Multi-Purpose Absorbent Powder

Absorbent Powder 

Used as

  • Deodorant 
  • Dry shampoo
  • Anti-chafing powder
  • Abrasive cleaner for hard surfaces (it does some pretty cool stuff with soap scum)
  • Shoe powder (no hockey players here- I wonder if it’s any good at tackling bag funk)
  • Fabric and carpet freshener


All you need is four ingredients and something to mix it in.

Equal parts by volume of

  • Tapioca Starch
  • Arrowroot
  • Baking Soda
  • Kaolin clay


  • You can add fragrance to a lot of things. Not this. The whole point is to absorb moisture and scent. The scent will just disappear, and the powder will be less effective.
  • Cocoa powder. Yup. A pure white powder is pretty obvious on darker skin or hair. A bit of cocoa can make it a more suitable body powder or dry shampoo.

Ingredient notes:

Vegetable Starch

I use Tapioca Starch. Vegetable starches absorb a great deal of moisture. Voyageur sells a brand name product called ‘drysorb’, as far as I can tell, the grocery store kind (Bob’s Red Mill brand) works just as well. Heads up that it is VERY light; keep that in mind if you’re ordering online, and why this recipe is by volume, not weight. Corn or rice starch are also suitable. This ingredient can make the final product ‘squeaky’ and won’t ‘slide’ on the skin as well if there’s too much of it. If your final product is caking too easily, you may need less starch.


Other tuber starches like cassava might work, but I haven’t tried. Arrowroot is an absorbent starch, but it’s not ‘squeaky’ like corn or tapioca starch; it’s ‘soft’ to the touch. It has good slide. If you’re looking for anti-chafing powder, or your mixture is too squeaky, try cranking this ingredient up.

Baking Soda

Absorbs smells. I can’t think of a good substitute, but it’s pretty well tolerated (as long as it is processed without too much corn starch). If anyone can’t tolerate it- let me know, I’ll do more research! Don’t use the old box (Trust me. You don’t want to smell like the inside of a fridge).

Kaolin Clay

Absorbs a LOT of moisture, as well as heavy metals, smells and other toxic VOC’s. Similar to bentonite clay, but it’s a bit finer and a bright white rather than brown. Reportedly, kaolin clay absorbs less heavy metals but more moisture than bentonite. Kaolin is a lot cheaper than bentonite. Different brands can have different grittiness, but in general, kaolin is finer than bentonite. It’s the heaviest component, so if the powder is too light (billows up everywhere when you move it), you may want to add additional kaolin, or reduce the tapioca.

The hardest part is getting it into a small container!


Mix the powders together. 😁

I store it in a mason jar that closes tightly, and put some into a shaker. A normal funnel helps if you’re using something with a small opening.

(Told you it was easy…)

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