hand hygiene kit

The Ultimate Natural & Antimicrobial Hand & Nail Hygiene Kit

Not all soaps are created equal, neither are all nail brushes or all manicure tools! Yet all of them are necessary for proper hand and nail hygiene – especially in the control of Covid. Sally, with her background in archaeology and anthropology and founder of Natural Spa Supplies Ltd, explains what she has developed for her popular naturally antimicrobial hand washing and nail cleaning kit.

the ultimate antimicrobial hand and nail cleaning kit with hemp oil soap, natural scrubbing brushes and horn manicure tools

Since the very moment my business began, I had been asking myself this question, ‘What did people used to use to keep themselves clean?’ I began to unlock the answers by reading British historical books and became intrigued by the many uses ‘soft soap’ made from Hemp Oil. Even Samuel Pepys, the 17th century diarist bought a barrel of this soap every year. Full of curiosity, I had to find out if the oil based soap really was as essential and versatile as our ancestors had suggested and how we could benefit from it in our times.

After perfecting the recipe and re-creating the green concentrated gel soap, I sent a sample to a laboratory to see if this Hemp Oil soap has the germ killing qualities which would have been consistent with its earlier uses. The laboratory owner called the next day, ‘ I don’t normally call clients when I have only just started the testing … but this soap has killed every microbe I have tested it on – all within the first test point. Often a soap can kill rod-shaped bacteria, releasing even smaller organisms, giving even more ‘germs’ at the end of the test than at the start. The hemp oil soap gave a score of zero microbes on the initial and all subsequent test points. A first for this laboratory, a victory for this soap and validation of our rich written history!

As mean as the hemp oil soap is to germs and grime, it is remarkably kind to the skin. It can be used by frequent hand washers and by people with sensitive skin. What is more, this oil-based soap has hundreds of other uses from giving rash-free shaving and making light work of dreaded cleaning tasks such as the hob, roasting pans, even burnt pans and pet mess.

Many of the germs on the hands reside under the nails. So it is best to keep the nails short and where possible to have natural nails, rather than false and painted nails. A combination of scrubbing with a well designed nail brush and judicious use of a manicure tool, is the only way to assure nail cleanliness. It is a shame that plastic nail brushes are so ubiquitous – the bristles are too thick to clean every millimeter under the nails and trying too hard causes the bristles to display.

I solved this by sourcing traditional nail brushes made form sustainable beech wood and agave fibre bristles. The agave bristles are finer than nylon, more closely spaced and seemingly stronger. The ‘agave’ bristles reach very well under the nails and these natural nail brushes are more durable.

nail brushes x 3 showing different angles

Taking nail cleaning to the next level, Sally then engaged a very talented father and son workshop in India to make some intriguing horn manicure / pedicure tools. These tools have an astonishing Surrealistic design. At one end of the tool, a pointed, talon-like end draws dirt from under the finger nails. The other end of the tool, shaped like a well trimmed finger nail, is used as a cuticle pusher. The design remarkably functional, poetic and punning!

two horn manicure tools

With just these three traditional products, sold as a kit, the hands and nails can be kept scrupulously clean and beautiful and it only takes minutes each day. Start by cleaning under the nails with the manicure tool, then scrub the nails and wash the hands with the Hemp Oil Soap with the natural Nail Brush. Finish by pushing back the cuticles while the cuticles are damp and flexible. Only then are your hands hygienically clean.


How To Remineralize the Teeth Naturally and Easily 2019

How to Remineralize the Teeth 2019

Are your own teeth and gums becoming more fragile and needing more attention?  Do you have an on going battle with gum disease? Have you got sensitive teeth? Are you teeth eroding near the gum? Or are your children having problems with the teeth such as cavities despite regular cleaning, over crowding etc? One common cause of troublesome teeth is the lack of mineralization or poor mineralization of the teeth.  By reading on you will find out how to remineralize the teeth naturally.

The Teeth are Remineralized from Both the Inside and Outside

  1. From the inside of the tooth through nutrients in the blood and by having an alkaline blood. For example if the blood is rich in calcium and other minerals and of the optimum pH, the calcium homeostasis mechanism means the minerals can be layed down and stored tissues in the teeth and bones. The reverse, resorption, is also true where minerals are removed from the teeth.
  2. From the outside with saliva (of the optimum pH) and by carefully chewing nutritious food.
  3.  From the outside by following methods of natural dental hygiene – using mineral clay toothpaste and toothbrush sticks (an anti-microbial tree root) for cleaning the teeth and gum line.

So the focus is on natural oral health and hygiene and diet.

Let us just remind ourselves of the anatomy of the tooth and how minerals and nutrients are deployed in the structure of the teeth.

The Structure of the Teeth and the Potential for Remineralization

A diagram showing the basic anatomy of the teeth.

A diagram showing the basic anatomy of the teeth.

The teeth are living tissues and they are supplied with nutrients to the inside by the blood. The blood supply, lymphatic elements and nerves are housed in the pulp, the soft connective tissue component on the inside of the tooth. The nerves help the capillaries to function and sense heat, cold and pressure. The pulp has a consistency of gel and it is enclosed by the root canal. The pulp contains stem and proliferator cells, therefore the pulp can renew itself with correctly differentiated cells.  The pulp also creates odontoblasts  – dentin forming cells.

The pulp is surrounded by a flexible and energy absorbing material called dentine or dentin and this is nourished by the pulp. Dentin has a sponge-like formation, though more approaching the density of bone. The dentine is crossed by tiny tubules containing dentine fluids and odontoblasts.  The tubules communicate with the pulp. Dentine contains stem cells and nerve cells –hence it is sensitive. Collagen type and noncollagen proteins brought by the blood, form odontoblasts, and these go onto to form the dentin. Detine is composed of about 45-50% hydroxylapatite, 30% collagen and 20-25% water. While the teeth are forming from the embryonal and fetal stage and up to puberty, the dentine produces ameloblasts on its outer surface and these are the basic enamel forming cells. Dentine can be renewed as it contains stem cells. Also where enamel  cover for the dentine is missing, the outside of the dentine can be re-mineralized with hydroxylapatite crystals. Though it is not as hard as enamel and darker in colour.

In turn dentine is surrounded by the enamel which covers the visible part of the tooth comprising the neck and the crown. The enamel is yellowy or greyish white, shiny and partly translucent. It is initially formed from ameloblasts. Newly formed enamel at the time of tooth eruption is 2.5mm thick but this is worn away through abrasion and dissolved by acids in the mouth.

The actual cells which create enamel, ameloblasts – formed initially by stem cells, secrete enamel proteins which turn into enamel. The enamel is laid down in rods which communicate with the dentin tubules.  The rods are partly permeable. Enamel does have a blood supply via the dentin but most dentists consider the enamel to not be renewable as it forms before tooth eruption under the influence of the genes. Also, unlike pulp cells and dentin, enamel can not be synthesized exactly in tissue cultures. Much of the enamel surrounding our teeth is formed prenatally and in early childhood. Once the tooth has erupted above the gum line the ameloblast enamel forming cells have died.

Even if you are no longer a child, it is still possible to improve and strengthen the enamel but only if some of the hydroxylapatite crystals remain to provide the structural framework. Enamel can only be improved by feeding it directly with minerals and nutrients from an external source. i.e. eating real food and brushing with clay and using the toothbrush stick. The newly filled in enamel does not have such an ordered rod structure. With fluoride toothpastes, the fluoride takes the place of hydroxyl ions and forms fluorapatite which is actually harder than natural enamel though it is still eroded by any acids in the mouth and this coating needs replenishing through regular brushing .

Enamel is made up of 90% mineral crystalline calcium phosphate often called calcium hydroxylapatite, (apatite) originally formed from water, and 10% organic materials and proteins. ‘Hydroxylapatite’ is only an approximation, referring to a geological mineral found in nature.  In reality many different minerals are involved in healthy tooth and enamel formation such as calcium  phosphate, sodium, magnesium,  potassium, fluoride, chloride and bicarbonate and these come through a traditional diet and traditional oral hygiene. Enamel is hard but like so many hard substances, brittle. Enamel is not used as an internal calcium source by the body, unlike the other structures of the tooth. Enamel is subject to erosion form acid foods wear and tear and acid forming bacteria and so it is lost more by the environment of the buccal cavity and less directly by diet.

Most scientists accept that the enamel can be improved through synthetic means – since there is a well established natural mechanism of external enamel synthesis –  where the saliva brings hydroxyl ions to the apatite on the enamel and it is are transformed into hydroxyapatite. In commercial toothpaste sodium fluoride brings about this transformation, but remember that it will form fluorapatite neither of these surfaces are acid resistant. So enamel can be rebuilt to a degree.

Perhaps we should think of the tooth enamel in western adults as a semi-permanent, ever transforming surface and the rest of the tooth as a mineral bank where the goal is to save minerals for the body for a rainy day!

Beneath the gum line, the outer surface of the tooth root is surrounded by a slightly softer material, more similar to bone than dentin– cementum or cement surrounds the lower part of the tooth protecting  the periodontal membrane, (not shown in the diagram) just as the enamel does on the exposed part of the teeth.

