Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Girl Has Got To Know Her Limits.

An interesting off-shoot, of the whole "move-more-cook-whole-foods" thing I'm engaged in, is it is a slippery slope. I figured out that I could do it, that I was doing it and then as my scope increased, so did the scope of the things I was interested in reading and researching. 

Enter DIY and hacks. 


  • I am a fan of social media. I am on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Foursquare and use them daily (in most cases). But I ABJECTLY REFUSE to be on Pinterest. I feel like it is The Black Hole of the Interwebz. Even more so that LOLCatz
  • If you love it, awesome - I'm super happy for you. But as most positions in and on life, I don't mind at all what others do (short of raping, murdering, corporate thievery), so long as you don't give me crap for what I do. Capiche?
  • That's the general warning that all of the DIY stuff I find, and potentially try, is NOT found on Pinterest. Just the Interwebz. .
Even without Pinterest, there are more than enough sites, articles, etc. to keep oneself in DIY projects. 

In terms of lineage, I'm a goner. I come from a long line of crafty folk. My almost-93-year-old Granny has (at least) dabbled in every craft known to human kind. Her wedding present to us was a handmade stained glass lamp, which is stunning and deeply cherished. My mom lives by the quilter's golden rule: She who dies with the most fabric wins. <shameless plug> Bratty Sister is herself quite the crafty crafter, making upcycled notebooks, as well as functional paper boxes, photo cubes, handmade cards, etc. </shameless plug>

After a while of bookmarking DIY posts, I have waded into the shallow end with two recent endeavors. Today, I'll post the first one - as I've been using it for over a week now. Later, when I've used Project #2 and can lend some feedback, I'll post it. 

Which brings us to Homemade Deodorant

I've been using hippie deo for a while, wavering between non-anti-perspirant in the winter (I know it's a double negative but saying I use the perspirant brand seems ridiculous)  and anti-perspirant in the summer. Comes out of the whole "aluminum may cause breast cancer" concept. I realize Snopes claims it is undetermined but I worked in a Radiation Oncology unit .....mitigating me being there as a patient is preferred. 

Even with hippie deo though there's the plastic container, the multi-national corporations who make you think you are buying a true hippie brand only to find it's not (Tom's was bought by Colgate/Palmolive in 2006.) and still some multi-syllabic ingredients that make me pause. 

So I recently decided I'd try making my own and see how it turns out. I found a post on Buzzfeed (#25), which linked to a post on Sew Green, which linked to this post on Passionate Homemaker, and went to my pantry. 

I used Spectrum Expeller Pressed Organic, Unrefined Virgin (heh heh) Coconut Oil , corn starch and baking soda. I'll be honest, the corn starch I have in my pantry is probably GMO but the only ingredient is corn starch. The baking soda I used is Bob's Red Mill All Natural Baking Soda. I'm a huge fan of Bob's anything. 

I didn't take any photos so you'll just have to use your imaginations like Mr. Rogers intended. 

Started with a clean, glass bowl and added 1/4 cups each of the corn starch and baking soda. I stirred them well so that they were mixed nicely. Then I added a heaping soup spoon of coconut oil and, with a fork, worked the oil into the dry ingredients. Once the concoction was nicely mixed, I added another heaping soup spoon of oil and basically repeated until there was what I felt a nice balance of oil to dry. 

The consistency I was happiest with was slighty gritty but smooth - if that makes any sense. It rubs in nicely, as the oil melts under the warmth of your fingers (and warmth of your pits), but slightly gritty from the powders.

I used a clean, sanitized glass jar with metal lid (i.e. freshly run through a hot dishwasher and dried with a paper towel - did not touch the inside with my hands). I had some tea tree oil on hand so have added a few drops for two reasons: 1.) makes it smell nice(r) and 2.) some reviews said theirs got moldy and tea tree oil helped. 

This batch made about a half-cup and since you only use two small dollops daily, should last at least a month. I'll report back and let you know. 

You do put it on with your fingers but I don't think it's totally weird. I do the same with hair product so whatever. Bratty Sister suggested with the addition of beeswax and a clean recycled deo container, perhaps one could make it into a stick. Again, I'm lazy, so don't mind the manual application (which sounds way more dirty than intended).

I'm definitely not as stinky as I am without deo or with regular/non-anti-perspirant deo (duh) but even compared to regular deo, think I'm not as stinky. It also hasn't been super gross in Ohio yet. Hell, we're on day #15 with at least some rain (and it's currently pouring), so have yet to try and usual Ohio Summer Day of the Four H's (Hazy, Hot, Humid, Hellish).

The homemade deo also has not stained any clothes as far as I've seen. It rinses nicely in the shower - does feel a bit more oily than regular but again, duh. I also don't feel weird about applying more without washing first, as I do with regular deo - but that's probably just me being weird. 

In short, two thumbs up on this little endeavor. Will at least keep going with the first batch to see how long it lasts and give a second batch a whirl. Why the heck not. 

Total guesstimate but in terms of product cost, less than one American dollar for the batch. The jar & lid were upcycled and I already had the four ingredients on hand. Once I have a count of days per batch, I'll do that math. 

In terms of time, it took maybe 15 minutes. The jar & lid were already sanitized and I didn't throw anything away either (plus have enough materials for at least one more batch without repurchasing*). I do plan on getting Bob's Red Mill Corn Starch for the next batch, because I can. 

Nerd badge unlocked

Here's some info on coconut oil from Wikipedia
Let me know if you try this out and what you use. 

I normally close with Smell ya later, peeps - but in the interest of today's topic will amend it to be Hope I DON'T smell ya later, peeps. Get it? Because it's about deodorant and the goal is to not smell. See I am hilarious!

*-I use the baking soda frequently so of the original bag, I only have about 1/4 cup left. I guesstimate one new/full bag of Bob's would give you at least 6-8 batches. 

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