Can You Recycle Deodorant Containers?

Welcome to our latest blog post on the topic of waste reduction in the modern world. Considering the ever-increasing population and the influence of consumer culture, it is crucial to take necessary steps to decrease the amount of waste generated daily. A vast majority of daily-use items come in containers that are not biodegradable, leading to an alarming accumulation of waste in our landfills. Personal care products are no exception.

Given their daily usage, it is essential to evaluate the recyclability of deodorant containers. After all, every little effort counts towards a greener future. In this blog post, we will explore the recyclability of deodorant containers and provide relevant information on how to take a more environmentally friendly approach when dealing with this daily essential. So, let’s dive in and find out whether or not you can recycle deodorant containers!

What Is Deodorant?

Deodorant has become a staple in our daily hygiene routines, but have you ever stopped to ask what it is and how it works? Deodorant is a substance applied to the body to prevent or mask odor. It comes in various forms, including deodorant stick, roll-on, spray, and gel. Deodorant contains antiperspirants, fragrances, and stabilizers that work together to keep you smelling fresh throughout the day.


Antiperspirants are a common ingredient in deodorants and work by blocking sweat glands to reduce perspiration. They often contain aluminum-based compounds that form a physical barrier on the skin’s surface, preventing sweat from reaching the skin’s surface. This also helps to reduce the growth of odor-causing bacteria.


Fragrances are added to deodorants to mask body odor and provide a pleasant scent. They are often made from a combination of synthetic and natural ingredients, such as essential oils, that work together to create a unique fragrance.


Stabilizers are added to deodorants to keep the antiperspirants and fragrances suspended in the product and prevent separation or spoilage.

Types of Deodorant Containers

When it comes to deodorant, there are various types of packaging available, but not all of them can be recycled.

Aerosol Cans

Aerosol cans are used for spray deodorants and often comprise metal canisters with plastic lids. While the metal part of the can can be recycled, the propellant that is used within the can is often an environmental concern. Many recycling facilities have regulations in place for accepting aerosols, so it’s always best to check with your local program before tossing them in the recycling bin.

Roll-on Deodorants and Their Containers

Roll-on deodorants are typically packaged in plastic containers with a ball applicator often made of a different type of plastic or metal. The good news is that most plastic roll-on deodorant containers are made of PP plastic, which is a widely accepted material in recycling programs. However, the metal ball applicator can cause issues with recycling, so it’s best to remove it before tossing the container in the recycling bin.

Deodorant Tubes

Deodorant tubes are push-up style containers usually made of plastic, but eco-friendly options are also available in cardboard. The plastic used in stick deodorant tubes is generally made of HDPE or PP plastic, which is widely accepted in recycling programs. Cardboard tubes are also a great eco-friendly option as they can be composted or recycled.

Plastic Bottles

Plastic bottles are also common packaging for stick and gel deodorants. While plastic is recyclable, certain types of plastics are more difficult to recycle than others. For example, deodorant bottles that are made from polypropylene (PP) are widely accepted in recycling programs. On the other hand, bottles made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or opaque plastics are often not recyclable due to the sorting process used by recycling facilities. To ensure your deodorant bottles are properly recycled, it’s best to check with your local recycling program to see which types of plastic it accepts.

Organic and Solid Deodorants

Eco-focused deodorant brands often use sustainable packaging such as glass jars, metal tins, and cardboard tubes. These types of packaging are often more eco-friendly as they can be reused or recycled more easily. Glass jars and metal tins are recyclable, while cardboard tubes can be composted or recycled.

Challenges in Recycling Deodorant Containers

Residual Product

One of the biggest challenges when recycling deodorant containers is residual product. Leftover deodorant residue can contaminate the recycling process and create challenges for the recyclers. This is why it is important to always clean your containers before you recycle them. Not only does this aid in the recycling process, but it also helps with overall waste reduction.

To clean your deodorant containers effectively, we recommend soaking them in warm soapy water and scrubbing away any grease residue. This will help remove any leftover deodorant and make the containers easier to recycle. By cleaning your containers before placing them in the recycling bin, you’re playing your part in reducing waste and keeping our planet clean.

Multi-material packaging

Another challenge with deodorant containers is the multi-material packaging. These containers are made up of different materials, including plastic, metal, and glass. Effective recycling requires separating the different components of the container. For example, the metal spring in roll-on deodorant must be removed before it can be recycled. If not separated correctly, mixed materials can interfere with recycling machinery and reduce the efficacy of the overall process.

The Recycling Process for Deodorant Containers

Separating the Components of the Container

The first step in the recycling process for deodorant containers is to separate the various components of the container.

Soapy Water Bath to Remove Odor and Grease Residue

After separating the components, it is crucial to wash the container thoroughly from any leftover residue that may hinder the recycling process. Deodorant containers can be cleaned with soapy water using soaking and scrubbing methods. The soap helps to remove any odor or grease residue, making the container fit for the recycling process. Residues in the container can also attract contaminants at recycling facilities, compromising the efficiency of the process. Therefore, it is essential to avoid this by cleaning the container thoroughly with a soapy water bath.

Identifying What Type of Plastic is Used in the Container

It’s essential to know the type of plastic used in the deodorant container before recycling. You can identify the grade of plastic by checking the recycling codes and symbols. The symbols will help you distinguish the various types of plastics that are used in the container. Recycling facilities accept specific types of plastic, which are labeled differently. Knowing the type of plastic used in your deodorant container is crucial in ensuring that it is recycled efficiently.

