Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Alcohol deodorant, Homemade laundry powder, fire-retardant for clothing

I had a comment on using the alcohol and I realized that I have more info for anyone who might want it.

For the first month or so, you may have to reapply the alcohol. I think it might be caused by the body releasing the toxins that have accumulated in those glands.

That little 50 cent bottle (from Wallyworld - near the trial-size bottles of toiletries) filled with alcohol will be your best friend.

If you notice any odor at all, go to a bathroom and just spritz once under each arm. It will knock back any odor and keep it from getting into your clothing and making the cloth smell too.

Here are some pictures of what I use to make the
deodorant from Udder Cream and essential
Lavender oil.

When I have some money, I'll probably get or make, a different cream - one that contains no propylene glycol in it. I just haven't had the resource to do that yet.

And the little 1/2 cup Glad reusuable container I keep it in.

You can use any small container that you can put a lid on. I find that this little container, that I already had on hand, allows me to mix and store in the same container. I wash it out with soap and water before adding a new batch of cream and oil.

I used to be a USANG medic and a paramedic, so I know to keep creams clean I don't want to put my hands into it. I have an older jar of "Udderly sMOOth" udder cream in the house that I use during the winter for my chapped hands. I bought a NEW jar of cream to use for the deodorant and I use clean cotton swabs or a new tongue depressor to scoop the cream out of the jar. That way, I don't introduce any unwanted bacteria into my cream and I can mix the oil and cream together with the same swab or depressor in my clean little jar.

Homemade laundry powder

Also, I use homemade laundry powder.

I grate about 2 tbs of Fels Naptha soap

or 2 Tbs of homemade, Ivory, or other mild soap (NOT detergent bars like Zest, Dial, etc!)

and add 2 Tbs of WASHING soda (NOT Baking Soda)
to my machine.

I fill the container for fabric softener with white vinegar (about 1/2 cup).

I wash everything in cold water except my whites and I do those in warm water. If it's been very cold outside, I sometimes use warm water on my darks, but it has to be below freezing for me to do that. I've not had a problem with the soap not dissolving in the washer. The vinegar removes any remaining soap, left-over detergent, left-over fabric softener and helps to make the clothing softer - as if you'd used a dryer sheet.

For people who like the smell or just "have" to have fabric softener, I used to use a trick to make my softener last. I would make up a batch of my own diluted softener. I had an old peanut butter jar that I would fill about 1/4 to 1/3 with fabric softener and then add water to near the top. I left room to put in a couple of small sponges that I had cut in half. They were about 3x6 when I bought them and they'd be 3x3 after cutting them. When I wanted a "dryer sheet", I would simple reach into the jar, take out a wet sponge, squeeze the wetness out of it and toss it in the dryer and put the lid back on the jar. When the clothes were dry, I'd put the sponge back into the solution for the next time. Since that time, the softeners have been "concentrated", so I'd only use a couple of tablespoons to 1 1/2 - 2 cups of water. You may be able to get away with even less. Try it and let me know. Personally, I don't much care for fabric softeners, either in the wash cycle or dryer sheets. They cause a build-up on your dryer's filter screen and also, your towels won't dry dishes or your body as well as ones that don't have the softener in them. On the other hand, I know people who absolutely love the softener in their laundry. To each his/her own. lol

It only took a couple of times of washing the clothing in homemade powder/vinegar to lose odor that my clothing used to retain - and I don't know why it used to do that. I think that the laundry detergent particles were still in the fabric and it was those particles that held in the smells. I used to use Tide, Gain, Surf or Sun to do the laundry in (US namebrand washing powders/liquids) I do wash myself regularly and only wear my outfits once before I wash them, but they would still retain the smell after washing and drying - and yes, I used enough detergent in the washer, in fact, I used to use too MUCH detergent in the washer.

I also noticed the first couple of times that I used the vinegar, the clothing did have a little bit of a "vinegary" smell to them when they came out of the dryer. But again, after about the 3rd time being laundered "Naturally", I haven't noticed the smell anymore. I have a child with a bloodhound nose. If it smelled like vinegar, she wouldn't use it in her clothing! (and she does use it)

I've also noticed that our clothing isn't fading like it used to fade. I'll have to do more checking - when I've finally gotten myself to regularly dry the clothing OUTSIDE instead of in the DRYER, sigh, and see if it keeps the fade away better.

