Several methods are used for the extraction of soil solution. The objective of this study was to find out to what extent the different extraction methods yield complementary or equivalent information. Soil solutions were sampled once at 10 different forest sites in Germany, with 4 sampling points per site, using 5 different extraction methods. Concentrations of the major ions in the 1:2 extracts and the equilibrium soil-pore solutions (obtained from percolation of field-fresh soil cores) were generally lower than in desorption solutions, suction-cup solutions, and saturation extracts. Surprisingly, the latter three methods generally yielded equivalent results. However, possible systematic differences between these methods could have been masked by the high small-scale spatial variability within the sites.