Soap Nuts For Natural Laundry Care
Affordable, no preservatives, all-natural, eco-friendly, chemical-free: these are some of the topics people are considering these days when it comes to feeding, cleaning and clothing your family. More and more, consumers are looking for ways to take care of themselves and their families without putting additional chemicals into their bodies and the environment. It can be a challenge to find effective cleaners that fit the bill. If you’re looking for a chemical-free, all-natural way to clean your home (and yourself), soap nuts should be at the top of your list. Soap nuts are a great solution for people who would like all of the clean with none of the chemicals.
Soap Nuts Contain—You Guessed It—Natural Soap!
Thanks to a substance called saponin, soap nuts are an effective and gentle way to clean anything you can imagine. Saponin is a natural, low-sudsing agent that penetrates whatever item you’d like to clean—from laundry to your kitchen countertops—and lifts the dirt right up and out so that it can be rinsed away.
How Do I Use Soap Nuts for Laundry?
A common use for soap nuts is as an all-natural, gentle laundry detergent. Soap nuts are great for people who have sensitive skin that reacts to chemical-laden cleansing products, so it’s safe to use on their clothing. It’s also perfectly safe for high-efficiency (H/E) washing machines (since the saponin doesn’t create a ton of suds and residue).
Using soap nuts in your laundry is simple. You’ll need a small, drawstring, muslin bag (many places that sell soap nuts also offer great wash bags). Just place four or five soap nuts in the bag and close it. If you’re washing your clothes with warm or hot water, that’s all there is to it—toss the bag in and start the cycle. If you’re doing your wash with cold water, soak the bag of soap nuts in hot water for a few minutes in order to activate the saponin inside. Then, toss the bag into your cold water wash.
Don’t forget to retrieve the bag of soap nuts when you transfer your laundry to the dryer. They can be thrown in the dryer with your clothes and work great as a natural static remover. The soap nuts will be good through several washing and drying cycles (you can should generally get 4-5 wash loads). You’ll know that it’s time to get new soap nuts when you notice that your current batch aren’t sudsing anymore, have lost their scent or are beginning to dry out and look dull.
Nut Allergy Sufferers Can Breathe a Sigh of Relief
If you or a family member are allergic to nuts—have no fear! Soap nuts are not really “nuts,” they’re actually berries. They’re just called nuts because of their hard outer casing. This means that they’re perfectly safe for people with nut allergies.
Note: Although they are classified as fruit, this doesn’t make soap nuts safe to eat (in any form)! Those who have accidentally ingested soap nut liquid say that it burned and gave them a terribly upset stomach. Always clearly label any sort of cleanser and store them safely out of the reach of kids and pets.