Some Frequently Asked Questions About Soapnuts:
Do I have to remove the soapnuts during the rinse cycle?
No, The saponin in soapnuts is released slower in cold water and most rinse cycles are cold. The saponin released in the rinse water acts as a fabric oftener so your clothes are left very soft Also in areas where water is scarce or in an effort to conserve both water and money, a growing number of people do not even rinse their clothes after washing with soapnuts. Since there are no chemical or soap residues left in the clothes, they are left soft when washed this way. If you want a warm water rinse you can use the liquid or just let it run throught the cycle with the soapnuts in the drum and your clothes will still be clean and soft.
Are soapnuts safe to use on my delicate clothes?
Yes. You can even use them to wash the most delicate of fabrics such as wool & silk. Their gentleness maintains the fabric structure of the clothes for longer.
Are soapnuts able to maintain the brightness and whiteness of my clothes?
Yes. It is recommended, however, that whites and colours are washed separately. An eco friendly laundry bleach (washing soda) also helps to keep fabrics white and bright.
Are soapnuts able to soften clothes or do I need to add any fabric softeners?
Soapnuts will leave your clothes soft and fresh, without the use of any fabric softeners.
Are soapnuts safe for people with sensitive skin?
Yes. Because they are natural and chemical free they are gentle on your skin and clothes. Soapnuts are actually recommended for sensitive skin, allergy and eczema sufferers.
Are soapnuts a problem if someone is allergic to nuts?
No. Soapnuts are not nuts. They are a fruit. So people with nut allergies need not worry.
Soapnuts have a mild vinegar like fragrance. Are my clothes going to hold onto that fragrance?
Once you have finished your washing, the clothes will be fragrance free. Adding a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil will give your clothes a nice smell.
How many soapnuts are required per wash?
It all depends on the size and quality of the soapnuts. But on average, around 4-6 shells are sufficient. If the water is soft, then even less shells will do the job. A bit of trial and error will help you understand what best suits your washing conditions.
There are not that many visible suds, is that a problem?
No. Your cleaning will be just as effective without the presence of suds. Soapnuts contain no commercial foaming agents or chemicals, which are commonly used in commercial detergents.
Does it matter that the nuts are in pieces and not as a whole ?
No. Actually it is better if the nuts are in smaller pieces. Many people crush the soapnuts shells into smaller pieces so that the contact surface with the water increases.
Can soapnuts be used more than once?
Yes. If you are using cold water, then it is possible to reuse the shells several times. Saponins are released slower in cold water. In warm to hot water, the shells may need to be replaced more often, but can still be used for 4 to 6 loads of laundry.
How can I tell when the soapnuts are ready to be discarded?
The best way to tell is to look at them when they are dry. The shells that are depleted will be thin and dry with no shiny pockets of saponin left in the centre.
What should I do with the soapnuts once they have been used?
Put them in your compost bin or throw them in the waste bin. They are 100% bio-degradable.
Do soapnuts have a shelf life?
No. They do, however, need to be stored properly in an airtight container or bag. If they are left open, they absorb moisture easily and become dark and sticky. This does not effect the product or its cleaning capabilities. They will still wash brilliantly.
Why do people claim that soapnuts are water and energy saving?
Commercial detergents need to be rinsed out of the clothes completely as they leave a soapy residue. Since soapnuts are a 100% natural product with no soapy residue, you can reduce the machine rinse cycles, hence saving valuable electricity and water.
Are soapnuts safe for my machine?
Yes. They are a 100% natural product without any harsh chemicals. The life of the machine will only be greater if you use soapnuts. If you are switching to using soapnuts, they will even clean your machine of any chemical residues from previous washing.
Is soapnuts liquid ok to use in my washing machine?
Yes. Depending on the concentration of the liquid, add it accordingly. It is best to experiment and see what works best for you.
Are soapnuts effective for really dirty laundry ?
Yes. Although you may need to reduce the quantity of laundry in the machine to give some room for the clothes to move freely. The addition of washing soda to your wash cycle will help. Also, the application of some soapnuts liquid directly to the stained/heavily soiled area helps to ensure effective cleaning.