Washing with Soapnuts
100% natural way of washing your clothes!
I had always washed with the usual washing detergent for years, Bold, Fairy, Persil you name it I’ve used it. Although they smell amazing and they definitely clean your clothes I started to wonder if there was a more eco friendly way of washing clothes. Something that didn’t contain as many chemicals that won’t irritate the skin and won’t damage the planet and it’s oceans. I first tried Bio-D laundry liquid, it worked well and I felt that this was better than the standard detergents in regards to being more eco friendly however, I was going through it really quickly and so felt like I was spending a lot more money than normal.
I first came across Soapnuts when I searched online for eco friendly ways of washing and I came across a website called Living Naturally. Living naturally is the first Soapnut Apothecary in the world and so I thought I should give these a go!
Firstly I had no idea what these Soapnuts were so I started to read about them. Soapnuts are dried fruit shells which actually contain real natural soap and they are 100% natural so can be composted after use. What is truly amazing is that you use about 5 Sopanuts in a little muslin bag and those 5 nuts can be reused 4 more times! Soapnuts are not only good for washing clothes, they can be used as a dish soap, used in the garden as a natural pesticide, and can even wash your pets!
So, when on their website I decided to buy the large laundry starter pack as this would give me everything I needed for doing the laundry. In this pack there is a 1kg bag of Soapnut shells, a small biodegradable muslin bag, 500g bag of Soda Crystals, Natural Stain Remover Bar, 10ml Lavender Essential Oil and an instruction booklet on how to use the soapnuts. The 1 kg bag of soapnuts will do 480 washes…. YUP 480! That is AMAZING! I worked out that these should last me 12 MONTHS! I will have to buy more of the Soda Crystals and probably more essential oil but this is so much better than spending a fortune on washing detergent every month.
I have been using these now for about 2 months and so far I am really impressed. The Soapnuts themselves don’t really have a smell and so buy using an essential oil it makes the laundry smell lovely when drying, the essential oil smell does wear off quite quickly but I have no doubt that my clothes are clean. The Soapnuts are also really gentle on your clothes which means you don’t need a fabric conditioner. The Soda Crystals are really good at removing stains and I use the stain remover bar on more stubborn stains before washing (the stain remover bar smells amazing!) I also bought linen water which you can spray onto your clothes whilst drying or whilst your ironing (don’t but the linen water into your iron though). I bought the orange scented one but I’m not as keen on this so will try the rose one next.
To do the washing this is what I do:
- Place 5 Soapnuts in the muslin bag and tie the bag at the top (do this quite tightly as some of the Soapnuts may escape during washing!)
- Soak the bag of Soapnuts in a small amount of warm water (to release the soap) – THIS IS OPTIONAL
- Drop about 15-20 drops of essential oil onto the bag (I use lots of different types of oil during the week)
- Place the Soapnuts on top of the laundry in the washing machine drum and shut the door
- Put 2 tbsp of the Soda Crystals into the draw (where you usually would put laundry detergent)
- Set the washing machine on whatever program you usually use.
I also looked at the instruction booklet to see what else you can do with the Soapnuts. You can make a liquid which you can then use to clean near enough anything you want. If you prefer, you can use this liquid for washing your clothes instead of placing 5 Soapnuts into a muslin bag.
To be honest, you can do so much with these! Once you have exhausted the Soapnuts they start to become very pale and break up very easily, at this point i stick mine into the compost bin… as simple and as eco-friendly as possible! You can also put some water into a blender/processor and then blitz the Soapnuts to make a foaming wash! The possibilities are endless.
If you are looking for an ‘greener’ alternative to standard laundry detergent then you have to try these. They are excellent!
I have also just very recently bought myself some cream deodorant. I am very fussy when it comes to antiperspirant deodorants as I am really paranoid about ever being ‘smelly’, I have been this way since I was a teenager and my Mum told me I stank once, since then I have never been without deodorant ha! However, I don’t like using the sprays and the roll ons never dry quick enough for me so I am going to try this and see how it holds up! It has got some very good reviews so we shall see!