Monday, February 27, 2012

I've been using aluminium deodorant for as long as I can remember

I owe that title to a friend of Andy's who said it about aluminium saucepans and it's always given me a chuckle. Anyway. Much as I'm committed to natural alternatives to cleaning and caring for home and body, I always thought natural deodorant was a path I couldn't take.

I'm sweaty. Really. I need the super-strength extra-aluminium stuff to get me through the day without offending anyone (or myself).

But recently I happened upon this natural deodorant recipe and thought hey, okay. Give it a whirl. These are the ingredients.
The coconut oil was solid when I bought it. It's been HOT around here.

And this is the product.

I just scoop a little out with my fingers and smooth it on.

Does it work? Well I am delighted to report that it absolutely, completely and truly stops any smell. Really. And the weather lately has put that to the test (see melted coconut oil above). It's not an anti-perspirant so there is, er, moisture... but actually less than I expected.

The question mark hanging over it now is whether it - or the odourless 'moisture' - will stain my clothes. Because the whole exercise will be a bit pointless if I ruin my entire wardrobe. I would really like to hear from anyone reading who has any experience in the 'natural deodorant' thing.

In other, non-sweat-related happenings (there's an exciting phrase), Andy made this 'Chachouka' from the River Cottage Veg Every Day book we gave him for his birthday, and it was delicious. Eggs from our chooks and garlic and capsicums from our garden.
And right now I am about to take out of the oven my fourth batch of this awesome Hot Cross Bun recipe from Gillian. I tried doing flour-and-water crosses on my first batch but they mostly disappeared in the baking so I've left them off since.
Seriously, try these, they're so fast and easy and have been pretty much inhaled by the whole family. I added a little more spice and our oven seems to cook them a bit faster so keep an eye on them.

Lastly, one of the good things about really hot weather is seeing a bit more creamy little person skin. I took a heap of photos of Clem the other day and Andy said 'no wonder he thinks he can get away with anything... his Mama thinks he's gorgeous!'. It's true, we've been having a few issues with a wilful four year old (and baby of the household) around here. But it's nothing a bit of time out and toy confiscation won't fix in the long run. Are you listening, mister?

- Jane x


  1. I buy a non alumninium deodorant but your home made one looks interesting - how long does it last in the jar?
    My flour & water crosses never seem to work overly well on hot cross buns so sometimes I just use a little water icing when they've cooled a bit.

    1. Coconut oil apparently has a long shelf-life - like about 2 years. This amount of deodorant I think is supposed to last about six months so it should keep fine for that time.
      The icing idea is good... I think my boys would love that :)

  2. I haven't tried home made deodorant before, but, alone a similar line, I did try washing my hair with bicarb soda instead of shampoo and vinegar instead of conditioner. It worked well for a couple of weeks, but there can be an adjustment period where your hair produces too much oil for a while, and that happened t coincide with me going to a wedding so I decide to go back to shampoo and conditioner and haven't bothered with the bicarb and vinegar since. I have been trying to wash my hair less often though, because I was needing to wash every day or two, so I've been slowly stretching out the time between washes. My goal is to get it every 5-7 days without getting too oily in the mean time.

    My 5 year old (my eldest) is being extremely difficult at the moment! She has always been such a good girl that we really don't know what to do. But she also started school a few weeks ago and hasn't been able to fall asleep before 9pm since then, so we are hoping it will calm itself down once she gets used to school life (by the way, she loves school and the teachers say she is well behaved there).

    1. I do the bicarb and vinegar hair thing too! I've been doing it about a year. There was a greasy transition period but I just kept tying it back and made it out the other side. However I've been doing a lot of swimming this summer which seems to be making my scalp produce more oils to compensate, so it's been a little manky of late. I will persist though because it's so very much cheaper than the lovely organic/natural shampoos and conditioners I was buying before.
      I hope your girl adjusts well to school life. Maybe she's just a bit over-stimulated. It's hard when you know they're not bad human beings but you have to crack down on some behaviour, isn't it.

