How to Use Soap Nuts + A Soap Nuts Quiz

Have you been as curious about soap nuts as I have? I’m getting ready to take the soap nuts plunge and have been reading all about these handy, natural alternatives to chemical detergents. Take the soap nuts quiz below, and read on for some soap nuts basics!

How much do you know about soap nuts? Test your knowledge!

Question 1
True or False: Soap Nuts are just for doing your laundry.
A
True.
B
False.
Question 1 Explanation: 
You can use soap nuts to create all sorts of personal care and DIY cleaning products, from shampoo and body wash to an all purpose cleaner.
Question 2
Soap nuts are actually a...
A
nut.
B
berry.
C
seed.
D
bean.
Question 2 Explanation: 
Soapnuts are actually a hypoallergenic berry.
Question 3
True or False: Soap nuts will flood your high efficiency washing machine.
A
True.
B
False.
Question 3 Explanation: 
Because soap nuts produce very few suds in the wash, they work well in high efficiency or front-loading washing machines.
Question 4
How do soap nuts stack up price-wise to conventional laundry detergents?
A
They cost more.
B
They cost less.
C
They cost about the same.
Question 4 Explanation: 
Prices can vary quite a bit, depending on where you buy your soap nuts or detergent and whether you buy in bulk. Soap nut prices range between as high as 25 cents per load to 11 cents per load. Conventional detergents fall within a similar range.
Question 5
How many soap nuts go into a standard load of laundry?
A
1.
B
3.
C
5.
D
7.
Question 5 Explanation: 
Depending on the size of your load and how soiled your clothes are, 4-6 soap nuts will do the trick.
Question 6
How many loads can you wash with one set of soap nuts?
A
1-2.
B
3-7.
C
8-12.
D
13-17.
Question 6 Explanation: 
Soap nuts stay "active" for around 3-7 loads. If you're not sure whether yours are active, get them a little bit wet. If they feel slippery, you're good to go.
Question 7
How should you dispose of spent soap nuts?
A
Throw them away.
B
Plant them.
C
Recycle them in the paper bin.
D
Compost them.
Question 7 Explanation: 
Spent soap nuts are totally compostable in your home compost heap.
Question 8
True or false: Soap nuts rock at removing stains.
A
True.
B
False
Question 8 Explanation: 
Soap nuts do a great job of removing dirt and grime from laundry, but for stubborn stains they are not the best option.
There are 8 questions to complete.

How to Use Soap Nuts

Soap nuts are berries that contain saponins, which are natural detergents. When soap nuts get wet, they release these saponins into the water, and that helps release dirt and grime from fabric just like chemical detergents do. Soap nuts are most commonly used in laundry, but there are other ways to use them.

Related: 24 Surprising Uses for Salt

If you took the quiz, you know that you can use soap nuts for more than just laundry. You can make shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, and all purpose cleaner with these handy little berries. If the steps below for washing clothes with whole soap nuts seems like a lot of work, you can also make soap nuts liquid. This liquid works in the washing machine and as the base for other natural cleaning recipes.

soap nuts

Washing Clothes with Soap Nuts

If you took the quiz you already know that you need 4-6 soap nuts to do a load of laundry. Exactly how many you need depends on your machine and how soiled your clothes are. If you have a high efficiency or front loading machine, chances are you’ll need four soap nuts for a light load and five for heavier or dirtier loads. With a top loader, five or six soap nuts should work well.

Here’s how to wash a load of clothes with soap nuts:

1. Make sure they’re active. Soap nuts are good for 3-7 loads. If you’re on your fourth load or later, you want to make sure your soap nuts still have saponin, the natural detergent that makes these suckers work. Kitchen Stewardship has a great tutorial for how to quickly test your soap nuts.

2. Put 4-6 soap nuts into a muslin bag. The bag is key. I’ve read some accounts of soap nuts leaving brown smudges on light fabrics, and the bag helps prevent that problem.

3. Toss the bag into the washer with your clothes. The agitation and soaking in your machine will help release the saponins in the soap nuts and get your clothes clean.

4. Remove the bag before you put your clothes into the dryer.

Additional Sources

132 comments

onita Caldwell

Since I had never heard of soap nuts, I would have failed miserably had I not skipped to the article and read it first. Now where do you buy them?

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Teresa W.
Teresa W2 years ago

hmmm...

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Roberto Meritoni
Roberto Meritoni2 years ago

Thanks

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Roberto Meritoni
Roberto Meritoni2 years ago

Thanks

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Diane Wayne
Diane Wayne2 years ago

very interesting. I've never heard of this before, thank you.

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Angela K.
Angela K2 years ago

Thanks for sharing

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Barb Hansen
Ba H2 years ago

i do love them, but your whites will start to look dingy after a while. i especially like them made into a tea in the carpet shampooer. no residue to attract the dirt

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Marion Friedl
Marion Friedl2 years ago

But I saw that the other commenters didn´t even take the quiz, think I´m not the only one whose English ain´t perfect.... LOL

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Marion Friedl
Marion Friedl2 years ago

HAHAHAHAHAHA; score 25, think I should refresh my English, didn´t understand most of the questions and just guessed my answers, lol!!!

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Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen2 years ago

Thank you

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