Soap nuts have definitely grown on me too, to the point where I cannot even tolerate the fumes of chemical laundry detergents or dryer sheets anymore.
I love how they are gentle for all types of fabrics and colors. Whether it’s darks or delicates, you can wash it all with soap nuts or the tea.
Speaking of the tea, you may want to brew yours for up to 20 minutes – I also find that straining through a cheesecloth or wire mesh strainer is usually helpful to catch the little pieces, and collect the nuts as well.
Next, you may notice over time that you can’t use the tea fast enough before it goes bad – usually about 4 days – so a neat method to preserve your soap tea is to freeze it in an ice cube tray. When it’s time to do a load of laundry, just pop out a couple tea cubes and throw them in with the wash. This way you significantly reduce how many times a month or year you need to make the tea.
We also discovered, when brewing the tea and accidentally letting it boil over, that it is a very effective stovetop cleaner. *cough*
The tea also does well on pots and pans, and we have also used it as dishwasher detergent combined with vinegar added to the rinse cycle. I would however not use it on wood or anything that cannot be rinsed, as the tea has a bit of a stickyness.
What are your own special soap nuts secrets? We would love to hear your crafty ideas about storage, usage, or whatever! With soap nuts, possibility abounds . . .