Tuesday, May 11, 2010

It's soapnut love all over again!

I posted already about using soapnuts for your laundry and mentioned that I was wanting to try using the liquid for general cleaning, etc. Well... on Saturday after losing the muslin bag ful of nuts three times in my wash I was getting frustrated with using them. I crave simplicity and these were not proving to be as simple as I first thought with having to shake and turn out each article of clothing from the washer looking for the muslin bag of soapnuts before putting it in the dryer.
So before I was going to decide if I was going to give up on soapnuts, I thought I'd give the liquid a shot. And I'm glad I did. :) I'm back in love with soapnuts and maybe even a little more now. I boiled about 12-14 new soapnuts in 6 cups of water for about 30 minutes then added enough water to bring it back up to 4 cups worth of liquid. I left in the soapnuts but you can take them out if you like. Also, don't be afraid of the tea coloured liquid, it will NOT stain your clothing! :) For an extra boost and to add some scent, I added a few drops (I accidently used too many of TTO) of tea tree oil and lavender essential oils.
For laundry (including cloth), I add in 3 tablespoons (which is how much the oxyclean scoop holds, so I just use an old one to measure it out).
I also added 3tlbs to my bottle of general cleaner and it works SO much better! I just didn't add the essential oils since the soapnut liquid already has some in there. I tried it on my very dirty patio windows and it works fantastic, works great on floors too.
All in all, I"m very happy with the results. I'd like to play around with some scents as I've been checking out the Rockin' Green laundry detergent website and they've come up with some yummy scents that I was thinking of trying.

ETA: A friend of mine just reminded me (thanks Shona!!) that this doesn't keep that long. I've been using the jar for 4 days now stored in my cupboard for 4 days now and it's still perfectly fine but this won't keep for too long. If you weren't a family of 5 who cloth diapers two children and uses this as your main cleaner (lol!) then I'd store it in the fridge or even better, freeze it in ice cube trays and pop up to 3 in the washing machine. If you're using cold water, I'd let the cubes melt first! :)

ETA (May 14, 2010): I made my second batch of soapnut liquid today and have learned something: This stuff loves to boil over furiously! Last time I made it, I used a big stockpot but this time I used a medium sized pot which boiled over all over the place. It's fine to use a medium sized pot, just watch it until it comes to a boil and turn to a simmer right away.

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