Have you ever tried washing your clothing with Soap Nuts? Maybe I should ask, have you ever even heard of soap nuts? I had not heard of these little nuts, well actually they are berries but I'll get to that in a bit. I learned about soap nuts when I received a handful in my last Homegrown Collective subscription box. I should have done a full review of this box as it was really amazing. I learned so much about eco-friendly, non-toxic ways to do my laundry. It was really eye-opening and I've actually been excited for laundry day to roll around so I can use all my new products!
I've used the soap nuts for four loads of laundry now and I am really liking the results. My clothes are coming out of the laundry fresh and clean. It's pretty amazing!
So, what is a soap nut? They are the dried shells of berries which are grown on trees found in the Himalaya's. Yes they are grown on trees, so you this is definitely a natural, organic alternative to laundry soap. You can't get much more natural then that I would think! The reason they effectively clean your clothes is they have a substance saponin in them which is the "soap." The detergent action of the saponin comes to play when warm/hot water and agitation stimulates its release. Saponin acts a surfactant which is what helps break down oils and frees the dirt and grime from your laundry. It is just like what all those synthetic chemicals do to clean your clothes. Saponin won't foam up as much as what we are all used to from our synthetic soaps. Just because it doesn't give you that "normal" amount of bubbling action, doesn't mean it won't clean. This is important to remember and ingrain in your head. This will actually help clean your clothes better as you won't get any leftover soap/chemical residue in your clothing. They are going to be squeaky clean and chemical free. Woo hoo!!
Soap nuts are safe for use in HE washing machines. What you'll do is place 3-4 soap nuts in a small canvas drawstring bag and tie it tightly. Don't worry if the bag does happen to open during the wash cycle, it only means you'll have to hunt through your clothing to find the loose nuts. Toss the tied bag directly into the wash basin. You can leave them in the entire time, even during the rinse cycle. Now, if you wash your clothes with cold water, you will want to first place the bag of soap nuts, using 6 nuts, in a small jar and add HOT water. Seal the jar tightly and shake it up and down really good, until you see some good froth. Dump the water with the bag of soap nuts into your wash basin, along with your clothes, and wash as normal.
It's almost seems too simple to be real, but it is and I love it! If you'd like to try soap nuts yourself, you can find many different options to try here.