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?


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the update regarding the natural deodorant. I have been using the alcohol since you mentioned it, but have found that it doesn't quite "last". It's good to know that after a month or so, one application will work but in the meantime I will bring a bottle with me for touchups.

Also your tip about the udder cream needing to be fresh and not introducing germs to it was timely. I do, in fact, have a jar of uddercream here at home that I use in the winter for my hands and was going to just dig some out to mix with the essential oil, now I know better and will get a new jar specifically for deodorant. And finally, a use for the 900 craft sticks I have around here--deodorant dippers!!

You've also made a convincing argument for the homemade laundry detergent. I just may have to give that a whirl too, if I can manage to find the washing soda. Is that a Wallyworld find?

Thanks again for the really great tips!!


Darlene said...

No, I buy it at Publix.
1-800-524-1328 is the toll-free number. You can call them and ask where they have a store near you. I think they ask for your zip code.

Washing soda is Sodium Carbonate.

It is available at pool supply stores or Lowes and Home Depot pool section as a Ph adjuster.

You can use other essential oils besides lavender. I'm sure tea tree and rosemary both work. I just happened to have some lavender available and like the smell of it better than tea tree. The original advice to me was to use rosemary, but I didn't have any.

Jeanette said...

Just found your blog through LDS Blogs and I look forward to coming back again. It looks like you have lots of great ideas and tips.

Anonymous said...

Just found your blog...Totally love it!

I did have a couple of questions about your homemade laundry powder recipe though... You use gave a measurement for the Fels Naptha soap but how much washing soda do you use? Do you mix the soap, soda and vinegar together or do you put them in your machine separately?

Thanks so much!

Darlene said...

I use 2 Tbs of it too.
The soap powder and the washing soda go into the washer with the laundry and the water get turned on.
While the machine is filling, I put the vinegar into the special container that the washer has that normally would hold the liquid fabric softener. In mine, it's in the center of the agitator. After the wash cycle, when the machine goes to rinse, the cup contents gets slung out and mixed with the rinse water.

When I'm not being lazy, I will take and mix my laundry powder together as I grate it. I'll grate about 1 bar of the Fels Naptha and add to it 11/2 cups of washing soda and 1 1/2 cups of Borax (20-mule team) and mix it well. I think I also added 1 1/2 cups of Baking soda to the last batch. I then use 2-4 tbs of this mix (I have a 2 Tbs measuring cup that is marked "coffee" on it. I use one or two level scoops). But sometimes, I just grate it, "eyeballing" it straight into the washer, dump a bit of Washing Soda, Borax and/or Baking Soda into the washer as well. lol It's not a picky "recipe". the thing is, if you measure it out, it is more "cost effective".

Benitta said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Darlene said...

Thanks, Benitta. I'm glad you like it. Thank you for stopping by.

jpjaynes said...

I would like to buy some old fashioned soap to wash out fire retardants but am having a difficult time finding Lux or Ivory that is like is used to be...most have added other toxins at this point. Do you have any suggestions of what will work? Thanks for your blog!!

Darlene said...

Use homemade soap. Either your own or some that you buy from a craftsman/woman. Or use Kirk's Castille soap.
Sorry for taking so long to reply, I missed this comment.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the response! I found a company online called MoSoap and they are great! Two more questions...what do you use for dishwashing?
Also, couches are coated in fire retardant and I was thinking about trying to wash any pillows I could fit (foam and all) in soap to try to get rid of the toxic fire you think it could work for big pillows?? Thanks again for your blog! I love it!

Organic Baby University

Jennifer said...

Oh...and one more thing! Where can I find out that fire retardant is removed with soap? Is there a reference? Thanks!

Darlene said...

Truthfully, right now, I have a supply of commercial soap that I had stockpiled, so I'm using that up.

You can use any bar soap you have. We are so used to "suds" meaning "clean" that we freak out when we don't have suds.

I will do 2 posts on fire-retardants and hand dish washing without commercial liquids. I went to comment and found I needed to just do a post as the comments were too long to be "comments". lol