Body odor is the pits. Few things can sap your self-confidence quite like getting an unpleasant whiff of, well, yourself. But one lesser-known hack to help you stay fresher for longer is washing with deodorant soap.
Specifically designed to address stink and sweat, deodorant soaps are infused with ingredients that kill the bacteria-causing odor. They can be paired with an antiperspirant, deodorant, or used on their own, depending on your preferences.
I tested six of the top deodorant soaps to figure out which one puts up the toughest fight against BO. The Takesumi Detox Underarm Bar provided the best combination of odor-blocking, ingredient transparency, and style. Duradry Wash also emerged as an odor-battling heavyweight, keeping my pits fresh throughout a 24-hour period that included dancing for hours at a rock concert.
The Best Deodorant Soap
Kaia Naturals The Takesumi Detox Underarm Bar
- Activated charcoal-based bar soap that promises to give natural deodorant a boost
- Key ingredients are natural
- Effective at fighting odors
- Doesn’t leave residue in the shower
- Dries out the skin slightly
The Takesumi Detox Underarm Bar kept me BO-free for 12 hours when I left my pits in their natural state and a whopping 24 hours when I wore deodorant.
If Apple designed a deodorant soap, it might look something like The Takesumi Detox Underarm Bar. The bar has sleek packaging that’s imprinted with the brand’s rectangular logo. Infused with charcoal, the bar has a distinctive jet-black color. Initially, I was concerned that it would leave gray residue in my shower (or my skin), but those worries never came to fruition.
I enjoyed using this deodorant bar soap. I got it wet, then slathered it into my pits and massaged it in for about 30 seconds. Its minty smell isn’t my preferred pit fragrance (it’s a little toothpaste-like for my tastes), but it’s refreshing nonetheless. And while it didn’t lather much, the soap rinsed off as easily as the conventional bar soap I use. My underarm skin felt tingly and a little parched once I toweled off. However, those sensations faded after a half hour.
This deodorant soap fought off body odor hour after hour. On its own, The Takesumi Detox Underarm Bar gave me about 12 stink-free hours, even while I was sweating. I got double the duration of odor protection (plus less sweat) when I used antiperspirant deodorant after washing with this soap.
One of the things I love most about this deodorizing soap is its formula. The Takesumi bar relies on three natural ingredients science has shown may help fight odor (or kill the pathogens that cause it). The main active ingredient, activated charcoal, can MedlinePlus “Activated Charcoal” View Source (such as leftover deodorant) and Veterinary Medicine : Research and Reports “Evaluation of Activated Charcoal as an Alternative to Antimicrobials for the Treatment of Neonatal Calf Diarrhea” View Source , including bacteria. It also contains Scientific Reports “Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans; downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression” View Source , which has known antimicrobial properties, and sea salt, which is often used for odor elimination in home cleaning. While all of these ingredients need more research on their potential to fight body odor, they worked well for me.
With that said, this deodorant soap comes at a seemingly high price: $25. It supposedly lasts up to six months, but it’s still a hefty cost that feels steep for a single bar of soap.
Overall, The Takesumi Detox Underarm Bar puts up a tough fight against odor. At Credo Beauty, it’s earned an average of 4.7 stars from 100 reviewers, some of whom call it a “game-changer” for helping them break up with conventional deodorant. If you’re looking for a deodorant soap that uses natural ingredients to battle BO, and you don’t mind dropping $25 per bar, you might want to make the Takesumi Detox Underarm Bar a staple in your shower.
- Creamy body wash that deep cleans and deodorizes the skin
- Fresh baby powder scent
- Eliminates body odor
- Limited information on active ingredients
If you’re looking for a deodorant soap that will banish odors and tame sweating, you can’t go wrong with Duradry Wash. It kept my armpits stink-free long after I used the deep cleansing formula in my morning shower. The cream body wash also supercharged my antiperspirant deodorant, helping me stay fresh and less sweaty over a 24-hour period—which included dancing all night at a rock concert.
