It's Easy Being Green: Soap Nuts

I am really trying to make an effort to live a more natural life.  Some things I have in the bag simply because we live on the Ranch. We're on well water, so I don't have to worry about that.  We have solar power, with a little bit of propane for our stove and our hot water.  There is a plethora of meats, fruits, and veggies- all 100% organic and grown with love- through the animals, orchards, and garden.  I'm trying to get in the habit of drinking raw milk again, despite the difference in flavor from store bought milk.

One area I have recently had success in is my laundry.  We've been using Ecos from Costco, but after a recent and terrible run in with with ammonia build up I decided I needed a change.  After a great deal of research and the rave reviews from one of my favorite blogs, The Pistachio Project, I decided to try out a sample pack from Amazon:

I stripped my washer by throwing five soap nuts in the little bag and doing a quick hot wash cycle.  I then decided really test out soap nuts washing power- with my cloth diapers.  It was a great success.  They don't smell detergenty in any way, and are CLEAN.

I consider myself converted.  I used this recipe to turn my soap nuts into liquid and have been really impressed with the outcome.  I was able to get about 4 cups from 5 soaps nuts.  I did make the mistake of forgetting about one jar (oops) and left it out for a few days.  I don't think it would have been a big deal except it was HOT and the detergent had a really unfortunate smell so I had to threw some out.  Oh well.  Live and learn!

A tablespoon or two of the liquid in a cold wash (or hot, if we're talking diapers) and viola!

One step closer to living a greener life :)

Update: I decided to try a different liquid recipe for my soap nuts.  I took one nut and simmered for in a cup of water for 30 minutes.   It boiled down quite a bit- probably down to half a cup.  I added enough water to make it a cup again and strained in cheese cloth.  I added more water and mashed up the soap nut to try and get as much out as I could and simmered again for 30 minutes, added more water, and strained.  So far this recipe seems to be a bit more potent.  

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