Soap Nuts

We have begun using soap nuts for our laundry. For those who have never heard of them (about a fortnight ago I hadn’t either), they are a natural well nut/ berry type thing that grows in India (I don’t know if other countries do grow them but I’ve only heard of India), that when placed in 30 degrees Celsius water gives off Saponins (a natural surfactant), which produces a mild cleaning. To use in a washing machine, you put (depending on load) an average of about 3 shells (though they generally are split in half so 6 half shells) into a muslin type bag that is normally supplied with them (just like getting a ball to pour liquid detergent into is often supplied with the bottle it comes in) and put in with your laundry. Nothing else is required. Honest. We did a load of laundry that contained a pair of trousers Bambi had accidentally peed with just the soap nuts and they came out soft and smelling fresh, no urine smell at all. Bambi suffered with eczema when he was a baby and has flare-ups now and then and soap nuts are supposedly brilliant for those with eczema and allergies as they are a natural product, so that is an added bonus to using them.

The reasons we only used the soap nuts on their own were 1) to test out how good they were 2) you do not need fabric softener as soap nuts also have a natural softener in them and 3) although you can use essential oils if you wish a particular smell we didn’t have any the first time using the soap nuts. I ordered some essential oils online and so I did a laundry load yesterday of bed linen and used about 5 drops of lavender essential oil (would only have used 4 but Bambi was helping me pour bottle so ended up with 5) directly onto pillow case and the load came out with a lovely subtle lavender smell. Please note though it is advised not to put essential oils on materials as it may stain, but as this was an older pillowcase I didn’t mind but when I checked the pillowcase there was no stains.

The only problem we have found is keeping track of how many times the soap nuts have been used, as they can be re-used. One set of 3 shells will do 2 or 3 laundry load (depending on again size of load/ how soiled load is), and as I live with my parents, they may use them for a load and I may not know about it, therefore run the risk of using them too many times and not getting the Saponins out of them. Solution: create a tracker to well keep track of them! So that’s what I did, and am making it available to you too! I’ve designed it to be re-usable, so print it off and laminate it, then use a dry-erase marker to mark off. I’ve done the font colour in a traffic light system to help with alerting you to when the soap nuts need to be changed, because as I previously said they can be used 2 or 3 times depending on load.

Leave your comments to let me know what you think. Thanks for reading and downloading.

Soap nuts

Preview of soap nuts tracker


Click here to download

Note: You are free download as many copies as you like but please do not use for commercial gain.


3 thoughts on “Soap Nuts

  1. Pingback: Essential oils galore | Loveneverfails2014

  2. I have been eyeing soap nuts for some time now and wasn’t sure because like you I wash a lot of pee clothes. Thank you so much for letting me know, they work! Whoohoo, will be purchasing some now.

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