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Answerbagger's avatar

Is it dangerous to use Clorox as an antipersperant?

Asked by Answerbagger (332points) June 28th, 2010

I have really bad B.O. Nothing works. When it’s hot like this, I’m embarrassed to be around people. A few days ago, I tried spraying diluted Clorox under my arms. It worked! I didn’t stink all day! But I smelled of Clorox all day. And a big puff of J&J baby powder kept me dry! But is it dangrous to spray Clorox on myself every day?

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30 Answers

poofandmook's avatar

Yes. Bleach is not meant to come in contact with the skin that way.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

I thought the question was “Is it dangerous to use clorox as an antidepressant? Wow! But as for the real question at hand, I’d say yes! I imagine it’d be dangerous to spray a chemical onto your skin. It gets absorbed. That can’t be good for you.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

This is not safe. Washing with a good anti-bacterial soap and using and effective antiperspirant is a better choice.

Comedian George Carlin (RIP) suggested putting a bay leaf under each arm.
He pointed out that it will not stop one from sweating, but the person would smell like soup!

YARNLADY's avatar

No, Clorox is not safe. I suggest personal wipes as a safer alternative.

See you doctor. You might benefit from medical treatment.

knitfroggy's avatar

I had a really bad wound from a surgery and it got infected. The wound had to be packed with gauze soaked in bleach water. I pretty much had that in my body everyday for about 2 months. It’s called Dakin’s Solution If you can put that in an open wound, I don’t know that it would hurt your pits.

WestRiverrat's avatar

When we used to swim in the stock pond, we rinsed in the washtub outside with diluted bleach before going into the house. We swam nearly every day after chores were done.

If we didn’t rinse we would itch for days. I have not noticed any longterm effects. If you are really concerned make an appointment with a Dermatologist. You may want to try a baking soda solution, instead of the Clorox as a deodorant.

silverfly's avatar

You might want to look into other solutions such as diet, health, organic soap, etc. I’m not sure if these work, but it’s worth a shot.

DominicX's avatar

“Skin contact [with bleach] will produce caustic irritation or burns due to defatting and saponification of skin oils and destruction of tissue.”

You really didn’t notice any negative effects? Sodium hypochlorite (bleach) is a strong skin irritant.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Straight bleach is not healthy. The Dakin’s Solution that @knitfroggy mentioned is diluted. It is not straight bleach. I think it’s best for you to talk to your doctor about it if it is not being controlled by normal hygiene and regular deodorants/antiperspirants.

JLeslie's avatar

Go to the drug store and buy Certain Dry antipersperant. It REALLY works. Unless you are one of those people who is afraid to use antipersparent. You put it on at night and it lasts for 72 hours. You can use deoderant with it daily. I actually use it and then also put on my regular antipersperant/deoderant the next day if I have a special event to go to.

Also, is there any chance you are eating foods that could be making it worse. Food smells come through the skin, especially garlic, curry, and other strong flavors.

knitfroggy's avatar

@Seaofclouds He said he used diluted Clorox, so if he uses a Dakin’s recipe, wouldn’t it be ok?

Seaofclouds's avatar

@knitfroggy It depends on how diluted it is. I’m not sure how diluted Dakin’s recipe is. Even Dakin’s Solutions isn’t meant for long term use.

MissAusten's avatar

Personally, I’d look into other solutions with your doctor’s advice. Diluted bleach may not have any harmful effects. After all, when we swim in a chlorinated pool, aren’t we swimming in diluted bleach? Even knowing that, I’d try other options first.

Even in hot weather, sweating so much that you have BO all day even when using deodorant and antiperspirant might be symptom of some kind of gland or hormone problem.

knitfroggy's avatar

They do sell like some prescription strength deodorant OTC now don’t they? That might be helpful.

Val123's avatar

Good luck and let us know, please.

SmashTheState's avatar

There are better solutions than Clorox. For example, buy some feminine pads, cut them in half, and tape one of each half under each arm. They absorb copious volumes of fluid, and they are designed to reduce smell. I do this sometimes if it’s a really hot day and I have to be in close quarters with people. The smell comes from bacteria feeding on the waste products in your sweat (which is why Clorox works by killing the bacteria), so absorbing the sweat should stop the smell.

