" Blog da Horta Biológica: Soap Nuts: 14 Tips to Use

Soap Nuts: 14 Tips to Use

We have previously spoken about the use of soap nuts to wash clothes in our post Soap Nuts: Natural Detergent.

Today we speak about the several uses of these magic little balls, from personal care to house cleaning.

There are several ways to use soap nuts and we will see one by one. For a better understanding, also watch our video, to which we provide the link at the end of this post.

Using Soap Nuts 

#1 Laundry

From the various forms of use, only in the washing machine nuts are used directly. In this method the nuts are placed in a cotton bag, which is then placed inside the drum. For all other methods, soap nut liquid is used.

For detailed info on how to use soap nuts in the washing machine see the post Soap Nuts: Natural Detergent.

Using Soap Nut Liquid 

To make  soap nut liquid, place about 14 nuts in 2L of water in a pan. Let it boil for 20 minutes to the point of making a much foam. The aim is for the nuts to release as much saponins into the water as possible. For this purpose, during boiling, a potato masher can be used to help further release the saponins found in the nut's bark. After boiling, turn off the heat and strain the liquid that is ready to be used in various ways.

#2 Shampoo

To make a shampoo with a texture that is easier to apply, use a milk frother or a hand blender to create a thick foam. To use this foam, sweep it over your hair and let it sit for 10-15 minutes, then rinse. Some people do not make foam and just wet the hair with the liquid, letting sit for 15 minutes or so. A few drops of tea tree essential oil and lavender can be added to give a nice smell and a more effective cleaning action of the hair and scalp.

Hair is a complicated subject for many people and, if for some these methods can have an excellent result, for others it may not be a big deal. Each person must experiment and draw their own conclusions.

#3 Hand Wash

Place the liquid in a soap dispenser and use it just like you would with a normal liquid soap. Soap nut liquid creates less foam than a normal soap. 

#4 Face and Body Wash

Just like hair, skin is also a sensitive subject for many people. Soap nut liquid can be used as body wash in the bath and facial cleanser (without rubbing) but each person should test and see whether it's right for them or not. Soap nuts are anti-allergenic, but there can always be exceptions, We are all different, with different needs, so whenever there's a new product (even if natural), each one should experiment carefully and decide whether to maintain or discontinue its use. 

#5 Washing Dishes by Hand

Store the liquid in a soap dispenser, lay a little bit in a sponge (preferably a natural sponge) and wash normally. 

#6 Dishwasher

Place the liquid in the tablet compartment as you would do it with other liquid detergents.

#7 Washing Clothes by Hand

Soak your clothes and put a bit of liquid in the water, just like you do it with other detergents.  You can add essential oils of your choice to give a more pleasant smell to the clothes.

#8 Wash The Floor

Put a bit of liquid in the bucket, just like you do with traditional detergents, and mop the floor. You can add a few drops of tea tree essential oil, which is an excellent anti-bacterial and a great ally in cleaning. It also helps to perfume the house while cleaning.

#9 Wash The Car

To wash the car with soap nut liquid you can use the pressure washer or wash by hand. To wash with the pressure machine, put 50% water and 50% soap nut liquid in the detergent container. To wash by hand put some of the liquid in a bucket and rub the car with a soft sponge, then wipe with a cloth.

#10 Wash Mirrors

Place the liquid in a spray bottle. Spray the mirror and use a microfiber cloth for a better result. Using a window vaccum cleaner for mirrors also has a great result.

#11 Wash Glass Windows

Store the liquid in a spray bottle. Spray the glass and use a microfiber cloth for a better result. The liquid can also be used when cleaning with a window vaccum cleaner. 

#12 Wash Countertops

Pace the liquid in a spray bottle. Spray the countertop, rub with a sponge, and wipe with a microfiber cloth for a better result. You can add a few drops of tea tree essential oil for a better cleansing.

#13 Wash The Pet

Place a bit of liquid on a cloth and sweep the fur with love and care. Remove the excess of moisture with a dry cloth. 

#14 Spray The Plants

Spraying the plants with soap nut liquid helps to keep bugs away.


There are two ways to store soap nut liquid: 

  • If used immediately or on the following days, it should be kept in the refrigerator. 
  • If you will take time to use it, it should be stored in the freezer in individual doses. Silicone molds are excellent for this conservation method. Whenever you need to use the liquid, remove the necessary dose from the mold, allow to unfreeze, and use the liquid by the methods explained in this post.

Our Conclusions

From our personal experience with soap nuts, we concluded that they are excellent for machine washing (both clothes and dishes). It's not very easy to do the dishes by hand with soap nut liquid. The result as shampoo and face wash seems to be more efficient with normal soap. For washing surfaces that do not require much foam they are excellent too. It is always good to put a few drops of essential oils suitable for the use, not only to attenuate the exotic smell of the nuts, but also to obtain better cleaning results. 

Soap nuts and their liquid are very different from traditional detergents, so we can't emphasize enough that everyone should try and draw their own conclusions, whether for personal care or cleaning purposes. 


Soap nuts are not easily found in brick and mortar stores, especially for those who don't live in large cities with easy access to everything. Wherever you are in the world you can find them here.

Video - Soap Nuts: 14 Tips To Use

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