Cleaning takes on a different dimension when you use natural plant based soaps. I will fully admit to enjoying cleaning now – I can clean really effectively, even the most dreaded of tasks with fully biodegradable soaps and without rubber gloves. I do all my household cleaning with these soft soaps and soapnuts.
Traditional soft soaps made with plant oil and lye have hundreds of uses. Olive oil soap has been used across the olive growing regions for thousands of years. Closer to home, we are especially proud our the hemp oil soap, where the main ingredient is 100% British grown and pressed hemp seed oil.
Using just three ingredients, plant oil, lye and water, these soft soaps are gentle on the skin yet unbelievably tough on grime. Use these soaps for any dreaded cleaning tasks for washable surfaces.
Traditional soap has always been recognized for its universal properties. There was not a certain soap for shaving, another for cleaning – one soap did everything! I have over 1200 documented uses! Fascinated by this soft soap or black soap as it is known in historical texts, at Natural Spa Supplies we have set out to recreate the 12th century hemp oil soap recipe – it took 18 months of experimentation. I will admit that we do not cook the hemp oil soap over an open fire and I still don’t know why these soft plant oil based soaps are often called black soap!
Cleaning with Hemp Oil or Olive Soap
Try hemp oil or olive oil (savon noir) soap for a rubber-glove-free cleaning experience. These plant oil based soaps are the perfect complement to soapnuts and generally they are for the more difficult cleaning jobs.
This traditional soaps are left in their original fully concentrated form and you you soon realize just how little you need, sometimes just a tiny dab of soap will do the job. As an example, I cleaned every surface in my kitchen (except the ceiling!) with about 20g of hemp oil soap.
The General Principles of using Real Soap
There are two types of traditional soap – water based soaps made by soaking or simmering soapy plants. The liquid produced can be used neat of diluted. Think clothes, glass, dishes but be prepared for many surprizes!
The second type of soap is the oil based soap made by saponifying oil and lye – getting these two ingredients to transform into soap and glycerine. This can take a lot of coaxing and the recitation of encouraging words. Although there are a lot of crossovers as to which soap is best for which task, sometimes only one of these soaps is fit for the task on hand. Hence all the information pages. It will soon all become filed in the common sense region of your brain. The plant oil based soaps are best for the really grimy tasks.
Soap can be used neat or diluted in hot water depending on the size area to be cleaned or the absolute griminess level.
Soap is more active in hot water.
Soap takes time to do its work. Half the time rubbing and scrubbing by allowing the soap time to do its work.
Most surfaces require rinsing.
… Now for some tasks!
Cleaning in the Kitchen with Black Soap
We spend most of our cleaning time, cleaning things in the kitchen. Don’t feel sorry for us, we listen to the radio at the same time. Find out how to eco clean everything in your kitchen with hemp oil soap: Walls, skirting boards, floors, the refrigerator, freezer, the sink, cupboards inside and outside, slightly burnt pans and saucepans, badly burn saucepans, the extractor fan, cloths used for cleaning, the oven and grill pans, tiles and mildew.
Clothes and textiles
How to remove dark stains from collars and cuffs - wet the stained area, for delicate fabrics, rub in a knob of soft soap by hand, or for durable textiles, scrub the soap in with a brush. Ignore for an hour or so, then rub or scrub and rinse. Repeat of needed. Then place in the washing machine and wash as normal with soapnuts. Try the same technique also on other stains on clothes. I have rescued five woollen jumpers and several linen skirts! These powerful oil based soaps are the perfect compliment to soapnuts.
How to Clean Everything in Your Lounge
Having visitors is a great incentive to cleaning the lounge. Get your cleaning supplies to the ready and invite some friends over. You’ll be surprized how easily you can clean rugs, carpets, sofas, the fire place and heath
How to Clean with Hemp oil Soap in you Bathroom
Clean the sink, taps, shower screen, bath, bidet, shower tray, tiles, the floor, just about anything in your bathroom. If you are a good tea maker or a worthy home brewer, your guests will probably want to use the bathroom at some point. So you’ll need to clean this too.
Cleaning Up After Pets Made Easy with Traditional Soap
Pets like to keep us agile and fit by shedding hair, furballing, spilling food out of their bowls, causing tidal waves in their water bowls and missing the litter tray. It is all for our benefit! Whatever you need to clean up, you can always wash your hand’s afterwards!
Cleaning a wooden animal cage (guinea pigs, rabbits, chickens, quail etc). First remove the animal! Put it somewhere sheltered and safe. Remove all the soiled bedding. Make a solution with 1-2 soup spoons of olive or hemp oil soap dissolved in a bucket hot water. Use a scrubbing brush, cloth or sponge to wash the entire cage. Repeat if necessary. Make sure the cage is dry and odour free before adding fresh bedding, food, water and of course the animal occupant. If you didn’t know this already, fleas, mites and other annoying insects hate black soap. If your animal is infested with fleas or mites, clean their cage thoroughly and book them in for a bath in real soap – just don’t get it in their eyes.
