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Soap Nuts Recipes
Soap nuts come from a plant related to the lychee, and contain saponins, which are a natural surfactant. They have been used for washing for thousands of years by native peoples in Asia as well as by Native Americans.
Using Soap Nuts as a Natural Laundry Detergent
Place 4 soap nuts in the small muslin bag, tie it closed, and throw it into the drum of your washing machine along with your articles of clothing that need washing. You can reuse this batch for 4 or 5 loads of laundry. The soap nuts will be mushy and gray when they need to be composted for your garden. Alternatively, you can use 3 tablespoons of soap nuts liquid detergent (see below) per large load of laundry.
To Make Soap Nut Liquid Detergent...
Boil approximately 12-15 whole soap nuts with 6 cups of water for 30 minutes. When it is boiled down, you will have about 4 cups of liquid left. Add extra water, if needed, to keep it at that amount. When cooled, remove the soap nuts, and pour it into an airtight plastic or glass jar. It is better to make the liquid in smaller batches as it can spoil. Experiment with making liquid to see if you prefer a more concentrated version, using 3 cups water instead of 6 cups. Some prefer the concentrated solution for hand washing and shampoo.
More Uses for Soap Nuts
- Mosquito Repellent
Spray soap nut liquid onto your hands and then rub onto arms, legs or face. Safe and gentle to use for babies and children.
- Liquid Hand Soap
Fill a regular or foaming pump bottle with soap nut liquid and use to wash your hands. It will not create tons of lather like traditional soap, but it will still get your hands clean. Also consider adding some tea tree oil to make your hand wash a tea tree soap.
Use soap nut liquid instead of your regular shampoo. It can even help prevent dandruff and hair loss! Leave it on your scalp for 5-10 minutes, and rinse as normal. It will not create a lot of suds, but it will still work!
- All Purpose Cleaner
Keep it in a spray bottle and use to clean the bathroom, kitchen, floors, etc. Add a few drops of essential oil if you prefer a different scent.
- Window and Glass Cleaner
Fill a spray bottle with 2 cups water, 1 tablespoon vinegar and 1 tablespoon soap nut liquid. Spray and wipe windows or mirrors clean. Polish with a dry cloth or newspaper.
- Hand Washing Silks and Delicates
Add 1 or 2 teaspoons soap nut liquid to warm water. Gently wash your delicate clothes, lingerie or undergarments. Rinse with warm water and hang or lay flat to dry.
- In the Dishwasher
Fill the soap dispenser with soap nut liquid. Make sure to scrape the dishes clean first. Add vinegar as a rinse agent, and your dishes will come out sparkling clean!
Soap nuts recipes
Around the House
- Cleaning Jewelry
Soak your jewelry in soap nut liquid for a few minutes. Use an old soft toothbrush to gently remove debris. Rinse with clean water and polish with a dry cloth.
- For Your Pets
Add soap nut liquid to a spray bottle or foaming pump bottle to wash your pet's fur. It will leave the fur soft and manageable. Also spray directly onto your pet's fur to help repel mosquitoes.
- Plant Wash and Pest Repellent
Add 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon soap nut liquid and 1 tablespoon neem oil (optional) to a clean spray bottle. Shake well.
For plant wash, spray leaves and wipe clean. To repel pests, spray plant thoroughly, covering all surfaces and allow to air dry.
Soap nuts recipes