From the Pantry to the Bathroom: Deodorant Edition

January 2, 2009


Welcome to the first installment of From the Pantry to the Bathroom, where I feature natural alternatives to beauty and hygiene products, all of which can be created by using ingredients found in the kitchen pantry (think toothpaste made from baking soda and peppermint extract; face masks assembled from oatmeal and honey; etc).

While I was entrenched in the darkest days of my green year and not buying any new plastic, let alone consuming products full of chemicals and preservatives, I ultimately had no choice but to make myself clean and pretty using whatever I could find in the house. Now, I still do this, but it’s more in the name of laziness and frugality.

Sometimes, homemade stuff doesn’t turn out so great — using vinegar instead of shampoo, for instance, unless perhaps you have thick, curly hair and don’t mind a permanent redolence of fish ‘n’ chips — but occasionally I’ll stumble upon something so effective and simple, I just have to share it with every woman (and sometimes men) I know.

So without further ado, here is my first find:


The recipe is very simple:

– Coconut oil

– Put on underams

That’s it!

You can find coconut oil at most grocery stores (definitely at any health food store). It looks something like this:


Coconut oil is great for cooking — it can be safely heated to high temperatures, it’s great for smoothies and has lots of beneficial side effects (ask your local nutritionist about it). But it’s also useful as a moisturizer, a shoe polish, and, if you’re feeling kinky, as a lubricant.

I can’t remember what, exactly, possessed me to spread coconut oil underneath my arms recently because I’ve been using a combination of the crystal rock and the wild-yam scented Green Beaver brand of deodorant for a while with mostly positive results. But in the end, I found that coconut oil is a lot more effective. In fact, it almost smelled better once I started to sweat a little. I’m not sure whether the oil is clogging my pores or not, but whatever — I’m sold. Try it out!!

Update: Burbanmom/EnviRambo has also just seen the coconut oil light — check out her post on it over here.

Deodorant ad above from Flickr

These boots are made for licking (Day 274)…

November 29, 2007

shoe polish

Today was one of those sad days when I realized it was time to drag out my winter boots from the back of the closet. It’s finally cold enough in Toronto that my tootsies are demanding more coverage than just an old pair of Converse; unfortunately, the alternatives include a salt-stained pair of brown Uggs or a salt-stained, dusty and cobweb-covered pair of black leather boots (wearing these, by the way, does not violate my no-leather rule because I already owned them and am just reusing).

Now, when it comes to getting salt off suede, I’m not sure what the most eco-friendly way of doing that is, so if anyone can offer a suggestion, please do! I’ve tried a salt-stain remover already, but it seemed to just be spreading it around, and plain water isn’t doing much either.

But when it comes to polishing the leather boots, I have Treehugger to thank for this great suggestion: Pozu’s edible shoe polish. One major downside is that this brand is only sold in the UK. So because the carbon cost of shipping it across the pond is far too great, I’m going to try and make my own natural shoe polish using their main ingredient, coconut oil.

As I’m quickly discovering, coconut oil is right up there with baking soda and vinegar as one of the essential all-purpose items in any certified hippie’s toolbox. Olive oil would probably work, too, but I think coconut smells nicer and it’s more solid in consistency. I haven’t tested it out yet, but am just about to, so I’ll post a little update in the comments section to let you all know how it turned out.