Cementum is yellowish in colour and composed of 45-50% of the mineral hydroxyapatite, organic material – collagen, glycoproteins and water. It is softer than dentin or enamel. Cementum  absorbs fluoride and other elements well, but it readily demineralises under acid conditions. Cementum contains small amounts of magnesium and sulphur. Cement or cementum is formed by cemetoblasts and it tends to thicken as time goes on so cement rebuilds itself but of course the right conditions must be present.

Cement secures the periodontal dental ligaments (not shown in the diagram) to the tooth and to the jaw bone. Ligaments and tendons are mainly composed of collagen. Collegen is renewed through the synthesis of amino acids.

Both dentin and cementum are mainly composed of a lattice of collagen and a mineral complex often approximated to apatite. Again there are various mineral substitutes especially in the inorganic material. Cementoblasts, the cells which form cementum, are formed initially in the peridontal ligament. Cementum can remodel.

The teeth are seated in the gingiva (gums) and upper and lower jaw bones. Part of the gum attaches with special gingival cells to the teeth too and these cells are delicate. The gingival and dental ligaments hold the teeth securely in position.  The gingival are well vasculated and the gums can remodel.

Bone, such as the jaw bone consists of organic matrix apatite and a fibrous protein formed in triple helical spirals – collagen. It is kind of like reinforced concrete! Bone can remodel and by and large the teeth, if they are not too damaged, can remodel as well.

Basic Oral Hygiene

Use natural silk floss and inter-dental brushes as appropriate to remove debris between the teeth, to remove bacteria that feed on the debris and to remove the cause of acid erosion.  Rinsing the mouth after eating, even just with water, is also very beneficial.

Brushing the teeth, removes  more food debris, plaque biofilms, some tartar or calculus and can help to alkalinize the oral cavity.  But you can use brushing to help to rebuild the teeth and surrounding tissues, depending on what you use.

Most people use commercial floss, toothpaste and even commercial mouthwash. But are these commercial products really that beneficial when it comes to remineralizing the teeth, being kind to those delicate gingival attachment cells and supporting overall holistic oral health? Also bear in mind that many commercial dental products are essentially labelled as poisons – read the warnings on the label and you will see what I mean. Google any terms or ingredients which you don’t understand. When I used to use commercial floss I used to get angular chellitis (splits at the corners of the lips) – or perhaps it was the commericial toothpaste. Anyway I don’t get this now I use natural products.

At Natural spa Supplies, we do not advocate the use of standard mouth washes and toothpastes. The chemicals they contain, such as sodium fluoride, or sodium monoflurophosphate, are so strong  in our opinion, that they harm the gums, do not provide the most holistic way of mineralization of the teeth. Even with thorough rinsing, some of the product is always swallowed and these strong chemicals can destroy friendly stomach bacteria.

Other chemicals used in toothpastes such as glycerine, block the enamel and prevent mineraliztion; sodium laurel suphate harms the gum tissue, titanium dioxide contains nano particles and they are known to be toxic, and artificial sweeteners confuse the digestive system. It is well to remember that the mouth is the beginning of the digestive system!

Advanced Natural Oral Hygiene Re-Mineralizing the Teeth with Natural Toothcare

Oral hygiene consists of cleaning the tooth surfaces, the gums, palate and tongue.

You can use natural, products which help to rebuild the teeth and surrounding tissues as you brush or clean your teeth.  Besides flossing and using the inter-dental brush, we use organic tree products for much of our dental hygiene. We switch between the Miswak tree root toothbrush and Olive Tree Toothbrush sticks, just to keep brushing varied.  The sticks serve as a natural toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash and even tongue cleaner.

Toothbrush Sticks (Salvadora persica) and their Role in Remineralisation of the Teeth

3 x medium miswak on a rockThe lower incidence of dental caries amongst users of chewing sticks (compared to non-users) has been attributed to the superior mechanical cleansing action on the teeth and to the antimicrobial properties of some of these sticks. The toothbrush sticks are also important in bringing minerals to the teeth and gums. Here are the key properties of the toothbrush sticks.

The toothbrush sticks, also known as miswak, peelu, arak or siwak are the world’s most popular toothbrush, toothpaste and mouth wash.  They are recommended by The World Health Organization (WHO) in The Year 2000 Consensus Report on Oral Hygiene.Actually a tree root, they are capable of providing total oral hygiene (though floss is still necessary and sometimes inter-dental brushes are needed too.)


The toothbrush sticks clean off plaque and tartar through mechanical action. In doing so they deposit nutrients on the surface of the enamel which prevent plaque adhering to the teeth – the ‘anti plaque’ quality of miswak. The teeth feel cleaner for longer between tooth brushing and suffer less acid erosion in between brushing.


The toothbrush sticks releases phyto-nutrients such as salicylic acid. This phyto-chemical (plant grown compound) gives pain relief and can be uses to nurture painful and tender gums. Do not use these sticks if you are allergic to aspirin.


Natural phyto-chemicals (plant made chemicals) directly kill Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus acidophilus, culprits in tooth decay along with Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, the major culprits in peridontitis and Porphyromonas gingivalis, the main bacteria in gingivitis. Other bacteria in the mouth have been related to heart disease, Alheimers, stroke and diabetes. So oral hygiene is vital to good health overall.

Antimycotic Activity

Reduces colonies of candida albicans.

Releases calcium

In 1992 Gazi et al. in their paper, the immediate and medium-term effect of using meswak on the composition of mixed saliva, reported that miswak produced significant increases in calcium (22-fold) and chloride (6-fold) … Saturation of saliva with calcium inhibits demineralization and promotes remineralization of tooth enamel, whereas high concentration of chloride inhibits calculus formation and removes stains from the teeth.

High in Relevant Minerals and Compounds

Some 27% of the root is composed of minerals which are essential for healthy tooth and bone formation. These include calcium and phosphorus.

Beside these important minerals, the stick contains the most restorative element in dentistry – natural plant made fluoride or around 1.0 μg/g (that is one-millionth of a gram per gram) of total fluoride. We can be assured that is a safe level, otherwise the plant itself would have died and most plants contain similar background levels of fluoride! Once the enamel has thinned with general wear and tear or through acid decay, fluoride is used in the replacement or repair of missing enamel. We prefer the plant source. Only some of the fluoride present in miswak is soluble. Natural flouride is the fastest and safest fix for poor quality dental enamel.

Salvadora persica, the toothbrush stick,  contains concentrations of sulphur (an natural anti-bacterial), Vitamin C (for tissue healing and repair)  Tanins are also present which have an astringent effect, reducing plaque formation as well as plant sterols which have an anti-inflammatory and immune enhancing effect.

The salvadora persica plant also produces concentrations of sodium bicarbonate – a mild abrasive and mild germicide.

The toothbrush sticks contain natural resins help to coat the surface of the teeth protecting from caries.

Salvadorine, always present in these toothbrush sticks, is a natural bactericidal and salvadorine stimulates the gums.

Increases pH

Bitter tasting essential oils which help induce saliva flow which buffers the pH of the saliva. Steam-distilled salvadora persica oil is composed of 10% benzyl nitrate and 90% Benzylisothiocyanate (BIT). BIT being investigated by scientists for its anti-carcinogenic action on target sites and ability to kill Herpes Simplex I.

High in silica

The plant contains high levels of silica (a natural abrasive to remove staining from the teeth) Polishing the teeth not only makes them shine, but again makes it more difficult for bacteria and stains to get a foothold. However you brush your teeth, do not over polish because you will wear the enamel away.

Natural Saponins

Miswak contains plant based saponins – nature’s own detergent. The use of miswak is known across the Arab world to make the teeth ‘white and shiny.’

Anti-Ulcer Activity

Scientists are starting to develop medicines from this amazing shrub to treat eye ulcers. I am not sure how the toothbrush sticks stack up with mouth ulcers, but in my own experience, commercial toothpaste and mouthwashes along with a high metal load in the tissues of the mouth (from fillings) contribute to mouth ulcer formation. So it is good to try natural alternatives to see it that helps.

So you can see that the toothbrush stick performs a key role as it has so many relevant properties. To get the maximum benefits , use the toothbrush stick 2-5 times per day or when the flavour in the mouth changes (usually this is a sign that acids are building up.)

Sterilizizes the Gum Line

Once the bristles have formed on the toothbrush stick and they are soft enough, you can bite it gently to release more sap and take the bristles (gently) along the gum line to aerate them (many anaerobic bacteria live under the gum line and they prefer life with very low oxygen levels) Cleaning the gum line also deposits some of the antimicrobial sap and saliva into the spaces. This in my opinion is one of the greatest virtues of the toothbrush stick – the ability to easily and effectively clean the gum line. most adults have clean teeth, but ongoing trouble with the gums.

The great thing about the toothbrush stick is that it is fully portable and toothbrush stick tooth brushers are liberated from the bathroom!

Olive Stick Toothbrushes

3 x olive stickson a rockOur  Organic Olive Tree Stick Toothbrushes are used in the same way as Miswak. Their taste is milder, the olive sticks are thinner and the bristles are softer and form more quickly. We recommend the Olive Sticks for customers new to natural toothcare as they are easier to learn how to use.

