Many people today want to dispense with conventional so-called chemical detergents and resort to natural resources. Of course, the retailers have already reacted to this and so you can find Indian soapnuts in many alternative shops or organic shops. These are of course an alternative but not necessarily for us Europeans. The high demand for Indian soapnuts worldwide has already led to them becoming more and more expensive for the local population and they can hardly afford the Indian soapnuts any more. There is also another criterion such as transport, which has a negative impact on the CO2 budget.
So what to do?
Fortunately, many chestnut trees grow in Europe and these contain saponins. These are chemical compounds that have soap-like properties when dissolved in water. This is how chestnuts can be used to create an effective, completely organic laundry detergent – completely free of charge!
Autumn time is chestnut-detergent time
As soon as the first chestnuts fall from the trees, simply collect and cut into small pieces at home – preferably quartered and then mince with the help of a Moulinex or similar device. It is especially important to make sure to do this right after collection, because if the chestnuts are already a bit dry and have dried, the chestnuts can not be crushed because of their hardness. The smaller the pieces, the easier they are to dry and the easier it is to dissolve the saponins. This is very important for the washing process.
After chopping, place the chopped chestnuts on a plate, wooden board or paper and let them dry. After they have dried completely, they can be filled into a container and kept for years.
For the washing process, add 3 – 5 spoonfuls of chopped chestnut pieces to a glass, pour into water (about 300 ml) and screw into place. Then shake it until foam forms and let it stand for about 6 hours, so that the saponins are well dissolved out. Then you fill the washing machine with laundry and add the filtered with a chestnut chestnut detergent as a conventional liquid detergent added. Alternatively, one can fill the shredded chestnut pieces in a cloth bag and tie well and give directly to the laundry.
However, this detergent is only suitable for colorful laundry. In addition, you can add a teaspoon of washing soda in hard water and so improve the cleaning effect.
Good luck trying out!