EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SOAP NUTS
(but were too afraid to ask)
Soap Nuts are the dried fruit of the Chinese Soapberry Tree (Sapindus Mukorossi), related to the lychee and rambutan. Soap Nuts are harvested in Indian and Indonesian jungles where Soap Nut trees are holding forests and families together! Our Soap Nuts fall to the ground where they are collected by local folks who have used them for centuries.
How do Soap Nuts work?
Soap Nuts work like a detergent. They contain saponin, an all-natural surfactant. Conventional detergents are manufactured, chemical surfactants. Surfactants work by breaking the surface tension of water so it can more easily penetrate into fabrics, effectively making water “wetter.” Once wet, the agitation of your washing machine (or your hands) shakes the dirt loose from your clothes. Then Soap Nuts’ saponin holds the dirt in suspension in the water (preventing it from re-depositing on your clothes) until you’ve rinsed it away.
Can I use Soap Nuts in my HE (high efficiency) washing machine?
Yes! Soap Nuts are low-sudsing and are ideal for high-efficiency washers.
Where are the bubbles?
Most laboratory cleaners contain foaming agents to “trick” consumers that the product is working. In truth, the quantity of bubbles does not tell you if a cleaner is effective!
Soap Nuts keep you clean without phoney bubbles. Because they are low sudsing, Soap Nuts are ideal for H.E. and front- loader machines.
Can I use Soap Nuts to clean more than my laundry?
Yes! In Indian Ayurvedic science, Soap Nuts are used as a skin and hair cleanser. Soap Nuts are used in Bali by artisans who create beautiful jewelry and batik fabrics. Learn more ways to
use Soap Nuts and learn to make a homemade, multipurpose liquid cleaner.
Can I use too many nuts?
We recommend three to four whole Soap Nuts per load. For really dirty clothes, giant loads, or when washing in cold water, you can use more nuts. You’ll know you’ve used too many nuts if your clothes feel stiff after washing. The stiffness results from excess saponin in the rinse water and is not harmful to you or the clothes. The stiffness will go away
after the next washing.
Can I use the Soap Nuts more than once?
Yes! The saponin in Soap Nuts releases quickly into hot water, and more slowly in cold water. When washing in hot water you only need two soap nuts per load and they’ll release all of their saponin in about one wash. When washing with cold water, up to 4 nuts and reuse them up to 6 times. You’ll know the saponin in Soap Nuts is used up when the nuts no longer feel squeaky clean or sudsy when you rub them.
Can I use Soap Nuts with any temperature water?
Yes! The saponin in Soap Nuts releases quickly into hot water, and more slowly in cold water. When washing in hot water you only need the equivalent of two whole Soap Nuts per
load. They’ll release all of their saponin in about one wash. When washing with cold water, up to 4 nuts and reuse them up to 6 times. Alternatively, pre-soak your cotton sack containing two soap nuts in a little hot water to release the saponin. After a couple minutes of soaking, add the mixture to the cold-water wash.
Do I have to remove the Soap Nuts from the washing machine during the rinse cycle?
No need to remove the soap nuts from the rinse cycle. There’s no soapy residue to rinse away! The little bit of saponin left in the rinse adds softness and body to your clothes.
Are Soap Nuts hypoallergenic?
Yes! Soap Nuts are 100% natural, safe and hypoallergenic. We recommend them for babies and people with sensitive skin. In Indian Ayurvedic medicine, Soap Nuts are used traditionally to treat skin disorders like eczema and psoriasis. With Soap Nuts, there’s nothing between you and your clothes but Mother Nature!
Do I need to clean the chemical detergent residue out of my washing machine before I wash my clothes with Soap Nuts?
You can use Soap Nuts to purify your washing machine. To remove chemical residues from your machine, run a full load of rags through a warm or hot wash cycle with 4-5 soap nuts in the sack.
I’m allergic to nuts. Can I use Soap Nuts?
Yes! Soap Nuts are actually a dried fruit related to the lychee. People with nut allergies can safely use Soap Nuts!
Do Soap Nuts have a fragrance?
Yes and No. On their own Soap Nuts have a mild, fresh, vinegary smell. They will not fragrance your clothes. For added fragrance, add a few drops of you favorite essential oil on the cotton sack or in the fabric softener drawer. For a refreshing wash, we like to use lavender, coriander, green tea or neroli.
Do I need to use fabric softener?
Nope. Soap Nuts naturally soften and add body to your clothes! In fact, Soap Nuts are used commercially to give body and sheen to expensive silks! You’ll love how your clothes feel after washing with Soap Nuts.
Are Soap Nuts safe for my delicate washables?
Yes! Soap Nuts are ideal for gently cleaning delicate fibers like wool and silk!
Will Soap Nuts keep my colors bright?
Yes! Soap Nuts are 100% natural and gentle. Your colors will look brighter!
Will Soap Nuts get my white clothes REALLY white?
To maintain sparkling whites we recommend that you always separate your colors. For extra stain removal, when necessary add a scoop of environmentally friendly oxygen bleach to the
Can Soap Nuts help me Save Water and Energy?
Yes! Since there’s no soapy residue to rinse away you can use short to no rinse cycle on your washing machine.
What do I do with the leftover shells?
You’ll know the saponin in Soap Nuts is used up when the nuts no longer feel squeaky clean and sudsy when you rub them. If they’re re-useable, let the shells dry out and use them again later. When the shells are ready to retire, add them to your compost.