Sunday, March 2, 2008

Really Neat Cornstarch Dispenser

Lots of people already know this neat tip, but since it is so convenient it seems worthwhile to mention once again:).

Many of us use cornstarch as a means of dissolving difficult knots and matts, but unfortunately it also has the disadvantage of being extremely messy and difficult to apply. The genius of this simple substance on angora wool is that it literally dissolves knots (especially the ones found between the ears, over the shoulders, or in the armpits), by simply making them slip out and 'melt away'. Cornstarch is applied directly into a knot or over a problem area, and then a groomer rubs the knot and gently pulls it apart until it disappears. After the application of cornstarch (or baby powder, etc.), it is important to remove all the leftover residue with the blower or brush, because the rabbit should not have to ingest it and you do not want to be disqualified for having foreign substances in the coat if you are grooming for a show. The best time to use cornstarch is either several days before a show at home, OR, immediately before showing if it is a state or national convention and you will be arriving a day or two early.

Almost everyone has plastic dispensers at home in the spice cabinet that have shaker-type holes on the top of them. One of the best ways to store and dispense cornstarch is to thoroughly rinse a container like this out, fill it up with cornstarch, and then apply as needed by shaking it gently over the knotted area. Spice dispensers enable you to localize the application of powder so that you don't waste any more than necessary, you don't use too much on a given area, and you don't accidentally spill it all over the rabbit making it harder to remove completely. Here is a (less than perfect) picture of a dispenser I made last week out of an old garlic powder can (washed out REALLY well, LOL):



This is a large size container but there are certainly smaller ones available which might be ideal for carting back and forth to shows. Though substances like this are helpful for angoras, it is important to note that they are really rarely needed to begin with if a rabbit has been groomed on a regular basis (particularly in the case of an FA), and they can occasionally be used in conjunction with peroxide to remove stains from white coats as well. Since we all fall behind with grooming on occasion it is a good idea to have this on hand for emergencies, but it should always be used sparingly and blown out completely prior to showing.

In other news, I had a few bunnies out for grooming today (Sunday has become my regular, bonefide grooming day:)), so I posted a few pictures of Nereida and Devaki again, though they don't look a whole lot different than they did before, LOL. I took Lulu and Oomi out for a once-over and toenail clipping too, but since both are still in the early stages of wool growth there was nothing much to photograph, so I will wait a few more weeks until they are larger and more presentable:). We had another 2 snowstorms this past week but the next few days promise to be clear so that I can stick with my normal chore schedule. I am tired of digging out bunnies every other day ad infinitum, LOL.

Anyway, have a GREAT week and hope the signs of spring will be coming soon. Take good care of those buns!!:-)










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