Straight out of Lynne’s Lab

I’ve been creating stuff in my kitchen again…

There really is a method to my madness. When my dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, I did what many others do when a loved when gets handed a dreaded diagnosis – I researched. Lots of reading and weeding through pages and pages of info; endless discussions with doctors, social workers and friends about dementia.

Then, I started making changes in my own life, as I’m sure others have done, too, if there is even a remote chance that genetics play a role in your loved one’s disease. I was trying to reduce the amount of household chemicals we used, and also trying to eat organic foods.

In my hours of reading, a saw more than once that there may be a link between aluminum and Alzheimer’s. Aluminum can be found in cookware, baking powder and antiperspirants/deodorants, too. Needless to say, I started reading labels and purchasing items that were aluminum-free… which didn’t work so well with deodorants. I tried several different brands, salts, etc. No luck.

About that time, my mom started forwarding information on the benefits of coconut oil with Alzheimer’s patients. The information is amazing, and can be found by doing a simple Google search. So, after doing a lot of reading, I started to incorporate coconut oil into my diet and also use it as part of my skin care routine.

Yet, I was still frustrated that I couldn’t find a decent deodorant. And with my dad’s disease progressing, I became too distracted to care.

A few months after Dad passed away, and I came back to the land of the living, I decided to look online for homemade deodorant, and was successful in my search. And, well, because I am me – a rather impatient person – I tried the one recipe that listed the ingredients I had on hand – baking soda, cornstarch and coconut oil as I wanted to try something…NOW!

It worked!

In the past few months I have had some teenage gals try this potion, and they are liking the results. The ultimate test came when my hubby tried it, did yard work in some seriously high heat, and he was really pleased with the effectiveness. (Note – you will perspire as your body was designed by God to do, but the deodorant will do as it is designed to do – deodorize.)

If you want to try it, here goes:

1/4 cup baking soda + 1/4 cup cornstarch + 5 tablespoons of melted coconut oil. (Your best bet is to use organic ingredients). Mix until ingredients are smooth. It is like a paste, and you just massage it in. Use about a dime size. (You can add essential oils if you like, see link below for details.) Sometimes the coconut oil can solidify, so should that happen, you will need to warm it in your hands so it is spreadable or run the container under warm water. I use small refillable containers for storage.

My success with this venture inspired me to try other items off the same website, www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com (also on my BlogRoll). Today I made three gallons of liquid laundry detergent and a half-gallon liquid hand soap. But here is where “Miss Impatient” (me) will be tested, as I have to wait overnight for the soaps to thicken before I can finish making them. So it will be sometime tomorrow before I can use them!

Please stay tuned, and I will post the results in a day or two.

Have you tried making any personal or household cleaning products? If so, share in the comments section 🙂

© 2012 – Lynne Cobb

Embracing my inner “geek”

Last summer, I remember there was a really, super-hot day towards the end of June. At the time, my dad was in the hospital. I couldn’t focus on much, so I hopped on Facebook and posted something silly like, “It’s hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk”.

And the conversations began.

“I always wanted to try that,” replied someone. “Does it work?” asked another.

Admittedly, I have always liked science experiments. Baking soda and vinegar volcanoes, Mentos in diet soda, watching celery sticks and Queen Anne Lace drink up food coloring, microwaving almost-stale Peeps…the list goes on and on. So when my cousin almost double-dog-dared me to fry an egg on the sidewalk, what was I to do?

Out the door I went, egg in hand. And a camera, too. Then, like a giddy school girl, I’d run back in the house to update my followers on my experiment. And for the record, the egg started cooking. Kind of a soft-scramble due to the way the egg hit the ground. I was laughing and taking pictures. I’m glad the kids weren’t home, because they’d have been mortified to know that people walking their dogs were staring at me. But I digress.

Of course, I shrugged off the incident as therapy for a rough time period in my life. But the other day, while I was cleaning, that summer-time experiment memory came back and hit me like a ton of bricks.

Then it struck me – I might be a geek.

Serious – I think I am! Maybe because I did some techincal writing recently and learned about things like cloud-based applications and gigs of data and cool stuff like that, but I think there really is a geek hiding within!

Here’s why. We live in what designers like to call “mid-century modern” house. Basically, it’s a small ranch a little older than me, that has a old bathtub that refuses to come clean. Each week I’m scrubbing the blasted thing to no avail. Stinky cleaning products in hand, I run in to the bathroom, hold my breath, spray and scrub until I need to breathe, run out of the bathroom, gasp for air, plug my nose and repeat.

Until I decided enough was enough. This week would be different. And, like a semi-mad scientist, I started to experiment with less-stinky, homemade cleaning products.

A sinister smirk appeared when I started to sprinkle baking soda everywhere. Then, with my trusty spray bottle in hand, I doused the baking soda with the vinegar. Bubbles erupted and fizzing hisses greeted me! This was both entertaining and educational – and it worked! Boy, did I have a blast! Who knew cleaning could be so much fun! Plus, I could breathe while scrubbing, which made my job so much easier!

Why hadn’t I thought of this earlier? It’s not like I haven’t played (safely) as a scientist before. I’ve made my own laundry detergent, mixed my own Easter egg dye and made window cleaner. I’ve helped my kids with science fair projects. Where was my head?

Gosh, I wish I hadn’t ignored my inner geek, because when I did embrace it, cleaning the bathroom was, well, it was kind of fun.

© 2012 – Lynne Cobb