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Herb and Spice rinse for clothing. Equals deodorant, I hope.

 
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I'm not a fan of deodorant. Sometimes, when it's hot, people say that I smell like a buzzard.

There's no point in me washing in those flowery soaps, because I tend to rinse off quite well. Then I towel dry, so any residual deodorizer is pretty much lost.

Clothing is pretty porous stuff and after being rinsed and spun out, there's still a fair amount of water remaining. So if we rinse in mint tea or a mixture of various nice smelling spices, that smell is bound to stick around longer than if it were  applied to skin.

I know people who use horrible things like Downey, mixed with the rinse water. They like the pukey chemical smell.😨 I don't want to smell like a chemical spill, but I don't mind smelling like mint, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg or whatever else turns out to smell nice and not stain the clothing too badly.

I'd like it to be something that doesn't end up being itchy, and let's make it mosquito repellent. So I might want to mix in some neem leaves or some other repellent botanical.

 I imagine making a spiced tea out of leaves or bark or other non saleable leftovers from processing spices. The hot tea could be added to laundry rinse water.

There are probably some garden herbs that would also work, but I can't imagine anything better than mint. Maybe you can.

I know that mint and neem are mosquito repellent. So those seem like good things to mix with other nice smelling things. Smells tend to be more persistent if they contain an oil. Stains on clothing tend to be more persistent if they contain an oil, so there's that.

Does anyone here have experience with treating clothing in this way? I'm definitely not looking for antiperspirant or anything else that I would rub on the skin. I'm familiar with many types of those.

This seems like a good thing to try with clothing that isn't really valuable and that's already a tan or rust color, since that's probably how it will end up.
........
Just imagine me whizzing by on my motorcycle, leaving a nice-smelling wake. Suddenly people who weren't even hungry might decide to go to the bakery or donut shop.☺
 
gardener
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I don't think it will work, but it's worth a shot. Sorry to shoot down the idea.

You mentioned you're familiar with anti perspirants and such. Are you familiar with the homemade stuff? I've made deodorant out of coconut oil, cornstarch, and baking soda before. You can add whatever essential oils you want and keep the mixture in a jar. You could add mint or other oils to repel mosquitoes
 
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I sometimes use an essential oil in my wash and/or rinse water if the clothes need some olfactory assistance. Often tea tree or lavender. The oils are expensive and I cannot grow them, but they tend to have more staying power and a purer (for lack of a better word) smell.

The herb and spice mixes I have tried often end up smelling muddled and kind of...too dead planty. Like old tea leaves or almost compost, not really bad but not minty fresh either. I used a lot of spearmint-based mixes. The tea type mixes do stain the cothes but the essential oils do not (if diluted). I could maybe make my own essental oils, but so far too lazy.

I have dyed obnoxiously bright wool hiking clothes with tea and wine. The ones I dyed with plain black tea or Earl Grey tea smelled pretty good for quite a while even after washes. The wine ones smelled pretty creepy.

In none of these cases was the nice or weird smell of the clothing enough to make up for lack of deodorant, I am sorry to report. It was just enough to counteract any lingering mustiness or slight unpleasant smells on the clothing itself, like if I let it sit too long damp before washing it or something, but if I myself actually stank, it was not enough to compensate. Wiping my pits down periodically with the diluted essential oil or tea mix (or Everclear, although this was irritating to my skin) helped, but even that didn’t really suffice for heavy exertion and/or multiple days of wearing the same shirt during summer. I don’t think I am especially malodorous, but I do live in a humid subtropical climate and do a lot of manual labor.

One thing I haven’t tried in the wash water but suspect might work is leftover citrus peel. Either steeped/boiled or maybe you could press a minute amount of oil out of them. They seem like they might smell fresher than the leafier mixes. Clove or lemongrass might also be worth a shot. I packed a natural eucalyptus and lemongrass bug spray once while backpacking, and I used it as a sort of body spray when going into town because it covered up the week-old hiker smell fairly well.
 
Jennifer Richardson
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Wanted to add, if you don’t wear the clothes right away after the scented wash, you can extend the good smell by keeping them enclosed in a box or drawer so they can’t air out, and preferably including a sachet.

Also, the lemongrass and eucalyptus bug spray did work well for bugs, too.
 
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i think there are two different processes here.

I do not have a dryer, and line dry my clothing. Instead of fabric softener (which in my view is just for making clothes smell good) I have lately been using vinegar with either essential oil or some sort of fragrance in the rinse water. It works pretty well, but like any other treatment, once you wear the clothes the smell seems to dissipate pretty quickly.

