Friday, April 1, 2011

Frugal Tip of the Week-Baby Powder

Baby powder is one of those things that new mothers seem to get quite a lot of and have no idea how to use. Officially, it's to help with diaper rash, but I never actually used the stuff on my kids.

So what can you do with these bottles of baby powder?

1. Prevent Ants and other insects. Sprinkle a little baby powder along the door and window cracks and they won't enter. They don't like crossing the stuff.

2.  Sand remover. As someone living close to the beach, this is important to me. To get sand off you (and your family/friends), sprinkle baby powder over the wet sandy areas. Let it sit for a minute (so the baby powder absorbs the moisture) then brush off the sand!

3. Freshen your clothes. In your closet, place a small bowl of baby powder on the shelf or floor. It will help keep your clothes fresh. For clothes in your dresser, make a small sachet and stick it in a corner of your drawer (check out this one, which uses baby socks! Simply substitute baby powder for the dried flowers.). Sprinkle it in your shoes to keep the odors away from them too!

4. Dry Shampoo. This works well on both people and your dog. If you've ever been in such a hurry that you missed a day or two of washing your hair, baby powder can help your locks. Sprinkle some into your hair brush and brush your hair well, starting at the root. The brush will help spread out the excess oil and the baby powder (which absorbs it). Starting at the root helps to absorb the most oil, since it comes from your scalp.

As for the family dog? Sprinkle the baby powder onto your dog and rub it through with your hands. Just like with your hair, the baby powder will absorb the oil on your dog. Then brush your dog thoroughly. He will look and smell better!

5. Grease Remover. I'm a messy cook, so another tip that can really help. If you ever spill grease (or lipstick or anything else grease based) on your clothes, sprinkle some baby powder onto the stain and rub it in. Wipe off the excess. Repeat until the stain is gone. Make sure to do this before the stain sets (AKA before you wash it) or this won't work!

6. Cool Down during the Summer. During the hot summer nights (especially if you live in a humid area), put some baby powder on your sheets before bed. As you sleep, the baby powder will absorb the sweat from your body, helping you to cool down.

7. Playing Card Separator. Take your worn, greasy playing cards and put them in a resealable plastic bag. Add a small amount of baby powder. Close the bag and shake well. The baby powder will take the grease and fingerprints off the playing cards, making them smooth and fresh again.

8. Mildew Remover. Ok, this one is for books and something I wish I had known years ago when I lost a couple books to mildew. If you get a book with mildew, sprinkle the pages with baby powder and let it sit for a day or two. Simply brush out the baby powder and the mildew should be gone (may not work on very badly damaged books!)

Oh and one thing often suggested but I will tell you right now DON'T DO IT! A lot of times people suggest using baby powder on your carpet. It works like the commercial carpet fresheners. I have done it myself, using baking powder. Fortunately, I had a friend who corrected me. He repairs vacuum cleaners and the biggest thing that damages the vacuum? Baby powder, baking powder and the commercial powders. The stuff will kill your vacuum. Just say NO!!! Instead, vacuum weekly (at minimum, although high traffic areas should get done two or three times a week).

Do you have any suggestions for baby powder?

3 comments:

Sara Thompson said...

Such great ideas - would cornstarch work as well? We don't use talc products but we use a cornstarch/baking soda mix.

Jandy said...

The sand use is an excellent tip

Mrs. Undomestic said...

Sara, I'm not 100% sure, but with my 90% I'd say yes, you can substitute cornstarch. It has the same basic properties so should work the same way. Plus it's aluminum free!

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