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What Is Liquid Deodorant?

Eugene P.
Eugene P.

A liquid deodorant is a mixture of different chemicals designed to be applied to the underarm or other parts of the body to remove and possibly prevent body odor caused by perspiration. A deodorant works by attempting to destroy or inhibit the bacteria that grow inside the sweat that is excreted. The two ways that liquid deodorant can be applied are with a roll-on applicator or from a spray bottle, whether aerosol or pump styles. Deodorant is designed to remove the odor of the bacteria, not to prevent perspiration as an antiperspirant would do.

Body odor that develops as a result of perspiration is not actually because of the sweat. The sweat from a body is basically an odorless liquid made of mostly water and a small amount of fats or other compounds. The odor is actually generated by bacteria that are living on the skin or that are in the air. These bacteria enjoy the heat of areas such as the underarms and can feed on the sweat as it accumulates on the skin. After processing the sweat, the bacteria release waste gases and byproducts that actually create the odor associated with sweating.

Roll-on liquid deodorant.
Roll-on liquid deodorant.

The purpose of liquid deodorant is to remove the odor created by the bacteria feeding on perspiration. One of the first things that a deodorant attempts to do is to stop the bacteria. This can be achieved by using certain chemicals, such as alcohol or boric acid, to kill them when the liquid deodorant is applied. Although the bacteria will inevitably return, the deodorant can be effective for several hours after application.

Liquid deodorants suppress bacteria growth and control body odor.
Liquid deodorants suppress bacteria growth and control body odor.

An aspect of most liquid deodorant is the addition of fragrances to their ingredients. Once the bacteria have been stopped from producing their unpleasant odor, then it can be replaced with a more agreeable fragrance. Any scent that is added to a liquid deodorant should override the smell of the bacteria quickly, but also might dissipate over time as the deodorant formula evaporates and wears away.

One of the problems that some people can have when using a liquid deodorant is a sensitivity or allergy to some of the ingredients. The liquid can be an irritant causing swelling or rashes wherever it is applied. Certain types of liquid deodorant are labeled as hypoallergenic, meaning they contain very few ingredients beyond the basic ones required to inhibit bacterial growth. There also are hypoallergenic deodorants that do not contain any fragrance either, because some people are also very sensitive to the oils used to create the scent.

Discussion Comments


I have found advantages and disadvantages to using a liquid deodorant. I found that when using a liquid deodorant, it didn't leave marks on my shirt like a solid did. This was one of the things I really liked about it.

What I didn't care for is I felt like I had to apply it more than once a day to control the odor. By the middle of the afternoon I just didn't feel as fresh as I did when I used a solid deodorant.


Did you know that you can make your own liquid deodorant? It's pretty easy to do, and I tried it once just to see what it would turn out like.

I used mineral water, witch hazel and glycerin and poured these into a spray bottle. Next I added some essential oils to give it some scent. I liked the combination of lavender and vanilla.

Then I just sprayed this on and used like I would any deodorant. I know most deodorants aren't that expensive, but this is really a cheap way to have some deodorant.

I only used it a few times. It would work if I didn't have anything else to use, but I didn't feel like it worked as well as other deodorants. I also didn't like spraying something under my arms like that.


@andee-- I have used a liquid deodorant for years and have found that is what I prefer. This comes in a roll-on applicator that is very easy to use.

I like this kind of deodorant because it has fewer chemicals in it and does not contain any aluminum. I put this on as soon as I am out of the shower and it dries very quickly.

It really comes down to personal preference. I buy my deodorant from a health and nutrition company that has been selling this type of deodorant for years.


Why would someone use a liquid deodorant over a stick deodorant? It seems like this would take longer to dry and would not be nearly as convenient.

I have never used anything but a stick deodorant, and have never even seen a liquid deodorant for sale where I buy mine.

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      Liquid deodorants suppress bacteria growth and control body odor.