The other other you might consider is dousing yourself in spices. There are many different herbs and spices with close to 100% antibiotic properties. This is why humanity started using them to begin with; they made food much safer to eat. Get a mortar and pestle and grind some rosemary or sage into a powder. Try mixing that with your talcum powder and see if that helps in keeping bacteria populations under control. The spices will help you smelling nice, too, without any dangerous chemicals.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Some types of body odor are due to low zinc.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

First, welcome to Fluther! After a bit of research, here is some potentially new info.

Bleach – I just read the label on the bottle, and it is recommended that skin not come in contact with it, but the only warnings are for eyes and open wounds. And it does kill bacteria (the cause of BO.) And of course, it could discolor your shirts.

Underarm hair – it helps to conduct the moisture away from the body, so if you shave, it could generate faster bacteria growth.

Diet – some foods and spices contribute to BO.

Deodorant/antiperspirant – a brand that works for one doesn’t always work for others. I’ve found that I need to change brands every so often. A sweaty friend mentioned that he worried about BO, but didn’t like using deodorants. I happened upon a deodorant crystal and bought it for him. He really liked it. It wasn’t cheap, but apparently, they last a long time. Here is one link, but there are plenty of others.

Flavio's avatar

Probably a bad idea. If you are using the bleach to kill the germs that cause bo, maybe try antibacterial soap instead. Have you? The bleach may also be doing something noxious to your pores, probably not a good strategy. Alternative: shower in the morning and evening, and if you have to, during your lunch break too.

Kraigmo's avatar

If you dilute it 1 tablespoon bleach per gallon of water, you’ll be OK.

Answerbagger's avatar

Thank you all for the advice. I don’t have health insurance from my job, so I can only afford to go to a doctor for a real emergency. I’ll try some of the products some of you mentioned. I’d give you all +6 if I could, like NUNYA used to do… :-)

Val123's avatar

NUNYA? Wow…haven’t heard of him/her in a while….

Answerbagger's avatar

Yeah! I miss old gang from AB :-(

perspicacious's avatar

Bleach isn’t a good idea. Alcohol works perfectly. Just use a cotton ball and apply as many times a day as you need to. You can buy the individually packaged alcohol prep pads for when you are away from home. Many people are allergic to deodorant and use alcohol.

Val123's avatar

@Answerbagger Many of dem haff been assimilated here! Stick around!

poofandmook's avatar

@perspicacious: But alcohol can be overly drying and over time it could irritate the skin, no?

JLeslie's avatar

@poofandmook I think alcohol probably closes the pores for a while, and would cut down on the bacterial level of the skin temporarily, and be very drying as you said. Theoretically you could also put lotion on.

@Answerbagger Your perspiration is the contributing factor you can control. It will be difficult to drastically change the flora of your underarm, unless you currently don’t use soap or bath regularly. I didn’t ask if you are in America. In parts of Europe it is more common to only find deoderant, and not antipersperant. Here is a link to show you what the mega antiperserant I was talking about above looks like so you can spot it in the drug store. It is usually on a low shelf in the drug store, hard to find. I hope you try it, and I hope it works for you. Again I buy the roll on that you apply at night. Read the directions carefully.

perspicacious's avatar

@poofandmook—- No, that’s incorrect. Use bleach and you’ll have skin peeling in a couple of days. Alcohol is mild. I know people who have used it for years.

perspicacious's avatar

@jleslie The alcohol kills the bacteria. It’s not constricting like witch hazel. The alcohol is not drying.

JLeslie's avatar

@perspicacious Well, I use alcohol on my chin to avoid pimples at times, and if I don’t use lotion along with I eventually get dry, red, and irritated. I would figure wiping away the natural oils, and also the evaporating affect of the alcohol dries the skin, but I am no expert, I am just making assumptions based on my experience. Why do some cosmetic products, like toners, advertise no alcohol? I though it was to market towards people with dry skin? That the alcohol makes it dryer. I did not know that about with hazel, interesting.

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