But that is just for a light residual smell on the clean clothes. Deodorant is another thing. For that I'm at this moment brewing some spray from this recipe. https://www.reformationacres.com/2015/09/herbal-deodorant-spray-recipe.html
It's just an alcohol-based spray deodorant, kills the bacteria in your pits. It works well enough (you will keep sweating, of course, but the bacteria seems to be the issue for BO).
 
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What a lovely idea!  I wonder how a rosemary rinse would work.  I have a lavender plant though I think the rosemary plant smells so much better.
 
Dale Hodgins
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James Landreth wrote:I don't think it will work, but it's worth a shot. Sorry to shoot down the idea.

You mentioned you're familiar with anti perspirants and such. Are you familiar with the homemade stuff? I've made deodorant out of coconut oil, cornstarch, and baking soda before. You can add whatever essential oils you want and keep the mixture in a jar. You could add mint or other oils to repel mosquitoes


Please send the recipe. I'm assuming this is just a deodorant. I would never do anything to prevent sweating.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Thanks for the detailed reply Jennifer and everyone else. I'm going to keep the staining in mind. I was dismayed to find out that I will not be able to grow citrus, because the place is to tropical. There's probably 10 different things that I'd like to grow but can't. But then, there are hundreds of new things that I can grow, 12 months of the year.

Rosemary is a nice powerful smell and I'm pretty sure I saw it growing. It was in enough local foods that I'm pretty sure they aren't importing it.
..........
The culture surrounding laundry in the Philippines, is the craziest I've seen anywhere. Much more ridiculous than what I've witnessed to North America. People buy horrible smelling little packets of laundry detergent. They used too much of it, so that the clothing must be rinsed many times to get rid of it, and then they use fabric softeners. All of this is done by hand in big plastic tubs. This chemical stew goes directly to bananas that are eaten. We made our own soap shortly after I arrived, and the clothes are nice and soft without any sort of softener. I was living in a house with many tenants and offered everyone free use of the washing machine. Most did not take me up on that. My fiance's mother lifts up the lid and watches it go, with the intensity of someone watching a shuttle launch. She has never had electricity.
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Hello Dale,

Firstly, in the tropics it's best to wear natural fibres as they tend not to hold smells or make you smell as much as synthetics. They're also a lot cooler.

It's perhaps better to wash clothes in scent free soap and, when dry, store them in draws/wardrobes with some pretty smelling stuff like potpourri made to your liking e.g. Rosemary, thyme, lemon grass, cinnamon, etc.

That way, when you go to put on a shirt, it already has a nice aroma.

Also, citrus grow well in the tropics, so I don't know why they're not available in the Philippines?


 
Dale Hodgins
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F Agricola wrote:Hello Dale,

Also, citrus grow well in the tropics, so I don't know why they're not available in the Philippines?




Almost all citrus need a cold period. So they are a subtropical plant. There is only one place in the Philippines known for the production of oranges and it's at high elevation. I didn't see one citrus tree during two months there and they have tried to grow everything known to man. There are ongoing breeding efforts for citrus and for things like potatoes and apples which also do poorly.
 
Jennifer Richardson
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I’ve seen citronella and lemongrass used in tropical permaculture banana circles guilds, although I don’t know about how they do in the Philippines specifically, and both of those are great for bugs. I like the smell of citronella, although some don’t.
 
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More or less reiterating what others have said, I use baking soda for odor control and peppermint oil before going out. It's probably too harsh for many people, but I just put on straight baking soda and it kills the bacteria that make odor. It works better and lasts longer than deodorant sticks which I gave up several years ago. When I sweat it will run down my sides, so if I have any injuries the baking soda will make it burn.

My understanding of organic oils is that the smells coming from them are volatile organic compounds (VOC's), and as such they oxidize rather quickly. Especially applied to a warm body, or clothes on a warm body, and particularly in a warm climate, they will oxidize even faster meaning that applying them for a better smell will be short lived. Of course my experience is that many people are trained to believe that if a person doesn't exude a strong pleasant smell then they must smell bad without ever smelling anything repulsive. I did some minor testing with it and specifically asked people after I started using baking soda and people smelled nothing positive or negative. By putting oil on before going out someplace, they get that initial impression that I smell like peppermint which appears to trick them in to thinking I smell good even after the scent wears off.

