Friday, May 17, 2013

Soapnuts 2

I've been using soapnuts liquid since November now. Here's the verdict so far.
The good and the bad on Oil:
One thing that soapnuts have trouble with getting off is oils. It's great for my skin and hair, because soapnuts don't strip the oils from them. That's what I want. The thing is, it doesn't strip the oil from pretty much anything else, either. So oil on clothing or oil on dishes is trickier to eliminate. 

Washing dishes with oily residue in very hot water and soapnuts typically takes care of the issue - the hot water is the key. I would speculate that this might help for any clothes with oils, like maybe that ring around the collar. I haven't tried it yet, however. You might need another method for getting rid of oil in fabrics.

On Skin:
unaltered soapnuts liquid, used like liquid soap

One thing you have to get used to is that it has the consistency of water. We so often have thickened products to wash with that we aren't accustomed to holding onto watery liquid and trying to spread it around. That takes a little practice. Now like I said above, it doesn't strip any oils away. But it also doesn't add anything moisturizing, either. I live in a dry climate and my skin is rather dry, as well, so I'm going to be exploring yet another skin cleaning method I picked up at I'll link to it once I have it up.

On Hair:
1/4 cup of soapnuts liquid with a big pinch of baking soda
1/8 cup of unaltered soapnuts liquid

I'm still liking this for my hair, my own version of a sulfite free shampoo. I use a big pinch of baking soda added to 1/4 cup of soapnuts or so and clean my scalp with that. I use regular soapnuts to clean the rest of my hair. I used to use the baking soda solution for all of it, but it seems to be a little more drying on the ends of my hair. Like my face, my hair is rather dry. This has not changed all that much using this method, so I'm exploring ways I could do an oil infusion every few weeks, perhaps. Whatever that is - it always sounded neat, so why not check it out, eh? ~_^

For the Laundry:
1/8-1/4 cup of soapnuts liquid, added like laundry soap

It's worked quite well so far. Barring one incident, I haven't noticed any clothes ever come out that smelled dirty or looked dirty (at least, not ones that didn't look dirty from some staining accident years ago. The one exception was a cloth that had a lot of contact with oil, a little cleaning rag. It still felt oily after the wash, but frankly, I didn't mean to put it into the wash in the first place, so it might have had just as much trouble with regular detergent. But like I said above re: oils, any clothes with oil issues might need something in addition to soapnuts.

For dishes and food:
unaltered soapnuts liquid

One thing I LOVE about soapnuts liquid is that when I wash my veggies and fruits with this stuff, I can feel comfortable that I'm not getting a load of chemicals. Perhaps I'm getting some residue from whatever might have been used to grow the soapnuts, which is why I buy organic, but I MADE this stuff, so there are a lot of chemicals that are simply not there. Which means neither me or the kids are going to react, and that's a great peace of mind to have.

It works just fine cleaning off dishes, but it does have issues with greasier dishes. I always have to have the water very hot to eliminate grease and oil, and it takes a bit longer than it might otherwise. Putting greasy pots and pans into a sink full of water with all the other dishes? Not recommended if you're using soapnuts. I would do the non-greasy dishes first, and then do the greasy dishes one at a time. 

As Handsoap:
unaltered soapnuts liquid

This has worked great for regular handcleaning. If I have a lot of oil on my hands, it doesn't do so well. However, I don't often have a lot of oil on my hands so this is fine for me, and if I do, it's typically an oil I have no problem rubbing INTO my skin for a bit softer skin, anyway. 

As Tile and counter cleaner:
unaltered soapnuts, or soapnuts with baking soda

So far, I've used this for cleaning the floor, the walls, the kitchen counters and other areas, and the bathrooms. It works okay, but honestly, I think you get more bang from your buck with dilutred vinegar. But in a pinch, soapnuts WILL clean your household areas. And when you need to clean close to when company is coming, the smell is much nicer than having a house smelling of vinegar. 

Considering how long it takes me to go through a bag of this stuff, and the price, I'm still quite happy with soapnuts liquid as a major staple in our people and house cleaning supplies. I HAVE bought one small bottle of dishsoap, 7th generation, in cases of dish emergencies, and I"m considering using that for a couple oily rags I have to try and clean. I have some vinegar for cleaning the floors. I don't have any other type of soap, laundry detergent, house cleanser or shampoo other than soapnuts, however. So I'm calling this a definite recommendation to try this stuff. It's pretty awesome. 

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