One last post before heading off to Seattle for Best of the Northwest. How is that for promotion?
This turned out to be a bit longer project than imagined in that the first time I let it set around too long and it molded. The recipe, such as it is, came off of Wikipedia for better or worse. It called for 20 horse chestnuts to 6 liters of rain water. The first problem was coming up with that much rain water, but if finally started to rain-YEAH! Even so, I went with considerably less water as you can see here.
I let this sit for a couple of days and it did turn milky white.
I strained off the liquid and then let that sit around long enough to let the sediment sink. Then I poured it off into a tub-lots of suds-that is a good sign for soap!
This is the before picture of a stained doily that I used for the experiment.
I let it soak for about an hour and it did get it pretty clean. The weird thing is that in addition to the brown stains it had very faint splatter type pink stains-I think those got even darker, although they don't show well in the picture.
As far as getting linen to turn blue, that didn't happen, so I didn't bother to take any pictures. I would say it is a pretty good cleaning agent, it is possible if I had let it sit over night it would have totally bleached out the stains. I would be interested to see if it would "bleach" colored paper or maybe naturally dyed fabrics. I saved the left overs in a mason jar for further experiments. One should be cautious with this soap as horse chestnuts do contain poisons, so whether it is "safer" than commercial soaps is a question.
Hope to see you in Seattle!