Also, one thing a lot of people don't know. Ivory flakes, Lux, and homemade soaps are just that soaps vs detergents - which is what we normally wash with (dishes, clothing and our bodies). Detergents are petroleum based, soaps are fat/lye combos. The problem is, is that soaps remove any flame-retardant used in clothing - specifically BABY/CHILD items. At one time, all children's clothing from size 9mos to size 14 (kids) were required to be treated with flame-retardant chemicals. Times have changed, many people worry about the harsh chemicals that were used and the possibility of cancer. So now any clothing with flame-retardant MUST be labeled - but not necessarily with the name of the chemical was used to make them flame-retardant. And for sizes newborn to 9 month and any size over a kid's 14 have never been required, though some may contain flame-retardant.

IF the clothing or bedding has been treated, you can remove it by washing them several times with soap. If you desire, you can replace the chemical retardant (or put some in clothing that doesn't have any) by soaking the items in a mixture of 9 ounces of 20 Mule Team Borax and 4 ounces of boric acid with one gallon of water in a large bucket, tub or washing machine. Soak them after the final rinse. wring, squeeze or run the spin cycle of the washer to remove the excess water, then dry the clothing or bedding. If the garment is not washable, spray with the solution. This solution washes out of clothing and clothing should be retreated after each washing or dry cleaning. And I've not been able to find any indication of how long to soak the items. My guess is that you just want to swish them around so they get totally saturated with the solution and then you're good to go. I don't think it takes hours or spraying it on dry clean only clothing wouldn't work. kwim?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A more natural deodorant that WORKS

For years I've been concerned about using commercial antiperspirant. The aluminum compound that is the active ingredient in making you not sweat is, well....aluminum. And aluminum has been indicated to be a cause of Alzheimer's Disease. Maybe it is and maybe it isn't, but since I have a hard enough time remembering all that I need to remember, I've tried to find a replacement for said antiperspirant.

That should be easy, right? I mean, what did people used to do - besides stink?

Well, the first thing I tried was buying commercial deodorant. It doesn't have the aluminum in it that the antiperspirant does. Didn't work, I smelled like a guy, because "guy" deodorant is all that I could find. After sweating though it....ewwww, I tried something else.

Then I tried some of a name-brand "natural" deodorant. Now I used to like the company, but hey, something has happened. I don't know if they were bought out by someone else or what, but the last tube of toothpaste I bought from them was NOT "natural! I didn't find that out until I'd brought it home and used it. But I sweat through their deodorant and stunk, so back to the drawing board .

I then tried just using antiperspirant every three days and using the "natural" stuff the other two. Nope, didn't work. Anytime I'd go outside into the heat, ewwww. Plus, after going OFF of the antiperspirant, when I'd go back ON it, my lymph glands under my arm would swell and hurt - a LOT.

Ok, things were getting serious here. Time to troll the 'net for solutions. And the advice of most of the posts: baking soda - either plain or mixed with cornstarch.

I bought a large box of baking soda, emptied out a small container of bath powder, recycled said container and it's powder puff and wahlah. It did work ok, for about 3 weeks. At the end of 3 weeks I had the worst "burn" under both arms. Seems it's too alkaline for my body. 5 months later, I still have scars under both arms - well deeply browned skin where it was once only lightly brown, in the exact same area/shape as the cracked, red, painful skin was.

Things went from serious to critical. I HAD to find an alternative. So I asked a couple of local homeopathic types what they used. One said to get some ointment from the store, Lanocaine, I believe he said and mix it with essencial oil - either rosemary or lavender, just a few drops.

