Saturday, 15 October 2011

Nutty Laundry!

With 4 energetic, playful, exploring and rather messy children it goes without saying that we get through many loads of laundry in our house.

I want to quickly tell you about an all natural and yet still very effective product that I use to do my many loads of laundry which I have been using for 3 years.

Soap Nuts!
God created a special nut that grows on trees and is perfect for washing.  It's chemical free (yay), washes really well (bigger yay!) and is cheap, cheap, cheap! (biggest yay)  

Pictured below is a small load of mine sloshing away - look at that lovely foam!

So what are soap nuts and where do I get them from?
I buy them on ebay.
Here's what one ebay seller says about them:
'A natural soap that very literally grows on trees. The Soapnut is a multi use detergent product, with no added chemicals. it helps relieve skin issues caused by standard laundry powders, such as eczema and rosacea. With the soapnuts being a natural product they are free from the toxic chemicals you would find in your standard laundry detergents.
Soapnuts are the product of the Ritha Tree (sapindus mukurossi), a rather lovely tree that grows very happily throughout Asia. The soapberry is the fruit of this tree and it defends itself naturally from bugs and whatnot by producing saponin within the fruit. This is jolly good stuff from our point of view as it is essentially a naturally occurring soap. The soapberries are collected from the tree and the seeds within removed. The outer part of the berry is then dried. This is the bit we call the soapnut.
With the soapnuts being a natural product they are free from the toxic chemicals you would find in your standard laundry detergents. Chemicals like Phosphates, Phenols, Sodium Sulphate, Ammonia, surfactants and artificial fragrances. All of these carry potential health risks which can include allergies, asthma, skin and eye irritation not to mention the damage that is caused when these items enter the water course, which is significant. Individually they can be quite dangerous enough but combined they really can be more harmful than you may have previously considered.
The production of soapnuts is a friendly one too, providing work which is not enormously skilled to local people. This of course gives an income to the local populace which of course is a good thing.
They are excellent value for money - giving up to 200 washes from a 500g bag.' 

Here is a link to their selling page - LINK

This seller sells the sticky kind which are better washers than the very dried out ones.  There many sellers on ebay to choose from, but be careful to get the sticky kind if you can.  I bought my last lot as a bulk order - cost me £30 and should be enough to last me about a year!  

This is the seller I used - Click Here 

Do I use anything with the soapnuts?
I do add soda crystals to a lot of my loads of washing which helps to soften the water....  it is good for the washing machine and gives a little extra boost to loads with some stubborn stains.  If you have a grease mark to deal with you should get the affected area wet and then rub in some washing up liquid (I use Ecover)  It is important to treat the grease spot before it's first wash for best results.

Why not give them a go?

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

For our eight years

For our anniversaries Alex and I like to follow the gift lists.  We don't care if it's from the modern list or the traditional, but it's fun to try and find something accordingly.  This year was pottery.  I ummed and erred about what to do this year... thought of doing a pottery class, but that was going to be a challenge since we had little Rosina.  In the end we decided on a custom designed, handmade fruit bowl.

We wanted the design to incorporate/signify the 8 yrs of marriage and we also wanted to somehow represent the 5 children.  This is what we came up with:

We had each of the children's names written inside of a star.. here you can see Caden and Uzziah's.  Each of our living children picked the colour they wanted their star to be (well except for Rosina who obviously had to have pink!).  :O)

I don't know if you can see in the centre of the bowl there is an abbreviation - I.W.B.H.  This is something that Alex and I write to each other often.  We leave the abbreviation in places where we know the other will find it.  The abbreviation stands for - 'I Will Be Here'.  The reason we adopted this abbreviation is because I sang that song to Alex on our wedding day.  It has special memories for us and we both enjoy reminding each other of our love for each other and our commitment to each other in this fun way.

Our anniversary was actually back in July, but our special bowl wasn't finished til mid August... next year we need to plan a little earlier me thinks!  Hand crafted pieces don't materialize in a matter of days!