Soap nuts for laundry is easier than you may think. Also consider that when you use toxic store brand laundry detergent, you are wearing these chemicals everytime you wear your clothes, or use a towel, or sleep! Soap nuts has become the best way to naturally clean your laundry! Get some history on soap nuts here, it has a proven track record.
Basically, using soap nuts for laundry is easy - place 5 soap nuts in a bag, usually supplied with the soap nuts, draw the draw string tight, and place in with the laundry. That's it. Some people add a few drops (10) of essential oils for a natural scent, such as lemongrass and lavender. You will get 5 loads worth from these, then the shells can go into a compost.
In point form, laundry soap nuts are:
not messy like powders.
For your skin, soap nuts are:
gentle on clothes
great for sensitive skin
better for babies
makes clothes softer
has no scent.
When using soap nuts for laundry:
remove bag before placing clothes in dryer
re-use the soap nuts for 4 - 5 loads
good for front and top loaders
use less for half a load
can leave in spin cycle
do the usual separation of darks and lights
wash darks with new nuts and whites with used nuts
no fabric softener is needed.
And the variables:
some say the soap nuts for laundry work best in warm and hot water, some say cold works just as well
liquid version of the soap nuts can be made for cold water, 1/4 - 1/2 cup
you can use a sock for the cotton drawstring bag
soap nuts are darker, shinier and soft when used up
can put 3 nuts in the cutlery holder of dishwasher for your dishes (and vinegar in the rinse dispenser)
that nuts work in hot or cold, but that you would have less loads when using these on hot
keep the soap nuts out of direct sunlight
keep in an airtight container to prevent stickiness (in humidity)
if sticky, still good to use
2 pounds or 1 kg of soap nuts should last for over 300 loads
the rinse cycle could be skipped as there is no detergents to rinse away
for stains you may still need an oxygen based whitening powder.
Liquid soap nuts can be used for a variety of uses, such as shampoo, dish soap, hand washable, household cleaners, pet shampoo, and anywhere else you would use a liquid cleaner. Usually there is a liquid version where ever you would purchase your nuts.
To make liquid soap:
put about 6 - 8 soap nuts (2.5 oz or 50g) of crushed soap nuts in 4 cups of water
bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes
let cool and add a natural thickener like Xanthum Gum
and a natural essential oil scent if desired
a batch will make enough for 8 loads, at 1/4 to 1/2 cup each load
uses batches within 2 weeks (the nuts last almost forever).
Essential oil scent examples are:
For bathroom - tea tree or lemongrass
for dish washing - sweet orange
for laundry - lavender.