Using Soap Nuts For Laundry Detergent
A few months ago my wife and I went to France. We booked a nice apartment in Vannes on AirBnB (that link will get you $25 off when you sign up for AirBnB) complete with a washing machine.
The owner was kind enough to let us know that the laundry detergent was in the closet. When I opened the closet to find the laundry detergent all I found was a more or less empty closet with a bag of nuts inside.
After we and I both dismissed the bag of nuts as definitely not being laundry detergent we decided there had been a misunderstanding, and reached out to the owner of the apartment.
The owner of the apartment kindly explained to the stupid American (my words, not hers) that they were soap nuts, and to just chuck a few in with our clothes and they’d magically be cleaned. To our disbelief the soap nuts worked amazingly well, and that is how I was introduced to the wonderful hippy magic of soap nuts!
No more story telling from me, here is how to use soap nuts also sometimes called soap berries for laundry.
Here’s what’s so awesome about soapnut laundry detergent:
That’s it, all you need is a bag of these awesome little fellows and you’ll have some delightfully clean clothes in no time! This is by far the easiest homemade laundry detergent out there. It’s so easy, you don’t really even need to make anything!
Crack the Soap Nuts
The first thing you need to do when using soap nuts for laundry detergent is to crack the soap nuts. They’re pretty soft, so I just did it by hand, but a hammer or a heavy pot would probably do the job just as well if not better.
Simply break each nut into 2-4 large chunks and you should be fine.
The reason you want to break up the soap nuts is to increase the surface area and therefore the amount of soaping the nuts can do!
Bag your Soap Nuts
When you buy soap nuts for laundry detergent the seller will usually provide you with some sort of bag you can use to hold the soap nuts when you use them in the washing machine. If not, a basic fabric bag of some sort should work just fine.
Time to do Laundry
Then just chuck them into the washing machine. Nothing special to do here. Wash your clothes like normal and be amazed by the magic of soap nuts.
The nuts themselves have a slightly vinegary smell, but never fear by the time your clothes are clean the only discernible scent will be freshness!
Repeat 4 – 7 Times
Another really nice thing about soap nuts is that they can be reused several times before you throw them away. The packaging for these soap nuts said they can be used 4 – 7 times before they need to be replaced.
So far that has been accurate for me, usually lasting 5 – 6 loads.
The soap nuts in the picture above have already been used once, and they look identical to the fresh ones further up in the post. Soap nuts will become mushy and begin to grey in color when they need to be replaced.
How well do SoapNuts work for Laundry?
They work great! From the first time I used soap nuts to wash laundry I was completely blown away. They are so simple it kind of just blows my mind.
The soapnuts don’t leave behind any scent. They don’t give your clothes any weird texture. Soap nuts don’t even leave any residues behind.
I think I may have found my perfect homemade laundry detergent, but that won’t stop me from still trying others!
One of the greatest things about using soap nuts to wash your laundry is that when they are worn out you can just compost them! I’ll have to start composting soon if I keep using soap nut for laundry detergent.
Now that you know how to use soap nuts as a natural laundry detergent, pick yourself up some soap nuts from Amazon and give them a shot!
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- Soap Nuts
- Strong Hands/Hammer/Heavy Pot
- Small Fabric Bag
- Crack soap nuts each in 2-4 pieces.
- Place cracked soap nuts into fabric bag and tie shut.
- Toss the little bag of soap nuts into the wash and start your load.
- Yes, it's that easy! Now go try it!