Have you tried washing your little one’s cloth diapers with soap nuts yet? I have. Actually, I’ve been using them for at least 3 years now. Most of the time, I’ve been very happy with the results, but there were times in the beginning when I really wanted to quit using them. Most of the issues that I had with soap nuts were caused by my front-loader. If you have a front-loader, you might have to try a couple of things before finding what works for you.
Here are a few things that you can try to get the best results when using soap nuts for your laundry:
- Place the soap nuts in an old sock and crush them with something, so that they break into smaller pieces. Unfortunately, if you have sticky soap nuts, it won’t be as easy as that. You’ll have to break/rip the soap nuts into smaller pieces with your fingers.
- Soak the little bag with soap nuts for 3-5 minutes in some hot/warm water and then add the bag and the water into the washer’s drum. NOTE: Always soak the soap nuts before doing a cold wash.
- Make soap nut liquid and use it like regular liquid laundry detergent. To make soap nut liquid boil 12-15 soap nuts with 6 cups of water for 30 minutes. I usually bring the water (with the soap nuts) to a boil and then lower the heat, so that the liquid doesn’t overflow. After the 30 minutes, you’ll have less liquid than you started with, so you can add some water to bring it back to what it used to be, or you can just leave the liquid more concentrated. Once the liquid has cooled, remove the soap nuts, and pour the liquid into glass jars (or airtight plastic containers, if you wish). The liquid can spoil after a few days, so try to keep it in the fridge, or use it up within a couple of days. Experiment with how much liquid to use in a wash. I use 1/4 cup, but you might need more or less depending on your washer and your water type.
- Set the washer cycle to “heavy soil”. The cycle is longer, giving the soap nuts more time to release the saponin.
- Add some oxygen bleach such as, Oxy-Boost or Nature Clean Oxy Stain Remover, to the detergent drawer before starting your wash. Please check whether you can use oxygen bleach with your cloth diapers. Some manufacturers might void warranty if you do.
- If you have hard water, add washing soda or Calgon to your wash.