Soap Nuts - tried and tested - and verdicts?

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Re: Soap Nuts - tried and tested - and verdicts?

Post: #143222 MrDirtyBoots
Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:39 am

We have been using ecoballs for ages and then seem to work great. A bit of vinegar is added and that's it. Also we only use a cold wash as a hot wash would probably blow out the Inverter!

There are hardly ever any problems and with a hot wash they would work very well indeed.
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Re: Soap Nuts - tried and tested - and verdicts?

Post: #143481 Moonwaves
Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:52 pm

I've been using them for three or four years now and don't think I could ever go back to conventional powders or liquids. Use them until they don't go hard anymore when they are dry, which is usually about four or five washes. Don't have many white clothes anyway but found that white sports socks were the only thing that seemed to turn grey.

I live in a very hard water area now so also use some washing soda for each wash most of the time. And plain white vinegar as a fabric conditioner. Occasionally I add a teaspoon of baking soda to the powder dispenser for a white wash or (when I get around to hemming the bloody things so that I can start using them full-time) for a pre-wash when washing wee wipes.

I was concerned at the distance as well at first but when I mentioned that in a blog post got a reply from the main importer to Ireland at the time saying that although they were not yet fair trade they were working towards the certification. I think it takes something like 12 years for a tree to reach full growth and they had a plantation that had been started a few years before. In the meantime, I've moved to Germany and I can buy them here in my local fair trade shop. It all depends on where you stand on the local/organic/fair tradechemical free grid I suppose.

I've gotten a few seeds but am not sure now where they are (moved seven months ago but still can't find some things!). There was someone on the River Cottage forum a year or two ago who was trying to grow some he had found in his bag. Involved soaking them at first I think but don't remember any updates after the seedlings were a couple of inches high.
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Re: Soap Nuts - tried and tested - and verdicts?

Post: #144514 matowakan
Sat Feb 28, 2009 6:27 pm

I have been using soap nuts for about a month and find them ok. However if something really grubby I soak the items first before washing them.
Havnt noticed any particular smell, good or bad.
I gather it is possible to make shampoo from them so going to give it a go,has anyone else tried this?

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Re: Soap Nuts - tried and tested - and verdicts?

Post: #144516 theabsinthefairy
Sat Feb 28, 2009 6:30 pm

Not tried shampoo - but have made the cleaner from the used nuts after 5 washes still got enough out of them for a couple of days worth of washing up - very impressive - I am really keen on them now, just have to see how my initial investment in a kilo bag works out overall.
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Re: Soap Nuts - tried and tested - and verdicts?

Post: #145966 justbabyskincare
Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:43 pm

Great to see some more fans of soap nuts here! I've been using for a while and think they are excellent. Here I've copied some info off my website about what you can do with the shells once they have been through the wash a few times;

Before adding to compost heap, shells can be used to make liquid soap - see below.

To make Liquid Soap

Simmer about half a dozen Soapnuts for five minutes. The amount of water you use doesn’t really matter. Simply use enough water to well cover the shells. If you use nut shells that haven’t been used before you will end up with a fairly “strong” solution. You can dilute the liquid accordingly afterwards. Cool and strain. Alternatively, pour boiling water over Shells and leave to cool. Procedure can be repeated several times before Shells are disposed of on compost heap.

Liquid Soap can be used for -

Washing delicate items by hand and for washing hands!
Washing dishes (particularly good for glassware).
Use in place of conventional screen wash in your car!(Dilute with cold water 1:4).
Add a few drops of essential oil for an effective spray-on general surface cleaner.
Add a little white vinegar for a super-effective window/glass cleaner.
Add to a spray bottle and attack greenfly and aphids!

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Re: Soap Nuts - tried and tested - and verdicts?

Post: #146051 theabsinthefairy
Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:21 pm

thank you for that jsutbabyskincare

I have been using the nuts for nearly two months now, and have to say I find I am quite impressed with them. A little goes a long way and the reusage of them has also been good - I have refilled a liquid hand soap bottle for the kitchen and find that it does not dry as much as the diluted washing up liquid that I have previously been using.

I am also impressed with the softness of the clothes after washing - I don't use any softeners, but the jeans and towels are not dying like cardboard after a hot wash.

And so far with the reusing of the nuts - I am getting four washes out of 3 to 4 nuts without any problems so perhaps my little bag may last the year?
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Re: Soap Nuts - tried and tested - and verdicts?

