Inspiration from Meghan

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Soapy Nuts


I suppose laundry isn't technically an act of kitchen love making, but since my entire home is one big room, and my little washing machine connects to my kitchen sink, laundry is officially an act of love in my kitchen.

In the above photo you will likely notice two things. One is that it looks like I stole my wardrobe from Rainbow Bright, and the second is that I am holding up a product- something I never do unless I really truly believe it is amazing. And this one is!

I am forever working to simplify my life, though others may think the exact opposite as I avoid anything processed and packaged as much as possible. When I came across soapnuts, I wondered where they had been all my life (and also how my sweet Green Thistle bestest friend failed to land on these in her challenge).


Soap nuts are the crushed seed of a plant that belongs to the maple family and they contain saponins, a natural surfactant- meaning they get sudsy. They look a bit like dates (though hollow). They grow in warmer climates and are a commonly used ingredient in ayurvedic shampoos and soaps. Essential they are natures sodium lauryl sulfates- the toxic chemical found in most detergents, shampoos, soaps and garage cleaners (that's right- on the hair as on the floor of the garage).


To ease my hippie-earth-loving heart, the same nuts can be used two or three times and then thrown into compost bin, or right into the garden. They contribute no bad stuff to the water supply and your children and pets won't die should it land in their mouths. It can be boiled down (or decocted as the herb-peeps would say) and used as a spray cleaner, dish detergent and shampoo. It has antimicrobial and insecticidal properties, and can even be used to clean up contaminated soil- might be something to think about throwing into the earth before planting the spring crops.

I threw eight soapnuts contained little cotton sack that was provided, into the washing machine. I let the machine fill partway with water and dropped in 2 drops of my  purification essential oil and then tossed in my brightest brights. To my delight- the clothes came out crisp and clean. As a detergent, it is hypoallergenic, environmentally friendly, colour protective and super economical. After my wash, I lay the nuts out on my windowsill to dry.

And no, I don't sell the product (though I would) and don't have any shares in it (would like some of those too), I just think it's fantastic!  Off you go- soap up those nuts.

(And if you are interested in buying some, they can be ordered online and may be carried at some of the larger natural grocers)

27 Responses to “Soapy Nuts”

  1. Bagur said…
    Hey guys, I've tried this nuts in the washing machine and my clothes are coming out with some stains.... Is anyone else going through the same? I need tips! thanks!
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      I'm not sure if you mean that the soap nuts are causing stains, or if they just aren't removing them. If it's the latter, you could try soaking your stains in baking soda, dish soap and hydrogen peroxide before you wash your clothes.
      • Bagurnn said…
        Thanks Meghan for your reply. I am certain they are *causing* the stains!
  2. BAGUR said…
    so.. I just found out that the stains were being caused by my boyfriend "drying off" his hands on his shirts after eating almonds! *facepalm! Sorry!
  3. caro said…
    Hi Meghan! How do you wash your washing machine? Also, do you wash your sneakers there? Thanks!
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      You can run a cycle with baking soda and vinegar to clean your washer. You could add an essential oil like tea tree to the mix as well.

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