Flossing with Silk Floss

Flossing is the only way to remove films of plaque between the teeth. However flossing is not very effective for interdental cleaning directly on the gumline. Use interdental brushing if your dental hygeinist recommends it to clean the tooth / gum junctions in addition to flossing. We have two brands of Silk Floss, Radius which comes in standard recyclable plastic packaging and Dental Lace in its innovative refillable glass jars. The Dental Lace has a mild minty flavour, made from British grown mint.

The silk flosses and vegan charcoal floss on a mossy background

The silk flosses and vegan charcoal floss

Ultra Ventilated Green Clay Toothpaste and Mouth Wash

This is an ultra fine ‘air graded’ clay powder – Just add water and hey presto you have toothpaste. It is best to make up a small batch in a glass jar so it doesn’t dry out. Just add boiled water and stir until it attains a butter consistency. The clay is also more active and detoxifying if it has been hydrated for 4 hours and you might need to add a little more water at this stage. You could add other liquids or powders to your toothpaste such as colloidal silver, dissolved sea salt, etc. You do need to stick to small pots, made every few days because the number one rule in cosmetic formulating is that if you add water (even boiled) you need to add preservatives, but preservatives, by their strong oxidizing nature are not nice for the gum tissues. So it is best to make the clay in small batches so that you can keep it completely natural.  Close the pot between uses.

Do not over scrub with the clay. Over scrubbing wears enamel away and harms the gum tissue causing gum recession. Many people are in a bad habit of brushing their teeth too enthusiastically.

You could also make a clay slurry to use as a detoxifying mouth wash or to use instead of oil pulling.

What are the benefits of brushing the Teeth with Green Clay?

Our chosen clay by Argiletz is high in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, silicon and trace elements, mostly in the form of oxides. These are some of the favourite minerals of the bones and teeth. So brushing brings essential minerals to the tooth enamel and gum tissue. I often use the green clay at night before going to bed. I use it with a natural boar bristle wooden toothbrush.

pH neutralizing

With a pH of about 7.0, this clay helps to neutralized acids in the mouth.


Clays have anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacteria properties.

Detoxes mercury

Absorbs heavy metal toxins such as mercury which also gets into the gum tissue. Don’t worry the clay won’t disturb fillings, but it does reduce heavy metal toxicity in the mouth cavity.

Absorbs toxins

Absorbs the fluids of swelling improving the comfort of the gums.

Mechanical cleaning

Good mechanical cleaning properties with a low index of abrasivity.

Neutral taste

Low taste and aroma – quite nice if you want to brush your teeth before breakfast and be able to get the right taste and flavours from your food afterwards!

Other Ideas! Brushing without Toothpaste with a Light Activated Ionic Toothbrush

Use an ionic toothbrush. By using light as its power source the ionic toothbrushes send a charge into the saliva which changes the polarity of the teeth. There are no batteries it is powered by light and your saliva. As a result, the bacteria are electronically ejected from the tooth surface. There are no moving parts on this toothbrush as in my opinion electric toothbrushes with moving heads bash up the gums and cause gum recession. The best thing about the ionic toothbrush is that no toothpaste is necessary and only gentle gum friendly movement is required. All you are doing is moving the charged saliva around the mouth. However the ionic toothbrush does not especially bring minerals to the enamel apart from those which are present in the saliva.

Which ever method you use – be gentle! Many people cause gum  and enamel wear by over zealous cleaning. What does matter is regular gentle cleaning to remove acid forming plaque, to clean the gum line and regular remineralisation opportunities. The teeth are the only parts of the body which are as it were are in a constant state of decay. However there is much you can do to slow this process down and to some extent to repair some inevitable damage.

A photo The grinding surface of a mammoth found in Oxfordshire,, estimated to be 18,000 years old!. The tooth is fully mineralized!

The side view of a mammoth found in Oxfordshire, estimated to be 18,000 years old! This tooth if fully mineralized – but through a geological process.

Organic Miswak Roots, Olive Tree Sticks,   Silk Floss,   Ionic Toothbrushes,   Green ClayNatural Bristle Wooden Toothbrushes


Citation for the tooth anatomy image, Blausen.com staff. “Blausen gallery 2014”. Wikiversity Journal of Medicine. DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.010. ISSN 20018762.

Natural Cleaning Kit

Do 99% of Your Household Cleaning with our Eco Cleaning Kit

When you think of household cleaning, you probably conjure up an image of rubber gloves and an endless array of chemical cleaning products kept under the sink. In this blog we are going to open up a new world of cleaning joy and wonder with just a few natural cleaning products which we have put in an eco cleaning kit. See how you can do 99% of Your Household Cleaning with just four natural products in our Eco Cleaning Kit. Our selection of natural products are so effective and cost efficient that you will wonder why you haven’t been using them all the time.
Think of all the different cleaning tasks from washing up, windows, the floors, cupboards, the cooker, the hob, the fridge, the shower screen, loos. Then think of all of the different products which are marketed for all these tasks – washing up liquid, window cleaner, floor cleaners, multi-surface cleaners, oven cleaners, hob cleaner, shower screen cleaner, toilet gels. That’s a lot of chemical products, a lot of plastic and a whole lot of pollution.
So how can you reduce all of this down to 4 natural cleaning products?
Very easily, we have made up a kit so you can make the switch to eco products with one click. Or, if you prefer, you can buy the productss individually. However, we’d like to you fully understand our natural cleaning products first, so you can get the most out of them.

Introduction to the Products in our Eco Cleaning Kit

Natural Spa Supplies soapnuts showing their foam on bolderSoap Nuts, or Soap Berries, Soap Nut Shells
A detergent which grows on trees. Yes, these soapy fruits grow year after year, and they produce saponins (soap) in their leathery skins. After being gathered by village collectives, the fruits are de-stoned and dried. They yield a water-soluble detergent which is great for washing the clothes to replace chemical washing powder and for making a multi-surface cleaner and washing up liquid. This soap is my ‘go to’ for shiny surfaces. Soapnuts are totally skin and hair friendly and you won’t need rubber gloves to use them. I’ll list their many uses further on.






Hemp Oil Soft Soap
This is a British oil-based soap which we make at Natural Spa Supplies from hemp seed oil and lye. Being a soft soap and having a gel-like consistency it can be used neat or diluted in water. It is a ‘universal’ soap which mean it is very multipurpose as it can be used for washing and exfoliating the skin, wet shaving and for cleaning. This soap excels at the difficult cleaning tasks such as roasting tins, burnt pans, the hob, very greasy surfaces such as the cooker hood, leather and steel. This soap prooves itself invaluable for cleaning germy things because it is a powerfully antimicrobial and along with this it is quick to deodorize surfaces. With our Hemp Oil Soap, you can deodorise your under arms in the shower in an instant and deal with puppy mess accidents and other hygiene incidents! I’ll make a big list for you in a bit.




Walnut Shell Powder
Another tree product, the ground shells of walnuts, have a rough but non scratching surface and we recommend adding a sprinkle at point of use for very hard tasks. The Walnut Shell Powder is also antimicrobial. Where other cleaning product had relied on microbeads which pollute the oceans and enter our food chain, walnut shell powder, fully biodegradable is a great way to add extra ooomph to your scrubbing.




Imagine a cleaning cloth made of cotton, a tad smaller than a face flannel, but with the textile loops which are as hard as gypsum rock. Now add some psychedelic colours to your imaginary cleaning cloth and you have a Scrubby. Just looking at a Scrubby will bring you joy, but get one in your hand and start using it and really, you will find it hard to put down. It helps speed up pretty much any cleaning task. Scrubbies are so tough that they can be washed time and time again in the washing machine at 50°C returning to their bright colours.
I use a Scrubby in my kitchen many times a day to speed of washing up and to help out all round. I have more, in the bathroom and loos. My husband even has one in his shed. The Scrubby is great for cleaning the bathroom fittings, taps and the shower screen. It excels at detail cleaning, such as the little line of grime which forms between the floor and the bath panel and tiles. Most rough surfaces such as skirting boards, stone floors would shred normal cleaning pads but not the Scrubby. It can handle almost any washable surface. Do just check a small area of your surface first, to make sure the Scrubby isn’t too powerful!

