Saturday, 15 October 2011

Nutty Laundry!

With 4 energetic, playful, exploring and rather messy children it goes without saying that we get through many loads of laundry in our house.

I want to quickly tell you about an all natural and yet still very effective product that I use to do my many loads of laundry which I have been using for 3 years.

Soap Nuts!
God created a special nut that grows on trees and is perfect for washing.  It's chemical free (yay), washes really well (bigger yay!) and is cheap, cheap, cheap! (biggest yay)  

Pictured below is a small load of mine sloshing away - look at that lovely foam!

So what are soap nuts and where do I get them from?
I buy them on ebay.
Here's what one ebay seller says about them:
'A natural soap that very literally grows on trees. The Soapnut is a multi use detergent product, with no added chemicals. it helps relieve skin issues caused by standard laundry powders, such as eczema and rosacea. With the soapnuts being a natural product they are free from the toxic chemicals you would find in your standard laundry detergents.
Soapnuts are the product of the Ritha Tree (sapindus mukurossi), a rather lovely tree that grows very happily throughout Asia. The soapberry is the fruit of this tree and it defends itself naturally from bugs and whatnot by producing saponin within the fruit. This is jolly good stuff from our point of view as it is essentially a naturally occurring soap. The soapberries are collected from the tree and the seeds within removed. The outer part of the berry is then dried. This is the bit we call the soapnut.
With the soapnuts being a natural product they are free from the toxic chemicals you would find in your standard laundry detergents. Chemicals like Phosphates, Phenols, Sodium Sulphate, Ammonia, surfactants and artificial fragrances. All of these carry potential health risks which can include allergies, asthma, skin and eye irritation not to mention the damage that is caused when these items enter the water course, which is significant. Individually they can be quite dangerous enough but combined they really can be more harmful than you may have previously considered.
The production of soapnuts is a friendly one too, providing work which is not enormously skilled to local people. This of course gives an income to the local populace which of course is a good thing.
They are excellent value for money - giving up to 200 washes from a 500g bag.' 

Here is a link to their selling page - LINK

This seller sells the sticky kind which are better washers than the very dried out ones.  There many sellers on ebay to choose from, but be careful to get the sticky kind if you can.  I bought my last lot as a bulk order - cost me £30 and should be enough to last me about a year!  

This is the seller I used - Click Here 

Do I use anything with the soapnuts?
I do add soda crystals to a lot of my loads of washing which helps to soften the water....  it is good for the washing machine and gives a little extra boost to loads with some stubborn stains.  If you have a grease mark to deal with you should get the affected area wet and then rub in some washing up liquid (I use Ecover)  It is important to treat the grease spot before it's first wash for best results.

Why not give them a go?


  1. I never realised you could get sticky soapnuts! I'm sure the ones I tried a few years ago were very dried out. Do the sticky ones make a lot more suds?

  2. I've been using these on your recommendation for a year now and have been recommending them to others myself. It's great if you can use natural over synthetic products - for your own body and for the environment.

  3. Hi Rachel - yes using the sticky ones do make a difference on performance. Soap nuts do not make LOADS of suds like the traditional detergents because they do not contain the chemicals that produce lots of suds. We are so used to seeing lots of suds that when we don't see very much we have a tendency to think that the soapnuts are not working... but they are! :O) Your laundry won't have a strong citrus or 'other' smell either as there are no perfumes, but I like this - the laundry just smells clean.. no fake perfume smell. I also have started keeping the soapnut bag in a jar of water in between washes (if there is going to be a break in usage) as I read recently that that keeps them more effective. You can use the same bag of nuts for about 4 washes.

  4. Demelza mentioned these to me. She said you used them. Interesting. Love what you did with your last photo :D

  5. so i just purchased some soapnuts off of ebay!! i'm really excited about it! i have made the natural detergent before, but ben wasn't too impressed with the results. so, we are going to give this a shot! thanks so much for the info.