I have been wanting to try soap nuts for a long long time. The other day I finally was able to do so and I’m so glad I did. It not only worked much better than I thought, but after doing some research, I realized how versatile these little berries are. After sharing with I found with some friends, very few of them knew what they were. Have you heard about them before? If not, read below. If so skip to the recipe part.
For those of you who haven’t soap nuts are actually berries found that when combined with water, produces a natural soap called saponin that helps clean, deodorizes, & lift stains.
I’ve always been allergic to all the laundry & body soaps out there. They make me itch insanely, which makes me very uncomfortable. When I stumbled upon soap nuts, I knew it was something I had to try. And boy am I glad I did.
So far my laundry has been super clean & actually smells clean. It’s great. Since they don’t leave a scent, I did a few drops of grapefruit & lavender essential oils. If you have sensitive skin like me, soap nuts are the way to go. But don’t just stop at laundry soap, they can be used for so much more. Plus, using them can save your family a lot of money. Here’ s how:
*you put 5-6 nuts into a small bag for your laundry
*these nuts can be used up to 5 times (if using cold water) or 3 times (if using hot water)
*once you used them up, you can boil them in water to create a liquid soap nuts
*This liquid then can be used to make household cleaner, facial cleansers, shampoo, soap etc.
By using soap nuts for all these different things around the house, you can save a lot of money by simply using soap nuts as much as possible. You won’t have to buy any of products that contain harmful chemicals, instead you can clean the house, yourself, & your clothes naturally.
There are 4 different forms of soap nuts that you can use:
- The whole nut/shell, which is good for laundry.
- Liquid, which you can learn how to make in this post. It’s this form that’s handiest for most soap nut uses.
- Paste, which is basically running the boiled soap nuts through a food processor. This is good for shaving cream and heavy-duty cleaning jobs.
- Powder, which you can buy in powder form, or make yourself by grinding the shells VERY finely (in a coffee or spice grinder – the good news is, it cleans out really easily). This is good for laundry or adding to a homemade dishwasher detergent, which I’ll talk more about right now (taken from Crunchy Betty)
To get you started, I searched the web & come across 10 great recipes for you to try. All recipes taken from Crunchy Betty.
Soap Nut Power Dishwasher Detergent
- 1 c. Borax
- 1 c. Washing Soda
- 1/8 c. Finely Grated Castille Soap
- 1/8 c. Finely Ground Soap Nut Shells
Stir everything together well, and use as you would a dry dishwasher detergent. (Don’t forget to put white vinegar in the rinse well, too!)
Soap Nut Glass Cleaner
- 1 Tbsp Soap Nut Liquid
- 2 Tbsp White Vinegar
- 1/2 c. Water
- 2 Tbsp c. Isopropyl Alcohol (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well. Use as you would any glass cleaner. This doesn’t streak, and it’s also really great for windows/glass that are particularly messy (like toothpaste splatters or mud on the outside of windows).
General Household Soap Nut Cleaner
- 1/2 c. Soap Nut Liquid
- 2 Tbsp White Vinegar
- 1/8 c. Water
Combine everything in a small bowl or spray bottle, and use as you would a kitchen or bathroom cleaner.
Soap Nut Bathroom Cleaner
- 1/8 c. Baking soda
- 1/8 c. Borax
- 1/2 c. Soap Nut Liquid
- 10 drops Eucalyptus Oil or Peppermint Oil (optional)
Stir everything together well, breaking up any clumps. You should have a thickish paste, which you can add more liquid to, if you’d like it thinner. Scoop out a bit of the paste with your sponge and clean your bathroom counters/tub/toilet with it. If you have any remaining, drop it in the toilet and use the toilet brush to clean the bowl well.
Soap Nut Hand Wash
- 1/2 c. Liquid Castille Soap
- 1/8 c. Soap Nut Liquid
- 5 drops Essential Oil (Lavender, Tea Tree, or Rosemary would add extra antibacterial power)
Mix everything together in a small pump bottle and use as you would any hand soap. Alternatively, you could just wash your hands with a little bit of soap nut liquid, but adding this all together will give more cleansing power, and mixing the essential oils and castille soap in with the soap nut liquid will prolong the life of the liquid.
Soap Nut Jewelry Cleaner
- 3 Tbsp Soap Nut Liquid
- 1/4 c. Distilled Water
Mix the two ingredients together and place jewelry into the liquid. Allow the jewelry to sit for 15-20 minutes. With a small toothbrush, gently scrub your jewelry clean. Sparkly!
Soap Nut Dandruff Treatment
- Pre-Wash: Mix together 1 Tbsp soap nuts liquid with 3 Tbsp coconut oil. Massage into scalp for a few minutes. Let sit for 15-20 minutes.
Then wash with:
- 3 Tbsp soap nuts liquid
- 3 drops tea tree essential oil
- 1 Tbsp Liquid Castille Soap
Mix the above ingredients together, and use as you would shampoo. If you do the coconut oil scalp treatment beforehand, there should be no reason to use conditioner after shampooing. Repeat three times a week until dandruff is gone.
Soap Nut Facial Cleanser
Rinse your face with warm water. On a clean, damp washcloth, pour a tablespoon or so of soap nuts liquid. Gently scrub your face with the washcloth and rinse well.
Alternatively: And this is the way I’m really enjoying the soap nuts liquid at the moment.
Mix the two things together in a small bowl. Rinse your face well with warm water, and then gently scrub the mixture onto your face for 2-3 minutes. Rinse well with warm water and finish up with moisturizer.
Soap Nuts for Athlete’s Foot
- 3 Tbsp Soap Nut Liquid or 1 tsp Soap Nut Powder
- 3 Tbsp Coconut Oil
- 3 drops Tea Tree Oil
Stir everything together well and massage into freshly washed feet, concentrating on the effective area. Apply socks. Do not rinse off.
Soap Nut Shaving Cream
- Flesh from 15 Soap Nuts, leftover after boiling them for liquid
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 3 tsp Soap Nuts Liquid
After pitting and removing the hulls around the pits (as well as any “harder” chunks of the boiled soap nuts flesh), put the flesh into your food processor and turn it on. After the flesh has become a paste, dribble in the olive oil and liquid. Watch out! The paste starts to foam A LOT. Shave immediately after making.
Some other ways to use soap nuts are:
- Kitchen counter tops
- Powdered laundry soap
- Floor cleaner
- Fresh fruit and vegetable wash
- Carpet cleaner
- Non-toxic spray to deter pest from garden plants
- Car wash
- Body wash & bar soap
- Pet shampoo
As you can read, there is so much you can do with these little berries, which is how you can save lots of money. You can do so much with so little, it’s definitely worth your money & time.
Have you tried them before or is this a new product for you?
Would you try them, now knowing about an alternative to what’s out there?
Denise Designed, Moms Small Victory, My Soulful Home, Create With Joy, Strangers & Pilgrim On Earth, Sew Crafty Angel, Creative Home Keeper,