Vegan, Jane Austen student, Minimalist, Reader, Librarian

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Stickin' It To The-Man!

Ugh! I just opened my back door and got a whiff of my neighbor's dryer vent spewing that awful, poisonous, nasty dryer sheet smell. People, people! That stuff is toxic and you don't need it!

Let me tell you a little story. While staying with my parents over the holidays, I dried myself after a shower with a towel. Within a few hours, I had a slight rash/irritation across my belly! I asked my mom if she would wash with a "free" (of color, scent, etc.) detergent next time. Do you ever have itchy nose, eyes, or a rash like I did after using towels or clothes washed in traditional commercial laundry detergent and/or fabric softener? That could be the reason. Many years ago, a dermatologist (a D.O.) questioned me closely when I went in for a skin irritation; this is how I first learned how to listen to my body. This is how I learned that my skin (and nose) are very sensitive to many products; now they also give me a headache. So I try my best to avoid them like the plague.

There's a blog I occasionally read called Angry Chicken and the author creates many of her own personal care and cleaning products, just like I do. She writes that she enjoys that feeling of "sticking it to the man" that she gets whenever she makes something at home that advertisers would make you believe you must buy. It's so true! This is true for many things I now make myself: body lotion, laundry detergent, shampoo/conditioner, face powder, deodorant, lip gloss/balm, toner, etc. It first started because of my own skin sensitivities, then it grew to "what the hell is in this stuff?" and finally, because it's just so amazingly cheap and easy.

My newest addition is a recipe for deodorant. Remember, this is deodorant--not antiperspirant. The body is meant to sweat but this will keep odor at bay.

1 tbsp arrowroot powder (or corn starch)
1 tbsp baking soda
2 tbsp raw coconut oil

Combine all in a small bowl and stir until well combined; it should be like a white cream. To use, scoop about a pea-sized amount onto your fingertips and apply to your underarms. I've tried a few other recipes out there but this one seems to work the best for me.


  1. Hi Maria,

    Thank you for the deodorant recipe. Do you know of a good place to buy coconut oil in Pgh? Also, does the oil ever stain your clothes from the deodorant?


  2. Thanks for reading!You can find coconut oil at the East End Food Co-op in Point Breeze (best selection & price--I like Artisana brand), Right by Nature in the Strip District, or Whole Foods in Shadyside. And I haven't noticed clothing stains but I usually don't wear white (where yellowing might show up).

  3. Hi Maria, I no longer have your email addresses, so I'm writing you here. I always remember this blog post. I am now living in an apartment and feeling livid much of the time and you want to know why?! Dryer sheets!! They should be banned, especially in apartments where many people are polluting the air with them all at once. I can't even enjoy my windows open whenever I want due to this toxic practice. And, the smell seeps into my home through the walls and hallway door. Too bad its not enough that I don't use them; I still have to breathe in the fumes in my own home:(!
    Hope all is well with you~

  4. Hi, Shawn, good to hear from you. My email is