by Tammy Taylor~
So, if you’ve been reading this blog for any time at all you know that I hate plastic. Oh don’t get me wrong I think it has its uses, such as in the medical industry for example. But for regular consumer products I hate it and strive to reduce what comes into our home as much as possible. Since striving to reduce our plastics, colas & juices have been replaced with delicious icy-cold sun-brewed tea. No plastic jug and it’s healthier (and so much CHEAPER) for us. I’ve learned to make my own Face Powder and Dry Shampoo. and even spray Cleaner using repurposed containers. I learned to make my own Powdered Laundry Detergent and also Laundry Scent Booster for a little something extra when desired. It’s been quite a fulfilling and fun challenge for me.
Recently I was thinking about the many ways I’ve cut the waste from our personal hygiene routine. RancherMan & I have made our own froufrou bar soap for years and I’ve even started making my own minty mouthwash (recipes are below). But there’s one thing I haven’t shared with you yet. I dunno, I just figured maybe it was a little TMI. But it’s my deodorant. Let’s talk about that.
Deodorant vs Anti-Antiperspirant
My mindset about deodorant is that the body sweats for a reason. I’ve never liked to use antiperspirants. It just seems unnatural to me to force the body not to do something it was designed to do to keep it healthy. But I’ve never been one to sweat heavily in the first place. I suppose I’d feel differently if I was a silk-shirt wearing CEO, meeting with important clients! LOL! But for my purposes deodorants have always been my preference even when I worked in an office environment.
I typically purchased the sticks instead of the sprays since I felt the aerosol in sprays were even worse for the environment. But I’d always hated the immense plastic waste of roll-up deodorants. It looks like there’s lots of product in these things, but the containers are typically not filled completely (or even close). There’s really not near as much deodorant as it appears in those big clunky plastic tubs. Plus there’s no way to get the deodorant stick at the end because it’s encased in the roll-up plastic holder thingy.
As is often the case I got to wondering, “Hummm… I wonder if I can make this product for myself??” So I started trolling the internet for recipes for making your own deodorant. I found that there are several options out there, but some sounded a little too hippy-dippy for me. There were many recipes that called for weird must-order specialty ingredients too. Other recipes sounded reasonable but the comments about irritations with baking soda on the pits were common.
A Simple, CHEAP Alternative
But then I stumbled upon a site that made a statement that made much more sense to me. This was years before I started my blog so I can’t give credit to the author, but the blogger said underarm funky smell is bacteria. Dark, moist conditions under your arms are perfect for that bacteria to grow and, well, stink! She sprayed her pits with alcohol. Nothing else. No concoctions or specialty products to order online & get shipped to her. Just. Alcohol.
What? JUST ALCOHOL? Could that really work?? But it’s so cheap. It’s so simple! Is it too simple? I decided to give it a try.
So I saved back one of those little travel-size bottles of hairspray when it was empty. I washed it well and filled it with alcohol to give it a try. I can say it worked as well for me as the more expensive stuff sold in the roll-up container which contained much more plastic and many questionable ingredients.
Things to Consider
Now remember we live and work on a ranch. In the hot & humid NE Texas summer weather. Ranch work is hard and hot and sticky. I don’t want to work cows during the day & slip into my PJS and go to bed that evening. So I shower (and therefore shave) at night, not in the morning. But I don’t spray my deodorant until I get dressed the following morning. I’m not sure what spraying pure alcohol on freshly-shaved pits would feel like! LOL Just something to keep in mind for your own typical routines.
Another thing I want to mention is about the smell of alcohol on your pits. I’ve found the alcohol scent disappears when it dries shortly after spraying. Especially since I use this little hairspray bottle because it sprays in such small droplets. But I don’t care for the scent of alcohol. Easy fix, I always buy the green wintergreen-scented kind. It costs the same anyway so why not?
UPDATE: Although I preferred the wintergreen scent over the plain ole alcohol scent, I did notice that if my pits weren’t completely dry by the time I slipped into my shirt, the light-colored shirts began to stain light green under the arm section. Since the alcohol smell disappears shortly after spraying anyway, I switched to plain ole alcohol and haven’t had any further green-staining issues.
And finally here’s my roll-my-eyes common sense disclaimer: I’m not a doctor nor have I cleared my pit-funk-eliminator routine with my doctor. I’ve just never felt the need. I mean, I’m putting less chemicals on my body so I’m assuming that’s a good thing. And it’s worked well for me for about 5 years so far. But if there is any question at all for you please check with your doctor.
I’ve been very pleased with this method and the alcohol keeps me from smelling funky even though my work is outside in the heat & humidity of Texas. Sometimes during prolonged strenuous outside work I feel the need to respray mid day but I did that with purchased deodorants too. Using this cheap spray has been effective and also eliminated untold amounts of chunky plastic from commercially-produced deodorant.
Oh, and a single container of alcohol costs me a dollar and refills my little spray bottle many times. So I’ve saved a good chunk of money too. But then again, I’ve found being environmentally sensitive almost always results in saving some cash too, haven’t you?
Want to read more about our zero-waste hygiene journey?
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