Today I was on an alternative market in one of the neighboring villages where I live. It’s once a month and there are so many cool things for sale there. It’s a bit of a hippie community where I live in, while it’s quite a small village where you don’t expect anything like this to happen. I’m going to keep it a bit quiet for now, but maybe in the future I will reveal it’s secret location ;).
Anyway, I encountered a person here that is selling all of these great things and I saw some of my favorite things: Indian Soap Nuts. At first, I thought it wouldn’t be that great for me as I don’t own my own washing machine, so I asked the nice lady if it would be possible to bring some all-purpose cleaner next time. I’ve been searching for it for a while now and it’s quite hard to find in Portugal somehow without having to ship it.
Surprisingly this nice lady told me it’s also possible to use Indian Soap Nuts as dishwashing detergent and as an all-purpose cleaning product. My eyes popped out like in the cartoons when I heard about this as finally I found my all-natural cleaning product that can basically do anything! Let’s have a look at how we can use it in our daily life.
Indian Soap Nuts
As I mentioned before, I’ve been using these nuts before, when I did own a washing machine. It was super handy as you just popped a couple of nuts into a little bag, dropped them into the machine and voila! After an hour of something, your laundry is clean again! Well, at least your normal, regular laundry, it didn’t really work for clearing up stains on your clothes…
Now, I’ve always gone nuts for these amazing nuts. And you can even use them in your daily cleaning! So I tested it out for you and I came up with the perfect way to make sure that your house is completely clean and smelling like that as well.
So, I came up with the perfect way to use them to clean. Or at least for me it is! Just as a quick note, it’s good for your everyday cleaning when you just want to dust to disappear, but it won’t do great for some big cleaning. For that you will use your other detergents, unfortunately.
Instructions Cleaning with Indian Soap Nuts
Natural All-Purpose Cleaner
So, to make your own suds with the use of Indian Soap Nuts you need the following things:
- 3 Indian Soap Nuts - 1 Liter of water (to boil) or about 4 cups for my American readers - 3 Drops of Tea Tree Essential Oils - 3 Drops of Lavender Essential Oil
Yeah, that’s all you need! I do have to say it takes a bit more time to prepare everything, but there are a couple of hacks you can use, which I’ll explain as well of course.
To start, you have to put the Indian nuts into boiling water. You can do this the slow way by boiling some water on your stove. Or you can do it the lazy way and put on the electric kettle and pre-boil your water in an instant. When the water is boiling put the nuts in for about 3 minutes, you’ll see that some foam will form. If you’d like to have more foam, you can add a couple more nuts.
The nuts on their own have quite a neutral smell to it and I also wanted to make sure that I would kill all of the bacteria that are inside my house. Therefore I added some Tea Tree oil to my water because it has some great anti-bacterial properties. And because I don’t really like the smell of tea tree, I decided to add lavender as well. Somehow my bucket started to smell like an actual all-purpose cleaner.
Of course, as the water itself is way too hot to handle just like that, I added some lukewarm water as well, just to make sure I could put in my hands without getting them burned!
And then the cleaning fun began! And I have to say that it was probably the first time that I actually enjoyed cleaning completely!
Natural Dishwashing Detergent
But after that, the fun didn’t end as I had a lot of dishes to clean as well (I keep “forgetting” about them as I’m really not too fond of washing dirty dishes). This is quite a similar process, although you can’t really use the essential oils as, well, they’re oily and might leave a stain.
For this process you need the following things:
- 1 Liter or 4 Cups of Water (to boil) - 6 Indian Soap Nuts
For this I used 6 Indian Soap Nuts as I want my dishes to shine again and more nuts give more soap. Somehow in my head it doesn’t make sense to clean your dishes without any soap.
Now, I did the same thing, boiled the water, added the nuts into it and after that, poured the water into the sink. I added some lukewarm water as well so I wouldn’t burn my hands and started cleaning them!
Other Applications for Indian Soap Nuts
I mentioned it at the beginning of my article, you can also use these nuts for washing your clothes. You just have to get a cotton bag as well, but you mostly get them when you buy your nuts. You put about 5 nuts into your bag and put it together in the machine.
This bag is really useful. When you don’t put the nuts in there the rumbling of the machine will tear them apart. This will make that your clothes will be filled with little shards of nutshells.
You can use your nuts for about 3 times. Making it really worth it as the nuts themselves aren’t really that expensive and making the cost of them even lower. And after that, if you have a little garden or even plants, you can put the shells on the soil and they will compost themselves! Making it a great way to give some extra fertility to your plants.
And another great thing is that bugs don’t like them that much. Meaning that the shells of your product are also a great natural pesticide for your veggie garden!
In Your Dishwasher
You might have predicted this one already, you can also put them in your dishwasher! For this, the same rules apply as with your laundry. You put them in a bag again, about 5 nuts per load. You set the program on the machine and let it do its thing!
That’s about it for this article. I’m going back to my cleaning as I still didn’t fully wash my dishes yet (Procrastinatioooooon). I just got so excited to share this article with you guys that I had to write it now (excuses, excuses). Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the article, there are much more things you can do with these nuts, but those I will share with you another time ;)!