Soap Nuts Uses
Laundry – put 3-5 soapnuts in an odd sock. Place it in the washing machine drum and do your wash. Use the Soapnuts in the sock for another 3-4 machine loads. It costs just pennies per machine load.
Washing up & Surface Cleaner – Stand a handful of Soapnuts in a jug of water for an hour or so to make natural detergent. If you are in a hurry, put some Soapnuts in a jar of water with a tight-fitting lid and shake it up. You have an instant planet and hand friendly detergent. You could also strain some of the soap nut liquid into a pump spray bottle if you find it more convenient. Once you have used up the Soapnut liquid, add more water to make more! Keep going!
Soapnuts Can Clean …
Dishes, pots, pans, glassware, mugs, cutlery – no need to rinse • hand washing delicate Textiles, especially silk • Kitchen surfaces and tables • Walls • Floors of PVC, laminate and linoleum • Taps – it removes fine films of limescale • Cupboards • Refrigerator and the exterior of other white goods • Windows • Mirrors • Radiators • Pet bowls • Sink • Bath • Toilet bowl spray – use after each flush to minimize limescale build up • Toilet seat, lid, pedestal • Plant leaves • Damp dusting of electrical goods and light sockets – the Soapnuts have a degree of anti-static qualities, which means your computer screen won’t get dusty so quickly • Damp dusting of household ornaments • Terracotta and porous surfaces such as a Clay Amphora Water Purifier – an oil based soap could block the pores, so we always use Soapnuts to these and any clay cookware • Containers used for fermenting and brewing such as kilner jars, demijohn, fermentation vessels • Cars, bikes, motorbikes including windows, wheel and hubs • Tooth Cleaning – rinse afterwards • Hair washing – don’t let it get in the eyes as it will sting, but very good for washing greasy hair.
Hemp Oil Soap Uses
Soap works with heat, agitation, time and water. As we leave the hemp oil soap as a concentrate, most of the time a little water is used with the Hemp Oil Soft Soap to activate it. For heavy duty jobs, apply the Hemp Oil Soap and give the soap time to work before rinsing it away. Being a soft soap, the Hemp Oil Soap can be diluted in hot water to for cleaning large surfaces such as floors. There are many cross overs between the tasks that the Soapnuts and Hemp Oil Soap can do, so I’ll list the tasks that only the Hemp Oil Soap can achieve:
Hemp Soap Can Clean
Burnt saucepans – add hot water and 1-2 teaspoon of Hemp Oil Soap, return to the heat and stir the burn away with a wooden spatula. Finish the task at the sink with a Scrubby • Roasting tins – use with a Scrubby • Fridges – clean up surfaces with rotten food and slime • The Kitchen Sink – use with a Scrubby – removes tea and coffee stains, removes grease and cleans drainer plugs • The Cat Litter Tray • Traditional Floors – such as flagstone, ceramic, painted wood – used diluted • Glassware – I used it to clean oil out of glass jugs, but it need rinsing well and then drying and polishing. Apart from these cases, I’d normally use Soap Nuts to wash glassware because there is no need to rinse • Leather – Sofas, chairs, leather car seats • Plastic – including plastic car interiors – do not use on control peddles unless you rinse every trace away in case they become slippery in wet weather. Hint, the scrubby cleans all the trim details, but wring it well and hold a damp dish cloth behind it to prevent drips. Please read more about the Scrubby below • Tack and Harness, Dog Leads and Collars – use with Macho Fina Sponge • Leather clothing use with a silk Fina sponge • Teapots – use with a Scrubby • Plant saucers and metal or ceramic plant pot containers • Painted Windowsills • Outdoor Furniture • Bird Feeders • Pre-treatment of grubby Cuffs and Collars • Wet the soiled area, rub or scrub in the Hemp Oil Soap roll it up and leave for a while. Assess – can it now go in the washing machine or go through the hand wash, or does it need another application? • Shaving – gives a great wet shave, reducing shaving rash and ingrown hairs • Exfoliating – remove the dry and dead skin which can’t be moisturised – use with Copper and Nettle Exfoliating Glove • Hand and Nail Hygiene • Gardener’s and Mechanics Hand Soap • My husband dips the end of screws into the soap and says they are much easier to drill in • Breadboards clean and deodorize. Nobody likes their marmalade and toast tasting of garlic heh! • Cast Iron Frying Pans – it cleans and deodorizes cast iron.

A Scrubby close up. See those loops? They are as hard as gypsum!The Scrubby Scouring Pad

Scrubby Techniques
The Scrubby can be used wet or dry, but for cleaning I normally use it wet.
Uses of a Dry Scrubby
Sweep up some breadcrumbs • Gather pet hair off the floor or carpet • De-bobble / remove piling from woolen jumpers.

Pairing up a Scrubby with a Dish Cloth
For many cleaning tasks I hold the Scrubby with a cotton dish cloth behind it. So, for example I would use the Scrubby with the dish cloth behind it to clean the shiny front of my fridge. Then turn the cloths both over so that the dish cloth can do the final wipe to absorb any drips, prevent water marks and leave a dry shiny surface.
Wet Cleaning with a Scrubby
Washing Up with Soapnut solution or Hemp Oil Soap • Cleaning washable counters and work surfaces • The Sink • The Taps • The Draining Board • The Fridge Interior • The Hob • Surface Grease and Spills from the Oven, the Oven Racks and the Door • The Cooker Hood • Sticky cupboard and fridge tops, mixture of grease and dust – use with Hemp Oil Soap • Walls – best with Soapnut solution so the surface can be repainted, but don’t rub too hard because the paint is softer than the Scrubby • Floors and Skirting Boards • Windows – good for removing mineral films – use with Soapnuts • Exterior paint work – use the Scrubby with a gentle pressure • Washable surfaces on Boats, Yachts, Caravans – again do test the surface in a discrete area to make sure the Scrubby is suitable • Animal Feed Bowls and Buckets • Detail Cleaning at junctions between the skirting board and floor, the toilet pedestal and floor, around table legs etc • Outdoor Furniture • Many of the cleaning tasks listed above.
Once you get a Scrubby in your hand you will want to try it for all sorts of cleaning tasks.
Walnut Shell Powder Uses
Add a sprinkle of the Walnut Shell Powder at point of need: Cleaning exteral window covered in mineral film / haze • Cleaning the Shower Screen • Cleaning stains off the sink
Well I think that must be 99% of your household cleaning tasks!


Get your Eco Cleaning kit here!


Have I missed anything off the lists? If I have please comment below and I will add it on
Why We Stopped Using Chemicals
1. Chemical cleaning products do not list their ingredients on the label. You have no idea of the formula and you cannot learn about the health dangers of individual ingredients. Across the range, chemical cleaners contain toxins which effect the brain, the lungs, the reproductive organs and many are carcinogens. Why would I buy something that I can’t understand or trust? Why would I want to make the companies that product polluting cleaning products richer? I checked one company, Unilever and their annual revenue is £45,000,000,000 and they do still test some of their products on live animals. Many people buy the Ecover brand which is owned by Unilever, thinking they are helping the environment. Grrrr! https://www.ethicalconsumer.org/company-profile/unilever
2. Many people and animals are poisoned by exposure or ingestion of chemicals used for household cleaning. Do you have safety locks on the cupboards were these dangerous goods are kept?
Children Poisoned at Home What’s Lurking Under Your Sink?
Common Canine Poisons in the House and Garden
3. Chemical cleaners leave toxic vapours in the air and on clothing and bedding which gives round the clock exposure to a variety of chemicals. It must have a big impact on people with asthma, COPD and other respiratory complains.
Cleaning and asthma what you need to know.
4. Chemical cleaning products are invariably packed in thick plastic. Although some plastics can be recycled, more virgin plastic must be added to make new products, adding to the plastic burden on the planet.
plastic recycling facts
5. Ultimately all of the chemical products that are used for cleaning go down the drain. Then where? Usually streams and rivers towards the sea. All of the UK rivers are polluted with chemicals and householders are partly responsible. Some of the products used in household cleaning products do not biodegrade readily causing pollution levels to build up over time.
Chemical Water Pollution Caused by Every Day Detergents
6. If you have a septic tank, or grey water system, all of our products are septic tank friendly and we know that our products will fully biodegrade after use. Many chemical products do not biodegrade and the pollutant continue to build up in our rivers and soil. https://www.lanesfordrains.co.uk/domestic/help-advice/using-drains-and-sewers/homeowners-guide-to-cesspits-and-septic-tanks/
7. When I used conventional cleaning products, I was then tied into using rubber gloves. I still got contact dermatitis and my hands would itchy especially under my rings. Now of course, I can do all my cleaning without rubber gloves and I can be much more spontaneous. I don’t believe that washing up gloves offer complete protection and somehow the chemicals do get through them. As you can check in the link, gloves are made which resist specific chemicals https://www.safetygloves.co.uk/chemical-resistant-gloves.html but you don’t know what is in household cleaners.
8. When using chemical cleaning products (even with gloves) my nails used to split and I used to have to carry an emery board with me everywhere. I also had frequent sore throats, sneezing fits. It might have been caused by the artificial fragrances in these products. https://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/cleaning-sprays-as-harmful-your-12033434
UK NHS staff could have been put at risk by inhaling toxic fumes from cleaning machines
Nurse exposure to cleaning products risks respiratory health, study finds https://www.nursingtimes.net/news/research-and-innovation/nurse-exposure-to-cleaning-products-risks-respiratory-health-study-finds-25-10-2019/
9. I am concerned for the health and safety of the workers who work for the chemical companies who are on the production line and are exposed to the vapours. https://www.wsj.com/articles/unilever-compensates-workers-in-dispute-over-alleged-mercury-poisoning-at-plant-1457609635
10. Concerns about carcinogens in household cleaners and toxic air in my home https://thetruthaboutcancer.com/toxic-cleaning-products/
Indoor air pollution from household products putting lives at risk, report warns
In conclusion, these 4 natural cleaning products, Soapnuts, hemp Oil Soap, Walnut Shell Powder and our Scrubbies are very safe, extremely effective, they couldn’t be any more planet friendly. We believe our products save you money and that like us, once you discover how versatile they are, you would never go back. Click Here to Get You Eco Cleaning Kit capable of performing 99% of your household cleaning tasks. We really hope you gain a new pleasure from doing your Household Cleaning with our Eco Cleaning Kit and we are always here to help with your eco journey.
Do reach out to us, if you need any personal support.

rescued hedgehog

How to Rescue a Hedgehog 2019

How We Rescued a Hedgehog

We have had the joy of rescuing a hedgehog and we’d like you to know the ins and outs of it because we could have got it so wrong! Hedgehogs are endangered and could become extinct, so every hedgehog matters. As they are found in cities, towns and the countryside, anyone could encounter a sick, injured or dying hedgehog. They are declining in all these habitats at a rate faster than tigers!

