I’ve been using vinegar to clean my bathroom for a long while! Yup, straight up, cheap ole’ vinegar from the gallon jug. Trouble is, sometimes it doesn’t cut through things as well as I’d like. This is partially due to our homemade soap, water and my not-so-regular cleanings of the bathroom (e-hem).
I got tired of waiting for vinegar to cut through. Spraying a surface then letting it rest a minute before wiping clean helped. But I wanted something I could spray on and wash off, something that would get at the build-up in our bathtub! As a result, I concocted this recipe using the soap nuts I bought in bulk for my once-upon-a-time skincare business.
Soap nut naturally contain saponin (a cleaning agent) and while they are great for many things, when added to water and boiled to release their properties, they lose potency in 7-12 days time. Refrigerating helps but…who has time to boil up a batch of bathroom cleaner and who wants that germ infested item in their refrigerator?!!
I had my wheels turn again the other day and I realized what a great preservative vinegar is. And then?! Joy of joys! Why not put my soap nuts in the vinegar and let it ‘naturally’ preserve in the acidity? Would it hold the saponins or would they go flat as with water? I was very pleased to discover that the vinegar did indeed preserve the properties of the soap nut for at least 2 months!
Vinegar Soap Nut Cleaner
- 1 C of white vinegar (5% acetic acid)
- 3-4 whole soap nuts
- herbs of choice: 1 tsp
- optional: 15-20 essential oil drops
Directions: break soap nuts into smaller pieces and place in the bottom of a spray bottle or place whole in bottom of a glass jar. Pour 1 C vinegar over nuts, add essential oils and herbs if using, cover with lid or bottle top, shake and let set for several hours. Nuts will expand a wee bit and become soft. That’s great! Vinegar is leaching out those saponins!
Soap nuts may be left in vinegar for week before straining. Or, if you are like me, leave ’em in and dump when you go to replenish your cleaning supply.