Nope, those aren’t meatballs, and they’re not dates either. These little nuts hold in them the power to fight stains, freshen smells, and make all of your wildest laundry dreams come true! Enter in: Soap Nuts!
After making our own laundry soap for a few years, we decided to mix things up a bit and see what else is out there in the laundry department. Rachel did some research and found these lovely little nuts. I’d beg to say that they are the gentlest, most natural way to clean your clothes as well as the most economical! They have absolutely no harsh chemicals, preservatives, colorings or scents. Talk about a quadruple win 🙂 The reason these little nuts work as a laundry cleaning alternative is that their shells contain a substance called saponin that produces a soaping effect. This, in turn, cleans your clothes!
Soap nuts are a fruit of the Sapindus Mukorossi tree found mostly in Nepal, India, and a few other South Asia countries. What’s so great about these nuts is that the harvesting process is natural and super simple. After the nuts fall from the tree, local families and farmers harvest these, remove the seeds, and dry them in the sun. No manufacturing or processing is ever needed! The seeds themselves contain no saponin and are therefore removed from the shell and are used for planting more trees or even to make jewelry.
Another added bonus is that they are very gentle on baby and sensitive skin. The nuts also help preserve your clothes and are not harsh like other detergents. Also, because they are low sudsing, they can be used in HE washers. We’ve been using soap nuts in an HE machine for over 2 years, and I’ve never had any problems.
Alright, so how do we use them?!
It’s so unbelievably simple!
When you are ready to do a load, place 4-6 soap nuts in a small, muslin tie bag (when you buy soap nuts, they come with a few of these bags. Alternatively, you can use a mesh lingerie bag as well).
Side note: DID YOU KNOW THAT WE SELL SOAP NUTS?! We love NaturOli Soap Nuts and their other products so much, and we want to share that with you. So, when you’re done reading this, I encourage you to head to our store and check them out!
Now back to the washing machine. Once you’ve placed your soap nuts in a bag, simply throw it directly into the drum of you washing machine along with the rest of your clothes. For best results, use warm or hot water, but I honestly haven’t gone wrong using these with a cold load either.
Once the load is finished, take the bag out and dry your clothes. I just leave the bag in the drum of my washer to be used next time because (THIS IS SUPER COOL!…) the bag of nuts can be used for 4 or 5 loads of laundry! You’ll know when they need to be changed because they will turn dull and gray. In that case, you can compost them (or dispose in the trash).
An easy way to remember all the numbers is 5 nuts in a bag and wash 5 times. Simple right? If you wish to add a boost of scent to your load of laundry like I do, you can add 3-5 (or more depending on your preference) drops of essential oil such as Tea Tree or Lavender. These oils also add an extra boost of cleaning power since they have antimicrobial properties.
So how worth it are soap nuts? You can get about 10 loads per one ounce of soap nuts that you buy. For example, a 32 oz. bag of nuts can wash about 320 loads. A 50 oz. container of Tide Liquid Detergent can wash about 32 loads. That’s a big difference!
In the past, Rachel and I have purchased a 2 lb. bag for under $40 and share it. This lasts us well over a year! How cool is that? Imagine not having to buy laundry detergent for a year or two! And as a bonus, I put them in a clear jar above my washing machine…they look nice and they easily start a conversation when someone looks over and says, “What are those?!” 🙂
Soap nuts can also be used for general household cleaning by soaking them in a water solution. If you would like to learn more about soap nuts and their dozens of other uses, feel free to visit the NaturOli site. I just barely scratched the surface here by sharing my most favorite way of using them.
One last thing: did you notice those cute dryer balls in the picture above? Those are super simple to make, and they have many wonderful benefits such as cutting down on drying time, reducing static and decreasing wrinkles.
If you have any questions about how to use soap nuts or how to purchase them from our store, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact us!