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#1 of 66 Old 07-19-2008, 11:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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what do you use them for? how? and where to find/purchase?Thanks!!
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#2 of 66 Old 07-20-2008, 01:37 PM
 
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I love soap nuts - I have a two pound bag of them downstairs in my laundry room right now. They are 100% natural - nuts that contain saponins - the cleansing component of natural soaps. They are excellent for HE washers because they don't foam. They smell slightly vinegary in the bag, but leave laundry smelling fresh and not overly-perfumed and very soft. I generally use a bit of borax and vinegar in the final rinse for extra deodorizing and softening.

You can make all kinds of cleaning products with them - I have made dishsoap for the sink, shampoo, body wash, window cleaner and dog shampoo. All you have to do is to make any kind of shampoo/wash/soap is boil 4-8 nuts for 20 or so minutes and then grate 1/2 bar of natural castille soap into the pot and let it disolve. You empty your liquid into a bottle and then shake before use because the soap nut liquid will separate from the soap.

For window cleaner combine soap nut liquid with vinegar - it gets rid of smeary smudges really well.

It's pretty economical to use soap nuts - you can use them several times in the wash - they come with a little bag and you put three or four of them in and reuse 3-4 times depending on water temperature.

I can't say enough about them. They work on all kinds of dirty laundry - nothing ever comes smelly (and they work great on getting out little oil stains like salad dressing on napkins, etc.) - they have so many uses - they are completely natural and gentle - they are biodegradable and compostable.

I get them here because these are fairly traded - http://maggiespureland.com/

I started with the 36-50 load box, and loved them so much I moved up to the 200 load box with my next order. You get way more washes than the box says, by the way - you can use them more than the directions recommend and still get good results.

Just do a google on soap nuts to find out all the ways you can use them.

Mother to L.O. born at home 10.17.08 EDD for #2 4.21.2011
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#3 of 66 Old 07-23-2008, 09:25 PM
 
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I am another soapnuts lover-they are awesome. I bought the kilo bag about 4 months ago. SO far I haven't even used 1/2 the bag and made my own cleaner as well. They are amazing!!
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#4 of 66 Old 07-24-2008, 12:53 PM
 
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Just a few sites-
http://www.soapnuts.in/
http://www.soapnuts.ca/
http://www.zamuta.com/
http://www.inasoapnutshell.com/
http://www.maggiespureland.com/

They last longer then what the package says, IMO. After I *think* they are done I boil them and make a ton more liquid soap.

wife to DH 2/03, mama to DS 3/03 & DD 1/09
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#5 of 66 Old 07-24-2008, 08:39 PM
 
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Can they be used for washing cloth diapers? We use Allen's for all our laundry now and I'm happy with it, but our hfs recently started selling soap nuts and I've been wondering about them. Aren't you not supposed to wash diapers with "soap" though?

For those of you making your own cleaners, does it leave a residue or need to be rinsed (cleaning the floor or windows, for example)?
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#6 of 66 Old 07-24-2008, 10:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lovemyfamily6 View Post
Can they be used for washing cloth diapers? We use Allen's for all our laundry now and I'm happy with it, but our hfs recently started selling soap nuts and I've been wondering about them. Aren't you not supposed to wash diapers with "soap" though?
You can use them on diapers for sure. I've read a lot of reviews where people really liked the results on their diapers. I would use a little borax in the wash to deodorize, but apparently when you get rid of all the chemicals from other laundry detergents, diaper rash is significantly reduced.

Soap nuts aren't really soap - they are a fruit that contains saponin which is the active cleaning ingredient in soap - they do not foam like soap, they just dissolve grease and dirt like it.

May I say again that they are awesome? There are so many uses for them outside laundry too.

Mother to L.O. born at home 10.17.08 EDD for #2 4.21.2011
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#7 of 66 Old 07-30-2008, 07:39 PM
 
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The soapnuts seem to do well on the CD and other laundry. DH says he doesn't notice a difference -- which I figure means the soapnuts are doing the work of the detergent and softener with no artificial chemicals. Works for me! I'm making a batch of soapnut liquid with my used laundry shells. This is the first time I've tried it. I've read you can even reuse them again by blending them in the blender with a cup of water to make a foamy soap. I'll let you know how it works!

Learning & growing & changing everyday!
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#8 of 66 Old 07-30-2008, 08:33 PM
 
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Thank you for starting this post! Very interesting. I have never heard of soap nuts before. I am going to have to read more about them now.
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#9 of 66 Old 07-31-2008, 03:04 PM
 
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I just started buying soapnuts too and am learning what I can do with them. One thing I really want to try is diluting the liquid mixture and putting it in the foaming hand wash containers. Wonder if it'll work.....?

