Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Rethink: Homemade Cleaners & Deodorant Tutorial

Hi everyone!  Hope you had a great long weekend.  We've got a guest post today.  Mary is a friend of my brother's - he's been telling me for ages that we need to get together because we're very likeminded. Check out Mary's recipe for homemade deodorant (something I plan to try making myself soon since this no-deodorant policy on maternity leave can't last forever) & information about her Eco-Friendly Product Parties with Rethink.  I think Rethink sounds SO cool & would love to host a party once I make some friends around here have some free time.  Many thanks, Mary!

Rethinking Choices

It all began with ice cream.  Sure, I have been thinking of ways to “go green” for awhile.  When my husband and I moved into our new home we started a compost pile.  I had always recycled.  We planted a garden.  I finally got to try the laundry soap I read about on Hardly Housewives.  But it was ice cream that really changed me.

After a typical Sunday dinner of roasted chicken and vegetables, my husband and I enjoyed some ice cream.  I am not a huge ice cream person, but my husband likes it and I must admit that this week, I had bought the least expensive 2 for $5 offer at the grocery store.  It did not even dawn on me that this cherry ice cream was red.  That night, we were both tossing and turning-- unable to sleep-- our minds racing.  The next morning, we put two and two together and noticed that the ice cream had red dye in it.  This dye has been linked to attention issues and while usually this would be noticed in children more so than adults, this is all it took for me to start reading my food labels much more closely. 
I started slowly, taking baby steps in rethinking choices, starting with the food I was putting into my body.  I am now eating mostly real food, with much of my food being purchased from local farmers markets.  I will buy food in packages but I try to make sure that the ingredient list is five or less items and that they are items that I can read and understand.   

As I mentioned, I make and use the Laundry Soap featured on this blog.  I love it.  As I began rethinking the products I used on my body, I was contemplating deodorant, but was scared to try it.  At the same time my co-teacher and friend was rethinking her food choices due to acne and other health annoyances.  In one of our daily conversations, I found out that her sister uses homemade deodorant.  A few text messages to her sister and I was willing to give it a try.  

In another conversation, my friend and I decided that we needed to figure out a way to spread awareness.  In the hustle and bustle of daily life, convenience often wins our over health.  When healthy options are taken into consideration, these options are often times expensive and many times deceiving.  It was with this in mind that our ideas became a reality.  We launched our first Eco-Friendly Product Party last week:

Guests gathered to “make and take” six products.  The products-- veggie wash, all-purpose cleaner, deodorant, bathroom scrub, laundry soap and a soy candle-- are made with all natural ingredients.  

We hope that guests will either make the products again at home, or ask use to refill them at a reasonable price.  

When Caitlin asked for uses of coconut oil, I immediately thought to share the deodorant recipe that we use.  The original recipe was found online and tweaked to our preference.  Here is a step by step guide, including photographs.

Here’s what you need:

2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
2 tablespoons baking soda
8-10 drops tea tree oil

Here’s what to do:

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.  You will really have to mix well until the ingredients firm up.  

Once all of the ingredients have been incorporated, transfer into a container of your choice.  

To use, scoop out a small amount and apply to underarms.  Since coconut oil has a low melting temperature, you will need to store your deodorant in a cool place, depending on the temperature.

I would recommend making sure to give this product a good week before you give up on it.  You might think you smell, or feel a little sweat as your body gets used to it.  I encourage you to stick with it.  I will never go back and I can raise my hand all day, because I’m sure!  

You can visit Rethink on Facebook or contact us at rethinkchoices@gmail.com for more information about our goal.


  1. I love the deodorant idea! Deodorant has always made me nervous. Someone mentioned to me once that all of those parabens and metal compounds could have some play in breast cancer and I've always been freaked out about it. I love coconut oil so this would be a really cool project!

  2. This is such a great idea! I'd love to use more natural cleaning supplies, but am always so intimidated by making my own (plus I don't want to buy a massive box of Borax just to have it go to waste).

  3. Is there an alternative for coconut oil?

    1. Hi! There are several "do it yourself" recipes for deodorant available if you search the web. I've come across some that use shea butter and other types of oils instead of coconut oil. I'd do a search, try some out and see which one works for you!

  4. UM amazing!! I have a ton of lavender oil left over. TA DA

  5. Can I use essential oil for scent?

    1. Yep - I've heard of using tea tree, orange, lavender, etc

    2. Agreed! I use tea tree but I bet it would be wonderful with some additional oils as well!

  6. Did you charge guests of the Eco Friendly party? That sounds like a good idea to make some extra cash.

  7. Try Purification oil by Young Living! It has a nice citrus scent and is great added to a spray bottle with water to purify the air instead of using febreeze! We love it!


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