Bed Life Hack: freshening armpits!

Armpits get stinky and when you’re bedridden it can be hardest to wash your armpits. It’s easier to sit on a shower chair and rinse your private areas occasionally and dry with a towel and put on fresh underwear than to rinse your armpits. To properly eradicate their smell once they get pongy you need to fully soap them up a couple times, and rinse, and then you might as well have an entire shower, and that takes too much energy as frequently as it’s needed.

I’ve found a life hack for washing armpits. This is what I did. Let me know if you try it and if it was successful or not for you.

The aim is to kill bacteria which causes the armpits to stink.

I’d Never do this in association with shaving, waxing, or any hair removal routine on my armpit areas.

My life hack is to buy rubbing alcohol from the supermarket, put it in a spray bottle, and spritz it under my armpits, then apply deodorant as normal.

These are the tips I learned.

A. Do not do any hair removal before this, for at least a week, I’d guess, maybe longer! Do not do this if you have any cuts, scratches, grazes, pimples, or broken skin at all under your armpits. It would sting then. It doesn’t sting me otherwise, or burn me. It doesn’t sting to get alcohol wiped on your arm by a doctor. This just feels cold to me. It’s stinky more than anything, until it dries.

B. Do this in a well ventilated area. It’ll give you a headache and possibly nausea if it’s not well ventilated, or if you over-spritz the rubbing alcohol. Avoid getting sick from it, and make sure you’re in excellent ventilation. I wouldn’t even attempt this if you already have a headache.

C. Be sure the nozzle of your spray bottle is pointed at your armpit before you start spritzing it. You don’t want to spritz your face accidentally! The smell can linger if you spritz your face, and give you a headache. If you do spritz your face, wash your face with soap and water to get the smell off. Alternatively you could pour some rubbing alcohol on a soft Chux (cleaning cloth) and wipe it under your armpits. I’d be wary the rubbing could risk stinging if your skin is sensitive at all, with rubbing it. Even though the bottle says it’s safe to massage onto the skin.

D. To raise your arms if you’re unable to hold them in the air for a period of time while you do this: I found holding onto the end of a bed (or onto a kitchen counter edge, a chair, a set of drawers, etc,) with my arm straight out so my armpit was at a right angle, enough to spritz and to air afterwards, worked well. I’m in a wheelchair, so I actually held the end of my bed with my hand, and rolled my wheelchair backwards. This automatically lifted my arm, one at a time, for me.

E. In a well ventilated room (fan/ heating or cooling unit on, or doors and windows wide open), and with the nozzle of the spray bottle pointed at my armpit and held close to my armpit, out of reach of my face, I turned my face away to the other direction (in case it spritzed towards my face- I was surprised several times the first time I did this), I spritzed the spray bottle. This gave me an idea of where I should spritz it directionally ongoingly. I spritzed the whole armpit area. Not until it was dripping. Just until I could feel it was covered, that all surface germs had been covered by alcohol.

I made sure I paused for clean air breaks. There was no rush. I let the air ventilation carry away the alcohol smell. I kept holding the bed end so my arm stayed up until it felt quite dry by itself. It takes one minute for germs to be killed by alcohol after alcohol makes contact with them.

F. Then I put deodorant on as normal. And waited for that to dry for a while, before putting on my clean clothes.

The reason I chose to go with rubbing alcohol over methylated spirits, is rubbing alcohol is made to be applied to our skin. Methylated spirits is made to be a cleaner and a solvent. It has added poisons included for ingesting, to discourage people drinking it, as it’s pure alcohol and can be lethal when drank. As this is going right where my lymph nodes are I’d prefer to put something there which doesn’t have poisons in it for ingesting.

Washing my armpits with a facecloth/ washcloth makes me lose mobility in my arms for a while. It takes too much physical exertion for me. I’ve had trauma in my past and can’t handle people doing personal care on me. So this solution is ideal for me.

I’ve done this just two times now. The first time I did it, it lasted ten days before I had to do it again, before I started to smell that my armpits were getting whiffy and needed a clean again. This is the upper limits of a thorough soap and water clean for me. I don’t do much physical exertion, that’s why I can go so long before I start to smell. This is good news for me, and definitely worth me keeping up between my showers, which I can only do about every 4-6 weeks, due to how much mobility I lose each shower because of how exhausting the repetitive physical exertion is. I’ve just done the second time. I plan on still having showers as often as I did before, and doing this rubbing alcohol spritzing in between.

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