I always love it when I get questions about Self-Reliance issues. If I don't have the answer, it encourages me to look and figure it out.
I received this question this week:
Is there a soap product that you can wash your dishes, wash laundry or even bathe your kids in that the water can then be re-used to water garden plants and fruit trees? I want to stock up on the right stuff so I can get the most out of my water supply.
This was my answer:
I would stock up on soap nuts. They last forever (in an airtight container) and the water is safe to reuse. The best price I have found them for is here - but you have to get a nut cracker to get the pits out...no big deal, but I bought mine here:
com/bulkherb/s.php (scroll down to soap nuts)
For many of our readers, this might be the first time they have heard of soap nuts. Soap nuts are actually a fruit from a tree grown in Nepal. The dried fruit has a pit inside that needs to be removed. I have used soap nuts for everything. In my experience it works best for laundry, other cleaning and shampoo.. For dishes, you might have to get something a little stronger because it doesn't cut meat grease very well.
Here is a brief "How To" video. If you have more questions on how to use them for shampoo and other uses, there are TONS of videos on YouTube.
The video above says "use the bag provided" - I use a sock with a rubber band. Just make sure your little bag doesn't make it in the dryer, because the heated soap nuts leave a funny smell on clothes.
The BEST thing about soap nuts, is you can use the same bag 3 to 5 times!!! That is a CHEAP detergent!