Well, I looked at the ingredients in the ointment he suggested (and it was ointment, not a lotion) and it was FULL of petroleum products that I didn't want to use. The closest "natural" cream I could find was some "Udderly Smooth Udder Cream". Sort of like "Bag Balm". Yep, it's used on cows and goats. But it had the least amount of objectionable contents that I could find, in a price range I could afford. (I didn't have the $$$ to buy cream or lotion at the health food store). So I bought the cream, and brought it home. I found a small container and using a clean cotton swab, put some into the clean container - about 1/8th cup worth of the cream. Then I added about 10 drops of some lavendar essential oil I had. I mixed it up and dipped my finger tips into it. I rubbed it under my arms after my shower and hoped for the best.

Out into the GA heat I went. And it worked very well. It was early spring and the temps were only going up to the 80's. The week we hit the low 100's I did notice that I was sweating through it just a tad. I could smell me, but the kids say they couldn't.

My second person told me they just mixed up alcohol and their favorite aftershave lotion. And the next week he brought me some of his "potion". Ummmm. That was really sweet of him, but I don't wanna smell like a guy. Yeah, even though I'll be 55 tomorrow (15th of Aug) and am still a bit of a tomboy, I do NOT want to smell like a guy. (They just get to play better sports than we girls get to play! Not that I play anything any more.)

Anyway, I decided I don't want ANY body odor, so when the temps got to 100 + degrees, I tried just putting plain alcohol on a cotton ball and swiping it under both arms. Then in the am, when I'd get dressed I'd use the cream I had made. It WORKED!!!! And after a couple of days of forgetting to put on the cream, just the plain old, $.79 a bottle, generic rubbing alcohol, I found out that it works the best!

I've used this all summer. I've gone outside after 2 days of not showering (I was sick, ok?), worked in the garden, got good and sweaty and didn't sweat through this. There was only ONE time, all summer long, where I could smell me, but again, the kids said they couldn't that I had any odor at all. And all I did (since I was out and about in the car - with no a/c), was take a $.50 bottle that I had of alcohol and sprayed it under my arms. Odor gone completely and no, I don't smell like I've just been to the hospital!

Who'd have known something so cheap would work so well. I do sometimes put on the cream - it smells nice, but still lets me sweat. Which is what your body NEEDS to do to keep itself healthy.

In my life there is a corrolation between when I started becoming less active and finally got to the point of hating any exercise (from a girl "jock" back when being one was "unladylike" and got me into a LOT of trouble!) It's when the deodorant I used to use became an "antiperspirant".

When I was a kid, all that was on the market was "deodorant". It was meant to help mask the smell of human sweat. Then, our good friends the chemical companies, gave us antiperspirant which was meant to STOP us from sweating. That why the directions tell you it takes three DAYS for it to get into your system and "work".

I wonder how many of us "fat" (and I AM a BIG girl) people are people that used to be active, but "all of a sudden" found ourselves not liking exercising? I mean, I used to run laps for FUN. Yes, everyday, I would go out to the track field, before the rest of gym class (all SIX years of it that I CHOSE to take) and run laps. What happened? You don't need a gym class to run. I went into the Air Force and HATED when we had to run. What happened in 2 years time to go from loving to hating running? That was the time period when all the deodorants, to keep up with the "new, improved" model, went to antiperspirants. And guess what, if you don't sweat, you get TOO HOT. And that makes you feel sick.

I'm finding that I am just now liking to sweat again. I'm still overheating because I'm overweight. But since I can now sweat (sorry, when I get into extreme heat, I do go around with wet armpits on my clothing, but it only matches the wet streaks that were already down my back and around my waist.) anyway, now that I'm sweating, I'm finding that I don't mind exercise. I don't mind the heat and don't mind being outside - because the heat isn't affecting me the way it was.

So, for 79 cents for the alcohol and 50 cents for a "finger tip sprayer" or $1 for a bag of cotton balls, I have solved my need to be social acceptable and still not gunk up my body with a mineral known to be associated with at least one dibilitating disease.

First an aluminum-free baking powder (alum is actually short for hydrated aluminum potassium sulfate) and now no more Aluminium chloride, aluminium chlorohydrate, and aluminium-zirconium compounds, most notably Aluminium zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly and Aluminium zirconium trichlorohydrex gly in my "deodorant". Woohooo! And it's a LOT cheaper too!

If you want to read an interesting article try this one on Deodorants. About half way down the page, is a health effect section.