    2. Maybe I will try the bicarb and vinegar again some day (but not today or any day soon).

      I don't know why my daughter is staying up late. Most of my friends with kindy kids say their little ones are getting so tired that they're falling asleep much earlier than usual. Sometimes even before dinner. Anyway, I may have figured out a way to get her tired enough to sleep. She likes to read, so last night I got her to read me something that was a little out of her comfort zone and she had to concentrate hard to read it. By the end she was getting really tired and she feel asleep by 8:30, which is much more reasonable, but she probably needs to be asleep at 7:30 to 8 o'clock. Is your little boy sleeping normally? Or do you think it is just the hot weather getting to him? Or just a stage, perhaps?

    3. Clem wouldn't voluntarily put himself to sleep ever, probably, so we need to try and enforce a routine. Of course with two big brothers who stay up later it's inevitable that he does sometimes too and we are not as good at the 7pm bedtime with him as we were when the big boys were little. I do notice he gets rattier when he's had a few later nights. But with him I think it's mostly him being the doted-upon baby of the house and used to getting his own way a bit too much! Also, more structure and fewer choices (e.g. what's for breakfast) really helps for him. It's a matter of us knuckling down and making it happen! I imagine with your daughter it's a matter of getting into a new routine... things like school take a while to get used to :)

    4. My youngest is 2 yrs old and so far he doesn't seem to have that youngest child syndrome, but I suppose because there is only a year and a half between him and his older brother, and less than that between his older brother and older sister, there has never really been time or opportunity to dote upon my youngest. I guess in that way my eldest was the most doted-upon, but that didn't last for long :) My younger brother, though, he was as you described, the doted upon baby of the house, and he never grew out of it :) I think you have it right with more structure and fewer choices and starting to pull it up while he's still little.

      I sure you are right about my daughter just adjusting to a new routine, but it feels like a looooong adjustment period :)

      I don't normally like hot cross buns, but those ones look yummy. I will have to have a go at making them. My husband LOVES hot cross buns.

  3. Mmmmm, you're making me hungry! And I hear you on the wilful children...I have a wilful one here (she's just a bit smaller than yours). Last week after I told her it was time to go to bed she yelled "I hate you!" and then she tried to kick me. Isn't she just precious? Sigh.

  4. Oh my gosh, those hot cross buns look AMAZING. I want to make some right now (hey, I'm pregnant and food obsessed). But what is caster sugar, anyway? I think sultanas are currants or raisins? Translate to American, please!

    Willful? That sweet, objectively gorgeous (it's not just you, mama) face? It's not possible!

    I confess I live in a really mild climate where it rarely gets hot, so I use deodorant like, maybe ten times a year ...

    1. Caster sugar is fine white sugar but really any sugar would work in this recipe. I've been using raw sugar.
      Sultanas - and I didn't realise this wasn't universal - are dried grapes from the Sultana grape vine which is a seedless white grape and, I think since our discussion, raisins are the US equivalent in case anyone else reading this has the same question!

  5. Glad the hot cross buns are a hit! I agree, the crosses are a waste of time. I like the idea of that natural deo but I'd be paranoid I'd be stinky. Does it really work?

    1. Yes, amazingly, I keep on sniffing but no stink! Has to be tried to be believed. And thanks again for that recipe :)

  6. Hot cross buns! Now theres something to look forward to!

    I've been meaning to try homemade deodorant (because I really need one more thing for my husband to derisively snort 'hippy' about, what with the bicarb shampoo and the soapnuts for laundry), but I've never seen coconut oil in the supermarket anywhere, and hate buying stuff online. Time to do some more research, I think.

  7. I looked for solid coconut oil at the local health food store today and they only had it in liquid. The lady said it will go solid if you put it in the fridge or in some places in Australia it will go solid in winter. I wasn't sure if this was what I wanted, plus they only had it available in 1L jars for $30, so I wasn't willing to buy the wrong thing. Where did you buy yours? Was it actually solid and how much did it cost?



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