Tag-Archive for ◊ Past Forward ◊

Author:
• Monday, July 15th, 2013
So here are the ingredients:  A cloth, some cotton balls, and a rubber band.

So here are the ingredients: A cloth, some cotton balls, and a rubber band.

So, well it’s been a week since I started using this deodorant and I’ve got updates for you! First, I want to show you how I made the “applicator.”

It’s simple.  I feel stupid for doing pictures, but you know, sometimes people just need a visual, so I’m going to do it anyway.

I didn’t want to take the time to go to Wal-Mart and buy a “nice” washcloth because I’m lazy.  So, while I was grabbing some groceries, I saw the “cleaning aisle” and went down it.  If they had some, I’d buy it.  If not, then I’d do the Wal-Mart thing.  Well, they had some.  I paid too much for them, but it saved me a trip to the other side of town, so hey.

Once I got home, I took one and rinsed it out with a bit of soap in it.  When the water ran clear, then I just hung it outside to dry.  This is the desert.  By the time I was done petting the dog, not long because it’s HOT out there, I grabbed it and brought it in.  It was dry.  Oy.

I used a full handful of cotton balls.  Big ones.

I just set them in the center of the washcloth.

I grabbed each corner and the center of each side and held them in one hand while I use the other to wrap the rubber band around the  top of the bunch like a pony tail.

Voila.  Done.  It’s that simple.

See... not that many.  Maybe 10?

See… not that many. Maybe 10?

Isn't it cute?

Isn’t it cute?

It just sits in the jar!  Perfect.

It just sits in the jar! Perfect.

deodorant14

See! That’s all it takes!

Now, for the real question.  Does it work?

I’ll be honest.  I didn’t think it would.  I thought I’d feel damp all day and I’d stink.  But I gave it a fair shot and I took a shower.  I chose a navy shirt and navy workout pants because I wanted to give it every chance to fail (I’m not very nice).

First, I have to say that it FEELS GREAT.  I’ve never felt so clean after putting on any kind of deodorant.  I use Arrid X-tra Dry aerosol.  ALWAYs.  I flip between the blue and yellow cans because if I don’t, it stops working.  I like aerosol because I prefer the dry feeling of it. So this part of it was amazing.  The powder DID dust off onto my pants and my shirt.  I thought, “Great.  Just what I needed.”

Guess what?  Unlike Arrid, when I dusted it off, it just came right off.  Took a second with a dry towel to rub it right off.  FAST.  After a time or two, I learned to do it by leaning over the tub.  With that, I got nothing on my dark clothes.  That said, there IS white inside my clothes.  It washes right out and no under arm stains so far.

I stayed dry all day.  I didn’t stink.  I even didn’t let myself take  a shower on day two to see how that worked out for me.  I still didn’t stink.  SHOCKER.  I really thought it would be gross.

Furthermore, we had high humidity the first 3 days of use.  Considering we cool our house with a swamp cooler, that means that we added humidity to our high humidity and usually I would have been sticky, stinky, and gross by the end of the day.  I wasn’t.  I’m still astounded.

Will I use this all the time?  Probably not, but I will use it MOST of the time.  I’m not taking it on vacation. Maybe someday, but right now, no way.

Now the only question remains:  how long will this last?  I spent about 5.00 making the deodorant.  I’m not including the cost of the applicator because I figure that’s optional and because it is “non-consumable.”

So, I’m curious to see if anyone else tries it and if it works for them.  I’m sending a baggie for my friend Christy.  We’ll see how it works for her in a climate closer to Willow’s.  🙂

 

Author:
• Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

deodorant9When I first started writing Past Forward, Willow’s walk to town inspired one of the first questions I had about their lifestyle.  Would Willow and Kari use traditional deodorant or antiperspirant or would they use a natural or homemade alternative?  I decided that Kari’s bent for self-sufficiency would definitely mean they’d make their own, and that meant more natural ingredients.

My research then turned toward recipes for homemade deodorants.  I expected to have trouble narrowing it down to the most logical option for them, but nearly every recipe I found contained the same two base ingredients.  Cornstarch and baking soda.  Both made sense to me when you consider the anti-odor properties of baking soda and the drying properties of cornstarch. Most recipes added essential oils to scent the mixture, but I pictured Kari and Willow using their own dried lavender florets.

This recipe requires only three ingredients.  I used Wal-Mart brand just because it seemed like the least expensive option might be a blessing.

deodorant1Ingredients:

1 lb. Baking Soda
1 lb. Cornstartch
1/2 cup lavender florets.

I didn’t have the lavender florets that I needed, so I went (okay, my eldest daughter went for me) to a local gift shop that often sells baggies of them.  They were out of those, but they had this little wrapped bunch of dried lavender.  Isn’t it pretty?  I swear, it looks exactly what I’d imagine Willow would do if she gave me a bundle of her lavender for a project.

Obviously, that’s much more than I need for this project.  I think there’s enough there to make at least 4 batches of deodorant–possibly six.  That’s a lot of deodorant!

I just had to show this.  Isn't it lovely.  The fragrance--my kitchen smelled wonderful while I did this!

I just had to show this. Isn’t it lovely. The fragrance–my kitchen smelled wonderful while I did this!

This is how much I took from that bundle.  It works out to about 1/2 cup of florets.

This is how much I took from that bundle. It works out to about 1/2 cup of florets.

I stripped the florets from each stem.  I think this process took me about five minutes tops.  Most of them just fell off as I slid my fingers along the stems. I could just imagine how Willow would sit on her porch swing, stripping the florets with Othello at her feet.

I stripped the florets from each stem. I think this process took me about five minutes tops. Most of them just fell off as I slid my fingers along the stems. I could just imagine how Willow would sit on her porch swing, stripping the florets with Othello at her feet.

There we go!  Ready to begin mortaring and pestling (that's how my youngest put it earlier.  "When are you going to do the mortaring and pestling?")

There we go! Ready to begin mortaring and pestling (that’s how my youngest put it earlier. “When are you going to do the mortaring and pestling?”)

I discovered that it worked best in small bunches--maybe 3 TBS or so at a time. I decided each batch was finished when it felt like fluffy dust--almost like dryer fluff.

I discovered that it worked best in small bunches–maybe 3 TBS or so at a time. I decided each batch was finished when it felt like fluffy dust–almost like dryer fluff.

Here's my larger mixing bowl with all ingredients ready to go.

Here’s my larger mixing bowl with all ingredients ready to go.

All mixed.  As you can see, you can hardly see the lavender in the mixture once it's all mixed in.

All mixed. As you can see, you can hardly see the lavender in the mixture once it’s all mixed in.

 

All done!  That's a lot of ddorant.

All done! That’s a lot of deodorant.

Now Willow used a sugar shaker to shake the mixture into her hand and applied that way.  It’s not what I want to do.  I looked for a “powder puff” at Wal-Mart, but I didn’t find one.  After much thought, I’ve decided to get a washcloth and fill it with cotton balls.  I’ll wrap a rubber band around that, and then I’ll tie it up.  The top can work sort of as a “handle” to hold it.

This is a hot week here in the Mojave Desert.  Temperatures will be hovering around 108-110 from what the weather forecasts say.  So, this is a perfect week to test out this product.  I don’t have anywhere to be, so I won’t gross out the world if it doesn’t work well.  Ahem.  I’ll report back in a week or so with the results AND with pictures of my “powder puff.”