Soap Nuts: The Wonder Berry

I first heard about soap nuts back in March last year. I was intrigued. Still, I didn’t actually experience the wonder of soap nuts for myself until much later when I had the opportunity to try some from Olive Shoot Institute. I expected them to work, but honestly I was pretty blown away after my first wash with them.

My Experience with Soap Nuts

Not only are my clothes clean, they are so incredibly soft. I literally was rubbing my clothes on my face after the first time I washed them. I just couldn’t get over how soft they were. This is, I learned, because soap nuts have a special softening property so you no longer need to use fabric softeners or sheets. And the smell of my clothes is pure clean freshness. Another unexpected benefit is no more sticky liquid and gritty powder coating the top of my dryer from regular laundry detergent. Yuck! I feel like my laundry routine is simplified because I can use soap nuts on everything. I can even use them on my daughter’s cloth diapers and I get to skip a step (the extra rinse at the end) because soap nuts leave no residue. They rinse clean.

Sometimes it takes me an extra minute to find the soap nuts bag but really, if I do dry them (yeah, it’s happened a couple times) it’s no big deal. And if you do a cold wash, you need an extra couple minutes to make a soap nut tea (which is not complicated at all). It’s just part of my routine now though and it didn’t take long at all to get used to it. I’ve read some different ways of making the tea but, for me, my laundry room (really, it’s a closet) is upstairs so I just walk over to the bathroom, run the hot water in the sink, put my soap nut bag in a coffee cup that is always sitting on my dyer and fill my cup. I then fill my washer and wait 3 minutes and pour my soap nut tea and bag of soap nuts into the wash. 3 minutes is a remarkably short amount of time. My laundry is already presorted but if you sort before doing laundry, I’m sure it takes you longer to actually sort than it does to make the tea. And I read at Kitchen Stewardship another way to make soap nut tea. Run a little bit of hot water in the bottom of your washer to cover the bag, throw the soap nuts in, wait 3 minutes and then turn on the cold water. Easy.

More Than Just a Bag of Nuts

If the idea of making soap nut tea for cold washes (you just throw the bag in for warm and hot washes) and keep track of the bag is not for you, you still have a way to use soap nuts for your laundry and enjoy all the awesome benefits. Olive Shoot Institute also sells a liquid soap nut detergent. I just recently tried that out to see how we liked it and it does have all the same effects on my laundry as the soap nuts themselves do. It comes with a pump so you just do one pump if you have a front loader and 2 if you have a top loader (like we do). It amounts to a very teeny bit of liquid but still has awesome cleaning power. In other words, a bottle is going to last you a really long time. I had my in-laws use this when they came to visit and help out with my newborn since they aren’t familiar with doing laundry with the nuts and using the liquid is SO simple (and also not messy, no measuring into cups, etc like traditional detergents.) Olive Shoot Institute also has a powder detergent as well but I haven’t tried it out quite yet.

Another really neat thing about soap nuts is you can clean with them, too. I haven’t gotten around to making my soap nuts into cleaner (you can do this with the liquid and powder as well as the actual used up nuts) because I have a natural homemade cleaner I really like right now, but I plan on doing so in the future. So, even after your nuts are no longer able to wash your laundry, you can still use them! They are also compostable if you are into that.

Don’t Let Your Laundry Have All the Fun

As much as I adore my soap nuts for my laundry, my absolute favorite way to use them is in my shampoo! Yep, my hair LOVES soap nut shampoo. I had been using Dr. Bronners Castile Soap which I was fine with, and I had ditched my conditioner. I wasn’t expecting anything, just for my hair to be clean. I was in for a wonderful surprise though. Every time I used my soap nuts shampoo, my hair was feeling softer and softer. And my hair was shiny! I remember after that first week I just kept running my hands through my hair, loving the softness I didn’t even know I was missing out on before. And the best part? I didn’t need to use any crazy chemicals to get super soft shiny hair. (You can check out the Skin Deep Database yourself and see.)

Another thing that amazed me was, if I really wanted to, I could go at least a couple days (maybe more??) without washing my hair. I’m one of those people that really prefers (and almost always) washes my hair everyday. It’s just my routine. But every once in a while, I won’t. I can usually make it until the night of the day I didn’t wash before it starts getting kind of icky (read: greasy). By the next morning it is obviously in serious need of a washing. Well, since I’ve been using my soap nut shampoo it has happened twice that I skipped a day of washing my hair. The first time I was really surprised that by that evening my hair still felt just as if I had washed it that day. No ick to speak of. But, really, I still expected to wake up to yucky hair. But I was once again surprised that my hair was STILL just as if I had just washed it. I thought it HAD to just be some kind of fluke. So the next time this happened, that I wasn’t able to wash my hair that morning, I was really curious if I would have a repeat experience. And I did. I really should have tested this out to see how long I could go, but I’ll admit I couldn’t bring myself to do it (because I would still KNOW it hadn’t been washed, you know??) So, all of that verbosity to say I LOVE MY SOAP NUT SHAMPOO!!! It is seriously the best I have ever used in my life.

I also tried out the soap nut bar to wash the rest of me. I really love the smell (a fruity kind of smell, but not like a berry if that makes any sense). It’s a nice, fresh smell that definitely isn’t girly or manly, just right for anyone to use. My husband and I both used it actually. And, once again, you can use this and not worry about chemicals. I felt comfortable using it on my 3 year old.

So, there you have it! I love my soap nuts and Olive Shoot Institute!

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post but did win a soap nut giveaway package from My Awesome Olive Shoots. I was not required to give a review and all opinions are 100% my own. Amazon link is an affiliate link.

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