Monday, 23 May 2011

Soap nuts!

I am writing this post as there has been a lot of interest in how we got on with the soap nuts trial. We have been trying lately to rid ourselves of as many of the everyday chemicals as possible, in an attempt to make our lives more natural and greener of course. One of the things changed is the way the laundry is done, we were originally going to make our own environmentally friendly washing powder but in the end decided to give soap nuts a try.

So, here they are.... they don't actually look like they will do the laundry do they?

But it is so simple, just put a few soap nuts in the little bag and I usually wet the bag with hot water and give it a squeeze to give the saponins a head start and toss them in the machine, you don't even need to add fabric softener. We have also been adding a couple of drops of essential oil to the fabric softener drawer to give the laundry our choice of smell but this is not necessary. Each batch of soap nuts can be used for a few washes and composted when finished with, so each wash works out at just a few pence.

More importantly though the laundry has been coming out clean and soft, with absolutely no chemical smell at all. It has been a lovely surprise really, as I wasn't expecting it to work. Things just feel different, in a good way and there has been NO itching what so ever. The big test for me was the the towels, I love to have a soft fluffy towel when getting out of the shower and the soap nuts didn't let me down! While I can't say they clean better than washing products, they definitely do not clean any worse.

The soap nuts can actually be made into many cleaning products including shampoo, but we have not tried this yet. My husband has washed his hands with them after working on his bike and in the garden and they did come up very clean and soft but that's as far as the testing has gone. He was also excited to find some black seeds in our bag of soap nuts which he is now going to try and grow...I'll let you know how that comes along too.

If you would like to find out more about soap nuts you can read more here, or just search yourself.


  1. How interesting! My husband and I have been having a hard time with laundry detergent. His back itches all the time and I have psoriasis so my skin is always way sensitive. My dermatologist suggested putting vinegar in the rinse cycle, pouring it right where you would put softener. He said that would take out a lot of the residue left behind by the detergent and so far that's been helping quite a bit. We've been toying with the idea of making our own friendly detergent too. But now I'm going to research these soapnuts! I've never heard of them before!! Thanks so much for sharing this.

  2. I have a hard time with many of the chemicals in products, that is partly why we are on this quest to rid us of harsh chemicals.
    I haven't experienced any itching with these, good luck with your research and thank-you for reading :)

  3. Fascinating. Do they really work well on stains (there's a lot of stain action in our house)? And on whites?

  4. there are a lot of small children made stains here too! I think they work OK, as I said not cleaner than washing powder but not worse either, which is the main point.

    Most of our stains were not removed by the washing powder anyway and required separate actions... this was another thing that prompted us to try the soap nuts.

    But overall I'm happy with the washing now as there are less chemicals for the same outcome.

  5. Very interesting. Would love to give them a go but my son is allergic to nuts so don't think it would be a good idea. Very good review though.

    Madison xxx

  6. that is an interesting point, but I don't think they are actually nuts, they are the berries of the tree. They are considered pretty much allergy free but I don't know anyone with nut allergy who has tried these to confirm this :)

  7. I've never come across soap nuts before but they sound really interesting! I use a 'green' washing liquid but I could always be more environmentally friendly - I'll have a look to see if these are available in the UK :-)

    Jem xXx

    Thank you for your lovely comment earlier this week x

  8. thank-you for visiting. these are available in the UK :)