I was talking to some of my classmates following a hot yoga class and the subject of overly scented products came up. We all agreed that things like hand soap and laundry detergent have way too much perfume. Even the unscented free and clear laundry detergents can sometimes give me a headache. Quite a few of my classmates said they love their soap nuts. What?? What are soap nuts?? I’ve never heard of this! So I asked a bunch of questions and went home to order some soap nuts.
I ordered the 32oz bag of NaturOli soap nuts from iHerb but you can also get them from the NaturOli website or Amazon.
The soap nuts (or soap berries as some people call them) look like a dried berry. They come with a little muslin drawstring bag and you place 6 nuts into the bag and tie it. This little bag of nuts can then be reused for a total of 6 washes!
Here is how I use the soap nuts: I put 6 nuts into the included little muslin bag (my 32oz bag came with a large bag of nuts that you see above and it also came with 2 little muslin bags). I then soak the little bag of 6 nuts in hot tap water for about 5 minutes. This is usually the time that I go and get the laundry and put it into the washer. I pour in the soaked little baggie full of nuts on top of my dirty laundry (water and all) and start the machine. That’s it! You don’t have to do anything else. When the laundry cycle is complete, you find the little baggie and hang it to dry. If you are doing a 2nd load of laundry right away, the bag doesn’t need re-soaked. Just toss it in the next load. But when your wash cycles are finished, be sure and let the bag of soap nuts air dry. I’ve read that if you are doing a load of hot laundry you don’t need to soak the nuts. But my routine is to always soak them in hot water for about 5 minutes.
Here is the crazy thing – these little soap nuts work!! I decided to test my first soap nut wash on sweaty clothes from hot yoga class. Let me tell you – I SWEAT at hot yoga. I usually throw on a sweatshirt to soak up my sweat on my walk home, too. My clothes stink and so does my mat towel and face towel. I washed my stuff and hung it to dry. When I checked on my dry clothes and towels, everything smelled fresh! No lingering sweaty stink. No perfumes. Just fresh clean laundry!
For my next test, I washed our sheets. We have 100% cotton white sheets. I washed them in hot water with the soap nuts and then dried the sheets. They came out white and fresh! I was worried the soap nuts might leave some reddish marks but they didn’t.
And for my final test, I washed our bath towels. They get a little stinky by the end of the week and after months and months of washing, some towels have to be tossed because they start to get a little old and funky and regular laundry detergent only masks the stink. But I washed our towels in hot water with the soap nuts and they were fresh and clean!
I’m really surprised these little soap nuts work. The best part is my clothes don’t have lingering perfume smells. And our sheets don’t, either! With regular laundry detergent, I would sometimes have trouble sleeping on nights when I washed our sheets that day. The lingering perfume (even on the unscented detergent) would bother me and give me a headache. Now I don’t have to worry about that anymore!