Make the switch

Natural Laundry Soap for the minimalist

It didn’t seem to matter what type of laundry powder I used there would always be some that didn’t dissolve in the wash cycle. It left a crunchy white spot on one or two items that would require rewashing. On the hunt for the next natural product to try I switched to liquids, when you think about it, how much water are you paying for when you buy any liquid soap and the cost of the transport for this cleaning ‘water’.  This is one of the most rewarding changes I have made! Switching from natural powdered laundry soap to soap nuts. Yes, soap nuts are a real thing. They are a nut from a plant (featured above) that is sticky, and when added to water it creates saponins. These are the active ingredients in the cleaning process. As the saponins go through the clothes wash cycle it washes off some of the stickiness on the nuts. Once there is no stickiness, you can swap them for a few new ones. Better still soap nuts act as a fabric softener too. So you no longer have to use fabric softener either on your clothes.

Forget about separate detergent for woollen clothes, gentle wash and hand wash only fabrics too. This stuff will do it all, place a couple in a tub to handwashing water. Use the same way as a normal wash for a wool wash. There is no smell its gentle on skin- hooray! for our hypoallergenic friends. If you think you will miss the ‘clean smell’ of your clothes, opt out of artificial scents from other options and swap it for a couple of drops of essential oil. I have used Eucalyptus or Lavender but you can make up your own mix, go crazy. You can either put a couple drops in the bag that your soap nuts are in before adding it to the clothes pile in the machine. In the beginning, I didn’t have a bag to put the soap nuts in, so I just placed them in an old odd sock which I had tied a knot in to close it. If you have a front loader you can add a couple drops in the drawer where you would normally fill your powder or liquid and another in the softner section (depending on how big the load is).

Soap nuts don’t dissolve in water, so they need to be placed into a bag of some sort and added to the wash, they last 2- 3 loads of washing until the stickiness runs out and then you can replace them with some fresh ones. Soap nuts are biodegradable so you can put them in your compost, or in the bin if you must guilt-free. These days I use a little bag I crochet myself so it’s a bit easier to identify when I pull out the clothes to hang on the line (rather than a sock). The crochet bag is made out of organic cotton, I also used one for a soap saver – also called a soap scrubby.


Any alternatives you have used for a soap nut bag?



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