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I don't like soap nuts

I wasn't impressed w/ soap nuts. Any use for them outside of laundry? They were expensive and I don't want to throw them away.

I think cuz I have children I need to stick with soap....can you use soap nuts to make a cleaner for something else?


  • I only recently heard of soap nuts. What did you not like about them? Were they not very affective? Did you put them straight up in your laundry or did you make a serum with them? I'm so curious! I've thought about using them for my laundry......I don't have kids yet.

  • I used them before. I tought the smell was kind of bad, so I used to put some essential oil in the water of the washing machine. They were working "ok" but I wasn't impress as well.

    You have to think that these are natural, so they are not washing as good as a chemical soap will do. It depends of what you want. I think that you might want to put them in hot water for a while, then use it to handwash some clothes or small things that aren't so dirty, instead of throwing them.

    It's just an idea, I guess you would have to try some exprimental things ;)

  • I knew of a lady who made a sort of liquid by making soaking them...? Anyway, she said it worked better than just throwing them in the load.

  • about 4 months ago i tried making my own natural, homemade laundry soap using: natural or castille soap, washing soda (also called 'soda ash', a higher concentrated version of sodium bicarbonate: baking soda), and borax. you can easily search online for a recipe. basically you grate the natural soap into flakes, heat water and disolve the flakes...cool, add washing soda and borax.

    i must say, this is a LOVELY natural soap and a 'joy' to make. my recipe made 2 full gallon jugs. it made my 5or6 year old bed sheets suddenly have a gorgeous sheen like they were high thread count or something ; ) and believe me they are not. Noticed a nice sheen with other fabrics as well. White vinegar is also a very nice fabric softener. i have no complaints.

    the only hassle was ordering the 'pure' washing soda online, which was cheap but had to pay shipping... avoid arm and hammer washing soda as it only contains like 30%ws and has bleach and additives. apparently they carry pure washing soda at art supply stores (which is the type of business i ordered from) + for other 'odd' uses so you might be able to find it in town. it was only like 4 bucks for a big bag.

    just thought i'd offer an alternative for consideration.

  • I bought a 1 lb bag (150 of them) for about $16. They come with baby cotton drawstrings and you just throw it in with your load. I was wondering the same thing about soaking them. I think that it doesn't work well, but the guy at the health food store has a lot of kids and they use the product and are happy with it. It's probably just my sons :)

    I was wondering if I could soak them for a different kind of clean like for wood floors or something. Soak them in the bathtub or something...

    I'm a big fan of vinegar water myself and haven't found anything I like to clean with more.

  • I have thoroughly enjoyed the soap nuts for my laundry. I developed this horrible rash whenever I sleep on regular-washed sheets so I needed an alternative. I never minded that it didn't smell "clean", but I'm sure if it ever bothers me I'll just put some oil in it as well. That's too bad that you didn't like them.

  • ambiguousambiguous Raw Newbie

    You can use soap nuts for cleaning pretty much anything--including hair and skin. I've kept a few in a glass in the shower, where I can fill with warm water then use the resulting liquid as a gentle shampoo. However, I wouldn't use them on my wood floors without someone's testimony that it's totally safe. Though my floors have a water-based finish, so I also wouldn't use vinegar water.

    I think boiling the nuts would be more efficient than soaking to create a creating a liquid cleanser. I also was not impressed with their performance in the laundry, though like chattanoog I appreciated the lack of a rash.

  • Soap nut powder can be used to wash the entire body and hair replacing the need for soaps, shower gels, shampoos and, in most cases conditioners and moisturizers. Skin is left soft, smooth and more resistant to infections an insect bites. The powder also has a deodorizing effect.

    4 oz of soap nuts will make approximately 2.5 Quarts of Soap nut Juice. Instructions on how to make this can be found below. Soap nut juice can be used for many purposes.

    ? As a gentle natural hair shampoo

    ? When you think you've extracted all the saponine, throw the Soap nuts (excluding seeds) in your blender with a bit of water and you'll have a wonderful 'liquid soap

  • I bought a big bag of soap nuts about a year and a half ago. I have 7 kids. My husband and son work cleaning water towers, they get really dirty!!!! I also have a 5 year old that gets really, really dirty. The soap nuts did not do a very good job on getting their stuff clean.

    I love the fact that they are good for the environment. And I do like the smell of them. I feel good when I know they are good for our skin. Also, the 2 bags that I had lasted about a year and a half, that is good savings.

    Thank you assabur for the recipes, I knew they could be used for more, but wasn't sure what to do with them. Now I think I will order more of them. I don't like spending the money at the store on regular detergents.

    Where do all of you buy your soap nuts???

  • Great discussion!

    My wife and I are expecting, so we are trying to rid our house of chemicals as much as possible. We started using soap nuts several months ago and love them! We like them so much that I started selling them at our soap stand (we make handmade soap and sell it at an organic market farmer's market on the weekends).

    @MarionValleyGirl - Sorry to hear that you didn't like them. Are you putting at least 5 cracked nuts (10 halves) in the cotton bag at a time? For whites, we add vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. For tough soiling and stains, we scrub with baking soda or borax before washing.

    @Assabur - Great information! We also make "tea" with our soap nuts and use that instead of shampoo. I like it a lot better than shampoo because I don't like the fact that shampoo seems to strip my hair too much and leave it tangled. The soap nut tea doesn't do that. One procedural note: We boil ours, let it steep overnight and then boil it again the next day for a deep amber colored, strong tea. Then I put this in a plastic bottle with a few drops of tea tree, mint, and eucalyptus essential oils (a favorite combination of mine). This makes a FANTASTIC cleansing hair rinse!

    Other uses: In India, soap nut tea is very commonly used to clean jewelry, specifically gold. Yes, this tea can be used to clean around the house as well. I use it to clean counter space. Also, the soap nut tea makes the perfect wash for your fruits and veggies. What better to wash a fruit than another fruit (or nut)?

    I'll send a free sample of soap nuts to anyone interested. Just pay shipping. Here's the link to my online store, specifically the free sample: free soap nuts sample.

    We call them "washberries" because I like the sound of that better. But it's the same plant -- sapindus mukorossi.

  • I LOVE soap nuts! Been using them for several years now, almost exclusively; the only items I don't wash with them are sheets, blankets, tablecloths as they tend to get all twisted up with the bag of nuts. I think they work great. Our clothes are clean and don't smell of chemicals, and soap nuts seem to last forever.

  • I've always wanted to try soapnuts! Now I will.

  • I love soapnuts, and luckily in the UK they are very cheap. I also use bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and/or white vinegar for extra cleaning boost. Plus I add some essential oil to the vinegar if I want a nice smell. Bicarboate of soda reacts with vinegar to make sodium acetate, (plus water and CO2) and sodium acetate is used to make textiles more durable so using both will actually make your clothes last longer. Incidently sodium acetate is also used to flavour salt and vinegar crisps!

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