Q#176: What are some good home remedies that can PREVENT chafing & other irritations during exercise (& not ruin your clothes or budget)?

Before anyone says anything, yes, I have several sticks of anti-chafe balm in my drawer. SEVERAL. However, like most anything meant to help with fitness or sports, it’s gonna run the price up pretty bad. Though it’s true a little can go a long way, they’re gonna run out eventually and I hate the idea of dropping about $8 on a teeny-tiny stick of the stuff or a jar of the cream or whatever (and then there’s the prices for similar products, roughly the same up to 4x more–sheesh!).

Not up for that when there’s probably other things that can or have worked, at least for short stints.

I’m also trying my best to stretch out what I have and reuse what I can as best I can while also reducing my waste footprint because I’m sick of thinking about all that plastic I’ve just used up over the years. Doesn’t help that I live in an area where people burn their trash or dump it–no recycling facilities or even drop sites for anything beyond used grocery bags or scrap metal within 30 miles. So, I’ve been looking for alternatives all over the place. I’m currently:

  • using up the last of my usual cleaning products until I can rely solely on Blueland (love that stuff, and saves so much of my very limited space in my cabinets!).
  • Using dryer balls instead of those dryer sheets or liquid fabric softeners in those heavy jugs (I don’t care about “soft fabric”, but rather getting rid of static cling… and I got bad rashes thanks to liquid fabric softeners, so never again). Already doing unscented powdered laundry detergent.
  • Switching from shower gels to soap bars again.
  • Using up the last of my shaving cream cans to use shaving soap (got the little brush and bowl and everything ready to go. No more canned smells.)
  • Shampoo & conditioner bottles going out and shampoo bars in (except for the biotin and collagen ones to help re-grow my hair faster… sick of this David Lynch-worthy gray wavy pompadour thing I’ve got going on right now b/c I can’t do anything else with it right now but cover it up…barely)
  • Deodorant sprays or twist-up containers out and solid bars or push-up sticks in (thankfully there are more and more companies trying to do deodorant with less waste. The big “A” shows more varieties each time I look, it seems).
  • When I’m out shopping, I’ve gone to cotton net bags (used on and off over the years, now totally on), mesh produce bags, and trying to avoid pre-packaged food (the exceptions being shredded cabbage and matchstick carrots for my birds because of time constraints and my knife skills need improvement).


You get the idea.

To me, deodorant dispensers are some of the worst offenders to me. And I hate these little mini-twist up dispensers that house the anti-chafe balm. Tiny bit of product packed inside an unrecyclable shell (at least, I can’t figure out a good way to do it.) I was hoping to find some with a recyclable container, but then I got thinking: aren’t there already useful items that can be used effectively like anti-chafe balms?

I mean, I’m sure there’s other things you can put on your skin, at least for short running stints or workouts (marathons might need more protection, which is what I’d want to save the sticks for as much as possible). I’m obese, so of course my thighs rub together no matter how much I’d rather they not. I have moisture-wicking clothes, especially the shorts, and my workouts have been good because of anti-chafe balm. But I need something else.

I was tempted to get the petroleum jelly out and try to use that as friction prevention, but remembered trying that once before and that crap got all over my clothes. Cotton washes easily, but I dunno what petroleum jelly on moisture-wicking materials would do. Probably ruin them, if the waxy residue from fabric softeners can do so.

I was digging around online and trying to find remedies or other products that could be used to prevent chafing, but alas, when I go on them, all I see are remedies to help AFTER it’s happened. I am trying to avoid the pain and irritation, which generally stops me from working out in the first place and then I’m on that terrible cycle of not doing what I need to do to have a better life. I hate that crap. Chafing and illness have stopped my exercise routines in their tracks. A&D ointment works fine on chafes, especially if you avoid wearing shorts while the ointment does it’s thing (another perk of living alone: no one to annoy or gross out at times like this). Finito, done.

What I need is PREVENTION.

I know the fit of the clothes and all matter, and the material. I spent a hell of a lot to get better, real workout clothes (and yes, the chafing and rashes have gone WAY down as a result of not just throwing on some sweat shorts and an old t-shirt like I used to do), and they feel good. Even so, chafing is just gonna happen, at least until I start dropping a lot of weight and get more toned and fit. Even then, might have a bit on tricky runs or really hot weather.

So, there are plenty of sites saying how to take care of a chafing problem AFTER the fact, but I’m having a hard time finding stuff for before. And then there’s the warnings about talcum powder these days (I’ve used body powders before–or tried to. Once the sweating and movement started, it would start to clump or disappear and I’d feel grosser than ever).

