Have You Tried Soap Nuts?

soapnuts Laundry is the bain of my existence. I have 2 kids that do what kids do – get dirty. So I am constantly working on a re-wash pile because for some reason basic life stains like dirt and chocolate seem to need to be washed twice even if they’ve been treated. I hate laundry.

Lately I’ve been reading some buzz online about soapnuts. So while out at the health food store a couple weeks ago I picked up a pack for $10 and decided to give them a try.

These dried fruit shells come from the Soap Nut Tree, which is grown in Nepal, India and Indonesia. The fruit shells have been used in India and China for centuries, and are now gaining popularity in America and Europe as a renewable, biodegradable and organic alternative to chemical detergents and expensive “green” laundry soaps.

For my first test I just threw 8 nuts in the muslin bag that was included and washed my clothes. Because they don’t really have a odour(a mild vinegar smell) and they don’t froth like soap does I didn’t think that they’d work. But to my surprise my whites were white and some stains that had been left from a previous wash were gone. The second wash was darks so it was harder to see if the clothes were clean, but I did notice that the colors were bright. Even after being in the dryer, the colors were not faded or dull. The next test was my kitchen laundry. The kids put my cloths and towels through the ringer when they spill or clean their dirty faces after spaghetti or saucy dinners. Again, I was pretty impressed with the outcome. Deep down stains were still visible, but the new stains had been washed out.

After doing some research I learned that you can boil the soapnuts and use the concentrate much like liquid detergent. So I added 10 or so soapnuts to 6 cups of water and boiled up a batch of cleaner. This is the way to get your best value out of the nuts as it gets all of the saponin out, while allowing you to make a batch that will last up to 30 washes. Once it was done I let it cool, strained out the pieces and stored the ‘tea’ in a plastic container.

Soap Nuts tea

I’ve also found a million non-laundry ways to use this concentrate.  I use it on my walls, windows and countertops during my weekly go through of the house and also tried it on my floors but it dried a bit sticky.

Now that I’ve used soapnuts for almost a month I have noticed there are a few different brands of them, which made me wonder what the difference was. My package says that I can only use the ‘nuts’ in the wash for twice, while others claim that they can be used as many as 10 times. While at the ABC show in September, I met with eco-nuts, one of the companies that says their ‘variety’ is good for 10 washes.  When I questioned the rep on the different claims she told me she sold the very best variety and hers were more robust. Upon closer inspection I couldn’t tell the difference between her product and the others that I had purchased.  I could say that they work just as well as the original set that I bought, which is what I am looking for.

Soapnuts are a good choice for new parents because they are mild enough to wash babies clothes or diapers.  They also don’t contain any harsh chemicals so they are ideal for those with sensitive skin, eczema, allergies, and psoriasis.

And because you keep the bag in for the whole wash, they essentially clean your clothes twice.  I have been happy with using soapnuts and they are now a staple in my laundry room.  They are a good multi-use product that is easy on the environment and also convenient to take on vacation to ensure that you always have something to get your clothes clean.  Plus, they come in a nice muslin bag that I use to store action figures in when it’s empty!

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About the author

Lisa Arneill

Founder of Growing Your Baby and World Traveled Family. Canadian mom of 2 boys, photo addict, lover of bulldogs, and museumgoer. Always looking for our next vacation spot!

1 Comment

  • Where to Buy From?
    When you have known much about soap nuts, now the question comes, where to buy it from? Yes, this is an easy question for which you get an answer right away!
    “Buy Soap Nuts from Nepal“
    Yes, the best decision is to buy from Nepal. Here are some reasons why you need to place Nepal in the first place while you decide to purchase soap nuts.
    ? Place of Origin
    The first and fore most reason is because Nepal is the origin of soap nuts. Since ancient times, people from Nepal are using soap nuts for their household purposes like bathing, washing clothes etc. Therefore, it would not be an exaggeration if we say that these people are the native expert about using soap nuts. Soap Nuts are abundantly found in the wild forests of Nepal.
    ? Sapindus Mukorossi Type
    Another important reason is because Nepalese soap nuts are Sapindus Mukorossi type and these are the best soap nuts you can ever find. Its a truth that soap nuts are also found in India, a neighboring country of Nepal. However, the difference is that Indian Soap Nuts are Trifoliatus type. The photo in attachment will give you an idea of how they look like.
    We are an exporter of Soap Nut (SAPINDUS MUKOROSSI) from Nepal. We harvest our own soap nuts from the Himalayan region. Our product is certified as organic by USDA
    The shell contains a high level of saponins which is an excellent hair tonic and is also known for its ability to cleanse and wash and used in cleansing lotion, protein shampoo, and protein shampoo with conditioner.
    Soap nut, highly effective mild and natural, preserves the colors and the structure of your valuable clothing longer than chemical detergents
    We also offer packaging per your requirements. We also offer custom packaging with your own artwork, logo, text, a product completely ready for your customer. We offer muslin drawstring bags for the soap nuts to be thrown into the washer.It can be reused many times.
    If you need soap Nuts from Nepal, we are there for a steady and long term supply .
    Some portions of the sales help support an orphanage and a single mom income generation program in the region.

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