On the quest in searching for more natural cleaning products (hello handmade soap craze), I recently discovered Soap Nuts!
You may be asking, what are soap nuts?
Soap nuts are a natural (non-edible) fruit that grows on trees found in China, India, Southern Asia, Hawaii and parts of the US. They contain saponins, a natural cleaning agent that works just as good as your local store bought detergent, but without all the extra chemicals!
Maybe you have already heard of them! Well did you ever try soap nuts for lingerie? Did you know they are great to take with you when you go camping? Get cozy in that sleeping bag or tent! (Hehe)
There are a few ways to use soap nuts:
Toss in bag and wash!
This is the easiest and no fuss way. Simply put 3-4 soap nuts into a reusable cloth bag, tie it shut, and toss into the washing machine along with your dirty clothes! No need to add fabric softener, soap nuts will soften for you! Use less when washing in hot or warm water, use more when washing in cold water. Best of all you can reuse the soap nuts around 10 times until they become mushy. Toss into the compost bin when they are all used up! *If your clothes feel stiff after washing, that’s due to having added too many into the load. After the next wash it will become soft again*
Soap Nut “Tea”
A slightly more involved way but still pretty easy! You can either boil the soap nuts directly in a pot with water, or let them “soak” in a cloth bag in warm or boiled water.
I found Crunchy Betty’s post on soap nuts very informative in the boiling method. You can do this beforehand and keep the liquid in your refrigerator up to 2 weeks! (Surely that’s enough time for another laundry load right?)
The “tea” way is great for camping trips! What you do differently from above is you simply soak the soap nuts (and cloth bag) in a pot with sunlit water or boiled water for real dirty clothes. When the boiled water has just started to cool, use a stick (or tongs if you have them) and swish your clothes in the soapy water. You can also dig a hole in the ground and line with tarp if you have that. Wait until the water has cooled completely before touching with bare hands to hang and dry (or use your tongs if you can’t wait for the water to cool). Easily dispose of dirty water into the ground, it’s perfectly safe! The dried soap nuts I find are easier to carry in a backpack than in their liquid form. You can also use them to wash other things too so less to bring with you!
Soap Nuts for Lingerie? I decided to try these magical nuts out on lingerie after reading through a Reddit thread from a few months ago, and I’m pleased to say it works perfectly well! I’m typically pretty lazy with my lingerie as I hate handwashing…tossing in some soap nuts after they have been used on other clothes. I do wash lingerie in a mesh bag, and always on gentle or cold cycle. Both toss and tea methods work great, just depends how much time you have! Hooray for a smaller eco footprint!
Do you have any experiences with soap nuts? Or want to give it a try?