Natural Laundry Soap - FAQ
Can you use soapnuts if you have a nut allergy?
Soapnuts despite the name are NOT actually nuts: they are a berry. They are not part of the nut family and won't cause any nut allergy.
How do they work?
Soapnuts contain approximately 12% saponins which are a natural detergent. Similar to soap, when the shells of the soapnut come in contact with water the saponin is released and suds are produced - these are excellent for cleaning laundry and leaving it beautifully soft.
How many do I need?
We recommend that you use 6-8 half soapnut shells per wash which can then be reused aroud 4 times - until the soapnuts start to become darker and lose their sheen. A 1 Kg (2.2 lbs) bag would wash 7-10 loads per week for around a year before it runs out.
Will they remove stains?
They are effective at removing everyday stains but you may need to use a separate stain treatment for more stubborn ones.
Can they be used on diapers?
Absolutely! Just use the soapnuts as you would normal detergent. As always though be careful when using essential oils near your baby sensitive skin.
Can they be used for anything other than laundry?
Yes indeed! These versatile little wonders can be used for a whole range of things. To make a liquid soap simmer soap nuts in water for between 8 and 10 minutes - this can be used as a household cleaner or on pets. Add some favorite essential oil and it can be used as hand wash or shampoo.
Will my whites stay white?
For best results separate your colors and whites. Because they don't contain optical brighteners you may experience some graying over time. Try adding half a cup of lemon juice to maintain your whites.
Are they safe to use in all machines (front and top loaders)?
Absolutely - just remember to keep them in the cotton wash bag provided to avoid the shells sticking in any filters in your machine. If the nuts have come free in the wash check your filter.
Is it ok to leave them in the rinse cycle?
Yes, there is no residue to wash away. The little remaining saponin in the rinse adds body and softness to you laundry... you can even save water and energy by reducing your rinse cycle!
Are they sustainably produced?
Yes, and there is no child labor involved. By purchasing soapnuts you are helping maintain the natural habitat and environment which has existed for centuries and are providing a living direct to some of the more impoverished areas of India.
Will soapnuts maintain my colors?
Yes! Soapnuts are especially beneficial for colors... your clothes will never have looked brighter!
Can I use soapnuts with cold water?
Yes! The saponins release more slowly in cold water but they still work effectively. If you want to speed up the release of the saponins in cold water, pre-soak them in some warm water beforehand.
Do I need to use fabric softener?
The saponins contained in soapnuts leave your laundry beautifully soft so there should be no need for further softeners. What is the useful shelf life for soapnuts? Soapnuts, when exposed to the air, can absorb moisture and become slightly sticky. This has no effect on their cleaning ability. Some users overseas buy soapnuts in bulk and keep them for a year or more.