I first bought a box of Eco Nuts Soap Nuts off of Amazon to give them a try. We use a lot of natural products & I thought using dried berries (that produce saponin when agitated in hot water) to clean clothing was a great idea. I tossed 4-5 in the included bag, placed it in the washer, & washed my clothes normally. The “nuts” suds up naturally and act as a natural fabric softener in the rinse cycle. My clothes came out clean & soft; this is even easier than homemade laundry soap!
The berries are good until they become brittle & paper like in texture (6-10 washes.) It is okay if you accidentally throw the bag in the dryer, you don’t have to throw them out! They work in front loading washers & high efficiency washers too. The Eco Nuts were $10 for 6.5 oz (plus 2 muslin bags.) My next purchase was from a local health food store. The Four Nuts by Nature bag was $11.95 for 8.8 oz (plus 1 muslin bag.) After that purchase I read the bag & started thinking of trying the soap nuts for more than laundry.
The truth is, I experimented and it worked out fantastically! I made a base recipe of soap nuts & distilled water and from there I added oils and extra ingredients for my projects. I was able to create liquid laundry soap, effective household & floor cleaner (and I learned how to refill my Swiffer Wet Jet bottle along the way) and tried out liquified soap nuts in the shower too. When using the liquid soap nuts as a surface cleaner, I find it best to add vinegar & isopropyl alcohol to the mixture. This prevents a slightly oily residue from being left behind & the cleaner works wonders on your mirrors, windows, sinks, floors, & counter tops! I put my household cleaner in a large spray bottle & refrigerated it. It has been over 6 weeks & there are no signs of spoiling.
Soap Nuts Recipes
- On the stove top, in a large pot, bring 6 cups of distilled water to a boil
- Add 12 whole soap nuts (berries) & reduce to a simmer
- Cover 3/4 of the way (leave room for ventilation) and simmer for one hour
- Remove from heat but leave the liquid & soap nuts in the pot for several hours until cooled
- Once cooled, strain the liquid into jars or other containers (refrigerate)
- Use soap nuts whole: place 4-5 berries in a muslin bag & tie shut. Place bag in washer & wash as usual. Remove bag before drying clothes and hang to dry.
- Make a liquid laundry soap: Mix 2 cups of the base recipe with 10 drops of essential oil (I use lavender tea tree oil & peppermint oil.) Add 2 Tbsp of the liquid to a load of laundry, wash as usual.
Household & Floor Cleaner
- 2 cups liquid soap nuts
- 1/2 cup distilled water
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup isopropyl alcohol ( I used 70%)
- 15 drops essential oil ( I used Lavender Tea Tree Oil & Peppermint Oil)
I keep mine in a spray bottle in the fridge & in my Swiffer Wet Jet
– Bring a small pot of water to a low boil
– Remove from heat
– Submerge the cap-end of the bottle into the water for 10+ minutes and twist off the cap (it will open easily when ready)
– Snip off the inner teeth on the cap with scissors/nail clippers
Body Wash & Shampoo
To the basic Liquid Soap Nuts, I added a little argan oil & tangerine oil. The liquid works to clean your body but it does not suds up. I did not use it as a shampoo but it can be used to clean the hair. Soap Nuts body wash has a very thin consistency. Keep in a plastic bottle in the shower.
Overall I am amazed at how well soap nuts work and I can not get over how clean my windows & mirrors are! I’ve tried other homemade vinegar-based solutions to clean and this is a far superior cleaning solution. It removes stains, it does not leave a residue, with a little of your favorite essential oil–your house will smell naturally fresh & clean, and it makes using natural laundry soap so easy! I use this bi-weekly on my showers, sinks, counter tops, mirrors, windows, and floors. This is some good stuff!