Drop-Off Location or Reuse It Yourself

When you have a clean and disassembled deodorant container ready to be recycled, the next step is to find a drop-off location. You can use websites like Earth911 to find places near you that accept deodorant containers for recycling. If there aren’t any drop-off locations nearby, don’t worry. You can also repurpose the container for storage or DIY projects. The online world is a highly informative platform that offers numerous ideas on how to repurpose deodorant containers. With these options, you can help keep waste out of landfills and contribute to a cleaner environment.

Eco-friendly Alternatives to Traditional Deodorant Containers

As consumers become more environmentally conscious, the demand for eco-friendly alternatives to traditional deodorant containers has been on the rise. Here are some options to consider:

1. Refill Stations

Refill stations are becoming a popular option for those who want to reduce their waste. These stations allow customers to bring in their empty containers and refill them with deodorant. It’s an easy way to reduce the need for new containers and save money in the long run.

2. Biodegradable Options

Biodegradable deodorant containers are made of materials that break down naturally over time. These containers are typically made of cardboard or certain plant-based plastics. While they may not last as long as traditional containers, they are a great option for those who want to reduce their impact on the environment.

3. Glass and Metal Containers

Glass and metal containers are durable, long-lasting, and widely recyclable. They are commonly used by natural deodorant brands as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional plastic containers.

When considering eco-friendly deodorant options, it’s helpful to research the brand and their values. Some brands may prioritize sustainable packaging, while others may focus on using natural ingredients. Whatever your preference may be, choosing an eco-friendly deodorant option can have a positive impact on the environment.

Recycling Programs for Deodorant Packaging

When it comes to deodorant packaging, it’s important to be aware of the different recycling programs available to help reduce waste and protect the environment. Fortunately, there are several recycling initiatives offered by both brands and local governments.

Brand-led Initiatives

Many deodorant brands, such as Schmidt’s and Native, offer take-back or recycling rewards programs where customers can send in their used deodorant containers for recycling. In return, customers may receive discounts on future purchases or other incentives. These programs not only encourage recycling but also promote customer loyalty and brand responsibility.

Importance of supporting such initiatives

By participating in brand-led recycling initiatives, you can actively reduce your environmental footprint by diverting waste from landfills. Additionally, supporting responsible brands that prioritize recycling and sustainability can help drive industry change towards more environmentally friendly practices.

Local Government Programs

Many local governments offer curbside recycling programs for deodorant containers, but it’s important to check with your local waste management provider first to confirm what can and cannot be recycled. In some cases, deodorant containers may need to be separated from other recyclables, or only certain types of deodorant containers may be accepted.

Drop-off centers specifically for hard-to-recycle items

Certain cities and municipalities also offer drop-off centers specializing in hard-to-recycle items, including deodorant containers made from materials such as plastic, glass, and metal. These centers can provide a convenient alternative to throwing away waste that cannot be recycled through curbside programs.


Are deodorant containers recyclable?

The answer to this question depends on where you live. In some areas, deodorant containers are accepted in curbside recycling programs, while some don’t. It is important to check with your local recycling center or municipality to know if deodorant containers can be recycled in your area.

Why is it important to follow local recycling guidelines?

Recycling guidelines help ensure that the materials we put in the recycling bin actually gets recycled. When non-recyclable items are placed in the recycling bin, it can cause contamination of the recycling stream, leading to the rejection of the entire batch of recyclables. Following local recycling guidelines helps improve the efficiency and effectiveness of recycling programs in your community.

What can I do with empty deodorant containers?

If deodorant containers can’t be recycled in your area, there are still plenty of ways to repurpose them.


Instead of throwing the container away, get creative and upcycle it into something new! Cut the container in half and use it as a pot for small plants, or turn it into a pencil holder for your desk.

DIY Crafts:

Whether you’re a seasoned crafter or just starting out, there are plenty of DIY projects that can utilize empty deodorant containers. From storage solutions to cute desk accessories, the possibilities are endless.

Homemade Deodorant Storage:

If you like to make your own deodorant at home, don’t let storage be an issue. Use empty deodorant containers to store your homemade product for easy and convenient use.


Consider donating empty deodorant containers to local schools or artists for craft projects. Not only will you be reducing waste, but you’ll also be supporting creativity in your community.

Importance of Consumer Awareness and Action

As consumers, we have the power to demand change from the brands we purchase from. By making informed purchasing decisions, we can push these brands to prioritize sustainability and reduce their impact on the environment. In the context of recycling, consumer awareness can make a huge difference in driving the development of better local recycling infrastructure.

Advocating for Sustainable Packaging

One of the most impactful ways that consumers can influence the sustainability of product packaging is by advocating for better options. This means looking for products with packaging that is made from recycled materials, or even better, from materials that are easily biodegradable. By choosing these products over those with less sustainable packaging, we can show brands that there is a demand for eco-friendly options. This will ultimately push them towards adopting more sustainable packaging practices.

Encouraging Better Recycling Infrastructure

In order to make real progress towards reducing our environmental impact, it’s important that we as consumers advocate for better local recycling infrastructure. This can mean contacting your local government and encouraging them to invest in better recycling facilities or campaigning for more comprehensive recycling programs. By doing so, we can help to ensure that the effort we put into recycling our products actually has a positive impact on the environment.

Read also: Can you recycle a lava lamp?


It is up to each and every one of us to do our part in reducing waste and preserving the environment. By making a conscious effort to recycle as much as possible and properly dispose of any non-recyclable materials, we can help to reduce our impact on the planet. So, the next time you finish your deodorant, take a moment to check the packaging and see if it can be recycled. And if it can, make sure it goes in the recycling bin, not the trash. Together, we can make a real difference in creating a more sustainable future for ourselves and for future generations.