Duradry surprised me right off the bat. For one, I remembered seeing the brand’s more clinical-looking white and blue containers years ago in stores—a stark difference from the hot pink bottle that its wash comes in now. The updated packaging added a fun splash of color to my shower. The formula itself was also unexpected. I anticipated a clear gel, but when I squeezed the bottle, out came a thick cream that appeared more like a balm than a typical body wash. It smelled like fresh baby powder, which felt like an appropriate scent for my underarms.
I wasn’t sure how much of the wash to use on my first application. The bottle doesn’t have instructions, so I winged it and squeezed out a quarter-sized dollop on my hand, then smeared it on my pits. This amount felt like slightly too much, and you could probably get away with a nickel-sized squeeze. At first, the deodorant soap applied like a paste, but when I splashed on some water, it got sudsy like a typical body wash. I left it on for about 30 seconds to maximize its advertised pore-cleansing power, then rinsed it off. My pits felt squeaky clean when I got out of the shower.
Duradry Wash proved effective even when I didn’t use it in conjunction with my go-to antiperspirant deodorant. I usually sweat lightly throughout the day, but this wash (which isn’t branded as an antiperspirant) kept me dry as a bone through the afternoon. But when I applied my deodorant after using this soap on day two, I was mystified. I noticed little to no sweat through most of the day (and zero odor). I also put the wash to the test when I got sweaty dancing the night away at a concert. Taking occasional whiffs of my pits to check the stink factor, I noticed no odor whatsoever. In fact, I still smelled fresh the next morning. There’s no way I would have been BO-free if I hadn’t used this wash.
It’s clear that the Duradry Wash is the best deodorant soap for body odor. But exactly which parts of that formula are the primary odor fighters is unclear. The bottle lists no “active ingredients,” so I reached out to the brand’s customer service for details. Two different reps were unable to name specific active ingredients, and instead just copied and pasted the entire ingredients list for me, which felt frustrating and opaque. The brand’s website credits its deep cleansing power to something called “pentafoam concentrate,” which supposedly rids the pores of sweat, deodorant residue, and anything else odor-causing bacteria might feast on. But pentafoam isn’t listed on the ingredients list, and I couldn’t find any details about it from third-party organizations or websites. Knowing more about pentafoam, or at the very least which ingredients make the Duradry Wash so effective, would make me feel better about using it.
I’m not surprised Duradry Wash has over 700 five-star reviews on Amazon. Considering its effectiveness, I can forgive the brand’s lack of transparency around pentafoam (or whatever else makes the soap work so well). If you’re concerned about the chemicals in deodorant and antiperspirant, you may not feel the same way. (For what it’s worth, the brand says 90% of the product’s ingredients are naturally derived.) It also comes at a fair price—a little goes a long way, so a $9 bottle can easily last a month or two.
Other Great Deodorant Soaps
Dial Gold Antibacterial Deodorant Bar Soap
- A widely available deodorant soap that can kill 99% of bacteria
- Works well with deodorant
- Pleasant perfumed smell
- Leaves yellow residue in the shower
- Contains controversial active ingredient
Dial Gold Antibacterial Deodorant Bar Soap didn’t fight BO quite as well as our top picks when I used it without deodorant. However, it delivered a solid performance when paired with deodorant, and has some upsides that make it an option worth considering. A big one is the fact that it’s super affordable and widely available.
This deodorant soap feels old-school. The moment I set eyes on the sunny yellow bar and smelled its subtly perfumed fragrance, it instantly summoned up childhood memories of my grandmother’s carpeted bathroom. Dial Gold lathered up well in the shower (and even made a great shaving cream for my pits!). Rinsing it off was a breeze. It left my armpits feeling soft and moisturized.
There’s a reason this soap brand has been a household name since the 1940s: its products are reliable. Dial Gold held up decently on my deodorant-free testing day, minimizing BO from my morning shower until the late afternoon. This soap also made my antiperspirant deodorant much stronger. Its odor-fighting capability stood up through my power yoga class and neutralized any potential stink for 24 hours. I had no idea this soap I’ve encountered throughout my life could be a secret weapon against stinky pits.
