Frequently Asked Questions
- How many times can I re-use soapnuts?
- What temperature should the wash water be? Can I wash my clothes in cold water?
- Can I use soapnuts to hand-wash my laundry?
- Do I need to use softener with soapnuts?
- Will my finished laundry have a fragrance?
- What is the best way to keep my whites very white?
- What should I do about laundry with stains?
- Can I leave the washbag in the washer during the rinse cycle?
- What if I lose my wash bag?
- I’m still skeptical. What’s the best way for me to test soapnuts?
- Will soapnuts spoil?
- I accidentally threw my soapnuts into the dryer — will they still work?
- Are soapnuts safe for my baby’s laundry?
- Are soapnuts safe for my septic system?
- Do people with nut allergies need to avoid soapnuts?
- Can I use soapnuts in my high-efficiency (or front loading) washing machine?
How many times can I re-use soapnuts?
You can continue using the SAME soapnuts for up to four loads – just pop them into the next load. If you’re all done but your soapnuts still have a few more rounds in them, just set them aside to dry for later.
The best way to tell that they’re spent is to squeeze them when they’re wet. If you see a white, foamy liquid or a honey-like liquid, they’re good for another use. If you use hot water washes, your soapnuts will quickly release all of their saponin, and they won’t be good for as many re-uses — so try using fewer soapnuts the first time.
We like to wash the really grungy stuff first (like hubby’s greasy work jeans) and then wash the “less dirty” loads (like colors or towels) with the same nuts.
Saponin (the natural soap compound in soapnuts) is best released in higher temperature water. Therefore, we recommend using warm (or hot) water to wash your laundry. To wash your laundry with cold water, just whip up a batch of Soapnut Soak, and use it in place of commercial detergents.
Certainly! Whip up a batch of Soapnut Soak, and add a few tablespoons of it to your hand washing instead of detergent.
Nope. Soapnuts actually leave your laundry very soft without the use of fabric softener. We find that the difference is most noticeable with jeans and towels.
Soapnuts are natural so there are no added fragrances – but we’d be less than honest if we didn’t admit that they do have their own, noticeably pungent scent. Don’t worry, though — your laundry WON’T smell like soapnuts when it’s done. In fact, it will have no special smell at all! If you prefer a fragrance (like we do)…
- You can add 10 drops of your favorite essential oil directly on the cotton wash bag before you toss it in the wash. (We really like to use our Energy blend or Lavender essential oil).
- You can also try experimenting with adding the oils into the fabric conditioner dispenser. (We’ve had mixed results with this method, because the oil tends to leave spots on our clothes sometimes. But we do it this way for sheets and towels, because it seems to produce a stronger scent).
- Another way to add scent is to add a few drops of essential oil to a scrap piece of fabric and toss it in the dryer with your clean laundry. (We find that thin fabric — or even a used dryer sheet — works really well).
For the whitest whites, we recommend that you wash your whites and colors separately. Remember that soapnuts are all natural, and contain no bleaching agents and no optical brighteners — so if you like your whites to be super-white, it’s probably a good idea to add a scoop of oxygen bleach.
With a really dirty load, use the same amount of soapnuts, but only fill the machine half full. This will give the laundry some room for the clothes to move freely. As with all laundry cleaners, it may also be necessary to use stain remover to eliminate resistant stains.
Absolutely! Hot water causes the soapnuts to release their saponin, but cold water has little, if any, effect on them. So the saponin is released during the wash cycle, and is washed away during the cold water rinse.
If you lose your wash bag (or it breaks) you can:
- Use an old pair of stockings or an old sock instead, or
- Send us an email, and we’ll mail you a new one for free.
First, we totally understand your skepticism. Here’s what we recommend for the cure: get your hands on a sample bag. Use that sample bag to wash a load of towels or sheets. You’ll notice that they’re softer and fluffier — without softener or dryer sheets — than they are when you use your favorite detergent. Still not convinced? Wash a load of jeans. Really dirty jeans. Jeans that have dirt dried in there until they’re practically crunchy. If the soft, clean result doesn’t convince you, then take advantage of our No-Risk Guarantee and we’ll be happy to refund your money.
No, soapnuts are not perishable and do not have a shelf life. Over time, they will naturally absorb moisture and become dark and sticky if they are exposed to air. This “transformation” does not affect their cleaning capabilities — in fact, the stickiness means that the saponin is already being released.
That’s great news for getting your laundry clean, but a little messy for handling.To avoid the stickiness, you can transfer your unused soapnuts to an airtight container for longer-term storage. Any jar with a lid will work — we recommend recycling an empty jar from your kitchen.
Certainly. The dryer simply dries them back out -- just like they were before you popped them into the wash.
Absolutely. Soapnuts are 100% natural and hypoallergenic, and they do not contain added chemicals or fragrances which can often lead to skin irritation in babies and others with skin sensitivities.
If you are currently using a commercial detergent on your cloth diapers, you are using more diapers than necessary! Here’s why: each time you wash a cloth diaper in commercial detergent, the fabric becomes more and more clogged. (Commercial detergents leave a residue on the diaper, as they don’t rinse completely). This residue can cause loss of absorbancy and even diaper rash in little ones with sensitive skin.
That’s why soapnuts are an ideal solution for washing cloth diapers:
- Soapnuts are all natural, and contain no harsh chemicals that will irritate your baby’s skin or cause diaper rash.
- Soapnuts naturally soften and add body to laundry — without “clogging up” the fibers of the diapers. In fact, soapnuts will ’strip’ the diaper of build-up caused by commercial detergents, and increase the diaper’s absorbency.
- Soapnuts gently and effectively eliminate ALL lingering smells. If you like your laundry to have a scent, consider using our Baby Powder fragrant oil – it’s delicious.
They sure are. Soap nuts are antimicrobial and are actually beneficial for both septic and greywater systems. Also, because soapnuts are 100% natural and biodegradable, it’s completely safe to wash the soapnut suds down the drain.
No. Despite their name, soapnuts are not actually nuts; they are a berry-like fruit of the Sapindus Mukorrosi tree.
Absolutely! In fact, because they don’t create many suds, soapnuts are great for high-efficiency (HE, or front-loading) washers! A front-loading washing machine requires a special detergent, called HE detergent, to allow it to clean your laundry properly. HE detergent is unique because it doesn’t produce lots of suds like regular detergent does.
Soapnuts are naturally a low-sudsing product — with no added fillers, dyes or chemicals to create bubbles in the wash. But even without the bubbles, you will find that the soapnuts will thoroughly clean your laundry.