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laundry detergent from conkers

Matt

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How to make laundry detergent using conkers​

Conkers are known for producing natural soap, which is often more visible after it rains and they have fallen to the ground. To make the detergent, there are a few steps to follow to ensure you get the right consistency.

First of all, make sure you collect plenty of conkers so that you can make a large amount.

The Watercress Queen explains: 'Chop up small and dry the conkers till they are rock hard. I use a dehydrator for this but you can use an oven on a low heat. Once totally dry they will keep until you need them.

'Then, put 40g of dried conkers in a 500ml jar. Fill jar to top with boiling water and soak for at least 10 mins – 30 minutes is better. You will get a lovely creamy feeling thick liquid. Sieve into another jar,' she continues.

'Re-soak the conkers with more hot water. This time for at least an hour. Sieve the liquid from the conkers again and re-soak for a 3rd time. This time for at least two hours or overnight if you can.

'Each soak the liquid gets "thinner". You can see when your conkers are "spent" they change from a yellow colour to white.

'The liquid will have a lovely tree/soapy/woodland smell. This disappears by the 3rd soak.'
 
This was something we were discussing at the spring meet, natural soaps and detergents, conker washing detergent was the one that non of us could bring to mind.
 
I didn't hear this discussion, or if I did, I didn't bother to mention that I made this a couple of years ago. These natural detergents are not like you think, or not like I was expecting. You don't get any clues that they are soap-like, bubbles for example. What you do get is a solution that is very slippery, I believe this is what they call a surfactant. I used it to wash my hands and it certainly works for grease and grime. Never tried it on clothes but I would imagine it would work well.
 
I didn't hear this discussion, or if I did, I didn't bother to mention that I made this a couple of years ago. These natural detergents are not like you think, or not like I was expecting. You don't get any clues that they are soap-like, bubbles for example. What you do get is a solution that is very slippery, I believe this is what they call a surfactant. I used it to wash my hands and it certainly works for grease and grime. Never tried it on clothes but I would imagine it would work well.
I fully intend to give it a try later in the year. There are some prolific horse chestnut trees near to me where I could collect plenty of conkers to experiment with.
 
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