I wanted to wash my cheese clothes after making Parmigiano-Reggiano last night and realised that we had run out of our regular stuff. So I ferreted around and found the bag of soap nuts that Hope sent me in January this year.
Here is her email;
I just read your entry on soap nuts. I got mine in a health/green shop in Yarraville but I’m sure they would have them at a health shop nearer to you. Also when I was googling soap nuts there were a few places that will deliver to you. My packet says “handpacked with care from tambourine mountain”. Not sure if that means the soapnuts were grown there or if it was just packed there.
I didnt really like soap nuts as my clothes still smelt dirty after I had washed them. I still have a bag of them if you would like me to send them to you free of charge? That way you can try them and see waht you think and I wont have to throw them out.
Oh, I saw you on the 7pm project as well 🙂 and the Vasilli’s garden youtube clips. It was pretty cool, and he seemed impressed that you didnt have any leaf curl 🙂 My leafcurl has seemingly gone away all by itself and with all the rain and sunshine my peach tree has added about 1metre of growth since winter!!!
Oh, and I liked your tips on getting rid of earwigs, still have to try it out.
Thanks Hope, the soapnuts arrived safe and well. I love her passion for sustainable living, and she was so kind for sending the bag of soapnuts which she didn’t use any more to me! I am so, so sorry for taking ages to follow up on them.
Anyway, always ready for a photo opportunity, my daughter Amy took a few photos of how I used them today.
After a bit of smashing, I threw them into my front loading washing machine.
I added white vinegar as the rinse aid for the cheese cloth as I have found that it kills any bacteria and dissolves any cheesy residue. I set the washer to cold water and for a 30 minute express wash.
Finally, to give the company a plug, I used Wild Soapnuts. The verdict? Well the clothes smelled nice and fresh, and clean enough to use in a cheese making session tomorrow, if it rains? If it doesn’t rain, it is back to the chook house to put up some more wire (I hope it rains, I love cheesemaking).
Well that was fun, and they are so easy and natural to use. Why wouldn’t you use soapnuts? I think they are cool and so easier than using detergent! Call me a convert.
I love soapnuts! They don’t leave a smell, which I personally like, but you can always add a couple of drops of an essential oil if you feel the laundry needs a fragrance.
I use them far more times than the guidelines generally suggest, and then compost them.
I’m in the UK so they’re obviously imported some distance to me, but I still think that’s better than all the mileage involved i n manufacturing, packaging and transporting even eco laundry liquid. And zero waste!
Another convert here! I started using them about 6 months ago and find they do an excellent job and are very economical to use
Your title and first sentence made me LOL.
I’m a recent convert to the nuts too – love them. I’m also looking forward to boiling them up to make a liquid soap when I’ve accumulated enough from the washing.
I’ve been using soap nuts for a couple of months now, after giving them a go years ago & not sticking with it, but being inspired by Brydie at cityhippyfarmgirl to give it another go. I am happy with them, (and recently made liquid soap from them too for handsoap, which works really well). The clothes clean well, I can’t stand chemical smells from detergents anyway, and I feel they are more ‘eco’ than the ‘eco’ detergent I’d been using for years, which comes in alot of packaging, despite being made more & more concentrated over the years. I buy Fair Trade soap nuts, so I feel that negates the fact that they come from overseas, somewhat anyways!
(By the way, I have also read that washing clothes without any ‘detergent’ works just fine, because of the action of the machine & water, but I guess it depends on what you do in your clothes, as to whether they need something to lift the dirt/ grease?)
I also converted to soapnuts early this year after reading about them on your blog. They are fantastic to use. Clothes always come out clean and fresh smelling. The added bonus of soapnuts is there is no need to use fabric softener, even when washing woollens. Like others, I find soapnuts economical to use .. I think I worked the cost to be about 6 cents per wash. Not bad.
I make liquid soapnuts for washing dishes and general cleaning. Even the toilet is sopanutted and it comes out sparkling. Hand-wash liquid has been replaced with a soapnut mix and we have even tried shampooing hair with it. The latter has not been that successful. The only other negative is that soapnut doesn’t dissolve fat on very greasy pots but that is easily fixed with a sprinkle of bi-carb.
Rosie Slosek says
Hazel, I’m in the UK too. Where are you getting yours from?
The last couple of years I’ve got them from a Fair Trade stall at our local Farmers Market.
The bag before that were from a Health Food Shop in eastern France because they were half the price of those online in the UK. (I did come back with wine too!)
German ebay is supposed to be a good source for them; might be worth a look?
Rosie Slosek says
Greener Me says
Gav I haven’t written a post about this topic yet but I have been playing around with making my own cleaning products (up to now I have purchased eco friendly products).
For the last couple of clothes washes, I have been using one large tea spoon scoop or Bicarb Soda and one or two drops of Eucalyptus Oil. For clothes that are stained, I am trying vinegar as a pre soak (so far so good).
Great post – thanks for sharing Gav!
Wow, how simple can it get. Used a tbspn bicarb and eucalypt oil to wash 2 dog blankets. Both had been soaking for a while and one still looked very dirty. They washed perfectly clean. Can’t decide if the effect is due to bicarb and eucalypt or to my very efficient washing machine. One important issue with this method — bi carb is a salt so waste water can’t be re-used for the garden. Also, don’t like putting salt solutions through the washing machine — don’t think it is good for it. But will keep this in mind for days when run out of ‘friendlier’ product.