Soap nuts are a super affordable and non-toxic way to do laundry. If you are concerned about nut allergies, have no fear : these little cleaning wonders are actually a berry, not a nut! They are extremely allergen friendly. If you would like to read more about Soap Berries, be sure to check out my post, Cleaning With Fruit: Let’s Talk Soap Berries.
Homemade Liquid Soap Nuts Laundry Detergent
- 1 cup Eco Nuts* berries (approx. 2 oz)
- 4 cups Water
- 1/2 cup Vinegar (natural preservative)
- Measure and pour all ingredients into a large pot. Bring to a low boil and then reduce to a med-low heat to simmer with the *lid on* for 30 minutes. Stir and mash the berries occasionally with a slotted spoon.
- After 30 minutes, remove the lid and continue to simmer at a low heat for 30 more minutes to remove excess water. Continue to stir occasionally.
- Remove the pot from the heat, strain into a clean glass bowl with a mesh strainer and let cool.
- Pour into a water tight jar for storage.
Using this recipe I was left with approx. 2.5 cups of liquid which will give me approx. 40 loads in an HE machine or 20 loads in a standard washing machine. Your yield may vary depending on heat settings and how much you use per load.
Once your detergent is made you will use 1 tablespoon per HE load, or 2 tablespoons per regular load. You may need more on heavily soiled loads, and as with any detergent, you will want to pretreat tough spots. Check out my great DIY Laundry Pretreater Recipe for that!
A water tight jar is perfect! This laundry detergent should last you a while on the shelf but you won’t want to make up a year’s supply at once if you plan to store it that way. If you want to create a larger batch of detergent, freezing is a great option. Wsing ice cube trays, you can store this indefinitely and simply pop out a cube each time you need to do a load of laundry. (For reference, an ice cube is generally two tablespoons.)
I recommend the use of Eco Nuts berries because they are carefully selected to contain high amounts of quality soap, are certified organic, and are the only brand that I am aware of that actually sterilizes their berries – making them extremely safe to handle. You can purchase a large box of Eco Nuts for $30 which will yield approx. 400 HE loads or 200 standard loads.
If you are looking for deeper savings, you can purchase bulk soap nuts from Private Label Soap Nuts. A 5 lb bag costs approx. $45 with shipping. Please Note that while these soap nuts are much cheaper, the quality of these berry pieces will also be less so than the Eco Nuts brand. You will likely need to use 3-4 oz of product per batch to achieve results similar to those above.