I'm on a journey to find health and happiness through a more holistic and green lifestyle.

I find the world to be abrasive. =) That is to say, I feel the need to armor myself, physically and emotionally, in order to face life. Don't we all? Maybe. For whatever reason, it has become a priority in my life to rid my immediate environment of irritating things. And I'm sensitive! So there is much work to be done. But. I have thought for a long time that the things I come in contact with every day, and the stuff used to clean and maintain these things, need to be gentle and non-toxic. I have had eczema my entire life. For a long time I just dealt with it, and accepted that sometimes it's bad, and sometimes it's not, and that it will fluctuate a lot. Gradually over time I have come to find that certain things, fabrics, cleansers, materials, are more irritating to my skin than others. Stress can exacerbate it. In more recent times, I have realized that every aspect of my life improves when I improve conditions for my skin. Hah! What a concept! Thus my (long time) interest in going green, and my more recent desire to live a more holistic lifestyle. (I think I've felt a desire for a long time to live in a harmonious way with myself, my surroundings, and nature, but didn't have a name for it.) Anyhow, this blog is a journal of my trials and errors, and basic crooked path to find a balanced and peaceful existence for myself and my family. Thanks for your interest! I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Soap nuts trial 2 - Liquid Form - Update

The first time I made soap nuts liquid, I used a lot of water, a hand full of soap nuts, and the crock pot. The result was some light tea colored liquid, which I froze. They are, as I suspected, on the weak side. Quite weak, as I came to find out. Yesterday I decided to try making the liquid on the stove top. I put much less water, maybe a cup or two, in the pot, and threw in any soap nuts that had been used before in the laundry but still looked shiny. It was maybe 8 or 10 broken up soap nuts. (at the most) I brought the water to a boil and turned it down to simmer. The water quickly boiled down to a much richer, darker liquid. I poured this into an ice cube tray, then added more water to the pot. The water suds up a lot. I boiled the water down again, poured it into the ice cube tray, and added even more water. I could see at this point that the saponin in the soap nuts was finally running low. I boiled them down and threw the resulting liquid, along with the nuts, into the dishwasher. As we've had questionable results so far, (and hubby's patience with having dishes that aren't Cascade shiny is starting to run low to run low) I figure this is my last chance to make this work. I wanted to give this wash the best possible chance to come clean. I filled the soap dispenser and the pre-wash thingies. =) It's runnung now----we'll see. I also plan to do a load of cloth diapers and cloth wipes today using one of my super concentrated soap nut cubes. The cubes are shaped like stars. Let's hope they are!

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