The other day I posted that I was going to try some Soap nuts.
The sample I purchased said it would clean 4-7 loads and I managed all 7 loads before the nuts got too squishy and old, I debated after load 6 to be done with them but the 7th was just two couch blankets so I did one more. 6 of the 7 loads were washed on cold and 1 load was washed on warm, all on the regular cycle and I left the soap nuts in the washer throughout the rinse cycle too (I didn’t dig for them to take them out but if you do, it can prolong the life of the nuts).
Load 1: dog laundry from Cora who had an accident
Load 2: bath towels, dish towels and a few clothes
Load 3: a rug, a big couch blanket and a ton of pillow cases from the couch pillows
Load 4: 3 heavy woven throw rugs
Load 5: Clothing (work clothes, workout clothes, lounge clothes, all kinds of mixed clothes)
Load 6: A few more clothes and two shower curtains
Load 7: two big fleecy couch blankets
Throughout all the loads our items seemed to come out perfectly clean. A big red stain from one of the pillow cases even came off without any pretreating or anything like that (Cora spilled a cup of juice one night). Even the dog laundry seems fine, it smelled fine and the stains came right out so the nuts must be doing their job! I was surprised with the dog laundry at least thinking it wouldn’t work, but they did. I did have to send one shirt and one pair of pants back through because two stains did not come out just in the normal wash so I put some Shout on them and sent them through with the next load again and that did the trick. So, it isn’t like soap nuts are a huge miracle and you won’t need to use any stain treatment or anything for heavier stains (you have to use stain stuff with normal laundry soap sometimes too), but they are a good replacement for regular soap and will get clothes just as clean!
Plus, as a bonus, there is something in the nuts that acts like a natural fabric softener so you don’t need to use liquid softener, dryer sheets, or Bounce bars to do that job… which should save some additional money per load of laundry. I have been using the Bounce Bars for almost a year and I like those because I don’t need to remember dryer sheets, but mine had run out and lately I’ve been using up old dryer sheets to get rid of them and I didn’t add any to these loads and our clothes came out softener than if I had used liquid softener.
-$1.00 (because there are often coupons)
x 1.06 for sales tax (here in Michigan)
comes out to $0.16 per load of laundry assuming that you can get a full 96 loads from the bottle (and find a coupon or sale price)
Soap Nuts – 1/2lb/80 loads (the closest I could get for a good comparison)
comes out to $0.29 cents per load.
Soap Nuts – 2lb/320 loads (the size I think we would probably buy)
$35.95/320 loads (2lb. soap nuts) (On sale now at Amazon, normally $38 which would bring the total to $0.14 per load)
+$5.58 for standard/regular shipping
comes out to $0.13 per load. Anyone who gets Amazon Prime shipping, or gets gift cards for Amazon from Swagbucks, like I do, would save even more money.
- Soap nuts have no smell, sometimes I like that clean laundry soap smell though
- Soap nuts are good in compost/biodegradable/sustainable and a “green” option over buying some of the more expensive but environmentally friendly soaps.
- I don’t have to rinse out the laundry soap cup that gets all gooey (I hate doing that so much so I just don’t, I put a paper towel under it and let it drip)
- Our septic system bacteria probably appreciate soap nut residue more than normal laundry soap chemicals
- Fabric softener, dryer sheets or Bounce bars aren’t needed
- The nuts tell you when they are all used up by getting super squishy
- We do laundry frequently enough that I just left the little bag of nuts right in the washer between loads and then I just dumped clothes in and it was ready to go.
- Many reviews say the nuts make clothing brighter, I haven’t really paid attention to it…but will keep my eyes out for it in the future
- You can grind the nuts into power or boil/steep them and make other household cleaners from them as well
I like the little nuts enough to order a bigger batch to test them for a longer term. I think I will order the 2lb size since that is slightly cheaper per load than our normal laundry soap, although it really doesn’t make much of a difference – only about $10/year. If I really get 320 loads out of 2lb then it should last us about 40 weeks or 280 days which is pretty good for lasting over 2/3 of a year.