DIY

Armpit Detox: The All-Natural Way To Cleanse Your Underarms

by Rebecca Endicott
Becca is a writer and aspirational dog owner living in NYC.

There are a handful of ticklish topics out there that most people would rather avoid.

Here at LittleThings, however, we’re all about tackling life’s most uncomfortable topics, from constipation to the deeper meaning behind your gas.

Naturally, given our embrace of all that is awkward about the human body, we decided that it was about time we addressed another major lifestyle subject: armpit odor.

We all produce some body odor from sweat and exertion over the course of the day — but it’s often at its worst in our pits, where sweat and lack of air circulation create prime real estate for smelly bacteria to grow.

If any of that sounds familiar, it may be time for more… unconventional methods. After all, when you have a sneaking suspicion that you are starting to smell like a swamp monster, drastic measures may be in order.

To that end, we decided to try out an Earth-mama method that has been circulating for a while now: a full-blown armpit detox using bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar.

The idea behind a detox is pretty straightforward: you want to help your body shed toxins and unwanted chemical compounds that might be stubborn or hard to get rid of.

In this case, the clay is the active ingredient, absorbing all the bad stuff to leave room for the good!

Check out the results of the experiment below — and let us know if you’d ever try this on your own underarms!

Step #1: Gather Materials

Step #1: Gather Materials
Janine Ngai / Heeral Chhibber for LittleThings

Fortunately, we had a good subject for the project in our office: me!

After recently switching to an all-natural deodorant that was good for my sensitive skin, I was starting to feel, well, gross. So I decided to try out an all-natural detox.

To detoxify your own armpits, you’ll need:

According to Wellness Mama, the clay and apple cider vinegar work together to open up the pores in your pits, pulling out yucky deposits left behind there.

These deposits can come from either odor-causing bacteria, or some of the chemical compounds found in more run-of-the-mill deodorants, like phthalates and aluminum.

Since bentonite clay is extremely absorbent, it should be able to grab the particles that might be causing a lingering funk or irritation.

Step #2: Add Clay

Step #2: Add Clay
Janine Ngai / Heeral Chhibber for LittleThings

To get started, find a small bowl that you don’t mind getting a little bit messy, then add 1 tablespoon of the bentonite clay.

It won’t be sticky like modeling clay at this point, but instead it’ll be a fine, grey-green powder.

Step #3: Pour In Water

Step #3: Pour In Water
Janine Ngai / Heeral Chhibber for LittleThings

Next, add a single teaspoon of water to the clay and stir. If the clay still seems really dry, add another teaspoon of water.

Stop at 2 tsps. If you still need more liquid, wait until after you add the vinegar.

Step #4: Add Apple Cider Vinegar

Step #4: Add Apple Cider Vinegar
Janine Ngai / Heeral Chhibber for LittleThings

You should need just 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar.

Keep in mind that when you pour it in, it will immediately start fizzing like a 4th-grade science experiment.

Once it’s fizzing, stir quickly to mix the ingredients together.

Step #5: Stir It All Together

Step #5: Stir It All Together
Janine Ngai / Heeral Chhibber for LittleThings

After a few minutes of stirring, it should turn deep khaki and reach a mud-like consistency.

If it still seems dry, add more water, one teaspoon at a time.

You’ll be left with about a handful of muddy clay, which you can divide in half for your two armpits.

Step #6: Apply To Pits

Step #6: Apply To Pits
Janine Ngai / Heeral Chhibber for LittleThings

At this point, I went ahead and started slathering it on.

For those trying at home, it’s a good idea to keep plenty of rags or paper towels on hand, as well as clean water, to ease the process of smoothing it on and cleaning up.

I found that it goes on more easily if you dip you hand in water first.

The clay is very sticky, with a crisp, acidic smell, so make sure you’re only using towels and clothes that you don’t care about.

Step #7: Let Dry

Step #7: Let Dry
Janine Ngai / Heeral Chhibber for LittleThings

Next, comes the boring part: waiting for it to dry.

Prop your arms up above your head to keep from messing up the clay, and see if a nice person without clay on their hands will turn on the TV for you.

Wait like this for about 15 minutes, or until the clay is dry to the touch.

It dries pretty quickly, but you may want to wait with a towel or sheet under you, in case the clay falls off early.

Step #8: Wipe Clean

Step #8: Wipe Clean
Janine Ngai / Heeral Chhibber for LittleThings

By the time the clay dries, you’ll be more than ready to get cleaned up.

Wet a rag or towel with water and start to wipe off the clay.

As you get through the first layers of clay, you may need to “scrub” a bit more, and use soap.

Once all the clay is gone, rinse once more with clean water to get rid of any remaining clay or soap.

Step #9: Sniff Test

Step #9: Sniff Test
Janine Ngai / Heeral Chhibber for LittleThings

Finally, it’s time for the sniff test: Just raise your arm and take a whiff!

I found that I smelled ever-so-slightly of vinegar afterwards, but I was also totally B.O. free!

Best of all, I skipped deodorant for the rest of the day, without an issue, and noticed that I smelled fresher for the rest of the week.

Repeat the process as often as necessary to get rid of underarm odor, whether that’s every single day, or just once a week.

You’re likely to find that if you start with frequent treatments, you can drop back to less frequent treatments of once ever week or two, and worry less about odor going forward!

If you’re intrigued by this alternative technique for getting rid of body odor, give it a try and tell us about your experiences!

Don’t forget to SHARE with friends and family who might be interested in trying something new!