Post: #148978 matowakan
Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:14 pm

I found out today that there are different types and strengths of soap nuts. Apparantly it depends which country they originate from as to how good they are.
The best are i believe the ones that are orangey in colour, the worst being the darker brown.
So next time I will buy the orangey ones! I cant remeber where they come from but I think the darker ones come from Burma.
The darker ones dont lather up so much and can be less effective- up to 50%.
Has anyone had experience of the different ones?

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Re: Soap Nuts - tried and tested - and verdicts?

Post: #151649 chrissie
Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:02 am

Hi
I`m a recent convert to eco friendly living having become involved with a company called Wikaniko who promote eco friendly products.

I am about to use soap nuts for the first time so was very pleased to find this thread.

I can highly recommend a soap for personal use though, which is only made from olive oil, and bay leaf oil and laurel.
It doesn`t smell amazing as there is no perfume added, but creates a wonderful lather.

It can be used on children, for hair or body and leaves your skin really soft and moisturised and is good for skin problems.

Its called aleppo soap and has been made in Syria for thousands of years in the same way.
Best of all - it floats in the bath so you can always find it!!!!

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Re: Soap Nuts - tried and tested - and verdicts?

Post: #151712 Helsbells
Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:58 am

I think I have writted this somewhere before but I have been using soap nuts for some time, and recently found that I have little dots on some of my clotghes that were like bogies. I took the filter out and it was covered in this slimey bogie like goo which I can only atribute to the soap nuts. Also soap nuts do not seem to stand up to the sweat that is left on my fiance's shirts, they had gone all stiff on the back and darker in colour which no amount of washing with soap nuts would cure.

Very disappointed with my soap nuts.

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Re: Soap Nuts - tried and tested - and verdicts?

Post: #151717 chrissie
Sat Apr 25, 2009 10:18 am

Can I ask helsbels if you put the soap nuts in something like a bag or a sock first?

I`ve been told by someone not to use them loose as bits come off everywhere.

I am trying mine for the first time today so will report back

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Re: Soap Nuts - tried and tested - and verdicts?

Post: #151720 Helsbells
Sat Apr 25, 2009 10:44 am

Yes I used a little canvas bag.

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Re: Soap Nuts - tried and tested - and verdicts?

Post: #172109 imoet
Mon Oct 12, 2009 2:02 pm

re soap nuts i have no idea but i read something about hazelnut cuttings today on google- : the 20th August is St Philiberts day when they are ripe for picking and Holy Cross [day off school ]cuttings sounded easy to do best in April presumably when green & budding !

:angryfire: nut roast

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Re: Soap Nuts - tried and tested - and verdicts?

Post: #176019 Muscroj
Sat Nov 07, 2009 7:03 pm

I've used some for the first time today as I received a free sample, I only had 4 & the instructions said to use 6 -8 & I used a few drops of lavender & geranium essential oils in the fabric softener compartment. I am REALLY impressed with the results. The boys clothes, that are always covered in food, all came out clean & everything felt softer than it would have if I'd used normal powder & conditioner.
I'm not sure i'd use hem on hubbys work shirts due to the fact they don't keep items white, but I've just bought a kilo bag & certainly intend on using them for coloured washes. I'm also going to give my sis & mum a sample so hopefully I can convert them too.

I suffer from excema so i'm sure that any reduction in chemicals must be a bonus and I've just been reading on wiki that soap nuts are actually used as a traditional remedy for excema, so double bonus!
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Re: Soap Nuts - tried and tested - and verdicts?

Post: #176020 Rosendula
Sat Nov 07, 2009 7:09 pm

Jo, I think usually the instructions say to use 6 to 8 half shells, so perhaps the company that sent you your sample haven't typed them up very well.
Rosey xx

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Re: Soap Nuts - tried and tested - and verdicts?

Post: #176021 Muscroj
Sat Nov 07, 2009 7:31 pm

ah yes, they do say half shells on the instructions, I'm not sure if they were half shells or full shells I used. But it did seam odd that would supply half the recommended amount as a sample so my guess is that they were full shells!

I hope I'm OK to list the company, but I've just been searching the WWW & they do seem to be quite a bit cheaper than the other places that stock them I've just ordered 1 kilo & paid £11.00 including postage from www.inasoapnutshell.com
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