Dial Gold did let me down in a few key areas, though. Its antibacterial ingredient—benzalkonium chloride—has been flagged by the Environmental Working Group for its potential to cause resistant bacteria and its associations with severe skin, eye, and respiratory irritation. While minor in comparison, another drawback of Dial Gold was that it left orange residue all over the rim of my tub.
The residue and controversial key ingredient make it harder for me to recommend Dial Gold, but others adore this product. It has earned a stellar 4.7-star average rating from more than 28,000 reviewers on Amazon. And, when teamed up with deodorant, it was ultimately effective at reducing BO. This deodorant soap is your best bet if you want an affordable, classic option you can find just about anywhere—and you don’t mind an orange tinge in your shower.
Mirai Clinical Deodorizing Soap with Persimmon
- Boutique bar soap that uses Japanese persimmon to fight nonenal (aka “old person smell”)
- Elegant look and smell
- Can be used all over the body
- Limited research on active ingredient
- Only worked for a few hours without deodorant
Mirai Clinical considers its deodorizing soap kryptonite to The Journal of investigative dermatology “2-Nonenal newly found in human body odor tends to increase with aging” View Source (unpleasant body odor that tends to increase as people age). But when it comes to armpit odor, it wasn’t exactly Superman. I started to stink a few hours after I used it. Still, this deodorant soap earned points for its light citrus smell, elegant look, and slight effectiveness, ultimately making it one for some folks to consider.
This soap feels like something you’d find in a fancy spa. The translucent round bar is the color of amber and stamped with a pretty flower imprint in the middle. It got decently sudsy in the shower. However, I didn’t love that rinsing off took longer than it usually does with my regular bar of soap. Plus, it left my skin feeling a little dry and with a slightly sticky film.
Mirai Clinical primarily leans on persimmon extract to arm its deodorant soap against body odor. Unfortunately, after a couple of hours of research, I could only dig up Advances in Horticultural Science “Health and medicinal benefits of persimmon fruit: a review” View Source that suggests persimmon tannin extract may curtail BO—and it was difficult to verify the claim. For what it’s worth, I also couldn’t find research disproving the claim, but anecdotally, I’m not convinced persimmon extract is among the more powerful antidotes to stink.
On my deodorant-free day, this soap prevented BO for about five hours while I ran errands—not an entirely poor performance, but definitely room for improvement. It warded off stink a lot longer with the help of my antiperspirant deodorant the next day. I only noticed a slight whiff of funk when I was getting ready for bed.
While Mirai Clinical Deodorizing Soap with Persimmon didn’t stand up to the competition in my tests, it seems to work well against nonenal. It has an average 4.4-star rating on Amazon and many reviewers say it has helped them or their relatives deal with “old person smell.” If you’re looking for a gentle way to deal with mild body odor, this deodorizing soap could be exactly what you’re looking for. Plus, the brand offers a sample size bar for just $5, so you’ve got little to lose.
What Is Deodorant Soap?
Deodorant soap can be a helpful tool for preventing body odor. The main difference between deodorant soap and regular soap is that deodorant soap includes antibacterial ingredients, which works by killing the bacteria on your skin that would Cleveland Clinic “Body Odor” View Source when it comes into contact with perspiration. In deodorant soaps marketed as “natural,” these deodorizing elements may include ingredients like Clinical Microbiology Reviews “Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil: a Review of Antimicrobial and Other Medicinal Properties” View Source , activated charcoal, and apple cider vinegar. Other products may include chemicals like benzalkonium chloride.
Does Deodorant Soap Work?
In my experience, deodorant soap does, in fact, work to prevent body odor. Some formulas may work better for some people than others, so don’t write off deodorant soap completely if the first bar you try turns out to be a dud. And bacteria isn’t the sole cause of body odor. Cleveland Clinic “Body Odor” View Source , including genetics, hormones, medications, health conditions, and even the foods you eat, can make an impact on the way your body smells. If bacteria isn’t fully to blame for your BO, a deodorant soap might not be your best bet against stinky pits.
Is Deodorant Soap Better Than Antiperspirant?
