Soap nuts ! Has anybody used them?

(19 Posts)
NannyPlumIsMyMum Wed 16-Jan-13 19:39:50

Hi all.

Just wondering if anybody has ever used soap nuts for their laundry?

I'm considering used them as part of a cost cutting exercise... Has anybody ever used them ? If so what do you think about them? Thanks all smile.

coffeewhitenosugar Wed 16-Jan-13 20:05:13

I used soap nuts once but never again. I have to say they didn't really work, the washing didn't smell nice like it does with powder/liguid and the stains didn't come out and I went straight back to washing powder, but for cost cutting I swapped from big name brands to supermarket own - I don't think they smell as nice as the more expensive ones but they do clean at least. I hope that helps smile

Shallishanti Wed 16-Jan-13 20:12:28

I read an article on a washing machine repairman's ws (really) which said they don't work, and neither do those eco balls- shame really- also, we all must do a maintenance wash as washing at 30 allows all kind of vile gunk to build up- they were more technical, but that was the jist

VivaLeBeaver Wed 16-Jan-13 20:13:25

I used them for a bit, wasn't overly impressed. Clothes didn't smell as nice so went back to powder.

onedaysandy Wed 16-Jan-13 20:14:32

I alternate between soap nuts and powder. If it's a standard load I use soap nuts but I don't think they cope with stains very well so use powder when necessary. I usually put some essential oil on the soap nut bag to give a light perfume to the wash.

BikeRunSki Wed 16-Jan-13 20:15:21

I've tried. Not impressed at all. Glad I int bought a trial size. Ecoball was a waste of money too.

misscph1973 Wed 16-Jan-13 20:26:20

I use soap nuts, but it is necessary to treat stains before wash. I use either a dab of washing up liquid or a spray of liquid soda crystals (available from Robert Dyas and similar shops) as they are less offensive to the environment than Vanish and bleach. I wash on 30 degrees celcius. Soap nuts are particularly good for fleece, silk and wool, it gets really soft and nice.

I do wash whites on 60 degrees celcius with (cheap) biological washing powder as soap nuts are just not as efficient, but they are ok for mixed coloured loads. Every now and again I will wash the coloured loads with biological washing powder at a higher temperature to get all stains.

I know that many people don't like that soap nuts because they don't make their clothes smell "nice" like washing powder does. Personally I don't like chemically perfumed clothes and I always use white vinegar instead of fabric conditioner to get rid of soap residue, but also because fabric conditioner is really bad for the environment (similar to phthalates, it disturbs hormones for fish among other things). And the softening effect is just a build up, it doesn't actually remove the lime scale as vinegar does.

You can either boil the soap nuts to produce a liquid soap (which I prefer) or put a few in a wash bag - the soap nuts can be reused either way.

Soap nuts are not cheaper than cheap washing powder.

lljkk Wed 16-Jan-13 20:26:50

Yes! For several months. Rubbish!

NannyPlumIsMyMum Wed 16-Jan-13 20:47:39

Thankyou to every single one of you.. All your replies are really appreciated smile.

NannyPlumIsMyMum Wed 16-Jan-13 20:50:42

And I'm so fed up with my machine.

It gets so gunked up and stinky. Despite running hot water washes through it etc .

I'm almost temped to try them so that i can lessen my machine getting gunked up with goo.

AngelDog Wed 16-Jan-13 21:31:59

I use them, but as other posters have said, they're not great on stains. I use bio whites powder for whites and treat stains when I can be bothered. I do use them for nappies, though, albeit at 60 degrees and they come out fine. I hate the smell of washing powders.

I add a tbs of bicarb and a tbs of vinegar to the washing machine drawer for extra cleaning power, and I do a monthly maintenance wash at 90 with bio/white powder.

AlbertaCampion Wed 16-Jan-13 21:35:27

Ha - ironically, I use them on everything bar nappies! I'm surprised to see so many other people don't rate them - I think they're great. A £12 bag lasts me a year. Like a couple of other posters, I do add a little extra to white washes though - usually, a dab of that Vanish powder stuff.

NannyPlumIsMyMum Wed 16-Jan-13 21:45:06

I hadn't thought about the vinegar thing ...

NannyPlumIsMyMum Wed 16-Jan-13 21:46:36

I was reading on Amazon that some people put drops of lavender oil in with their soap nuts if they want fragrance.

crunchingicicles Wed 16-Jan-13 22:44:52

Nannyplun, what detergent do you usually use & how? Powders way better than liquids, some people put straight into drum to avoid build up in drawer (haven't found this necessary myself), no fabric conditioner. Do a monthly maintenance wash - the hottest wash available, eg 90C cottons, nothing in the machine & use soda crystals (no washing powder) - my washing machine gleamed after it was that clean!

tinygreendragon Thu 17-Jan-13 01:17:08

I use them with a few drops of orange oil for a bit of fresher fragrance and white vinegar as a softener. Dish cloths, tea towels or anything with a bit of stubborn staining gets some extra soda crystals and they work perfectly fine.

LentilAsAnything Thu 17-Jan-13 01:53:40

I use them, and find them great. I also use EcoBalls (not at the same time), and things smell, feel and look clean. I think people are just so used to that washing powder laundry smell, that if your laundry doesn't smell like pink orchids, it's not clean.
I sometimes add a drop or two of an essential oil if I remember.

I don't tend to get many stains on clothes to worry about!

Theodsia Tue 22-Jan-13 22:05:37

I have been using Soapnuts for years now for all of my children. They are great. You do need to add a white vinegar and bicarb mix or soda crsytal for really heavy stains but for 80% of washes you don't need to add anything. No body can be bothered to put any effort in these days even when it comes to the health of our babies or the environment. Do people realise what is in these chemical detergents sitting next to your skin day after day? If we don't care now who will? Anyway I love soapnuts and ecoballs are ok too. we use soapnuts for most of our cleaning around the house so save a small fortune over the year.

We use them on and off. Like others, found staining doesn't come out easily, and whites get a bit murky, but they otherwise work fine. DP prefers using powder , I think because he's used to it and isn't sure how soapnuts manage to do it, but will use soapnuts intermittently.

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