For some people, washing their clothes the usual way simply doesn’t cut it! Lucie Munn, an English mother of two, seems to have found a new way to do her laundry that’s entirely cost-free… and it involves what she refers to as “conkers”. Though they look very similar to normal chestnuts, conkers, known as horse chestnuts in the US, are actually poisonous to eat, so don’t try roasting these! Particularly in the UK, these large seeds are used to play a game where players take turns smashing each other’s conkers to see whose will last the longest. Apart from the game then, Lucie has found another use for conkers in washing her clothing.
In an interview, Lucie says she collects as many conkers as possible from the ground, chops them up and places them in a blender, then stores them in a sealed box to dry. When laundry time comes, Lucie will grab a handful of chopped conkers and place them in boiling water for around 30 minutes. She’ll then sieve the resulting liquid into a jar and use it as laundry detergent! Lucie says that the clothes come out looking clean, fresh and without any artificial smells. She did admit, however, that some tougher stains were still present after a wash. Nonetheless, these conkers seem to do the trick for an everyday wash!
While most people prefer to use a trusted liquid laundry detergent, something like Persil for example, it’s interesting to look at the many different ways people can clean their homes and do laundry using only natural ingredients. Sure, the conkers idea might require a bit of effort, but it’s still a fun experiment to try, especially since you’d be saving money and using materials provided by Mother Nature. Everyone should consider looking into money-saving, eco-friendly ideas every now and then, like planting vegetables to grow in your own garden, for example.
And while we’re on the subject of environmentally-conscious ways to improve the home, consider these further tips:
- Use LED bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs
- Wash clothing on a cold water setting
- Buy more houseplants to clean the air. Place a bucket in the shower and use this water to give to the plants… they won’t mind!
- Switch bills to online payments, instead of getting letters sent to your address
- Turn off appliances when not in use, like overnight or when you’re on holiday
- Bring tote bags to the grocery store and take items home with these instead of plastic or paper bags
- Keep doors closed when using the heating so that the warmth doesn’t escape
- Buy used, vintage furniture instead of brand new
- Use natural lighting rather than lamps and overhead lights as much as possible
- Don’t leave the tap running when brushing your teeth or shaving! Also, don’t ignore any leaky faucets
- Line dry or lay your clothing flat to dry instead of using a dryer
- Finally, install a low-flow showerhead to help save water
If you start with one or all of these methods, you’ll not only be helping the environment, but your bank account, too.