Washing a Cat - You will need TWO people and one cat. Cats hardly ever need washing and please don’t wash them unless you have to. Cats do need washing when their coat is covered in toxic substances. If they lick it off themselves, they could be badly poisoned. This is the best method we have found and we have practiced twice on our cat now without incurring a single scratch.
First Prepare to Wash the Cat
Clear the sink and the draining board.
Place a large towel on the draining board for the cat to stand on. Roll towels around three edges of the draining board, so that water can still run into the sink, but can not cascade off the edges of the draining board.
Fill a bowl in the sink with water at 40° Celsius and add a walnut sized piece of natural soap. Make sure it dissolves in the water and the water goes opaque. You will need something to scoop this soapy water over the cat. A small saucepan will do.
Fill up several large jugs with fresh water for rinsing also at 40° Celsius. For long haired cats, have an extra bucket of warm rinsing water to dip into.
Place two towels to warm on the radiator.
You will need some extra hemp oil or olive oil soap to work into the coat once it is thoroughly wet. Another 1-2 walnut sized blobs are usually sufficient, apply it in dabs on different areas of the coat. Always use a gentle pressure.
It is always advised to wear thick and protective clothing.
Warm the room ready for the bath. Close the doors and lock the cat flap – you don’t want it to bolt during the middle of the bath.
Do also this without letting on to your cat that it is about to get very, very wet.
Bathing the Cat
Capture the cat and stand the cat on the towel on the draining board facing away from both of you.
Hold the cat in the standing position with all four paws on the towel using the scruff (no need to pull it tight) and the pelvis. The person who is holding the cat does just that, nothing else.
Be absolutely sure that the cat’s head and eyes do not get wet or that no soapy water comes into contact with the cat’s head, especially the eyes and ears. It is really painful and potentially harmful to get soapy water into the eyes and the cat will hurt you back.
The second person uses the scoop to gently pour warm soapy water from the bowl over the cat, rubbing the coat slightly to assure penetration of the fur. Go under the tummy and along the legs and along the tail. Reassure the cat that you’re not using up one of its nine lives!
Rub small dabs of soap into the wet coat and against the skin. Try to work quickly, but gently, especially if this is your cat’s first bath.
Once the soap is evenly distributed, you can begin rinsing.
Rinsing the Soapy Cat Gently pour warm water over the cat, using the jugs of warm water, again avoiding the head and eyes. Do not let any water enter the ears. Lift the front end of the cat slightly to assure that the rinsing water runs under the belly. Be sure that the soap is thoroughly rinsed from the coat. Gently wipe the coat with your hands to remove excess water.
Drying your cat. Surround the cat with a warmed towel, so that just the neck and head is poking out, take care to avoid squashing the legs. Hold the cat in the warm towel, changing to another warm towel after a few minutes. Again hold the cat in the towel, gently rubbing and patting to help the towel to absorb the remaining water from the coat. After a while allow the damp cat to emerge and encourage it to recover near a fire (supervised if it is a kitten) or radiator. Small animals must be able to dry quickly and thorough so that they don’t get pneumonia. Give it a warmed towel to sit on. It will carry on cleaning itself, separating the clumped together fur. If the cat has long hair, help it out with a comb. Once the cat is more or less dry it is safe to unlock the cat flap again.
More to come!
Do not get soap in the eyes. If you do get soap in your eyes flush with plenty of running water.
I did allow some soap to run into my eyes and it really did hurt and irritate my eyes. I will not be repeating this experiment!
Keep away from pets and children.
Do not ingest – accidental ingestion is unlikely as soap does not taste pleasant. If soap is ingested seek medical attention. Take the jar with you.
Test an inconspicuous area of the surface to be cleaned before use.
Storage of Hemp Oil Soap
The soap is provided in a glass jar. Like most natural products, it will keep better if it is kept out of the light between uses and at a stable room temperature. The soap has a shelf life of 6 months and should be used within three months of opening.
Ethics of Using Hemp Oil Soap
100% British grown hemp seed, oil pressing, soap manufacture and packing. Long live British manufacture!
Olive Oil Soap made in Morocco, helping developing countries.
A traditional low-tech product
Fully recyclable or reusable packaging
Safe for septic tanks and grey water recovery systems
No additives, fragrances, preservatives – great for sensitive skin and rubber-glove-free cleaning
Recyclable or reusable glass packaging for the soap. Compostable or reusable padded envelope.
Left as a concentrate to reduce postal costs, use of packaging materials and storage areas.