Essential oils galore

I posted on 25/03/14 that we have begun using soap nuts and about using essential oils with them. To begin with I ordered lavender, tea tree and mandarin. The tea tree for it’s antibacterial qualities and the mandarin for scent and the lavender for having both. :). I like using the lavender as well for bed linen for its relaxing qualities.

However I want to have more scents to be able to rotate them and some other oils known for other properties, so I ordered more. Today they arrived 😀 so in addition to the above we now have:
Eucalyptus – for relaxing and decongestant for colds etc
Peppermint – for scent
Lemon – for removing grease etc and scent
Grapefruit – for removing grease etc and scent
Orange – for removing grease etc and scent
Palmarosa – for scent

I also ordered the above essential oils as I plan to start making my own cleaning supplies and some of the above like lemon, grapefruit, tea tree and lavender are all good for making your own cleaning products. If anyone has looked at my Pinterest account you may have noticed I have taken to pinning various DIY things. If I find one I really like because it works I’ll let you all know.

Do you make your own cleaning products? Do you use essential oils in your laundry? If so what are your favourite “recipes” and essential oils? Are you considering making your own cleaning supplies or using essential oils in laundry? I’d be happy to read your comments that you leave.

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Soap Nuts

We have begun using soap nuts for our laundry. For those who have never heard of them (about a fortnight ago I hadn’t either), they are a natural well nut/ berry type thing that grows in India (I don’t know if other countries do grow them but I’ve only heard of India), that when placed in 30 degrees Celsius water gives off Saponins (a natural surfactant), which produces a mild cleaning. To use in a washing machine, you put (depending on load) an average of about 3 shells (though they generally are split in half so 6 half shells) into a muslin type bag that is normally supplied with them (just like getting a ball to pour liquid detergent into is often supplied with the bottle it comes in) and put in with your laundry. Nothing else is required. Honest. We did a load of laundry that contained a pair of trousers Bambi had accidentally peed with just the soap nuts and they came out soft and smelling fresh, no urine smell at all. Bambi suffered with eczema when he was a baby and has flare-ups now and then and soap nuts are supposedly brilliant for those with eczema and allergies as they are a natural product, so that is an added bonus to using them.

The reasons we only used the soap nuts on their own were 1) to test out how good they were 2) you do not need fabric softener as soap nuts also have a natural softener in them and 3) although you can use essential oils if you wish a particular smell we didn’t have any the first time using the soap nuts. I ordered some essential oils online and so I did a laundry load yesterday of bed linen and used about 5 drops of lavender essential oil (would only have used 4 but Bambi was helping me pour bottle so ended up with 5) directly onto pillow case and the load came out with a lovely subtle lavender smell. Please note though it is advised not to put essential oils on materials as it may stain, but as this was an older pillowcase I didn’t mind but when I checked the pillowcase there was no stains.

The only problem we have found is keeping track of how many times the soap nuts have been used, as they can be re-used. One set of 3 shells will do 2 or 3 laundry load (depending on again size of load/ how soiled load is), and as I live with my parents, they may use them for a load and I may not know about it, therefore run the risk of using them too many times and not getting the Saponins out of them. Solution: create a tracker to well keep track of them! So that’s what I did, and am making it available to you too! I’ve designed it to be re-usable, so print it off and laminate it, then use a dry-erase marker to mark off. I’ve done the font colour in a traffic light system to help with alerting you to when the soap nuts need to be changed, because as I previously said they can be used 2 or 3 times depending on load.

Leave your comments to let me know what you think. Thanks for reading and downloading.

Soap nuts

Preview of soap nuts tracker

 

Click here to download

Note: You are free download as many copies as you like but please do not use for commercial gain.