I purchased some organic Soap Nuts (1lb, bulk) from Mountain Rose Herbs. I love the idea of not being exposed to whatever it is they put in soap. I also tend to be allergic to some fragrances, so this would also remove that threat. While my husband is not on board (carpenter’s get real dirty sometimes) and is still using some kind of semi-natural detergent, I thought I would give this a go.
I’d work out several days this week and curl on the weekends (lots of sweaty clothes) but I don’t generally have any major stains going into the laundry, so I have high hopes for the soap nuts.
Soap Nuts First Wash
I sewed a few little cotton bags with tie strings. According to the information on the Mountain Rose website, 4-6 nuts should do it. As you can see in the picture, I have plenty left so they should last a while. Warm/Hot water is best to get the saponin to release, but you could presoak the nuts in a cup of hot water if you need/want to wash cold. The nuts can be reused several times and will lose their integrity and color when it is time to change them out.
I ran the largest size load on warm/cold. I didn’t have any wool in this load. There were several sets of stinky workout clothes and underarmor from the last curling bonspiel where we were sweeping hard. I didn’t stick around to watch. After the cycle was done, I sniffed in the washer. It smelled like it always does. I hung the delicates up to air dry and threw the rest in the dryer.
My husband unloaded the dryer and folded the clothes since he was doing his own laundry. He said that he hadn’t noticed anything unusual about them. So I ran downstairs and gave the sniff test to all the most conspicuous places (armpits, etc.), Success! Not stinky! No leftover residue from lotion or deodorant!
I guess I shouldn’t be to surprised, since soap nuts have been in use for a very long time before Americans “discovered” them. I have read there are plenty of other things I can clean with soap nuts, so I will have to continue experimenting with my new soapy little friends.