Nuts about Washing

soapnuts 3So as you all know we decided a few weeks back to include the cost of cleaning materials in our £50 per week budget. Now this seems ok so far but when we published the photos of our shopping it was pointed out that our washing liquid choice from our local household shop wasn’t very environmentally friendly.

Now……… this project is all about shopping locally and supporting David rather than Goliath so in this way our washing choices were ok. But….. it would seem that when you start a journey such as ours you actually open up a can of worms in terms of your own ethics. Now when we shopped in supermarkets we would buy whichever washing liquid was the best smelling for the best price (don’t hate us we just wanted to smell nice). If we are really honest in the past we never really gave it a thought (oops) but this journey has really changed us and when it was pointed out that our washing choices weren’t the best we hung our heads in a tiny bit of shame.

We did a spot of googling and found there are more ethically brands out there but if we are really honest we didn’t really get any further than this. Then…….. one of our lovely readers got in touch to say they use Soapnuts, they are great and would we like them to send a sample? Well….. our answer was of course ‘Yes Please’ and so today when Lizzie and Becksie returned from our baby singing group the postman brought us a little package!

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We ripped it open to find a lovely note, a really cute lavender bag and…………a bag of soap nuts!

Now…….. Becksie was very excited and could hardly wait to do some washing – SADDO! So we took our dirty clothes, our lavender essential oil (we still want to smell lovely) and some of the washing nuts.

'It would seem they have finally completely lost it and are now washing with nuts' Katie Pugh!

‘It would seem they have finally completely lost it and are now washing with nuts’ Katie Pugh!

Simple really all you do is put the clothes in the machine, add 6 – 8 nuts in a little washing bag, some drops of oil and…….. wash as normal.

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soapnuts 5The results………

Lovely clean washing (that’s worth an exclamation surely)! Now we have to admit we thought that the washing wouldn’t smell nice nut…. it smells really fresh and lavendary, our clothes are really soft, the nuts are reusable (up to 6 washes if you dry them out between washes) and when they’ve done their washing time they can be composted so…….. they are very eco friendly. You can find out more about them here and purchase them here.

So a few things to say firstly a huge thank you to Hazel who sent them to us! Secondly Team Pugh are Soap nuts converts! We give them a  HUGE thumbs up!


16 thoughts on “Nuts about Washing

  1. Hooray! Glad it was a successful test! And well done Royal Mail for speedy delivery 🙂
    I think soapnuts are economical too- a 500g bag last ages, even with the five of us.

    I have to say I’d have written in my best handwriting if I’d thought you’d show it…

  2. Ooh I like the sound of these. I wonder if they work on really muddy rugby kit? And tomato sauce – not ketchup, but the pasta variety that stains everything!

    • Sandie, I find they’re equivalent to non-bio on the whole. They get mud off of jeans etc after playing football in the park! My 12 year old is not easy on his clothes and they wash up well! I even washed cloth nappies in them…

      Obviously there’s no bleach, so a white rugby kit would probably need a bit of help! You could keep a tub of shop bought detergent for washing it if soapnuts and an oxybleach/borax can’t do it? If it’s a modern manmade fabric, soapnuts may not leave it smelling clean (even though it is) because many of those fabrics were developed alongside modern detergent (also petroleum based, I think?). Good old soap or anything saponin based works differently. I find everyday stuff is fine, but husbands work clothes after a training weekend (all high performance hitech fabric) was a challenge!!

      I try not to let stains dry to make life easier. I pretreat, and any stubborn tomato stains often come out with lemon or white wine vinegar and some time in the sun. (My pretreating at the moment is generally rubbing with some soap or soaking for a while 🙂 )


  3. We tried these very halfheartedly once, but then gave up. Can’t even remember why now! Might just give them another go when the year is up and we can buy some new ones..!!

  4. What a brilliant idea!! I’ve been looking for something to wash in, I use grated cheap bar soap for washing woolies, I mix it in a bit of warm water first cos if the water in the washing machine isn’t hot enough it won’t dissolve but that sounds like a great idea. I’ll treat myself as its nearly mothers day.

    Thanks for a brilliant blog too!

    PS, I’m spabbygirl cos I help run the gloucestershire branch of the society for the protection of ancient buildings and anything a bit old and proud of it is called spabby (from the initials of their name, spab), cos they value the old and well used even where most people don’t! So I live in a little spabby house and I have a little spabby car and draw little spabby pictures1

  5. Just to let you know that the first ‘here’ link doesn’t work but the second ones does. Love the posts

  6. Glad to hear you’ve taken this on board! Another thing worth trying is eco balls, or the eco egg (both similar), which I’ve used for years. Google them and you’ll find them. During my own period of living on very little, I continued to use my favourite green products (in my case Ecover). Admittedly I got them from the supermarket where they are a lot cheaper (and usually on offer regularly), but even had I not been able to I would have cut back on other stuff even more in order to afford them. Apart from the green issues I just can’t abide the smells of the usual products. And you learn to be very sparing with your cleaning materials….May I recommend a cloth I bought recently (in the supermarket…but probably available elsewhere)? It’s a Spontex Anti-limescale scourer spongey type cloth (silver one side) with a smooth microfibre back. They don’t make it terribly clear what you can use it for apart from “sinks” and taps ( but emailed them and their response was helpful – basically try it carefully on small areas and see) but I have used it on the bathroom basin and found it very good – you definitely can get away with using a lot less cream cleaner (or whatever you use), and even none in between proper cleans.

  7. Thanks for that teampugh, I really should look more at my washing up liquid. I was watching that programme last night on the Hutterites, an American religious group, who live very simply and they use block ordinary soap for washing clothes and washing up. I’ve never heard of washing up in soap, but I might give it a try. They put the soap in a bottle and it slowly dissolves & they use it that way.

    I’m going to try soap nuts and eco balls plus a spontex anti-limescale scourer though after seeing it here!

    • Let us know what you think 🙂 Ian is very much an original fairy liquid guy so we might take some more convincing on the washing up front hehe 🙂

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