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Conkers – Who knew? Natures soap!

who knew? They’re natures soap!

Those shiny brown game playing seeds are all the rage in autumn. Kids and adults alike scouring the ground for the fallen bounty. You will no doubt find the floor littered with the spiky green husks left after the foragers have left.

Conkers are horse chestnut tree seeds and have been used as a game since 1848. Bet you had your own way keep your conker from cracking!

Conkers are a source of food for some animals like squirrel’s boar and deer. But are highly toxic to most animals including humans.

Have you heard the rumour that spiders don’t like conkers? It’s a new one on me but supposedly people leave conkers by windows and doors to keep out the spiders. There doesn’t seem to be any actual evidence to support it works, but there are a lot of spiders about in Autumn especially in the nice warm house!

Conkers also look great as a decoration in the house, well in my house as the kids have found so many, they MUST keep that we end up piling them in a bowl to enjoy.

Conkers have been found to be a source of saponin, the same substance found in soap nuts. Used for washing clothes in many countries around the world.

To be able to put your bowl of conkers to good use they do need a small amount of preparation.

How to –

  1. Cut up the conkers – be careful they are small and fiddly.
  2. Add hot water to the cut-up conkers.
  3. Leave for 24 hrs – you should have a milk like substance
  4. Bottle the milk like substance and compost the conkers piece.
  5. Use the substance as you would a normal detergent.
  6. You can also add essential oil if you want a fragrance.
  7. Keep the bottle sealed and it can keep washing your clothes as long as you have some left!

Put the autumn bounty to good use in your home!

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