Bomb Scale. Unofficially dubbed “the stank scale.” I originally wrote about it in this post: Sorry, I Stink. The unwitting judge of Stink (or Stank) was to be my husband, and his options as follows:

So, if we’re being honest, about 2 months ago I lost cuddling privileges to my dog. Who drools. And has species breath.

Natural deodorant SUCKS. For 7 weeks I tried enzyme deodorants, homemade deodorant, mineral and putty deodorants (admittedly, I have not tried them ALL). But none of them worked. Not even when I gave them ample time to fix my noxiousness. I got sick of shelling out 10 bucks to online vendors, plus $6 shipping, for a block of organic whoozit in this futile search for the B-O Cure. I also lost faith that I’d ever be able to write an awesome book by that same name. Picture it: The B-O Cure – a guide to making everyone not hate you or breathe through their mouth when you’re within a metre. By Cave Girl. With Foreword by Paula Abdul.

Yeah, I said “metre.” I’m feeling a little Canadian today.

So a few days ago I quit my search. Officially called off the dogs. But since I didn’t want to chloroform anybody at CrossFit, I knew I had to figure out something, at least temporarily. I went back to the archives and pulled out a few reader comments:

…Maybe try just mashing together coconut oil and baking soda and using that?  – Jenn

I’ve had success with mixing equal parts baking soda & cornstarch (sometimes the soda can be irritating, if that happens, just cut back on the amount), then adding it to a bit of melted coconut oil. Pour it in a shallow jar & let cool… -Lisa

Readers, I want to burn you dinner. Because you were right.

Several years ago I began to think my skin was sensitive to everything. I couldn’t use shea butter because it made my skin red and bumpy. I’d tried baking soda under my arms once before and it scraped the dickens out of me. Once I used them both at the same time and ended up looking like I’d just given a noogie to a cactus.

But I think the Paleo/Primal/Real Food lifestyle has changed that. I don’t have the same sensitivities. Turns out Shea is A-OK. I wondered if my skin was hearty enough for baking soda. I’ve used it with great success in going “No ‘Poo,” so why not give it a whirl?

I simply put a little BS in my hand (see amount below), then mixed it with coconut oil to form a paste. Not too thick, not too thin.


I used nothing on my right armpit (the Control Group) and dabbed the baking soda/coconut oil mixture on my left armpit (the Stinky Twin) and gave it the day. The pits got hit with CrossFit (assonance), an exceedingly warm afternoon, a roadside car breakdown, and an encounter with a child below the age of two (kids make me nervous).

Oh. My. Gosh. While I had a frustratingly normal level of “stank” in the Control Pit, the Baking Soda pit was absolutely odorless. Even slightly pleasant and coconutty. I believe the natural anti-bacterial properties of coconut oil combined with the odor- fighting baking soda created the perfect, simple, cheap, easy, odor-killing combo.

Win! I don’t even have to buy anything extra – I already use coconut oil for cooking and skin care and baking soda for hair care. No more shipping charges. No more lonely corner at the gym. No more competing with the pooch for cuddles.

Thanks, Jenn and Lisa. You made my week!

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14 Comments to “The Stank Has Left The Building.”

  1. I’ve heard of people adding a few drops of tea tree or other oils to this too. I’m definitely going to try this! So now that you’ve conquered this, here’s a new challenge for you-are there any natural ways of getting the stubborn BO smell out of my shirts-a few of mine never seem to smell clean after so long on natural deoderants!

  2. First…of all the great paleo/primal blogs out there, I must say – you have to be my very favourite (note the “u”, props from Canada and thanks for the Cdn shout out ;-)! The writing is delightful.

    I’ve been gradually getting more and more natural with my products and really appreciate the great tips here.! Could there be two more versatile and glorious ingredients than baking soda and coconut oil? They can do no wrong. I just finished cleaning my bathroom with baking soda, does a super job.

  3. Nice. I use equal parts coconut oil, baking soda, and cornstarch and am stank free. I was a little nervous about using it when I did tough workouts, but it was no problem. Glad you found what works for you!

  4. I am totally going to try this, because deodorant is evil. Thanks, Brave CaveGirl!

  5. Hey Liz! On a whim I bought the Crystal deodorant thing a little while back (yes, it’s basically a whitish-gray rock made of mineral salt) and have been stank-free since using it. It did cost extra to ship, but the rock itself is supposed to last for a year…I’ve had it over a month now and it’s not wearing away. So while clearly you have found a solution that works for you (never a doubt in my mind), it may be worth noting that some mineral salt options do work, at least for some people. 🙂

    • I think you’re right, James, and I’m going to keep trying for the sake of Paleo Magazine and my “Paleo Body” column! Got to find multiple options that can work for people 🙂

  6. Does this work as an antiperspirant as well, or just a deodorant? I’m a heavy sweater…

    SN: I’ve been no-pooing for over a year and LOVE it!

  7. I’ll have to try this!

    I’ve been using Herbal Magic roll-on deodorant in Jasmine scent and then when that dries, I sprinkle a deodorant powder from Honeybee Gardens (has baking soda, cornstarch, and a few other ingredients I can’t recall). Both are available through Vitacost.com . They are the ONLY natural products I’ve tried that keep the stank and sweat away…and I am a stinky, sweaty girl admittedly who has tried everything as well!

  8. So glad this worked for you – I forgot all about leaving a comment on your last post & never saw your question. ” Question: When I did the baking soda/coconut oil thing, I found that the soda sank to the bottom of the jar as the coconut oil cooled. Did you have that experience?” So finally, an answer! Yes, I have had that happen, I try to use as small amount of coconut oil as possible, for example, if I mix 2TBSP each of baking soad & cornstarch, I try to only use a few teaspoons of coconut oil. These measurements are approximate as I just grab a spoon out of the silverware drawer to mix it all up with – I’m very much a “keep it simple” kinda girl!

    Warm weather has finally arrived here (at least some of the time) and this mixture is still working.

    Still love your blog!

  9. So glad W and I were able to help test the experimental group! Loving the facewash and coconut oil has now replaced my tummy butter 🙂

  10. Thank you for this! I’ve found some deodorants online I really love, but the cost WITH shipping has become a problem…recession be d*mned!

    I’m going cavegirrl !

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