Last Friday sunny afternoon, my husband found a hedgehog laying in the middle of the garden. He thought it odd and came inside to google, or rather Ecosia (the website which plants tries as your search) what to do.

What Should You Do If You Find A Hedgehog Which Needs Help?

He found some information – put a box over it, give it some water and offer food. We did that, but the hedgehog didn’t show any interest. Actually, the hedgehog was so ill that it didn’t want to eat of drink. We should have seen from what little interest it showed that it was beyond eating and drinking and it was in fact getting colder all the time.

What to do if your find a hedgehog on the lawn in the daytime?

We searched the internet again and found that the hedgehog was almost certainly gravely ill and dying. Hedgehogs are mainly nocturnal and they would only come out and sun bath on a lawn during the day if in an attempt to conserve body heat. So, something was amiss, and this hog needed professional help.

How Do You Transport a Sick or Injured Hedgehog?

This hedgehog was close to death

This hedgehog was close to death.

With gloves, we placed the hedgehog in a large deep box and gave it a hot water bottle, also with space to get off the hot water bottle and I went through the options.  Always remove the hot water bottle before it goes cold, otherwise it will make the hedgehog too cold! If you are transporting a mother and babies, put the mother in a separate box, because if she feels threatened, she might harm her babies.

Where Can You Take an Injured Hedgehog?

I called local vets some of whom will care for hedgehogs, but you need to call the RSPCA first and get a code which you give to the vet. It was not clear who would pay for the treatment or what level of care it would have received, where it would be rehomed if it survived etc. If you suspect the animal is injured it would need veterinary care.

Where Do You Take a Sick Hedgehog?

Ours had no apparent injuries, it was just very ill, so I then searched for a local hedgehog rehabilitation centre. I manged to find Mel, who has set up a hedgehog sanctuary at her home just a few miles away. These local centres are much better equipped to give an ill hedgehog the attention it needs. There was no more delay, I was told to bring the hedgehog straight over. As I later found out, many of the hedgehogs which are taken to the local vets are given emergency treatment and then passed on the local rescue centres!

This Hedgehog Needed Urgent Help

Mel took the hedgehog and turned it over it revealing several large ticks.  She showed me how dehydrated it was by lifting the skin which stayed up in a mound and told me how cold it was. I left the hedgehog there in her care, expecting to never see it again and regretting that I hadn’t known about her earlier in the day.

On the Sunday, I gingerly called Mel to ask how the hedgehog was and to invite myself over again to bring a cash donation, some cat food and a gift to help with her rescue (more about that later). The hedgehog, a female was still alive!

Meeting our Rescued Hedgehog

The rescued hedgehog sitting in an oval shaped ball on her carer's hand3 days later

The rescued hedgehog 3 days later

Mel took me to meet the little hog and introduced me to the other 34 hogs in her care and explained what treatment she had given to our little lady: Warming up, subcutneous fluids, tick removal and a thorough parasite cleanse regime for heartworm, lungworm etc.

Support your Local Hedgehog Rescue Centres

I was glad I had brought some cash because the medicines and foods such as mealworms are expensive. Mel explained that she has figured out the correct dosage of these medicines which are designed for different animals and says that she now prepared information sheets for vets on how to dose hedgehogs with the medicines they have on hand. By the way tick treatments designed for dogs will kill a hedgehog, so it is not only the dose, but the choice of medicine which is important.

The hedgehog looked remarkably well and had her own cage with a pile of straw and shredded newspaper to hide under and Mel bought her out for a portrait photograph! The best news is that after her rehabilitation and after good weight gain, Mel will let me collect her and bring her back.

How to Look After a Hedgehog On Release

Once we get the hedgehog back, we have been told to put out food and water for 3 consecutive nights to find out whether the hedgehog needs this food source or whether they can find their own. A friend in the next village feed her hedgehog and they turn up at about 10.00pm each night. Mel is going to mark the hedgehog with paint so we can easily recognise it again and of course I will have my wildlife camera out to get glimpses of her through the night. I am hoping our hedgehog will be self-sufficient because we have some monster feral cats around here and foxes in the field behind us and I don’t want to encourage them into the garden with tasty offerings. We will check again that the hedgehog can easily enter the neighbours’ gardens and make sure that our pond, when the water returns will allow a hedgehog to scramble out if it does fall in.

There are many small hedgehog centres like this and the carers are so busy caring for the hedgehogs that they don’t have time to fund raise or often even publicise their sanctuary, so it is really important to donate to these centres and to find ways to raise money for them. Without adequate donations, these centres just can’t go on and these amazing creatures which have barely changed over thee last 15 million years could vanish from the wild.

What Did We Give to the Hedgehog Sanctuary?

Natural Spa Supplies 1 litre Water Purifying AmphoraBeside cash and cat food we took the sanctuary one of our clay water purifying amphoras. With so many hedgehogs coming into the rescue centres with dehydration. We thought it would make a great gift. This means Mel can fill the amphora with her tap water and leave it for 8 hours and the amphora will lower the levels of chloride, nitrates and heavy metals. It will make the water taste and smell natural and make it more appealing to hedgehogs. Due to the circulation inside the amphora, the water molecule cluster size is reduced – so instead of molecules of water sticking together in ‘clumps’, they are broken down into smaller cluster sizes, making the water better for rehydration purposes. The water is made more alkaline too which is healthier.

Given a choice of tap water or water from the clay amphora, every cat and dog we have tried it on prefers the taste of the amphora treated water. They would be useful for almost any animal help charity.

Be Prepared to Rescue a Hedgehog

It is important to identify the local rescue centres in your area so you can reach them quickly and share their details easily with neighbours and to support them in their work. Check community websites and ask around.

The leading hedgehog charity, the British Hedgehog Preservation Society But remember the small local rescue centres (even those too small to be registered as charities) need your donations too!

Info about how you can help hedgehogs in your neighbourhood

If you have a hedgehog rescue story, please share it below. 😀

Another Hedgehog Found!

hedge hog with bad fleas just undergoing treatmentYes, those outdoor tea and coffee break are brilliant. We discovered another smallish hedgehog rustling around during the day. As we observed it, we could see blood at the base of the spines. We knew exactly what we needed to do and quickly got a box and called Mel, our local rescuer. Within 7 minutes, the hedgehog was in Mel’s expert hands and we could breath a sigh of relief.

Mel immediately sprayed it which flea spray as the bleeding at the base of the spines had been caused by them. Within minutes hundred of fleas lay dead around the hedgehog. This poor hedgehog would have died from this parasite burden. Please note that the fleas on hedgehogs are specialist hedgehog fleas and they don’t bite humans or other animals.

Mel then checked the sex of the hedgehog and was very pleased to announce it was a girl or ‘sow’! Of all the hedgehogs that Mel has cared for this year (probably 100!) all have been boys, or ‘boars’ except for three sows. Two of which have come from our garden.

A Progress Report

When we dropped the second hedghog we got to have a visit of the first rescued sow, still under Mel’s care. She is now living outside in a rat proof cage with a boar. There is a possibility that she could be pregnant already.

Donations Make Hedgehog Rescue Possible

Scrubbies come is all different patterns and coloursThis time, I understood a little more about how Mel works to save hundred of hedgehogs and I bought her another donation and a Scrubby. Mel feeds the hedgehogs a variety of food including hedgehog pellets and cat food. I thought that the Scrubby would make short work of getting dried hedgehog food of all of their feeding bowls, saving her time and effect. A Scrubby is amazing scouring pad which I use every day. It is made of cotton, but the surface texture is as hard as gypsum and they help me speed up no end of household chores. Unlike other scouring pads, these are biodegradable and they are made with the environment fully in mind. Mel was very pleased and loved the crazy coloursand was very pleased that it could be machine washed. I also gave her a cheque to spend on hedgehog food and medical supplies.

Hedgehog Collection Soon

We are just waiting for a dry spell so we can collect both our sows. Mel is going to mark them with paint so we can keep tabs on them. Also if we need to take the hedgehogs in for more care in the future, Mel will already know something about their medical history. We are so excited that in the course of our work days we have been able to rescue to endangered animals.

Hedgehog Naming Competition Coming Up

Name These Two Rescue Hedgehogs. I’ll put the link here and on social media once the competition is live.

Video Coming Up

We will film the release of both of these sows and put the video up on You Tube.


6 alum crystals with tips

Alum Research Summary

1/ There are both natural volcanic sources of alum (potash alum or potassium alum) and synthetic factory produced alums (ammonium alum, potassium alum). Both are used as deodorant ingredients. Another ingredient, aluminium chlorohydrate is used to fabricate antiperspirants, however, we’re focusing on alum deodorants.