I have been using rosemary as sort of a door step. I have a series of random pads I've acquired to brush off my feet when coming inside and will step on a dried out rosemary branch to give off a nice smell. They will last for a number of weeks this way. I wonder if a tiny pouch with rosemary or other leaves kept in a pocket or on a necklace or something would be useful. Just tap it a few times to give off a strong scent.
 
Jennifer Richardson
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My favorite natural deodorant is a spray. I fill a spray bottle with Everclear, my essential oil of choice, and a small amount of a neutral oil like jojoba to make it less harsh on the skin (nothing thick like coconut or olive oil, and not too much or it will ruin clothes). The Everclear kills bacteria to control odor, and the essential oil imparts the nice scent. It can also be used as a body/clothes/vehicle/room spray if you want to give any of those things a nice smell boost.
 
F Agricola
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Dale Hodgins wrote:

Almost all citrus need a cold period. So they are a subtropical plant. There is only one place in the Philippines known for the production of oranges and it's at high elevation. I didn't see one citrus tree during two months there and they have tried to grow everything known to man. There are ongoing breeding efforts for citrus and for things like potatoes and apples which also do poorly.



Not quite correct. There are cultivars and endemic species that grow in the tropics. Sure, if you're after a traditional navel orange, Meyer lemon, etc it may be hard to grow them - typically, the fruit look green but are actually ripe. The other major hurdle is sourcing them in the Philippines.

This link may assist you, though it is a PNG document - closer to the equator.

http://kolibri.teacherinabox.org.au/modules/en-foodplantsolutions/png/pdf/Growing-The-Common-Food-Plants-of-PNG.pdf



 
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I cook hydrosols out of herbs, mint,rosemary, thyme, sage, lavender. Sage smells very good so i spray it on my clothes, and rosemary keeps alert, is good for hair, to make it shinier and thicker. I keep them in my car and house.
Coming to the original question, if you find the solution, would be great, i hope it's one of us, because you'll be making lots of money, people prefer natural smells, but like Daniel is saying, if you don't immediately radiate some very strong (not human) scent, people assume you're a smelly bastard.
 
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Per home made deodorants:

1, It is important to use a very fine powdery baking soda. If you buy the cheaper coarser ones they irritate the skin and don't work as well.

2, Don't use too much. It really just takes a pinch.

3, As much as I like the idea of making up a deodorant mix, the baking soda works far better if mixed right when using.

4, My methods: put a pinch in the palm of your hand and mix with the lotion or oil of your choice. If you have essential oils, lavender is easy on the skin. Dale, you can use neem oil for sure, but the smell is unpleasant. Coconut oil is perfect, as is sesame seed oil. I live in a very hot climate, and this method eliminates BO entirely

If you want your herbal smells I suggest infusing your favorite oil with the herbs in question. This involves putting herbs into the oil and keeping it at a low heat (under 150F) for a day or so with the lid on. Essentially, you're putting its essential oils directly into the carrier oil. Mix this with a pinch of fine baking soda and apply.
 
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Dale Hodgins wrote:
There's no point in me washing in those flowery soaps, because I tend to rinse off quite well. Then I towel dry, so any residual deodorizer is pretty much lost.



The soap is not for its scent, but to get the sweaty smell out of armpits, and I think also to set back the bacteria that make the sweaty smell. Washing the armpits with soap, daily in hot weather or every couple of days in cold weather, along with wearing only natural fibres, will prevent nasty body odour on most people.

I've spent some winters in a cold climate with not much in the way of bathing facilities, so I learnt the habit of washing my pits with rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball or two. It acts just like having a soapy wash, and prevents body odour for a day or a few days.

Natural scent on top of nasty body odour is still nasty body odour, and is no substitute for bathing.
 
Rebecca Norman
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Here's a paper about growing citrus in different climates:

AN OVERVIEW OF CLIMATIC EFFECTS ON CITRUS FLOWERING
AND FRUIT QUALITY IN VARIOUS PARTS OF THE WORLD
...The low tropics ...Generally, citrus production in this
area is low and fruit are used primarily for local consumption resulting from the adverse effects of
hot, humid climates on fruit quality of most important citrus cultivars. Disease, pest and weed
pressures are especially severe throughout most of these regions....
... fruit quality for oranges and mandarins is poor ... but grapefruit and limes ... produce fruit with high internal quality. For example, even' Star
Ruby' grapefruit develops a deep red color at sea level in this region. External fruit quality (peel
blemishes) is a problem for fruit from the low tropics....

 
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