A Kitchen Ingredient Goes to the Bathroom…

Published October 24, 2009
GREEN TIDINGS by Cheryl Hahn

Last month I wrote about making your own eco-friendly homemade recipes, and with Halloween just around the corner, I couldn’t help but think about a little trick I played on my kids when they were little. I called it “Powdered Donuts”.

After my kids had a nice clean bath, I’d dry them off and pull out “the little glass jar” which guaranteed squeals of delight from my young toddlers. If I forgot to bring the jar, they would remind me with a scream “Make me a powdered donut!”


Talcum powder (also known as Talc) is used in almost all powders because it absorbs moisture. Dusting with Talc causes a high prospect of inhalation which can harm the respiratory system. Exposing children to this carcinogen is dangerous and unnecessary, especially because there’s a very simple alternative: Cornstarch.

Talc is a mineral that’s mined and crushed into a powder creating fine particles similar to asbestos. The trace minerals are removed; however the microscopic asbestos-like fibers remain. Talcum powder has been linked to pulmonary complaints and some studies also link Talc to a variety of cancers. Cornstarch has never demonstrated any potential toxicity or harmful effects.

Buy a box of Cornstarch, put it in a tight glass jar, and label it “Powdered Donuts”. An old terry towel was perfect for cutting out circular powder-puff applicators for dusting my little donuts every night. I guarantee your kids will love this little “trick” and you’ll enjoy the peace of mind knowing the fresh dusting is silky pure and causes no harmful toxicity.

For adults who love powder, this simple recipe allows you to make your very own custom scented powder: Fill a small zip lock bag with cornstarch and add a drop or two of your favorite essential oil. Shake well to disperse any lumps and then place into an airtight container. Now you have a safe powder that’s uniquely scented to your liking, without synthetic fragrances or other additives.

I hope this little trick was a treat for you to read and hopefully something to enjoy for yourself. Have a safe Halloween!

PS – Some folks like to sprinkle a little powder on their freshly washed sheets so they feel silky soft, as well as help with moisture.


vapilot_greentidings.jpgCheryl Hahn is founder of Norfolk-based businesses Organic Comfort Zone, manufacturers of organic bedding and Tomorrow’s World, one of America’s first eco-stores. For more information visit organiccomfortzone.com or tomorrowsworld.com, or call (757) 480-8500.