I started cleaning the dishes in the dishwasher with the liquid (although you can just put a few nuts in a covered utensil compartment) with vinegar in the rinse aid dispenser. So far so good.
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#10 of 66 Old 08-01-2008, 10:32 PM
 
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can I wash my cloth pads with these?
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#11 of 66 Old 08-02-2008, 12:48 AM
 
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Has anyone purchased soap nuts online using buysoapnuts.com? I found their prices (even with shipping!) to be really low---so I want to know if they are legit.

Thanks!
Jen

ETA: I'm guessing they are not fairly traded. . .

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#12 of 66 Old 08-02-2008, 01:17 AM
 
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Thanks for all the great info. One of our local stores just started carrying soapnuts. I'm going to have to try them. Especially since I'm getting new diapers. I won't have to try to get rid of any detergent build up.
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#13 of 66 Old 08-02-2008, 01:55 AM
 
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I wash everything in soapnuts- regular clothes, wool, diapers, cloth pads, everything! If i do a load of dipes or cloth pads I like to add a little bit of baking soda.

If you put a bunch of them into a container with water and shake, they will give you some suds but nothing like commercial detergents. So I would think they would do well in a foaming hand pump.

As for other cleaners and leaving residue, I don't know but I think I'll try it this weekend.

I have never bought them online, only from my local HFS.

wife to DH 2/03, mama to DS 3/03 & DD 1/09
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#14 of 66 Old 08-03-2008, 05:50 AM
 
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I have a related question -- how does rinsing work? Do you have to take the soapnuts out of the washing machine before the rinse cycle? Otherwise, I would imagine that the clothes would never get rinsed, as the nuts would keep producing soap ... ???

Globetrotting mama to DS (9) and DD (6)
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#15 of 66 Old 08-03-2008, 03:14 PM
 
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I have a related question -- how does rinsing work? Do you have to take the soapnuts out of the washing machine before the rinse cycle? Otherwise, I would imagine that the clothes would never get rinsed, as the nuts would keep producing soap ... ???
The saponins that are left during the rinse cycle actually work to soften the clothes a bit. You don't have to take the bag of soap nuts out. Since they are not a soap or detergent, there is no residue.

Some people add vinegar to the softener dispenser to act as a further fabric softener, and you can also add a few drops of EOs to scent clothes in the vinegar if you wish.

Jen

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#16 of 66 Old 08-03-2008, 03:15 PM
 
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Has anyone purchased soap nuts online using buysoapnuts.com? I found their prices (even with shipping!) to be really low---so I want to know if they are legit.

Thanks!
Jen

ETA: I'm guessing they are not fairly traded. . .
I did email the people at buysoapnuts.com and the response was that they are receiving organic/fair trade certification from their supplier in Nepal soon. =)

Jen

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#17 of 66 Old 08-03-2008, 03:29 PM
 
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You don't need to take the soapnuts out before the rinse. I've read different things, so either the soapnuts release less saponin in the cold water or what they do release helps soften the clothes/CDs. Or both.

I've been using the soapnut liquid for a week now and really like it. I put it in a foamer bottle undiluted and it makes a little foam. I made my liquid with used laundry nuts, so fresh soapnuts liquid may foam better. When I made the liquid I put TTO in it, so everything smells nice!

I use it for handsoap - like it. Dishsoap - not sure about yet. My dishes still feel a bit greasy to the touch. Maybe I'm not using enough? I prefer the liquid for the laundry. Bodywash & bath soak - love it! Even my itchy dry preggo skin feels soft! I want to get some peppermint oil to make a foot soak. Shampoo - think I like it. My hair (fine, straight, long) has body and volume like never before in my life! But it feels like I'm not getting it all rinsed out or something. Probably using too much. Maybe I'll try rinsing with vinegar. I even tried it for toothpaste! I feel so brave! It wasn't bad at all. I've used it some on the floors and it doesn't seem to leave a sticky residue or anything. Haven't used it for a bodywash/shampoo on DS yet (2 1/2). I'm afraid it could burn his little eyes. Has anyone tried this?

Glass cleaner is next! I've read to use 1T soapnut liquid, 3T vinegar and 1 cup water. Hope it works!

Please share all your different uses for soapnuts and soapnut liquid! And of course which you like and which not! Thanks!

Learning & growing & changing everyday!
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#18 of 66 Old 08-03-2008, 03:51 PM
 
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: I am so curious about these.

They seem so expensive.

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#19 of 66 Old 08-03-2008, 06:05 PM
 
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: I am so curious about these.

They seem so expensive.
Hmm. . . I've seen them online for about $22.00/lb (does 200 loads of laundry) plus shipping and handling. That would probably bump the price up to $30 or so. A box of Country Save costs $16 and does about 70 loads at our house.

Of course, they are more expensive than store brand detergents, but then you're not dealing with all the yuck that's in those (optical brighteners, enzymes, etc.) I think we might buy a pound and see how long they last. If we can really get 200 loads of laundry out of a one pound bag, then it's totally worth it!

