I discovered Soap Nuts back in July 2015 while researching online about Eczema. My children have eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) and I have used so many products for their skin care for I was so desperate to find a cure. As doctors always say that there is no cure to eczema but proper skin maintenance, I was still frustrated because I have done almost everything possible – bought all kinds of moisturizing lotion, emollient and oil but their skin are still full of irritation. Back in July, both of my girls were suffering severe redness and itch and I couldn’t take watching them be in that situation. I even became a member of the National Eczema Association and it somehow helped me be informed as a caretaker for eczema-suffering-children. The NEA is a great resource and I really enjoy reading articles and learning from other parents whose children also suffer from Atopic Dermatitis.
Anyway, during my research, I came upon a website/blog It’s an Itchy World. After reading Heidi’s story and seeing the photos of her baby I was eagerly inspired and convinced that Soap Nuts will work for my children. I guess if you’re a mother, just like any mother, we will do anything to find a cure or even just find a way to relieve the redness and itch from eczema. That same moment, I was online purchasing my first bag of Soap Nuts.
What are Soap Nuts (from NaturOli Website):
Soap nuts are known worldwide by many names such as soapnuts, soapberry, washing nuts, soap nut shells, wash shells, soapberry nut husk, Ritha (Hindi) nut shell, Chinese soapberry and many more. Very simply, soap nuts are the dried shells (or husks) from the soapberry (or soap berry nut). These berries are the fruit from a quite unique tree species. These shells contain a substance called saponin that produces a soaping effect. Saponin is a 100% natural alternative to chemical laundry detergent and cleansers. It can replace many chemical detergents such as those containing sodium laureth sulphate (SLS) that are becoming well known by consumers for being a skin irritant and health hazard
I first tried to use my soap nuts as how others traditionally would do it, by putting 4-6 soap nuts in a muslin bag and throwing it into the washing machine. My laundry came out unbelievably clean and odor-free. Because I’ve been using free & clear laundry soap for years before I discovered soap nuts, I wasn’t expecting my laundry to smell fragrantly fresh. I’ve been using ALL Laundry Detergent for a long time. It was recommended by our Pediatrician because according to the doctor it is very mild. However, even with ALL, my girls’ skin were irritated.
With more research, I discovered that I can make my own Soap Nut laundry detergent. There’s a lot of resources on YouTube but this is my favorite:
With my old Laundry detergent, it costs me $15.00 per month but now with soap nuts, I’ve been saving a lot of money and saving the environment in my own little way by not dumping my old laundry detergent plastic bottle. I bought 4 pounds of soap nuts for $39.95. I’ve been using it since July and I am only about half way thru my large bag. That means I spend about $6.67 per month on laundry soap. I did also invest on a bottle of lavender essential oil and I add a few drops into my washing load. A 2-ounce bottle of lavender essential oil cost $18.00 at Whole Foods. This bottle will last me a long time. I also bought Trader Joe’s Lavender Dryer bags. It’s chemical-free and I use it to supplement my use of essential oil.
I still have another 3-4 months before my bag of soap nuts are all gone. To those who want to try soap nuts here are a few things to note:
- Soap nuts are fragrant-free. Do not expect your laundry to be aromatic.
- I personally buy NaturOli soap nuts but there are other soap nuts available online. MAKE SURE YOU ARE BUYING FROM A RELIABLE SELLER.
- Buy only de-seeded soap nuts
- Read more about soap nuts before trying it. There are a lot of resources online specially on YouTube
- Be patient while learning to use soapberry nuts
- Be creative and resourceful… I also put my used soap buts in my garden 🙂