have you tried it? natural detergents

 i read a post on amanda's blog about her making her own laundry detergent sometime last year, which is something i've never tried. but when i started cloth diapering when i had spencer, i wanted to use a detergent that was 100% natural. i got this bag of soapnuts in a local organic food store and was amazed at how easy it was to use them. trying out something natural seems like a big step to some, but in reality, it does make life simpler. and in this case, it's sooo much better for your clothes and you and your family's skin.
 the soapnuts i bought come with a little extra bag, which you will end up placing into the washing machine together with your laundry. i use about 3-4 shells for a load of washing. it depends a lot on how hard your water is and how soiled your clothes are. you might want to soak some items before placing them in the washing machine. i've used the soapnuts with different temperatures, and the clothes (and diapers!) always come out clean! the shells can be used several times (especially if you wash in low temperatures).

i want to be honest and tell you that i don't wash every single load of washing with soapnuts (yet), but i hope to soon. one thing i need to experiment with is achieving a scent in the washed laundry. if you use soapnuts, the scent is very neutral, and i kind of miss the "fresh" smell of detergent (even though i know it's chemicals that achieve it). so i want to try out different essential oils (just a few drops into the compartment where you usually put the fabric softener) to find out which scent i like.

 if you are interested and want to read more information about soap nuts, if found interesting details on this website!

are you using natural detergents? any tips or links you'd like to share?

in this line of thought, you might be interested about a simple living challenge held on the Kanelstrand Simple Living blog starting on February 1st. this is how Sonya describes the challenge:

For 3 weeks starting February 1st, we will challenge ourselves to:
- Find happiness in simple everyday routines
- Increase self-sufficiency
- Live with less
- Reconsider technology
- Simplify our virtual life
- And much more.

i think it's all about taking small steps at a time. so i decided to join the challenge, for that extra bit of motivation and maybe also to gather some new ideas. if you want to do so too, hop over to the Kanelstrand blog and sign the pledge!


SMILE factory said...

I use the soapnuts to wash my son's clothes (he has eczema) and they works great :) Few drops of essential oil and I have fresh nice and detergent free wash :)
You have great blog here! :)

Nell said...

My children also get eczema so we use "Enviro balls" or "Earth balls" (which are a funny looking spiky ball with little stone-like bits inside.
They work pretty well once you get used to the absence of smell.

Angie Mizzell said...

I will enjoy keeping up with you as you live out the simple living pledge. I'm writing a post Friday about how I'm going to break down a book chapter by chapter throughout the year. There's validity (and sanity) to taking things one step at a time!

KatEzat said...

Wow, I've been thinking about making my own washing detergent for a while, but have been put off by trying to convert recipes from English to German. Where did you get the soap nuts in Hamburg? I've never even heard of them! A lovely post, thanks x

The Kooky Green Owl said...

THANK YOU so much for sharing. Our family has been trying to break everything down to go natural- and this has given us a little more incentive xx

sylvia said...

Hi KatEzat! I'm going to reply on your blog too but just for reference:
I bought them in the little shop that was formerly called "Wilde Erdbeeren" (not sure of the new name) in St. Pauli, Brigittenstraße 1.
You might also try Alnatua or any other organic food store?

Tracey ~ Clover said...

I have been making my own laundry soap for a few years, but this is the second time in a week I have heard about these soap nuts, maybe I need to give them a try!

Anja said...

Ich weiß auch nicht, wo genau man die bekommt, aber ich würde auch in Reformhäusern gucken. Oder in einem Weltladen!
Eine Bekannte (allerdings nicht aus HH) arbeitet in einem solchen Laden und die bieten die dort an! Sie nutzt die Waschnüsse und ist sehr begeistert! Vor allem auch, weil die Wäsche schön weich wird!
Viele Grüße,

kelli said...

i've been using soap nuts for over a year now and i think they are fantastic.

simona said...

you've told me about this before, but this time i think i'm actually going to try it out. i can imagine i need to buy the soapnuts online.

Monica said...

Hi, this doesn't relate to laundry, but I was wondering if you could tell me how to add a watermark to photos, like your "aa" logo? Thanks, Monica :)

sylvia said...

Hi Monica,

i'm very sure my design talented sister could write up a tutorial post about this topic! stay tuned!

Stefanie Elisabeth said...

gibt's schmierseife auch in deutschland? bestimmt...also ich putze echt alles mit schmierseife. ein wenig essig dazu und das badezimmer glänzt wieder. :)

thursday said...

I had wanted to try soapnuts for quite a while but I found that they were rather pricey upfront. So I searched about the internet, found a few different recipes and came up with one that I really like. I blogged about it a while ago here: http://www.mygirlthursday.com/2010/08/little-ms-green-sullied-stained.html

The only problem with this concoction is that it doesn't really fly with a high efficiency washer. When we moved into our new house we inherited the previous owners teeny tiny HE washer. I don't think you've ever seen two people bummed out so hard by new technology.

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