Homemade Deodorant (for sensitive skin)

I’ve mentioned before that I’m now using homemade deodorant. My bestest friend gave me some for Christmas, but the baking soda made me break out. So I fudged the recipe a little and now it works beautifully. The true test will be summer, of course, but it works when I work out, so my hopes are high.

You will need:

  • Some sort of container. I have a small wide-mouth glass jar. (If you don’t have anything to fish out of the recycling, thrift stores are great places to find things like this.)
  • 1/2 Cup of coconut oil
  • 1/4 Cup of baking soda
  • 7 TB (1/4 Cup + 1 TB) of cornstarch
  • Drops of vanilla oil or some other essential oil for scent (optional)

My method of mixing it all together may horrify whoever put the original idea together, but here’s what I did:

Put the coconut oil in a microwave-safe mixing bowl. Zap it for a few seconds. It really doesn’t take long—coconut oil is only solid below 76*, so it “melts” VERY quickly. Once it’s liquid, add the rest of the ingredients. I used a fork; I’m sure a whisk would work well too. Then use a spatula and put it in your container. To use it, I just use my fingertip to scoop out a small amount, about pea-sized, and rub it under my arms. I’ve been using it over a month now and haven’t had any problems with staining. I can also use it right after shaving without it stinging or anything. And I don’t smell bad, which is the main thing.

Now, to clarify, this is a deodorant, not an antiperspirant. You can’t get an antiperspirant without the aluminum, which is bad for you. And I personally don’t care about sweating, just about stinking, so this works great for me.

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So I made some soap

I have a friend who made some laundry soap that she found via Pinterest (of course). And I’m just about out of laundry soap. So I decided to make some too. I would love to pretend I had some big grand justification for it, like saving the environment or knowing that it would be so much cheaper, but really, I think I’m just getting addicted to making things myself. I honestly have no idea how much I usually spend on detergent, because when I buy it, I tend to buy whatever soap gives me the largest number of loads so I don’t have to buy it again for ages.

And I helped justify it because, in looking at the ingredients, I’m pretty certain I could use it on the cloth diapers.

Anyway, I mixed up a batch while the dryer was broken. My mad awesome husband fixed the dryer a couple days ago, so I’ve now used the new laundry soap in about 5 loads.

By the way, just so we’re clear, when I make all this neat stuff, don’t get the wrong picture. My stuff doesn’t look like this:

When I made this, it went into 2 OxiClean tubs, a yogurt container I fished out of the recycling, and a 2-gallon Ziploc bag and scribbled “Laundry Soap” onto the containers with a black Sharpie. When I make things in the kitchen, like ranch or granola, they go into neat little glass jars… that still have the peanut butter labels that came on them. But it works.

I like it so far. I think it makes my clothes softer, but that’s hard to know for sure since I’m not only using new soap but also machine-drying clothes right after having line-dried them. It does get out stains that I thought were hopeless. (I very rarely do anything to try to get stains out except throw them in the wash and hope it comes out; it’s nice that I have this laundry soap as an enabler in that endeavor now.)

What have you been making lately?

Diaper Genies and Baby Wipes

So here’s the story of the emergency Diaper Genie refill.

I went to change Kara’s incredibly dirty, particularly stinky diaper on a very bad morning, only to realize that the last bit of bag of our last Diaper Genie refill had already disappeared down the clasp. What does a mommy do when she doesn’t want to spend another $8 on a refill? She uses a regular garbage bag.

I just kept the empty refill cartridge and pulled the garbage bag up through the middle. I opened up the bag, shoved it down into the space in the cartridge, and secured it with a rubber band, like so.

Amateur Diaper Genie refill

Then I just shoved the whole of the garbage bag into the belly of the Diaper Genie.

DSCF1178

It’s worked pretty well. It doesn’t contain the odors quite as well as the name-brand, but since the odors only leak out when you open the lid, I think it’s worth not paying the cost.

While I was taking care of the Diaper Genie, I decided to do something about the low baby wipes situation in our house. I saw this link on Pinterest and decided with the amount of baby wipes we go through, it might be worth trying something a little cheaper. So I went and bought a canister like this

DSCF1175

and then realized I already had a container just like this at home from a long time ago when I bought some peeled grapefruit and kept the container. So I put rice in that canister to feel a little less bad about buying this one. Anyway, I got this canister and the smallest roll of Bounty paper towels, so I could be sure the paper towels would fit into the canister. Then I did just what the recipe told me to: I cut the roll of paper towels in half (piece of cake with my ceramic knife) and took out the cardboard tube. In the empty canister, I mixed a cup of really hot water, a tablespoon of coconut oil, and a tablespoon of Kara’s baby wash.

I put the paper towels in to the canister, and voila, baby wipes.

They even pull out from the center, see? DSCF1176

Our initial impression has been somewhat tainted by the fact that Kara has had incredibly dirty diapers these last couple mornings, so she’s had some terrible diaper rash. It’s not possible to say right now whether the rash has been caused by these wipes or by sleeping for who knows how long in a dirty diaper. I think that if it is the wipes, I’d still try again with a different baby wash and/or less baby wash.

Faking It

A conversation between Steve and me the other day:

“[Long story about a dramatic poopy-diaper-filled trip to WalMart]… but I was able to make the baby wipes,” I said.
“Tanya, you know those moms who are like, ‘Yay, I didn’t kill the baby today!’ and then there are those supermoms who not only take good care of the baby but also do everything else?” Steve replied.
“Yeah…”
“Well, I think you’re one of those supermoms.”
My first thought was, “But I haven’t even cleaned the bath tub in [embarrassingly long time that I’m not going to tell you]!”
“See, that’s exactly the thought process that makes you one of those supermoms.”

I don’t share this story to brag. I share this story to assure every mom out there that we supermoms are totally faking it. Any “extra” work we do is born of frantic and/or frugal necessity. (And maybe Pinterest.) The idea of making baby wipes, for example, came to me when I had to haphazardly throw together some kind of made-up refill for the Diaper Genie and I realized we were also on the last pack of baby wipes. Enter Pinterest: voila, cheap and easy way to make baby wipes. Necessity is the mother of invention or some such, right?

So let me assure you… keeping the baby alive is the highest accomplishment a parent can achieve. All the other stuff is just what we do to aid us in that achievement.