Some people avoid antiperspirants, which typically use metallic salts (like aluminum-based compounds) to plug sweat ducts. However, these products Penn Medicine “Is Deodorant Harmful for Your Health?” View Source , as some people claim. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration “Antiperspirant Drug Products For Over-the-Counter Human Use; Final Monograph” View Source recognizes antiperspirants as safe and effective for most people. (If you have kidney disease, check with a doctor first).
Still, if you’ve recently made the switch to natural deodorant and find that it isn’t quite working for you, you might want to add a deodorant soap to your routine before going back to antiperspirant. It could provide that extra boost that makes the natural stuff more effective.
Can You Use Deodorant Soap as Deodorant?
Some people rely on deodorant soap alone as an alternative to conventional antiperspirant deodorant. But for others, a deodorant soap may not be strong enough to keep BO at bay—at least not on its own. The good news is that you can use it alongside your regular deodorant to give sweaty smells a one-two punch. Everyone’s body chemistry is a little different, so you may need to try a few different formulas and experiment with pairing them with natural deodorant or antiperspirant to find a combination of products that works for you.
Can You Use Deodorant Soap on Other Parts of Your Body (Besides Your Armpits)?
Some deodorant soaps are designed for underarms. Others can be used in other places you deal with body odor, such as your feet or for feminine body odor. Check the instructions on the product you’re trying to see where you can (and can’t) use it—and stop using it if it’s causing you irritation or other side effects.
How We Found The Best Deodorant Soap
Meet Your Guinea Pig
I’m Joni Sweet. I’ve been covering health and wellness as a writer and editor for major publications for more than 10 years. My work is in SELF, Health, Prevention, Forbes, Healthline, mindbodygreen, Greatist, and dozens of other publications. I’ve been experimenting with different BO busters for years, and I love looking into the science of how different skincare products affect our bodies.
Our Testing Process
I started this testing process by reading other reviews of deodorant soaps and scanning Amazon for the top-rated products in this category. Nine contenders emerged as potential options for testing. After eliminating ones that felt redundant or weren’t branded as deodorant soaps, I was left with the six deodorant soaps reviewed in this story. The Nessie then ordered them for me for testing.
Each soap underwent two rounds of testing over a total of two days. This consisted of using the soap in the shower and typically letting it sit on my pits for 30 to 60 seconds—the recommended use for most products—then rinsing it off. I checked how each one smelled and felt on my body, as well as how easily it could be applied and removed. I also kept track of any unexpected upsides or downsides (like residue left in my tub).
On day one, I tried the soap on its own, and on day two, I paired it with my usual go-to antiperspirant deodorant. Then, I went about my usual activities, like working, taking walks, cooking, and practicing yoga, taking subtle whiffs of my pits throughout the day.
Finally, I inspected each deodorant soap’s active ingredients and researched whether there’s any science to support their ability to kill bacteria and/or fight odors.
The Deodorant Soap Buying Guide
Deodorant soaps may help you transition away from conventional antiperspirant, if that’s something you’ve decided to do. They may also help make natural deodorant a little more effective by reducing the amount of bacteria in your armpits. Same goes for the soap’s effect on conventional antiperspirant deodorant, too.
Which features matter most in a deodorant soap?
- Ingredients: You’ll want to find a deodorant soap with ingredients known to kill bacteria and/or prevent its growth. This can include natural ingredients (such as apple cider vinegar) or not-so-natural chemicals (such as benzalkonium chloride) depending on your preferences.
- Fragrance: You’re using a deodorant soap to help keep bad odors away, so the product itself should either be unscented or have a fragrance you like. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to look for a fragrance-free soap.
- Cost: The price of deodorant soaps can range from a couple of bucks to more than $20 a pop. Keep your budget in mind as you experiment with different options. These soaps are designed for everyday use, so you’ll want to find something affordable for you.
- Form: Deodorant soaps typically come in two forms—bars and body washes—each of which has its own benefits and drawbacks. Bars last a long time, but leave residue in your bathtub or shower. However, they tend to come wrapped in paper or packaged in a small cardboard box, which may be easier on the environment than a plastic bottle. Body washes, on the other hand, can be more hydrating than bar soap, depending on how it’s formulated.