2/ Deodorants remain largely on the outside of the skin surface whereas antiperspirants are absorbed into the sweat glands, blocking the exit of sweat. This means that antiperspirants cross the skin barrier into the body. We use deodorants which work by killing the odour causing microbes on the outside of the body.


3/ Anecdotal differences are reported in the effectiveness between synthetic and natural alums in deodorizing.

4/ Most of our exposure to aluminium is through the bio-concentration of aluminium compounds in food, but aluminium is also present in the air and our water. Nearly all the studies on the effects of aluminium exposure on humans via alum compounds relate to antiperspirants such as aluminium chlorohydrate (not the natural potassium alum deodorant), however, even when testing synthetic aluminium chlorohydrate, studies show that aluminium absorption through the skin layer is insignificant compared to general daily exposure, especially from foods.

5/ Scares about aluminium exposure originate from certain IV fluid patients who received high concentrations of aluminium in IV fluids and gold miners who inhaled aluminium metal dust. However the routes of entry are different to the dermal entry of alum antiperspirant use and different in exposure scale. Alum deodorants give less exposure still because they remain on the outside of the skin.

6/ Many deodorants, especially many liquid deodorants contain alum plus a cocktail of other synthetic chemicals – safety studies rarely take account of this complicated chemistry and individually and many common ingredients used in chemical deodorants are linked to cancer and are classified as neurotoxins. There are huge gaps in the data on the way different forms of alum, different entry routes, and different levels of exposure effect people.

7/ Natural volcanic alum is an earth grown crystal, the molecules are very large, for this reason and due to the negative charge the molecules can not pass through the skin barrier.

8/ Natural alum is a very planet friendly alum, because it has been made already by natural seismic and geothermal processes and does not require further processing.assium alum has been used for thousand years by many different cultures in all sorts of industries. Natural alum is considered safe in these societies where it is not linked to Alzheimer’s disease, breast cancer nor other Western diseases. It is even added to drinking water to help purify the water in India and across other parts of the world.

The Bridle after cleaning with Hemp Oil Soap

Guide on How to Clean & Care for a Bridle with Natural Products 2019

How to clean your bridle, saddle and other tack with natural and chemical free products leaving the leather clean, very supple, flexible and protected. After a friend invited me out horse riding, I thought it only polite to offer to clean the bridle and saddle afterwards, but of course, it would have to be in my eco and natural way. I had come prepared for my ‘apres-ride’ brandishing a jar of Hemp Oil Soft Soap, a coarse textured Macho Fina Sponge and a ‘Sally Scrubby’ natural scrubbing pad.


A photo of the bridle cleaned with hemp oil soap, a scrubby and a stiff macho fina sponge

Aebridle cleaned with hemp oil soap, a scrubby and a stiff macho fina sponge

What is Normally Used to Clean a Leather Bridle?

When I was a child we used to clean all our tack after each ride using bars of glycerine saddle soap. However the glycerine soap can make the reins very slippery in the rain and I never felt my tack was supple enough. Because you need a fair bit of water to create the lather with glycerine bars and I believe that cleaning with bars of glycerine soap is too wetting on the leather, making it go quite stiff and dull once you have finished.


What is the Most Eco Friendly Way to Clean a Bridle?

I was handed a very stiff bridle. As soon as I started, before I had even got half way around the first piece of leather, it was clear the all grease and dried sweat were coming off and the leather became instantly clean and supple. It was certainly much easier and faster with the Hemp Soap
Stiff Sponge and thenatural scouring pad , the Scrubby   than I had remembered from my youth.

What are the Benefits of using Natural Products for Tack Cleaning?

  • The mold and mildew ( a blotchy grey film over much of the bridle) came off immediately
  • The grease came off, for the most part immediately – some areas needed a tiny bit more pressure
  • The soap lifts the dirt out of the leather – The salty sweat was removed and the smell of the leather improved – this Hemp Soap does have a great deodorizing quality and it was also deodorise any tack with dung or urine deposits on it
  • The leather became instantly supple and flexible
  • The buckles were easier to do up and undue which is important, especially in emergencies
  • With a more liberal application of Hemp Oil Soap to the driest zones, such on the reins near the bit, the flexibility and therefore strength of the leather was massively increased
  • Many surface cracks vanished as if I had applied some anti-aging product. The Macho Fina Sponge really helped to get the soap into the pores and cracks!
  • The stiching appeared much cleaner and more attractive
  • The deposits on the bit come off quickly with some Hemp Oil Soap and the Scrubby – normally it has to to scrapped off and its is not a very pleasant job
  • As the Hemp Oil Soap is naturally very anti-microbial, the bit has been left very clean and smooth. Something to bear in mind if you by secondhand bits!
  • The leather darkened and took on a light sheen – just like healthy human skin!
  • The Hemp Oil Soap left my own skin feeling great
  • I was able to tip the used soapy water straight onto some plants as the soap begins biodegrading as soon as it hits the soil.
  • All these products are plastic free and sent in eco packaging


Bridle before cleaning image 1, with mould, mildew and very stiff

Bridle before cleaning showing mould and mildew.

How do You Clean a Bridle Using Natural Products?

  • Dissemble the bridle
  • Wet the sponge in a basin of warm water and squeeze it out tightly, so it is just damp
  • Place the bit in the basin of warm water to soak
  • Apply a dab of Hemp Oil Soap with the sponge drawing it along both surfaces of the reins, cheak pieces, nose band throatlash etc.
  • Get the soap under all the loops, around the buckles, and well into the places were the reins attach to the bridle
  • Rinse the sponge from time to time as it goes brown with sweat, grease etc. so you are working with a clean sponge. Add more soap to continue, so that each componet was cleaned and nourished without over wetting it
  • Once everything was clean I added more soap to parts of the leatherwork which get a lot of wear, such as to the inside of the leather straps where they meet the bit. The leather here gets wet while it is in use with the horses saliva and it can become very dry and brittle. Adding the extra soap at the bit end of the reins helps the reins to stay strong and stretch a bit under stress rather than snap at a crucial moment!
    Be sure there is no excess soap left on the riders end of the reins, to minimize slippage in the rain!
  • Finally I gave the bit a going over with a Scrubby and watched as the grass and food stains vanished and then I gave the bit a rinse in fresh water
  • Let the leatherwork dry so you don’t get fingerprints on it and reassemble it.


The Results … More Bridles to Clean!


I checked with my friend yesterday and she has told me that she has not had to clean the bridle over the last few weeks as it is still feeling supple. She is super pleased with the effects of the Hemp Soap and she is a total convert. I told my neighbour about it and offered to clean her horse’s bridle – she brought two of them over and we made a little video showing exactly how it did it – I hope you find it useful! I have also just heard that neighbour is also delighted with her two clean and supple bridles and I’m hoping for a reversal where she will invite me to ride one of her horses around the village soon! I expect friends and neighbours will be dropping dirty saddles, spare stirrup leathers, dog collars and leads and complete sets of harness off for cleaning soon!

More About Natural Tack Cleaning Products


Hemp oil soap is used for shaving, washing and cleaning.

Hemp oil soap is used for shaving, washing and cleaning.

As you might not have heard of our Hemp Oil Soap, the Macho Fina Sponge and the amazing multicoloured Scrubby before let me explain a little more. Our Hemp Oil Soft Soap is an oil based soap made by Natural Spa Supplies based on ancient British soap making techniques. It is a remarkable soap in that is great for wet shaving, deep cleaning and exfoliating the skin, controling spot prone skin and for cleaning hard to clean things such as burn pans, greasy oily things, dried food from pet bowls, germy things such as cat litter trays. While it has remarkable anti-microbial powers, the great thing about it is that it is fine for people with sensitive skin. So one soap does many tasks in the home and around the stableyard. The soap biodegrades rapidly in the soil and it is packed in reusable glass jars. Follow the link to read more about and buy Hemp Oil Soap


I used the course sponge on the tack, because, the grease can only be removed in one of two ways – by dissolving it (the Hemp Oil Soap breaks down the grease and combines with it so it can be rinsed away) and by mechanical pressure, which also helps with the penetration of the soap through the grease. The Macho Fina Sponge is an unbleached sponge which comes from Greece and which has been collected sustainable by licenced divers. It has a very course and complex texture which is rough enough to remove the grease, but also great for getting the soap in to the rough underside of the leather and into any cracks in the surface, but without destoying the surface finish. You can cut the Macho Fina Sponge into the size that works best for just with a bread knife. The sponge pad I created from this was about 1 inch thick which made it strong enough for the hard work and thick enough to get a good grip on. When the sponge does come to the end of its life, add it to the dung heap or bury it in the soil with your kitchen waste.

Scrubbies come is all different patterns and colours


The Scrubby is a scouring pad made of cotton which looks rather like a colourful flannel. The big difference is that the loops are as hard a gypsum and it has tremendous scrubbing power. I used one for my washing up and it makes it twice as fast. It is great at many kitchen jobs such as the hob, the draining board and sink, the taps and any rough surfaces such as skirting boards. It is great for cleaning cleaning the bit too! The Scrubbies are very hard wearing and durable and with all the different colours and designs they bring genuine joy and great satisfaction to cleaning. I have retired one Scrubby already by cutting it up and burying it with my food waste in the garden – that will gradually biodegrade.

