Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Soap nuts soap?

I was given a bag of soap nuts a few months back and because I had a good stash of laundry soap on hand, I didn't try them right away.  I've been cleaning out cupboards and closets like crazy over the past few weeks and found these little nuggets languishing at the back of the laundry shelf.  Time to use them!  

I had heard of making liquid soap with soap nuts and since I was running low on that, I thought I'd give it a try.  After a bit of internet surfing, I plopped 1 cup of soap nuts into a small pot with water and simmered them until the colour had leached from the soap nuts.  I was surprised at the saponin - there was quite a lot of bubbles with some agitation!  The smell was "interesting" - not my favourite smell in the world (but not the worst, either).  It sort of reminded me of apples, but wasn't nearly as nice (which is why I added essential oil to the mix).

The verdict?  Definitely not for hand or dish soap, but great for laundry!  The soap nut liquid was surprisingly very drying to my skin, so that meant it was not going to work for hand soap or dish soap.  In the end, I used it all for laundry, but that seemed a bit of waste as I needn't have boiled it all to get laundry soap when I could have simply put the soap nuts into the washer as is!  Oh well - all in the name of experimentation and learning, right?

Have you used soap nuts?  If so, in what way did you use them?