How to Free a Stuck Deodorant Roller Ball – 5 Methods

What’s the point of roll-on deodorant when the roller ball won’t move smoothly? This can be so irritating. But there are several ways to free these stuck roller balls.

And by the way, these tips also apply to roller balls in eye cream applicators, perfumes, etc.

Roll-on bottle of deodorant upside down in small container

Why Do Roller Balls Get Stuck?

There are several reasons why these roller balls get stuck, and that’s why you need several different methods for freeing them. Which one is going to work depends on why that particular ball got stuck.

Build-up of Product: Over time, deodorant residue can accumulate around the roller ball, causing it to become stuck or hard to move.

Temperature Changes: Extreme temperature fluctuations in shipping or in stores can cause the deodorant formula to harden or melt, resulting in a stuck roller ball.

Manufacturing Defects: In some cases, the roller ball may be faulty due to manufacturing issues, resulting in it getting stuck.

Method 1 – Apply Heat

Hair dryer applying heat to deodorant rollerball

Heat can be an effective way to loosen up the deodorant formula and free the stuck roller ball. Here’s what you can do:

Warm Water Bath: Fill a bowl or sink with warm (not hot) water. Open the deodorant up and submerge it, making sure the roller ball is completely covered.

Leave it in the water for a few minutes to allow the warmth to soften the formula. This will not get water inside your deodorant.

Hair Dryer: Use a hairdryer on low heat to warm up the deodorant. Hold the hairdryer a few inches away from the roller ball and move it around to evenly distribute the warmth.

Once it’s warmed, try rolling the ball back and forth to loosen it.

Method 2 – Apply Cold

Roll-on deodorant bottle on refrigerator shelf

If warmth didn’t help, try cold! Sometimes the problem is that the deodorant has melted or softened too much.

Refrigerator: Place the deodorant in a sealable plastic bag and put it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. The cold will cause the formula to harden, allowing for easier movement of the roller ball.

Freezer: If the refrigerator method doesn’t work, you can try placing the deodorant in the freezer for a couple of hours. However, be cautious as leaving it for too long may cause the formula to crack or become too hard.

Method 3 – Store Upside Down

Roll-on bottle of deodorant upside down in small container

I don’t know why this works, but it does – sometimes. Maybe the problem is that the product hasn’t been in contact with the roller ball while it sat in a store or warehouse, and therefore it’s not getting lubricated by the product.

Get some kind of container and store your deodorant upside down on your counter. After a day or two – if this method is going to work at all – it will start to move more freely.

Method 4 – Lubrication

Applying petroleum jelly

Using a lubricant can help reduce friction and make it easier for the roller ball to move smoothly.

Baby Oil or Mineral Oil: Apply a small amount of baby oil or mineral oil around the edges of the roller ball. Gently rotate the ball back and forth to distribute the oil and loosen it up.

Petroleum Jelly: Using a cotton swab or your fingertip, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly around the roller ball. This will provide lubrication and help free the stuck ball.

Method 5 – Clean the Roller Ball

Cleaning roller ball with cloth

Sometimes, build-up around the roller ball can be the main culprit behind its sticking. Cleaning it can do wonders.

Rubbing Alcohol: Dampen a cotton pad or cloth with rubbing alcohol. Gently wipe the roller ball and the surrounding area to remove any residue or debris. Let it air dry before attempting to roll the ball again.

Soap and Warm Water: If you don’t have rubbing alcohol, you can use warm soapy water instead. Dip a cloth or sponge in soapy water and clean the roller ball thoroughly. Rinse with warm water and let it dry completely.

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Last Updated:

January 17, 2024