Jen

ETA: I noticed on maggiespureland.com that a 10 oz. box does 36-60 loads, yet on buysoapnuts.com a 1 lb. bag (500 grams) is claimed to do 200 loads. Can a soap nut expert chime in with some clarification here? That seems like a wide range!!

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#20 of 66 Old 08-03-2008, 06:43 PM
 
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Hi! I'm hardly an expert, but I do have an answer: it depends.

It depends on many things, actually. Some soapnuts have more saponin (soap) than others and can be re-used more. Harder water requirers more soapnuts. Hotter water means you can re-use them fewer times. The box from Maggie's says not to re-use after a hot water wash. I do. I just do my dirtiest laundry first -- diapers. Then my warm load then the cold loads. Then I save the used soapnuts and make liquid with them.

And when figuring the relative cost, include fabric softener. I'm using the liquid for handsoap, body soap and shampoo. So I figure in those costs, too....

Learning & growing & changing everyday!
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#21 of 66 Old 08-03-2008, 07:07 PM
 
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How do you make liquid with them?

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#22 of 66 Old 08-03-2008, 08:48 PM
 
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Here's a little basic info: http://www.sapindusmukorossi.com/

There's a recipie near the bottom of the page, but I halved it the first time -- 1 handful of nuts in 6 cups water and boiled them 30 min. Well, I think I ended up using 16 used laundry nuts in a gallon of water. Then I poured the slightly cooled liquid back into the gallon jug. Strain if you want. I didn't. I put in some tea tree oil. The next batch I only cooked for 20 min and no TTO just to see the difference.

Next time I'll use fresh soapnuts to see the difference. I expect it to be stronger and a darker brown, but I want to find out how much stronger!

Oh, for the laundry I use 1/4 cup liquid per load. The one thing soapnuts will not do is whiten whites. Consider Borax in the wash or a vinegar rinse. Or both! I do this for my cloth diapers, but nothing else.

It's so nice to talk to other people who are interested! I'm having lots of fun experimenting with the soapnuts! I hope you do, too! Let us know how it goes and what you think!

:

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#23 of 66 Old 08-03-2008, 09:55 PM
 
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Are the soapnuts better than Shampoo Bars by CV for example? How do you make it? And how long does it last? Does it work well on dandruff?

As soon as I finish my detergent, I'd like to get Soapnuts, and was also thinking of shampoo bars, but if this is really recommended I'll skip the shampoo bars.

Thanks, I like this thread.
Ana

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#24 of 66 Old 08-03-2008, 10:35 PM
 
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Hi! I'm not familiar with shampoo bars. What is CV? Can you post a link? I do think it's better than the Pantene Volumizing I was using. Less toxic, and more volume!! Plus, no need for a separate conditioner.

As for making it, I just use the soapnut liquid with TTO added. I don't know how to make it into a solid. It's very very thin, so I pile all my hair on top of my head and pour about a 1/4 cup on, trying to get it all over my head. I've read it's good for dandruff if you leave it on your scalp 5-10 min before rinsing. It's also supposed to be good for psoriasis/excema. It leaves an odd feeling on my hair, so I've been rinsing with a 1/2 cup vinegar. Much better. As I posted earlier, I have fine, straight, long hair, and now have some actual body in my hair! I just can't get over myself!!!!

You might like soapnuts for your hair. Or you might not. Maybe try both? If you do try it, please let me know what you think. I'd like to know how it works on other hair types!

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#25 of 66 Old 08-06-2008, 11:49 PM
 
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#26 of 66 Old 08-07-2008, 01:35 AM
 
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Hey all guess what? They are going to be selling a soapnuts liquid with EO in it from the Maggies Pureland site. One of the moms local to me co-ops it for us and she has samples. It isn't being sold at the site yet but you can get a sample for something like 10 cents.
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#27 of 66 Old 08-07-2008, 11:02 AM
 
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CV is: Chagrin Valley Soaps. I discovered them on this forum, and haven't tried them yet.

Mom to 4 Boys
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#28 of 66 Old 08-07-2008, 10:28 PM
 
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Thank you for telling about washing hair with soapnuts. My long, fine, easily tangled hair is soft and full! And my scalp feels lovely-woohoo.
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#29 of 66 Old 09-09-2008, 10:54 AM
 
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I'd love the liquid to work as shampoo. I used a very small amount on my first try because I read you have to be careful about too much. Left me a little greasy. I used a little more the next time and couldn't make it through the day! Is there a long adjustment period I need to expect? Any tips or ideas?

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#30 of 66 Old 09-09-2008, 03:52 PM
 
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there may be an adjustment period, depending on what you were using before to clean your hair... I don't use soapnuts (yet?) so I'm not sure--

check out the Sticky at the top; I found it very useful when weaning off commercially-made shampoos.

check back and let us know how you're doing!
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