Bottles, Bogs, and butts
I’m lucky to be enjoying a relatively stink-free period in my kids’ existence but I know that time is fleeting. Deodorant has entered the chat. They are boys with freewheeling bathroom habits. Just a few months previously I realized that Bogs Boots are named that because it’s what your kids’ feet smell like eventually several rainy/snowy days. Before that a memorable stench was that of a neglected milk or, worse, formula bottle. One I almost blocked from my memory was when you’d have your pantsless child on your lap getting on a fresh pair of undies or pajamas and then realize later your pants smell like butt. The unkindest butt, you might say.
I got a few specific questions from witches about various types of kid stink and opened the topic up on Twitter to hear how witches battle stench at different ages. I learned that baking soda and some good fresh air work wonders on the Bogs, meanwhile. I hope you find or can provide a scent solution below! (Note: These are personal recommendations, not spon or affiliated content.)
Q: So my 3-Y chromosome household smells like a truck stop and I have a super sensitive sense of smell and I cannot take it anymore. What odor-related solutions do you wise witches recommend? Everyone has allergies so I don’t want anything too heavy-handed, but anything other than eau de urine would be great.
“Make these fuckers sit to pee! Standing is a privilege reserved for those with perfect aim.”
“I just ordered charcoal bags based on the rec of a friend. She said she puts them in her son and husband's shoes, the car, the bathroom and a few other places and it has helped a lot.”
“I actually really like the cinnamon brooms at Trader Joe's and hang them where needed. But I bring out this big gun for major issues. I don’t just use a spray - that's just the preview. I have some gel thingies and also a candle.”
“Clorox urine remover. It is magic.”
“I order Poo-Pourri in bulk when it’s available at Costco and have a bottle on top of every toilet and some extra ready to go. I know you can basically make your own but I’m not doing that. I have also now recruited my kids’ assistance cleaning out toilets that they only semi-flushed and I think realizing that’s a consequence has made them slightly less thoughtless in the bathroom.”
Q: What are we doing about stinky tween bedrooms? Every time I walk into my daughter’s room it smells like a Superfund site.
“1. Keep the door closed and just try to forget about it.
2. Open window.
3. Don’t keep dirty laundry in bedroom (or keep in a closet with door closed/hamper with lid if you don’t want it piled in basement/laundry room.
I primarily rely on #1.”
“My husband got a Glade plug in for my teen’s room. Who knows what he’s breathing in, but at least we’re all more comfortable.”
“Lol, this is a text I got from my husband today:"
“14 and 10: both Lysol and Clorox brands of laundry sanitizer in the wash work very well. Tide antibacterial spray on non-washable sports things like eyeglass straps and pads has also been helpful if not a slam dunk.”
“After 11 years of living in this house, my son's bedroom finally stopped smelling like cat pee. I figure that with near-continuous chlorine water dousing, I may have a short period of non-BO-stinky room till the hormones hit. That said, my sister with 3 boys ranging in age from tween to 23 who are freakin' sports nuts and often generate 2-3 sets of stinky workout outfits / uniforms per human per day has this advice: ‘Enclosed but woven hampers with washable cloth liners that get washed with each load help a LOT. Laundry baskets are only for clean laundry, but really, just toss it on the floor of their rooms since that's where it will end up anyway. DO NOT keep dirty laundry in bedrooms, keep it in the bathroom or somewhere else that the person doing laundry can easily grab it from, even when people are sleeping. Do the laundry first thing in the morning so that it's not sitting for too long (my clarification - at her house, the guys now usually run a load after their morning workout. When they were younger she would set the washer timer so a load would be finished before they had to leave for school and she could hang it up, dryers not being a thing in New Zealand). No food in the rooms ever. Not even candy. No towels in the rooms either. Towels stay in the bathrooms (maybe that's not an issue in most households?). Open the windows for at least a minute or two daily no matter the weather - open it when you grab the laundry, close it when you have tossed in the load, that way you won't forget about it. Keep doors to rooms open whenever possible to allow air to circulate. Deodorant early, often, and everywhere. When it gets really bad, wash the walls.’ And yes, I email about such things with my sister...”
“I agree with the open the windows thing, also I sometimes go in and light a couple of matches or even a candle. Amazon has these pet odor killing candles that work well for stinky spaces, IMO. Basically a rotation of room spray, candle, and vacuum. I even use sage every once in a while just to be witchy about it.”
“We have air filters in the boys rooms and in our tiny powered room that’s smaller than an airplane bathroom and they work great!”
Thanks for reading Evil Witches, a newsletter for people who happen to be mothers. Feel free to forward this issue to someone who may find this useful or who may have something to add. If you haven’t yet, I hope you consider becoming a paid subscriber which gets you bonus content and thought-provoking/helpful/silly/chatty subscriber threads but moreover supports independent, unsponsored reporting, essays, and humor.
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The archives live here. A few past issues to look into if you don’t know where to start include super-fun and maybe-bad babysitters, mean things your child has said to you, dates not to have a child, DILs and MILs who have good relationships, and who witches chose to have in the room with them when they gave birth.
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