I hope that you found this blog useful and that you’d like to give it a go!



trench composting

Trench Composting Food Waste – 99 Things You Can Compost and More 2020

I’ve tried composting kitchen waste over the years, both in a bin and in a heap. However I have to admit, I have failed. Recently I have been trying another way – Trench Composting, burying food waste in a trench. Even after just a few weeks, I can see this is the method for me. So much of your food waste can be composted and as you will find, some of our other household waste from cosmetics and cleaning supplies. Would it work for you too? Find out how you can use your food waste to create rich humus, a better microbial environment in your soil, encourage worms, spend less time watering and feeding your plants and grow the healthiest, most delicious plants. You can also tackle global warming because, this method, using trenches or pits to compost does not produce methane gas. So what is trench composting? How do you do trench composting?

To the 99 + types of household waste you can add to ta composting trench, you will see our used soapnuts, silk floss, a stub of a miswak stick and a henna cellophane packet. All delicious tucker for soil bacteria and worms.

To the 99 + types of household waste you can add to a composting trench, you will see our used soapnuts, silk floss, a stub of a miswak stick and a henna cellophane packet. All delicious tucker for soil bacteria and worms.

The Problems with my Compost Bins

Firstly, I’ll tell you about my previous attempts, the uninspiring part of this blog! My black plastic compost bins got too hot and deformed. Humus did not tumble out of the hole at the base and I had to struggle to remove the bin from the contents to get a good look. I then had to separate the small amount of humus from the unrotted materials and put everything back in the top of the bin. As the bin had changed shape, the lid never went back on and the cover refused to go back in its slot. Likewise, it was not exactly easy to turn the contents. The amount of usable compost (about a shovel full) was hardly going to enrich my garden bed.

My Failed Compost Heap

Now I have a compost heap, but it looks unsightly, could attract vermin, takes up a lot of space and hasn’t given me any useable compost. Plus I am limited with what kitchen waste can go on there. That’s mainly because I have forgotten to turn it. If I had turned it I might have attracted newts and slowworms, but still probably also the hairy mammals with nearly hairless tails. I’m just not good at tending to compost and neither my garden or the amphibians were benefiting. I’m clearly not that keen on the double handling! Though to give some credit a potato plant had established itself on the edge of my heap. It meant that still lots of food waste was being disposed of in my dustbin and being taken off to landfill. When household waste festers in black bins bags in landfill site, undergoing anaerobic fermentation creating lots of methane – one of the causes of global warming. With the trench or pit composting method, the air in the soil gives support to aerobic microbes which do not create methane.

The Dig It Once, Trench Method!

So imagine my delight when I found there was another way, the Trench Method. I immediately, set my plan in action and dug a trench along one end of my vegetable patch and gemmed up on the method.

It involves creating three strips side by side. One for your active trench. The second is for you to stand on so you don’t compact the soil. The third is for you to plant. The uses of each strip are rotated each year, so every bit of your vegetable plot or flower garden gets enriched over the course of three years.

Here is a diagram (thank you to The Gardening Cook)

The trench composting system, diagram

The trench composting system

It is also possible to dig pits instead of trenches and it might be more appropriate with some gardens.

Aim for a trench of 1 ft in depth. Tip your kitchen waste in a section of the trench and dig the kitchen waste in with some of the excavated earth. Top with the remainder of the earth, giving a covering layer of at least 4 inches. I then watered the area I had back filled. I’ll keep a check that the soil stays damp for the benefit of the worms and soil microbes.

What Happens to the Kitchen Waste Once It’s In The Trench?

In essence, the soil bacteria and worms break the organic waste down and to turn my kitchen waste into to humus and super plant nutrition.  More on worms later.

With all our tea leaves, we can create a moisture and nutritionally retentive soil so my plants don’t dry out. While we collect our own rain water, we ran out quite early in last summer. As we are on a water meter, the plants were on rations and didn’t develop to their full physical and intellectual potential.

The addition of humus makes the soil light in texture, better for drainage and aeration, enabling plant roots to grow and spread out and allowing rain water to percolate down to the root systems.

The soil will be enriched not only with humus, more moisture, but worms and microbes, which also help break down the minerals in soil and provide these resources to the plants.

How Long Does It Take?

Well, you know me, I’m rather impatient and like things to be quick. So have a look at this cross section of kitchen waste and soil which was mixed and layed in my trench about 4 weeks ago. Nearly everything has been broken down by soil bacteria.

cross section of my kitchen waste, four weeks after it was buried in the trench

A cross section of my kitchen waste, four weeks after it was buried in the trench. Nearly all of the waste has been broken down.

Not Just Any Old Worm

Mostly when I dig my garden I find mainly the earthworker type of worm, Lumbricus terrestris, the ones that leave worm casts on top of the soil and live up to 1 foot below ground. They build burrows and like to eat soil and leaves. There are other species of root worm which you would rarely see. These two types, while very welcome in my garden are not key for composting. The earthworker worm likes to pull carefully selected fresh leaves into it burrow and the root worms are mainly interested in rotting wood and leaves.

For break down my kitchen waste quickly, I need the assistance of composting worms, of which they are four main species:

Tiger worm, manure worm, brandling worm (Eisenia fetida) – they have yellow stripes;

Dendras, blue noses, (Dendrobaena venta) – olive, brown or violet in colour;

Redworm, bloodworm, red wiggler – lumbricus rubillus – red or maroon in colour with a yellow underside;

Reg tiger worm, dark red to purple with some stripes.

They live in the first foot of the soil and eat decaying organic matter and live in manure heaps and leap piles. So my plan for my next trench is to add in some partly rotted horse manure which comes with free red worms. I am hoping they will team up with the bacteria to break down my kitchen waste even faster.

This website gives you more details about worm identification.

What sort of Kitchen Waste can you Compost?

What can you add to a composting trench? A surprising array of kitchen and household waste can go into your pits or trenches. Another composting enthusiast, has listed 99 things you can compost.

It makes for interesting reading and now I know I can now add canned food liquids, dust bunnies, corks, wood ash, cut up cotton or wool clothing, cage cleanings from pets, razor trimming and finger and toe nails. I will also have a go at trench composting prawn shells, because it isn’t very nice to keep them in a domestic waste bin for up to two weeks! However, you can add more than kitchen waste to your composting trench or pit.

What Sort of Cosmetic and Cleaning Waste Can You Add?

Soapnuts foam as soon as water is added

Soapnuts foam as soon as water is added.

We could certainly add to the list, because our household waste included our spent Soapnuts shells after they have been used for washing clothes, making washing up liquid and household cleaner; We pack the soap nuts in brown paper bags, and not plastic, so everything we send you is planet friendly and it can all go in the trench once you’ve finished with it.







The silk flosses and vegan charcoal floss on a mossy background

The silk flosses and vegan charcoal floss

Some of my silk Dental Floss – the Dental Lace comes in a glass vial and refills are available; This floss packaging is of card and PLA (a biodegradable eco friendly clear film). So with this you can put your used silk floss in your compost bin.







This is my hair with bright sunlight shining on it. My natural hair colour is brown and grey. So this 'henna red.'

This is my hair with bright sunlight shining on it. My natural hair colour is brown and grey. So this ‘henna red.’


My cellophane Henna packet, with some tape made of craft paper and natural rubber glue; We also send out our Cassia, hair thickening conditioner and out Indian Indigo powder in these cellophane bags.  These cellophane bags will start biodegrading as soon as they get wet.









The end of my Miswak Stick– this now comes in a bag created from potatos which breaks down in composting conditions too;






Olive Toothbrush Sticks from the Olea europaea tree

Olive Toothbrush Sticks from the Olea europaea tree


The left overs of our Olive Sticks can be composted too, when you have worked them down to a stub, as can their potato starch packaging.







Hydrated fucus serratus

Hydrated fucus serratus British Seaweed very high in fucins and alginates.

Buried deep underneath are some Seaweed fronds which have been mainly used for making natural hair conditioner, but also as a household plant treat.







At the end of their lives these products can be cut up and composted: The copper and nettle exfoliating glove, the scrubbies and the sponges

The Copper and Nettle Exfoliating Glove, the amazing multicoloured Scrubbies which speed up housework no end, and the Sponges, Silk Fina in this photo, can also be composted once they have reached the end of their working life. But they are very durable, so it will take a while. Just cut them up first.






Our packing is of cardboard, straw, string, biodegradable fims and paper padded envelopes, plus a few rubber bands.

This is our range of compostable packaging.

You will see cardboard, corrugated card, the paper-waste filled envelope, a brown bag, a cellophane bag, a potato based bag, some string and a few rubber bands and brown paper tape. These can all be chopped up and added to your compost trench.

Can you Plant Straight in Your Compost Trench Away?

Well, I’m going to find out, if you really need to wait for a full year before planted the composting trench. After two weeks of starting my compost trench, I dug a cross section of my two week old trench and surprising little of my kitchen waste was recognisable. I decided to go for it and I started adding potatoes which had sprouted in my pantry. I thought if they can grow in my compost heap, then they might be able to grow in my kitchen waste trench. Well, I had a little peep and these potatoes are starting to grow. I don’t think it will be long before the leave shoots appear above ground. I will have the definitive answer in 90 days!

