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how soapnuts wor and how to use them for laundry

Using soapnut shells and washbag

wasing laundry with soapnuts

  1. Put 5 - 7 soapnut shells (or equivalent half shells) into the muslin washbag, tie bag securely.

  2. (Optional step) Place washbag into jar with warm water for 3 minutes. This helps to release the soap.

  3. Load laundry into machine, place soaked washbag on top of laundry and wash as directed.

  4. Aftre taking out laundry, save shells to re-use up to three more times.


Using homemade soapnut liquid

This method uses home-made soapnut liquid for instructions on how to use our Super Concentrated Soapnut Liquid Detergent click here.
  1. Load laundry into machine.

  2. Pour 1 cup / 250ml of home-made soapnut liquid into drawer of washing machine and wash as directed.


Using Soapnut Powder

  1. Add 2 tablespoons of the soapnut powder into a sock and tie securely.

  2. Place sock amongst laundry in the washing machine drum and wash as directed.

  3. Aftre wash discard all unused soapnut powder from sock in compost bin/green recycling.


Travel Wash Soapnut Shell Recipe

  1. Put one soapnut shell in a container (tupperware) with 400 -500ml warm water. Close lid tightly and shake well to activate suds.

  2. Take soapnut out and pour soapy liquid into bucket/basin ready to wash your clothes. Repeat step one with your used soapnut until you have the necessary amount of soapnut liquid in bucket/basin.

  3. Wash clothes, rinse, dry.

Remember soapnuts are phosphate free so they are great to take on camping trips!


Treating Stains


Soak stubborn stains, greasy clothes and textiles overnight in bicarbonate of soda or soda crystals overnight, before washing normally. Use cold water as hot water will set stains.

You can also Use our stain removing wet bar: Wet stain and bar then work bar into stained fabric. Treat both sides of the stain. Wash as directed.

During Wash:

Add 2 tablespoons of soda crystals in the powder drawer along with your soapnut detergent (soapnut shells, soapnut liquid, or soapnut powder. For softer clothes, linens and towels add vinegar to the wash instead of fabric softener.  

Or alternatively : use an in wash stain remover / laundry bleach of your choice.

Have a read of our blog post on stain removal


Adding a fragrance to your laundry

Soapnut shells are a natural softener, so no artificial fabric conditioner is needed.

Essential Oils & Linen Water

You can either add essential oils to your wash or spray your clothes with linen water whilst they are drying.

To use essential oils: you can add 10 – 15 drops of your preferred essential oil into your conditioner drawer or onto the muslin wash bag!

Home-made scented tumble-dryer sheets

If you are using a tumble dryer you can add a few drops of essential oil onto a handkerchief and add that to the tumble dryer.



soapnut disposal

Soapnut Shells: The same bag of soapnuts can be re-used 3 - 4 times. Exhausted soapnut shells start to break up in the bag. When soapnuts reach this stage compost them. The picture above shows the soapnuts after 2, 3 and finally 4 washes.

The saponin (which is a mild insecticide) should be completely exhausted there will be nothing to inhibit the creepy crawlies that may ingest it. However if you are worried, put it in your green recycling.

Soapnut Powder: When you have exhausted the soapnut powder, simply compost the soapnut powder residue.

Grey Water - Watering the garden:

Soapnuts are totally organic and, as stated earlier, a mild insecticide.  It is safe, even beneficial to put on your garden. Your washing machine uses about 50 litres (12 gallons!) of water per wash. Collect that waste and your watering problems are over. Say goodbye to those little plant destroying insects. For more ways to use soapnuts have a look at our soapnut recipes!

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