How Feasible Are Those ‘Save Money’ Ideas? Part 3 – Soap Nuts

February 4, 2015

Parts 1 & 2 are about if/how I save money eating less meat and cloth diapering.

#3 Soap Nuts

I found soap nuts on a Simple Lives Thursday post a couple of years ago. I read a lot of blog posts about them and decided to try them out.

Result: LOVE them! I would recommend these to anyone! I bought a bag ($30) March of 2013 and bought another one this past September. $30 for a year and a half of laundry detergent for a family of 8 (including cloth diapers). That cannot be beat!

So it’s cheap…does it really work?

Yes! I break the soap nuts in half easily with my fingers and put 14 halves in a bag. After about 10? washes (whenever the bag is looking a little limp), I will stick the bag in a mason jar, put some water in it and shake. If the water soaps up, I use it some more, if it does not, I put it aside to dry and fill another bag with soap nut bits. They give you multiple little bags in the big bag of soap nuts.

Problems: There are two issues I have had with soap nuts.

  1. You have to find the bag.
    When switching clothes from the washer to the dryer, you have to make sure you don’t transfer the soap nut bag with the clothes. Sometimes, it is easy – it is at the bottom of the washing machine. Sometimes, it is wrapped up in a towel so as I am transferring items, I will shake them out, just in case the bag is in there.
  2. The bags are hard to open.
    After being in 10+ washes, the strings that close the bag are twisted so the bag is difficult to open – nearly impossible if wet. So, when I need a bag with new soap nuts, I just set the wet bag aside and work on opening a bag that has already dried. It is still difficult but doable.

That’s it! If you can deal with those two things, you can save a bunch on laundry detergent each year (not to mention no chemicals in your clothes and you are choosing a sustainable product).

Other people say these are issues (I disagree but thought I would mention them.)

  • Smell – or lack thereof
    Soap nuts smell like vinegar. It’s gross. However, your clothes do not come out smelling like vinegar šŸ™‚ They come out smelling like…nothing. I am fine with that. I have a sensitive nose and do not like flowery-smelling things so I like my clothes smelling like nothing.
  • Have to use hot water
    I have heard people saying you have to wash your clothes in hot water in order for the soap nuts to soap up but that is not the case. As mentioned before, in order to see if the soap nuts are soapy, I stick the bag into a mason jar with (tap, cold) water & shake. If there are suds, I use it more. The fact that I can make suds with cold water means that I do not have to wash clothes in hot water in order for soap nuts to work.
  • Stains
    How well do soapnuts get stains out? Just as well as a typical laundry detergent, which is not too well, in my experience. I buy a spray stain remover & use that whenever needed. Soap nuts gets out regular messes and all smells though.

***We have a virus going around in our house & soap nuts took all of the blueberry throw up out of the sheets this morning, if that tells you anything about stains***

If you haven’t noticed, I highly recommend these as a wonderful way to save money and get chemicals out of your clothes!

Next way we save money…homeschooling! You may not think of homeschooling as a way to save money. After all, curriculum sets cost $200-500/student, easily. Find out how we homeschool for $10-20/student each year (more spent the first year) on my next post šŸ™‚

I am linking up to Simple Lives Thursday, hoping to help someone else out who is researching this decision!

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One thought on “How Feasible Are Those ‘Save Money’ Ideas? Part 3 – Soap Nuts

  1. Pingback: How Feasible Are Those ‘Money Saving’ Ideas? – Part 5 | Gardening Without…

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