Already in my next compost bin is filling up, lots of tea leaves and some spent Seaweed which has been used in a conditioning henna treatment. The worms, bacteria and in due course the plants should find the seaweed very exciting!

Going forward, my vegetable plants are going to be indulged and will, I am sure respond with abundance. My husband and I will indirectly eat both our food waste and our cosmetic and cleaning waste and our household will be closer to being Zero-Waste. My starting list of 99 things you can compost, has increased and I can be a better guardian of this fragile planet.

indigo laundrey blue

How to Get your Washing Dazzling White with True Blue Indigo Laundry Bluing

One of the most common issues when using eco laundry products such as soapnuts or soapwort, is getting whites looking really white. After a few natural washes white clothing and bedding can become more grey and yellow, even when they are clean. It is more pronounced with hard water. The yellowy-grey is the actual colour of the fabric and up to now soapnuts users have resigned themselves to having off-whites.  However we do now have the number one eco solution to make your whites dazzling even when using natural laundry products and thought that you’d like to know. We can now get our whites looking like new with our traditional totally natural blue indigo laundry bluing!

Conventional washing powders and fabric conditioners contain chemicals of the stilbene group ‘optical brighteners’ – to whiten whites. These chemicals change light from the invisible ultraviolet and violet spectrum and re-emits it in the blue range of the visible spectrum by fluorescent emission. The blue light coming from the whites balances the yellowy-grey colour of the fabric and it looks white.

Unfortunately, this stilbene group of chemicals is harmful to aquatic life with long lasting effects. It is also harmful to humans. It is connected to respiratory difficulties and skin troubles and harms people with pre-existing eye conditions. I have noticed that my water board monitors this chemical in our drinking water, but as far as I know they do not remove it and it has long term aquatic toxicity…

What did people use to whiten their white laundry in the past?

Reaching back two generations, I remember my grandmother washing her ‘smalls’ (underwear) by hand. The magic happened when the rinse water was prepared. She would dip a block of laundry blu in and out of the rinse water, until she had tinted the water with just a hint of blue colour. Then she would add the washed clothing. Everytime, she would caution me about using too much! Then she would swirl her whites around in the water, leave them for a few minutes, before giving them another swirl. Finally she would pull the plug and wring the hand washing out. Her technique did mimic the use of true indigo, used by her pre-industrial ancestors, but actually she was using a post industrial revolution chemical form of laundry bluing and not the true indigo. You can guess what we use here – our natural and traditional indigo!

True Indigo Blocks

True Blue Indigo Blocks

Why use Traditional Indigo as Laundry Bluing

There are distinct advantages to using true indigo as laundry whitener, especially for people with skin troubles and psoriasis. Just by avoiding contact with chemicals from personal care, laundry and household cleaning products, people with skin or respiratory troubles can obtain relief. Then by replacing chemical washing powders and conditioners with natural products, it is possible to obtain further relief –  Soapnuts are used in Ayervedic medicine for the treatment of skin diseases and indigotin (the most important component of true Indigo) is being added to skin products formulated for people with psoriasis.

Be sure to use totally Natural and Traditionally prepared Indigo. To make our indigo skin friendly it is not reduced with chemicals, but with camel and goat urine. It gives us a product which is chemical free and skin friendly and no, your socks won’t smell of camels or goats – just really fresh! Most blue indigo for sale on the market is produced with chemicals – only true blue indigo is safe for skin contact and kind to your clothes!

Blue Indigo Powder

True Blue Indigo Powder

How do you use True Indigo as Laundry Bluing?

There are two ways.

In a Washing Machine

For washing whites in the washing machine, we place a tiny 1/4 tsp of Indigo Powder in a glass jar (ours held about 300ml of liquid). Make sure the lid fits well and that the jar is watertight. We add warm water and shake it to mix. This gives us enough for 4-5 machine loads. We add about 1/4 or 1/5 of our jar of indigo liquid to the fabric conditioner compartment of our washing machine, and the Soapnuts as usual, contained in an odd sock in the drum. My sheets come out lovely and they feel and look unusually clean!

See our video on how to make up your natural Optical Brightener

With Hand Washing

Wash your clothes with a soapnut solution and rinse the soap out in fresh water so you are ready for the blu rinse. Run warm water into the sink and then add just a little of the indigo solution from your jar. Or you put an indigo block in a cloth bag and dip the it in and out of the water to create the ‘blu’ rinse water. Then do what my grandmother did (as above) Finally let the bag and indigo block dry before putting it away otherwise it will stain your drawers!

May your whites be whiter and more natural than your neighbours!


In additional to laundry, I use soapnuts everyday – for natural rubber-glove-free washing up, surface cleaning, the loos, glass and shiny things.

True Indigo

For hand washing I use an indigo block dipping it in and out of the warm water a few times until just a hint of blue is obtained, but mostly I use it in my washing machine in the liquid form, adding it to the conditioner tray in each wash becuase textiles really do seem to stay fresher for longer when it is used.

window lathered with soapnuts, walnut shell and vinegar

Window Washing: Remove Haze and Cloudy Film from Windows and Stop Streaking without Chemicals 2019

Sometimes when you wash windows, they look worse afterwards than they did before cleaning! Does the window look streaky or is there a cloudy hazy film on the window? Streaking is caused by an insufficiency of cleaning or rinsing and the cloudy haze is caused by a mineral build up – The rains leaches minerals off the building which splash of the building and run onto the window.  A concrete-like scale builds on the glass and normal cleaners can’t remove it. On window cleaning forums people debate using hard core detergents, strong acids, razor blades and other extreme methods. However these will cause irreparable damage to the surface of the windows and strong chemicals are dangerous to use and store in the house. Both during the manufacture, the use and disposal, these strong chemicals are harmful to the environment. At Natural Spa Supplies, we believe that all of our day to day tasks can be accomplished with natural products and we love finding new ways of using traditional products.

So our window cleaning technique might be a bit quirky, but it works and it is safe:

Gather together

Soapnuts:  prepare the Soapnut liquid by standing a handful or two in a bowl of water until the liquid takes on colour.
Walnuts Shell Powder

A Copper and Nettle Exfoliating Glove … Yes you read that correctly – it means you can use the whole hand for the task, and this glove has real cleaning power. But I do now have a new product which I think works even better – and that is the Scrubby. What is that you might ask? – Well it is a cleaning pad designed specifically for dfficult cleaning tasks. The pad is about the same size as normal green scourer but it is made from cotton. The looped textile has been treated with a special environmentally friendly coating which makes those loops as hard as gypsum. I use these to make my washing up twice as fast, the Scrubbies help me also to cleaning stubborn dirt, uneven surfaces and best of all they work better than the exfoliating glove on the shower screen and windows. The Scrubbies last so much longer than any normal scouring pad and the bright colours fill me with that peculiar joy which comes from speady cleaning adventures. So read and view on, but picture on of these colourful Scrubbies in your mind’s eye!
a selection of scrubbies
A Honeycomb Sponge This one is a retired shower and bath sponge
A Rubber Squeegee
A bowl of water for rinsing, containing a splash of vinegar
A soft, clean lint free cloth for polishing away any final inperfections or a damp chamois leather


loading glove with walnut

loading glove with walnut

Place the Copper and Nettle Exfoliating Glove on your hand, wet it in the soapnut liquid – I mean the Scrubby!

For even extra cleaning power, use our scouring powder made from nut shells. So add a sprinkle of Walnut Shell Powder
Add a dash of vinegar for good luck!

Open your hand flat in the copper and nettle  exfoliating glove (ah hum, the Scrubby) and rub the soapnut liquid, ground shells and vinegar all over the window so the window is covered in a fine white lather. It is best to give the decoction a little time to work – perhaps move onto the next windows … Then take a second reprise, cleaning the window with the flat of the hand until the film is removed. Once you are certain all the film is gone (the window will squeek!), then use the sponge with fresh water to rinse all the grime and soap off the glass and dry the glass with a squeegee. Be sure to wash, rinse and dry all the window frames and the sill. Use a soft polishing cloth to polish away any remaining imperfections. For completeness, make sure there are no drips on the walls.

Wash your Exfoliating Glove thoroughly with anti-microbial Hemp Oil Soap to remove any grime or even give it a wash at 50 decrees Celsius in the washing machine. It will be as good as new. Likewise the Scrubbies are perfectly happy with a machine wash at 50°C and they will be more than ready for their next cleaning task!

It took just a few minutes to clean my workshop windows which have been neglected for a few years. Now I have perfected this cleaning task, I will do it more frequently and it will get much easier, especially as the film has gone. Here’s our Video on how to Wash Windows with Cloudy, Hazy Films. We hope you’ll give it a go! Remember – just think and see Scrubbies!

Video Inspiration



Many people think that going green is expensive, but at Natural Spa Supplies our products are great value. Our customers typically spend 5-13p doing a load of laundry with Soapnuts. You can even use our products if you are on a budget.

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Natural Spa Supplies Ltd
The Old Post Office, The Street,
Weybread, Diss, Norfolk IP21 5TL.
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