Talcum Powder Lawsuits Consolidated in New Jersey

Have any of you had this problem, or maybe you had run out of anti-chafe balm and had to use an alternative until you could get your hands on more? Anything you would NOT recommend trying? I’m just trying to save a few bucks, not ruin my clothes, and help my trash footprint at the same time (and maybe others could use the same ideas). Plenty online about care after, but what the hell can help PREVENT chafing, blisters, whatever without costing a ton?

Floor’s yours (and happy health to all)…

12 thoughts on “Q#176: What are some good home remedies that can PREVENT chafing & other irritations during exercise (& not ruin your clothes or budget)?

  1. buddy71 says:

    well, since you used Vaseline, i guess i wont say use it. but use it. lol just dont glob it on. thin layer worked for me. also, as for nipples, there are covers you can use, but large bandaids are cheaper and work well. if it is inner thigh? longer nylon skin tight shorts work well. gold bond body spray has worked also. but the best was always Vaseline. and reapply it as needed. hmmmmm…i wonder is chapstick would work????? good luck

    Liked by 1 person

    • TheChattyIntrovert says:

      I wondered about certain stuff, namely a lot of products for anti-chafe seem to be built around waxes, but I was like “well, other than in some stick in a tube form, how else can you apply it?” Maybe this is a signal that i need to make my own or something (and maybe incorporate vaseline). I’m just unsure how easy it is to get off the clothes in case in the course of friction and rubbing, it gets on there pretty good. I’m not seeing much on it. Still, worth keeping on the back burner. I’ve had a small jar around just in case for ages (and if there’s no issue getting it out of that kind of material, then great–that stuff’s cheap and lasts practically forever!)


        • TheChattyIntrovert says:

          yeah, that’s the trouble. A little spot here or there, no biggie, but if it spreads around in the wash… Spot treating would probably do it, if I was careful enough. I tend to have a breathable hanging laundry bag for my workout clothes anyway, so I don’t have to go digging for items to sort out and pre-treat anymore (so glad I thought to do that). Of course, it means laundry day gets interesting, but it also means I wash full loads instead of bunches of tiny ones with different settings.


  2. buddy71 says:

    as for not getting the vaseline out….i think the newer laundry soaps should remove it. and since it is workout clothes, so what if they are a bit stained as long as they are clean and it isnt a fashion show!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • TheChattyIntrovert says:

      well, true on that (sorry, headache and nausea making my reading hazy). It’s mostly that I wonder if the PJ will impede the ability of the moisture-wicking fabric to actually moisture-wick (they say never use fabric softener because the waxy buildup starts to prevent wicking in a few washes). Probably would just have to be extra careful and pre-treat the areas that would have the vaseline on ’em before washing (if the pre-treater is good at getting oils out).


      • buddy71 says:

        Yes, you shouldn’t use fabric softener on certain fabrics. You shouldn’t use fabric softener on your towels that you dry off in the shower because it impedes the towel from soaking up the moisture. But I don’t think you’d be using that much. Vaseline to cause it much of an issue. And again like I said they are workout clothes and not something going to be wearing around town. So to me it wouldn’t matter if they got a little stained and ratty looking.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ray Laskowitz says:

    The best thing we’ve found is plain old Gold Bond Medicated Body Powder. You and I have about the same climate considerations so walking the dogs in the summer becomes a workout. I’m bulky but not heavy. My wife is thin. We use it wherever friction could occur and since — in the summer — we take about a billion showers a day, we use it after showering. If I’m not mistaken 4 ozs costs 99 cents.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TheChattyIntrovert says:

      I wonder about keeping the powder on without it getting cakey or gross. It’s been ages since I tried, though, so it’s worth a shot. I just hated how more would get on my hands than where I wanted it most when I’d use other powders, so I kinda gave up on ’em all. Forgot about that one, though.

      Liked by 1 person

        • TheChattyIntrovert says:

          trying to avoid sprays–used to use ’em, but the price and the unrecyclable waste (at least you can usually pry open powder cans and re-use ’em a little) drove me nuts. I used to have to burn my garbage–pissed dad off every time I had an aerosol can in there because I’d forgotten about it (or didn’t and I wanted to see if it would go boom–fun times). Dad burned our trash and wouldn’t pay for pickup and we had no recycling, so what he was expecting me to do with those aerosol cans, I can’t figure out. (facepalm)


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