Keeping the stink away post SHTF doesn’t have to be hard. You could super-coupon a stockpile of store bought personal grooming items, but I’ve had several tubes of deodorant that came out of storage poorly. I’m not a big fan of most of the scents available in the store, and I don’t like how antiperspirants feel, so I started making my own a few years ago. I find that the ingredients I need to make my own store well and fill multiple roles. First, a few words about the mechanics involved.
Sweat –sweat does not stink. Sweat itself is not much more than salt water with some trace fatty acids. The stink is from bacteria who like warm, dark and moist areas to live in. The things to remember about these bacteria are: you are never going to get rid of them, and they are more active at a certain pH. Now a human body’s pH can differ widely from one person to another; that’s why some people stink worse than others. If your pH is abnormal then you will attract more bacteria and they will excrete more stinkiness. Sugars and starches found in empty carbohydrates cause an individuals pH to be abnormal. In non-science terms, “You are what you eat.” If you really want to avoid BO, eat healthier foods. Have you noticed all the “clinical strength” deodorants advertised? Have you ever wondered why you need clinical strength when it’s quite likely that Grandpa grew up just fine on regular strength, or none at all? Those clinical strength deodorants are just increasingly acidic and fortified with antibacterial fighting agents, like propylene glycol and triclosan, to inhibit the growth of bacteria that are running amok because of the poor diet most American’s consume.
Ths formula may not be able to combat the underlying imbalances from a daily diet of take out and fast food, I’m not sure. This deodorant won’t stop you from sweating either. Most store bought sticks have a 1-2 punch of deodorizers (those acidic antibacterial agents) and antiperspirants. The active ingredient in antiperspirants is always aluminum based and works by plugging the sweat ducts, so no sweat can come out. Now, besides the fact that these aluminum compounds are linked to Alzheimer’s and brain disorders, why would you want to stop your body from doing something it’s designed to do? Sweating is a part of the systems for temperature control and waste management. Seems important to me, why mess with it?
So, without further ado, here is what I make:
1 part Baking Soda
4 parts Corn Starch
1/2 part powdered Neem leaf and Lavender blossoms
Baking soda – The baking soda is my deodorizer. It’s the same stuff you put in your fridge to soak up bad smells. It’s a great scrubbing compound for dirty sinks and tubs. Needless to say, we keep a lot of it around.
Inactive Ingredients – The corn starch works to both dilute the baking soda and acts as a wetness absorber. Neem leaf is something I keep around, it smells nice and it’s a natural anti fungal/antibacterial. The lavender blossoms, again one of my favorites to have around, are just added for a little bit of scent. Feel free to add a scent you prefer. I get most of my herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs.
It only takes 5 minutes, and I can fill 2 jelly jars full of my deodorant. It’s a powder, so I apply it with a little powder puff applicator I made up out of some of my diaper making scraps. If it’s not strong enough for you, reduce the corn starch. Some people do have reactions to straight baking soda though, so don’t make it too strong. Mine makes it through the day, and I’m pretty active. I’ll reapply if I’m going out for some salsa dancing.
There are other recipes out there for everything from spray/mist on liquids, to creams made with Shea butter. For the gentlemen preppers, my hubby likes a Thai stone. From what I can tell it just coats the underarms with a fine layer of salt, making it uninviting for bacteria. Those things should store indefinitely.
With minor modifications this powder will work as a foot powder or a baby powder. Lessen the baking soda for the baby powder, add some more anti-fungals for the foot powder.
We all know S is going to HTF eventually, keeping your smell to a minimum doesn’t need to be a point of failure.
– Calamity Jane