Tuesday, October 07, 2008

WFMW - Getting Personal

On this blog, I have held back almost nothing from you. I have shared my failings and frustrations, my insecurities and hang-ups.
But today? Today I am taking it a step further. Yes, today I am going to talk with you about something very personal.

ARMPITS!!!

There. I said it. Now, Karen, move on.
Several weeks ago Shane at Heart Reflections posted a Works For Me Wednesday entry about how to get rid of armpit stains in shirts. I was so interested in this post because it was a question I always wanted to ask, but was too shy to do so.
I hated that my shirts would get armpit stains, but I thought there must be something "wrong" with me which was causing them. So I just quit wearing the shirts that looked bad and tried to avoid raising my arms.
Then I saw Shane's post, and I tried treating several of my shirts with a baking soda paste. But I was so interested in finding a solution to this problem that I kept researching different options, and I came across some information I didn't expcet to find.

The stains in my shirts were not caused by some weird chemical imbalance in my body. They were caused by my antiperspirant! Specifically, by the active ingredient aluminum. I don't know what it is, but something about the aluminum causes the stains.

Whew! What a relief to know it wasn't ME.
Anyway, I went on to do more searching about antiperspirant alternatives and found a wealth of options. For a while I was trying plain rubbing alcohol, but I didn't like that very much. So I looked in the store and found there are a number of deodorants which are not antiperspirants, and therefore do not contain that nasty stain-causing aluminum.
I bought herbal clear natural deodorant, and love the scent of it. However, I noticed it sort of makes my armpits feel sticky, so I also put on baby powder and find myself to be quite comfortable. Depending on my level of activity, I sometimes feel the need to freshen up during the day, but if it will save my shirts from now on - it is so worth it to me.

And there you have it.
Deodorant without antiperspirant, and a little baby powder.
No more armpit stains.
That works for me!
For more great ideas from Works For Me Wednesday, visit Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer.
***Edited to add***
Several people have asked if the baking soda paste worked. Well, I tried it once. Put it on the shirts and let them sit overnight, then washed them as usual, but didn't notice any improvement. The thing is, I read several places that if you have put the stained shirt through the dryer, the stain has been set. So, it's the eternal optimist in me that was giving the baking soda treatment a try in the first place.
I don't know if repeated attempts would take care of it, or not. I kinda doubt it. But I might try anyway! *grin*

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17 comments:

StephG said...

Great post...lol...I'm glad you're willing to chat about "real" things! Isn't that what motherhood is all about anyway? Poop, barf, boogers (or "mousies" as my ubby calls them) and it all ends up on the shirt too!

My ADHD Me said...

THANK YOU for solving a case that has had women in a quandary for decades!!!!

Julie said...

I started making deodorant - and love it.

Libby said...

I found your blog through Shannon's WFMW. I, too, have struggled with pit stains on my shirts for years. And, like you, switched to deoderant instead of antiperspirant hoping that would help.

Antiperspirants keep you from sweating whereas deoderants are designed to just mask the smell. So, if you are like me, after having kids I sweat a lot more than I used to and deoderant isn't an option for me unless I want wet underarms. I learned this lesson the hard way when I was at the store one day, reaching for something on a high shelf and noticed a very large dark spot in my pit. Talk about embarrassing!

I just wanted to share so that you can be aware of it (and save yourself the same kind of embarrassment!). Sweaty pits may never be an issue for you, but in case they are you may need to switch back to antiperspirants.

Good luck conquering your pit problems! :)

Hadias said...

I have dealt with both the sweaty and stained armpits.

I like you stop wearing light colored shirts.

This problem I assume is a result of having children. Maybe something has changed in my hormones.

I've tried both your solution and Libby's as well.

I was thinking of trying Secret's Clinical Strength. Last I checked it was $8 without any coupons.

Your fellow disscolored armpit friend.

Stacey said...

To the above blogger, hadias, Secret's clinical strength deodorant works very, very well. Plus, I occasionally find $2 off coupons on coupons.com, which helps. Just thought I'd pass along that little tidbit :)

Karen, did the baking soda past work??? I have a friend that uses baking soda for EVERYTHING.

Chatty Kelly said...

LOL!! Glad it worked for you. I think I'll stick with my secret...you know strong enough for man, but made for a woman. I've never had shirt stains, but I mostly wear bright colors (not white) and I'm not much of a sweat-er anyway.

Wani said...

What if you (or your HUSBAND) seriously needs the antiperspirant? Did the baking soda solution work to get the stains out?

Edie said...

Love that you get REAL! So I want to know with the rest of them, did the baking soda paste work on the stains?

I've tried baby powder in the past but honestly, I'm with CK on this on. Hot flashes mandate antipersperant. :D

Praise and Coffee said...

Thanks for the info! I know from experience how frustrating it can be to be in front of a group and not be able to lift your arms about elbow height...this can be especially troubling if you are a worship leader ;)

luvmy4sons said...

I have been using the salt crystal for years...my hubby too! Kills the bacteria that causes the smell...You are too funny! Glad the pit issue is cleared up! LOL!

Genny said...

Thanks for the tip! Good to know!

Hope you enjoyed talking to your grandma. :)

Mary Beth said...

For the stains in the shirts try Windex. I like the white windex with vinegar.

It really does work great for me... or cascade. If it is a white shirt and can handle bleach, "Heloise" says mix 1/2 C. cascade to a 1/2 c. bleach to a gallon of HOT water. Soak.You can use part vinegar to rinse.

If not bleach safe, use 1 C. dishwashing detergent.

It removed all the spit up yellowed stains from onesies that were 7 years old and sat in a box for 6 of those years. NO JOKE they looked like new.

Alisun said...

I love love that you would address this! I too am a member of arm non raisers; maybe I can quit the group soon too.

Jenn said...

I read somewhere that you could throw in an aspirin tablet in the wash and this would work (think it was for whites, not sure about other colors).

Visiting from WFMW.

Amanda said...

Not only is aluminum bad for stains... its bad for us! It is conclusively linked to alzehiemers (forgive my speeling please, why is there no spell check in comments???) and many other disease! Including ADD and ADHD! Using deodorant with aluminum everyday is putting that toxin in our systems EVERYDAY!!! And think about our kids! I switched over to a natural product with this pregnancy, as I am getting more and more informed with each passing moment.
For the whole story, check out mercola.com and search deodorant.

Many blessings-
Amanda

Rachel - Heart Assessment said...

lol :)